Registration is open! “Local philanthropy, localization and power: Communities driving their own development”, 21 – 23 September

10 Sep 2021


“Local philanthropy, localization and power: Communities driving their own development” is a virtual conference taking place from Tuesday 21 – Thursday 23 September 2021 (two hours each day). The conference is open to anyone interested in conversations and debates around the role of local philanthropy in driving community-owned development and the international development sector’s “localization agenda.” 

The conference builds on a joint initiative undertaken over the past year by the West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI), the GFCF and STAR-Ghana Foundation aimed at fostering community philanthropy and local ownership of development work, as well as exploring potential ways for funders to get funds quickly and transparently to local civil society in Africa. The project, which has combined research and piloting of alternative approaches in West Africa is being conducted in cooperation with the NEAR Network and Save the Children Denmark as part of a larger initiative, “Innovation for Localization”, with support from Danida.

The objectives of the conference are to:

  • Present findings on the state of the debate on the “localization agenda”, community-led development and #ShiftThePower, among civil society and local philanthropic actors in Africa.
  • Support efforts to build robust regional connections between actors from the global south around shared interests relating to localization, philanthropy and #ShiftThePower.
  • Enable stakeholders from the global north and south to define concrete and feasible pathways to promote the #ShiftThePower and localization agendas.

A taste of each day’s programme, as well as registration links, are provided below. Join us for one day, or the whole programme!


Tuesday 21 September, 1 – 3pm GMT

Southern CSOs’ perspectives on localization, domestic resource mobilization and #ShiftThePower

Register here

Since the World Humanitarian Summit in 2016, “localization” has become an increasingly prominent concept in the international aid system. But it is appreciated and interpreted differently by different actors. On Day 1, we will explore southern CSOs’ perspectives on localization and domestic resource mobilization. We will also share key findings from the research “Localization Agenda, #ShiftThePower and African philanthropic models.”


Wednesday 22 September, 1 – 3pm GMT

Innovative community philanthropy and giving practices: Cases from Ghana, Liberia, Somalia and Sierra Leone

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On day two, we will share examples of existing innovative, indigenous models of philanthropy and giving in Africa. What are some of the concrete ways in which African philanthropy is already resourcing efforts to address humanitarian and development challenges on the continent? This session will begin to debunk the myth that Africans cannot contribute to addressing the continent’s challenges, while providing evidence of feasible approaches to mobilizing resources in Africa to address African problems.


Thursday 23 September, 2 – 4:30pm GMT

Unblocking the challenges and finding new pathways to promote African philanthropy within the aid system

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Our final day will seek to identify ways to enhance the collaborative efforts of local and external actors. There will be opportunities for participants to share recommendations and thoughts on what may be the appropriate roles of the various stakeholders involved – including INGOs, governments, donors as well as local actors – in advancing the localization agenda and ensuring that it best serves the interests of actors in the global south.


Watch “The Tale of Ama” to get you warmed up for the virtual event!

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Benson kiptum

A good platform to learn more on philanthropy work

Khadar Hassan Abdi

Woow very interesting virtual training. Actually, this training will further improve our community based initiatives on promoting local conditions for inclusive economic development efforts in Hargeisa Somaliland. See you on coming days and let heard with you the voices from Somaliland.


Glad to be learning here.