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Research and Learning

At Warande Advisory Centre, we believe in the vital role of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) for thriving societies. Our approach involves providing tailored Technical Assistance, support, and experiential learning for CSOs to implement community-centered development. We strategically align ourselves for Stakeholder Influence and Engagement, considering key players like CSOs, Media, National Governments, NGOs, and Philanthropy Actors.

Below, you will find a summary of our contributions to research and learning.


A study by the Share Trust and the Warande Advisory Centre estimates the economic implications of shifting 25% of Official Development Assistance (ODA) - aligned with Grand Bargain and USAID commitments - from international to local intermediary structures.
The analysis estimates that local intermediaries could deliver programming that is 32% more cost efficient than international intermediaries, by stripping out inflated international overhead and salary costs. Applied to the ODA funding flows allocated to UN/INGOs in 2018 ($54bn), this would equate to US$4.3bn annually. The shift in funding is modeled using equitable rates, rather than business-as-usual rates which currently impede local actors from meeting the needs of their communities, resulting in an additional redeployment of $680m per year in salary and overhead costs to local actors.


As development actors for development transformation challenging dominant economic, social and political power structures in their societies, Local CSOs (LCSOs) in the global south must also do so within a global civil society ecosystem. It is one that continues to be largely dominated and shaped by the power, priorities and resources of CSOs and relationships emanating from the global north, including their governments. Increasingly LCSOs in the global south are challenging these power relationships, calling for development that is led and owned in the global south, ultimately achieving justice and equity over development priorities and over access to core and programmatic resources to CSOs in the global south.
While CSOs have adopted global norms that should shape these transformations, current practices remain inconsistent with the 2010 Istanbul Principles for CSO Development Effectiveness in important areas of equitable partnerships, solidarity and peoples’ empowerment. But CSO practices are also deeply affected by the political context in which they work, including donor and government policies and regulations.


Localizing Humanitarian Action in Africa

The global humanitarian community is increasingly emphasizing the importance of empowering local and national actors to take the lead in responding to and recovering from conflicts or disasters, particularly in regions vulnerable to such events, notably in the Global South. However, there is a significant lack of funding for local and national responders, especially in Africa, where civil society organizations (CSOs) struggle to secure sufficient support from both African and international sources. Reports indicate that African funders allocated only 9 percent of major donations to African CSOs between 2010 and 2019, while non-African philanthropists contributed 14 percent of their funding to these organizations.
Despite being the largest foreign assistance donor globally, with a contribution of $35.5 billion in overseas development assistance (ODA) in 2020, the United States directs a substantial portion of its aid, including $8.5 billion in 2020, to sub-Saharan Africa spanning 47 countries and 8 regional programs. However, a significant challenge lies in the limited direct allocation of these funds to national and local organizations. Despite Washington's expressed commitment to the "localization" of humanitarian aid, involving the transfer of decision-making power, program implementation, and resources to local and national actors, the actual realization of localized humanitarian assistance in Africa has yet to occur.


In this chapter (Chapter 1) Kuloba-Warria draws from her memories and experience growing up in a culture steeped in traditional storytelling to reflect on the way colonialism has shaped communications in the social impact space, and propose a different way forward.

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