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National NGOs

One of the most striking findings of the State of the Humanitarian System (SOHS) 2015 report is that 4 out of 5 of the 4,480 humanitarian organisations are national NGOs working in country. These organisations have not only increased in numbers, but also in influence. There has been a growing recognition that national NGOs and civil society organisations should lead future humanitarian responses for them to be more relevant, timely and effective.

Although lots of research has addressed the need for an increased role for national NGOs in humanitarian response, the research, advocacy and evaluative pieces are commissioned and elaborated on from the perspective of international actors, primarily international NGOs. 

In 2015 ALNAP embarked on new research into national and local NGOs to find out more about the work they do in disaster and emergency response, from their perspective. What are their priorities and commitments? What motivates and guides their decisions and activities? The project will seek to fill the current gap in understanding around what humanitarian action looks like in national NGOs’ own terms.

NEW! Read the case studies: 


Colombia: Learning from exposure


Lebanon: We know our wounds

English | Arabic


Through interviews with a wide range of organisations across the humanitarian sector – from DRR and WASH, to livelihoods and organisations of self-mobilised affected-people – in three countries with diverse needs and experiences (Colombia and Lebanon), this project will produce an in-depth qualitative study of the national and local NGO landscape.

To ensure this research will be truly reflecting the perceptions of the NNGOs, ALNAP will be pioneering the use of Grounded Theory in the humanitarian field. This approach is more exploratory and hypothesis generating, rather than other approaches that test, validate or refute pre-established assumptions or hypotheses.


ALNAP's previous work on strengthening national and local partnerships

In 2013, ALNAP hosted the launch of the study “Missed opportunities: the case for strengthening national and local partnership-based humanitarian responses”. The study looks at the potential of partnerships with national NGOs in humanitarian response. It is based on lessons from across the five commissioning agencies – ActionAid, Cafod, Christian Aid, Oxfam GB and Tearfund – and on the 2012 SOHS report.



The Secretariat is also hosting the Community of Practice on Partnership and Local Capacities in emergencies below. The aim is to share knowledge and experience on how external actors and partnerships can strengthen local capacity and facilitate a more effective, locally-led humanitarian response.


Find out more about the research in the infosheet:






Latest discussions from the Partnerships and Local Capacity in Emergencies - Community of Practice

11 August: "Whats so special about Civil Society" Twitter Chat with DFID's Inclusive Societies Team 13th August 2015

Join the tweeting debate between 1 - 2pm (local time UK) this Thursday to discuss the added value and importance of local partnerships. Its part of a consultation run by DFID's civil society partnership team on how to improve their work. In this week's twitterchat ...

21 July: Don't miss CDAC Network's webinar with Translators without Borders tomorrow!

Noted with thanks! Chibundu Uchegbu Better Community Life Initiative (BECOLIN) -------------------------------------------- On Mon, 7/20/15, <> wrote: Subject: [partnershipsandcapacity] Don't miss CDAC Network...

20 July: Don't miss CDAC Network's webinar with Translators without Borders tomorrow!

Dear colleagues, The CDAC Network is hosting what looks like a very interesting webinar tomorrow at 4pm together with Translators without Borders (TWB). Rebecca Petras (TWB Program Director) and Grace Tang (WoR Global Coordinator) will speak about creating the fi...

Go to the Partnerships and Local Capacity in Emergencies - Community of Practice

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