Paper: Facilitating South-South Learning and Exchange in North-South Cooperations? Lessons from the ToGETHER Project

Paper details

Paper authors Abu Murshed Chowdhury (PHALS); Sayda Yesmin (AFAD); Darina Pellowska (CHA)
In panel on South-South Cooperation as Enabler of Localisation?
Paper presenter(s) will be presenting In-Person / Online


This paper aims to contribute learnings and experiences of South-South cooperation established in and through the ToGETHER Program, a GFFO funded action that is undertaken by 38 local organizations in Bangladesh, Colombia, DR Congo, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Myanmar, Pakistan and Somalia and a consortium of four German humanitarian NGOs (Caritas Germany, Deutsche Welthungerhilfe, Diakonie Katastrophenhilfe and Malteser International) to promote locally led humanitarian assistance. Program partners strengthen and share each other’s capacities, foster learning and exchange, and jointly advocate for local leadership in humanitarian response.
In a humanitarian system, where funding and knowledge typically flows from North to South, the ToGETHER Program is a unique endeavor of international actors to not only facilitate North-South partnership and training, but also foster South-South cooperation. In this panel, together with Darina Pellowska from CHA (Germany), Abu Murshed Chowdhury from PHALS and Sayda Yesmin from AFAD will share the experiences of the local ToGETHER partners in Bangladesh on the questions:
• In how far can a program that is held by partners from the Global North ensure safe South-South learning and exchange, without interferences from the North?
• How is South-South cooperation facilitated in the ToGETHER Program? And, how is it experienced by local organizations? What are the advantages and disadvantages compared to North-South learning and exchange?
• How does South-South cooperation contribute to the broader empowerment of local organizations and local leadership?
We will conclude with the discussion outlining practical steps and recommendations for I/NGOs, governments, donors, and other humanitarian actors to promote South-South cooperation and exchange, that creates an enabling environment for strengthening local leadership and leading towards the implementation of a locally led humanitarian system.