Paper: Enhancing Localization through South-South Cooperation: A Case Study of Anti-FGM Initiatives in Kenya

Paper details

Paper authors Marius Heimlich
In panel on South-South Cooperation as Enabler of Localisation?
Paper presenter(s) will be presenting In-Person / Online


This panel explores the often-overlooked dimension of South-South cooperation in humanitarian crises and its role in advancing localization. I present a case study from Kenya, focusing on best practices and lessons learned in the context of anti-FGM (Female Genital Mutilation) campaigns.
Kenya, a country grappling with the health consequences of FGM, provides a backdrop for examining how cooperation among local actors can make a difference. FGM, especially during the cutting seasons, has been a humanitarian crisis in a number of countries around the world. I draw on insights and empirical data from recent field research conducted in collaboration with anti-FGM campaigners, shedding light on the dynamics of South-South cooperation. The research underlines the importance of collaboration with civil-based organizations, enabling a responsible voice for local communities that take vibrant action. It also highlights the unique link to the media and its role in advancing locally driven advocacy. Additionally, the study emphasizes the significance of a strong South-South network connecting with other international actors. Furthermore, the research draws attention to a detailed stakeholder analysis of the Kenyan anti-FGM campaigning organizations. The study also reveals challenges in enhancing localization, as the aid market often becomes a place of rivalry among actors.
By examining both the successes and challenges faced by these organizations, I aim to contribute to a broader discourse on localization and South-South cooperation, offering insights that can inform and strengthen humanitarian efforts worldwide.