This paper examines where the humanitarian community is now in terms of quality and accountability, how we got here, and what some of the challenges are for the future.
The humanitarian system seeks adequate answers to the immense and constantly growing humanitarian needs. As part of the local civil society, local actors are usually the first responders after a shock. Effectiveness and efficiency of humanitarian action can be improved through local knowledge, trust and other complimentary capacities, giving local actors an increasingly important role. While local and national humanitarian organisations provide an important work, they often still function as mere implementers of strategic and operational decisions taken by international humanitarian organisations.
It is therefore crucial to support local actors in their own operational preparedness and response capacity, their organisational and institutional ability, in the availability of adequate funding and integration in relevant humanitarian coordination mechanisms. Equally important is the transformation of roles between the different actors within the humanitarian system.