The Arab Renaissance for Democracy and Development (ARDD) initiated this research to create clarity, momentum, focus and meaningful action around “localization” in Jordan. The broad question underlying this research is whether and how the large presence of international aid agencies in Jordan over the past two decades has significantly reinforced the country’s collective capacities to deal with refugees and with (socio-) economic shocks.
No research on localization can escape the question: What does one mean by localization? Four years after the World Humanitarian Summit and 13 years after the “Principles of Partnership”, it remains a confused, perplexing and contested policy and practice issue.
This paper seeks to be an action research and offer clarification, structure and direction. It uses different frameworks for interpreting what was read and heard from many sources and offers them for use in the localization policy and practice conversations in Jordan. It works with an interpretation of localization, in line with the intent of the Grand Bargain, based not on ideological but on compelling strategic reasons, applicable to Jordan.
The Grand Bargain is an outcome document of the 2016 World Humanitarian Summit. Its ten commitments, signed up by all the major humanitarian actors, constitute an agenda for reform of the international relief sector, to make it more cost-effective and more inclusive, with a much better distribution of power. One of the commitments is to provide “more support and funding tools for local and national responders”. This is now commonly referred to as ‘localization’