How can we localize in a meaningful way?

In the latest episode of ‘International Development, Where Now?’, we take a deep dive into the development sector’s latest buzzword: Localization.


Loosely defined as the transfer of funding and decision-making powers to local actors, localization is certainly not a new concept – phrases such as ‘locally-led development’, ‘community-led development’ and ‘doing development differently’ have been pretty commonplace for years.

But as an all-encompassing narrative, localization took centre stage a few years ago when US Agency for International Development administrator, Samantha Power, outlined it as the rhetoric at the centre of what her department does. it has gained further momentum through the movement to decolonise aid – itself a reaction to a number of external factors, not least the Black Lives Matter movement and the need for greater inclusivity around language used within the aid sector.

But what is local? How can we ‘localize’ in a meaningful way and what’s our role as development consultants in all this?

These are just some of the questions we tackle in this latest episode of our ‘International Development, Where Now?’ podcast.

We’re not afraid to face up to some of the thorny issues in the sector in this soul-searching discussion that sees us delve into what it really means to go beyond the ‘fly in, fly out’ nature of development consultancy, whether there’s still a role for global communities and how we do away with knowledge hierarchies.

We also cover some of the potential risks and barriers to localizing and try to offer some achievable, pragmatic solutions.

We'd love to hear you thoughts on these questions and anything else around Localization. Please reach out to the speakers via. the profiles above. 

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