Studies, Reviews and Research

A Window of Opportunity: Learning from COVID-19 to Progress Locally Led Response and Development Think Piece

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Australian Red Cross,HAG, Humanitarian Advisory Group,La Trobe University,Pacific Resilience Partnership

As COVID-19 was declared a pandemic and international travel restrictions, border closures and lockdowns ensued, large
numbers of expatriate aid workers returned to their home countries. This significant change in the demography of the aid industry in many countries has led to a shift in roles for international, and national and local actors in humanitarian and development work. This think piece documents the research conducted over the past six months. It is intended to provide emerging evidence, and pose critical questions for international humanitarian and development actors to consider in their work across the region. The paper sets out three propositions about how, in the context of COVID-19, the delivery of
humanitarian and development assistance has changed, and suggests that the sector has a critical window of opportunity to learn and build on the opportunity for positive change. The paper concludes with a series of questions that this analysis raises, and next steps for deepening the research.

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