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الموقع تحت الإنشاء

النسخة التجريبية من موقع النهضة العربية (أرض)

Al Nahda Localization Award 2023
Address by H.E. Dr. Sawsan Al Majali


Ladies and Gentlemen,

Distinguished guests,

Dear friends,


On behalf of the Jordan National NGOs Forum- JONAF, it is my privilege and honor to welcome you today to this important occasion Al Nahda Localization Award Ceremony, especially amid this dire situation our region is facing, with more than 20 thousand Palestinians killed by the Israeli brutal assault on Palestine, and with more than 130 of our colleagues losing their lives in addition to many humanitarian aid workers across Gaza and the West bank. The Israeli Genocide in Gaza is posing a potential threat to escalate across the entire region. All over the world societies are fracturing along divisive lines, and tensions are reaching a boiling point.

In such a pivotal moment, it becomes imperative to uphold the humanitarian fundamental principles, with a primary focus on respecting and safeguarding the lives of civilians and humanitarian workers across Palestine. Today we stand together as partners once again in joy and sorrow to reiterate our ongoing call for a permanent ceasefire.

Today we also stand together to recognize the importance of Localization, especially amid such dire situations and crises, it is the local CBOs who proved once and again to be the first responders to the needs of their communities and the active actors in ensuring that the commitment to humanitarian values and SDGs are not forgotten or neglected, especially in the face of crises.

JONAF was established in 2016, as diverse members from all over Jordan working together to advance and empower localization, promote decentralization, enhance emergency response and relief, and activate UN Security Council Resolution 1325. JONAF has also been a leading voice for localization in Jordan and the wider region.

Structurally, localization serves as a means to address the imbalance in power dynamics between larger International Non-Governmental Organizations (INGOs) and their smaller national and local counterparts. Collaborating with and enhancing the capabilities of national and local organizations, rather than operating independently, can enhance the efficiency of humanitarian efforts and bolster, rather than hinder, national development initiatives.

Al Nahda Localization Award was launched by JONAF in 2021, as a means of recognition and appreciation of the significant efforts of stand-out individuals and/or organizations that champion and advocate for localization and their role in advancing and strengthening local civil society organizations and actors at both the local and international levels.

JONAF and UNHCR have been collaborating on different opportunities to strengthen JONAF´s work and to provide the necessary support to scale up the Localization of Refugees Agenda in Jordan.  The Middle East and North Africa Civil Society Network for Displacement in Jordan is one of the UNHCR initiatives that we are proud to be a part of and share our dedication to empowering refugees and host communities to bolster their adaptability and self-reliance.

Now, more than ever we need to reemphasize our commitment to building bridges and advancing just peace, sustainable development, and human rights, as such we should salute the champions emerging locally, regionally, and internationally, for upholding these values and focusing on localization at different levels, trying to eliminate the challenges, putting localization at the center, and inviting different stakeholders to realize their obligations in this regard.

These actors work tirelessly in advocating for equitable partnership, sharing power and decision-making processes, ending biases against local actors, and getting rid of describing them as beneficiaries, or who are only in huge need of capacity building with a top-down approach.

As one of the role models and localization champions who work in Jordan, this year´s award is presented to Dominik Bartsch, the UNHCR JORDAN Representative; for his outstanding leadership of the UNHCR toward more effective, and accountable support to Jordan, promoting localization values and advocating for national ownership.

Dominik has worked and still working within an inclusion strategy for local actors, pushing for meaningful engagement in international humanitarian agendas. In one of his interviews Dominik stated:

“A good leader is one who finds and fosters a unity of purpose that ties together the team, that makes the whole greater than the sum of its parts.”

Dominik describes himself as “an accidental humanitarian. He was originally trained to be a development economist but found that he couldn’t attribute his work to any direct change in the lives of people.  When working in the humanitarian sector he states you  know exactly what you have contributed to. You know that you have supported the betterment of a group of people who are among the most destitute refugees.

He once stated: For humanitarian leaders like us, there is a tension and a need to balance addressing immediate needs and collaborating with the rest of the UN family. Humanitarian actors are emergency responders. In many ways, they are programmed to ‘go it alone’, which can have consequences for other UN agencies and programmes. Humanitarian leaders need to manage that tension.

We all agree that it is vital to make clear that localization should not be limited to emergencies and relief. Localization is essential for development and achieving a sustainable impact.

Once again, it is our great pleasure as JONAF to recognize and honor Mr. Dominik Bartsch and UNHCR´s efforts and congratulate him on being the recipient of the AL Nahda Localization Award in its 2023 Edition. I take this opportunity to thank all partners, donors, and the government of Jordan for their collective efforts in championing the Localization Agenda in Jordan and beyond.