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A Charter for Change in Myanmar?

How can humanitarian aid be more locally owned? How can donors and international NGOs build rather than undermine the work of local organisations?

I found it pleasing to see that these questions were raised at the recent World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul. And coming out of the Summit is a new 8 point ‘Charter for Change’ (see summary below). New endorsements of the Charter are arriving daily and lots of local and international NGOs in Myan...mar have been signing up.

So far the endorsements received by international NGO’s active in Myanmar are: Caritas, CAFOD, Christian Aid, CORDAID, CARE, DCA, Diakonia, Finn Church Aid, Help Age, ICCO, NCA, Oxfam and Trocaire.

This Charter aims to support an increased role for local organisations in humanitarian responses and pushes international agencies and donors to make this happen.

The Charter says ‘We believe that now is the time for humanitarian actors to make good on some of the excellent recommendations arising through the World Humanitarian Summit process by committing themselves to deliver change within their own organisational ways of working so that southern-based national actors can play an increased and more prominent role in humanitarian response’ .

In the coming days we will be looking at different angles of this Charter – can it actually be a Charter that will change the way that aid works in Myanmar? And we will be inviting a few guests to share their ideas and why they have signed up.

If you would like to send us your own perspectives, let us know through a Facebook message or an email to


Here is a summary of the charter and the full version can be downloaded at The full Charter is at…/charter-for-ch….

The Charter for Change includes 8 Commitments that INGOs agree to implement by May 2018

DIRECT FUNDING Commit to pass 20% of humanitarian funding to National NGOs

PARTNERSHIP Reaffirm principles of partnership

TRANSPARENCY Publish the amount or percentage of funding that is passed to NNGOs

RECRUITMENT Address and prevent the negative impact of recruiting NNGO staff during emergencies

ADVOCACY Emphasise the importance of national actors to humanitarian donors

EQUALITY Address subcontracting and ensure equality in decision-making

SUPPORT Provide robust organisational support and capacity building

PROMOTION Promote the role of local actors to media and public

Pic: World Bank Myanmar

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