Local partners in response

Opportunity Knocks

Opportunity knocks front cover

In 2015, international NGOs responding to the Nepal earthquakes were required by the Government of Nepal to work through national and district-based partners for all but the initial phase of the earthquake response. This context offered a real-time opportunity for the humanitarian community to put principles of partnership into action. 

This study (PDF 1.3 MB) draws on discussions with civil society, NGOs, UN agencies and government staff in Kathmandu and the districts of Gorkha and Sindhupalchok to take lessons from the experience 

  • to inform and strengthen future preparedness and response in Nepal 
  • to strengthen global advocacy about the need for further investment in and support for local and national leadership of humanitarian response. 

Opportunity knocks executive summary (PDF 580 KB)

Opportunity knocks full report (PDF 1.3 MB)

This research report was commissioned by ActionAid, CAFOD, CARE, Christian Aid, Oxfam and Tearfund. 

Christian Aid, which invests in disaster response through many of the same local partners as Tearfund, has produced a report on partnering with local organisations: Building the future of humanitarian aid (PDF 3 MB) describes Christian Aid's experience and lessons learnt in partnerships. 

Tear Netherlands (a partner of Tearfund in the Integral Alliance) worked with Tearfund to examine the role of churches in disaster response and produced the following ten guidelines for NGOs who wish to partner with churches:

  1. Prioritise building strong relationships
  2. Recognise the wider context
  3. Strengthen the church's mandate
  4. Use existing church capacities and build new ones
  5. Develop realistic expectations
  6. Adopt a forward-looking perspective
  7. Recognise and work through church institutions
  8. Develop leadership within the local church
  9. Build up linkages and networks
  10. Ensure adequate safeguards are in place

For more detailed 'do's and don'ts' and case studies that illustrate these principles, download Churches in Disaster Response (PDF 649 KB)