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Locally Led Development and the “Compliance Conundrum”

04 May 2023 | 17:00 - 18:00
Panel Discussion

Commitments to locally led development, shifting the power and the decolonisation of humanitarian aid and philanthropy (amongst other terms) are now commonplace amongst funders, including private foundations, bilateral donors and international NGOs.

There are many examples of serious efforts to change how grantmaking is conducted. Yet for many civil society organizations in the Global South, demonstrable change remains elusive, with many still feeling invisible and frustrated that, in spite of the warm words and good intentions, they are still considered to be lacking in capacity and ‘too risky’ to fund.

It is not disputed that accountability and compliance are vital to ensure that resources are properly managed and are used for the intended purpose, delivered in a timely manner and generate ‘good’ outcomes i.e. to serve communities and those in need and not ‘bad’ ones i.e. funneled for terrorist or fraudulent purposes. However, international development and humanitarian funding practice still typically transfers risk to the recipient (“do-er”) organisation, which requires reporting and compliance systems that are often disproportionate to the organisation’s size, experience and operating context and frequently to the size of grant.

This session aims to consider these questions from an operational perspective to uncover where the key blockages lie from a risk sharing and compliance perspective:
– What determines risk? What is proportionate? How is this decided?
– Would funders consider a shared due diligence framework? What are barriers to this? What needs to change for this to happen?
– What support do CSOs need to build appropriate risk management and compliance systems and procedures?
– How can this support be provided without putting all responsibility on CSOs to change and ‘upskill’ and none on funders to change their own due diligence procedures

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Sustainable development goals

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