Walking Together in Partnership: Exploring the Impact of Localisation of Humanitarian Action Research in the Pacific

Publication language
Date published
31 Mar 2021
Lessons papers
Capacity development, Local capacity, Partnerships, Coordination, humanitarian action, Humanitarian Principles, NGOs, Research methodology
Fiji, Tonga, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu

Working in partnership is a journey. The path we take and how we walk together on it are as important as the destination. Three years ago, the Pacific Islands Association of NGOs (PIANGO) and Humanitarian Advisory Group (HAG) embarked on a journey together: to explore progress on locally led humanitarian action in the Pacific. Our partnership was founded on the idea that it was both possible to track progress on localisation, and to influence change using the research evidence, with Pacific researchers and partners leading the way.

The research draws on Fijian values of ‘duavata’ meaning togetherness and unity. This refers to the unity between HAG and PIANGO in forging this partnership.

This paper explores our successes, our challenges and our learning about partnership and research impact with the aim of promoting more equitable knowledge production and exchange in the humanitarian sector. While it draws on research, it is primarily a learning and reflective piece.

The paper has three objectives:

1. To explore the partnership between PIANGO, HAG and national NGO umbrella bodies, including factors such as partnership
design, principled ways of working and local ownership and leadership

2. To examine the impact of HAG and PIANGO’s localisation research in the Pacific, looking at how various stakeholders have used the evidence base and tools produced and how this has affected policy, discourse, or practice

3. To assess how the way we conducted the partnership has shaped the research impact

The paper first explores the partnership between HAG and PIANGO, including important principles and milestones. The second section examines the partnership’s emerging impact at a regional level and in 4 case study countries (Fiji, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Vanuatu), followed by a summary of enabling and challenging factors. It concludes with an outline of future steps.

Humanitarian Advisory Group