Localization: Why Language Matters

Dec 13, 2023

Localization is an open-ended, transformational process that results in a shift to individual communities. Localization has been promoted as a solution to ensuring the longevity and sustainability of humanitarian actions, but confusion over the language surrounding the issue can lead to challenges and tensions to localization efforts. The localization process aims at increasing reach, effectiveness, and accountability in humanitarian action by transferring decision-making powers to local actors and complementing already existing local resources.

HIAS puts localization into practice through a process of direct engagement, respect, and deference to local actors and stakeholders in the definition, design, and delivery of humanitarian action including potentially transferring all programming roles to local actors. This explainer is the first of many educational materials and avenues HIAS will be employing to advance its localization agenda with the goal of more critical thinking, conscious analysis, and the ability to see beyond words.

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