In recent years, issues related to localisation of aid, partnership, and capacity strengthening have become increasingly prominent within the humanitarian sector. This is evident both in discourse and initiatives such as the World Humanitarian Summit and Charter for Change, as well as within the strategies and approaches of governments, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and United Nations (UN) agencies responding to crises. Calls for localisation are particularly strong in the disaster-prone region of Asia, with governments responding to humanitarian crises, such as those in Indonesia, Myanmar, Nepal and Bangladesh, limiting the access of international NGOs (INGOs) while encouraging (or requiring) them to work with local organisations. Within the shifting humanitarian landscape, such trends towards greater localisation have led many international stakeholders to reflect on their own organisational structure, and their approach to partnerships and capacity strengthening, and how these may need to adapt in response to structural and normative changes in the humanitarian sector.
It is within this context that Islamic Relief conducted a project titled ‘Strengthening Response Capacity and Institutional Development for Excellence (STRIDE)’. Initiated in 2016, STRIDE is a 33-month project with an overall objective to ‘Improve efficiency and effectiveness of Islamic Relief’s humanitarian response’ in the Asia region.