The process of the localization of humanitarian assistance, itself not containing a fixed blueprint but a change that is dependent on the context in which it occurs, has been a mainstay in the larger global agenda that is the Humanitarian, Development & Peace Nexus. This agenda rightly recognizes the invaluable role that local actors and responders play in mobilizing and assisting the most vulnerable in times of crisis. However, while commitments made at high level political fora have assured the global community that the major institutions, donors and aid actors are serious about the reconstituting of relations between the international aid community and the local actors they depend on, the reality is that local actors continue to operate outside of the global humanitarian apparatus, either in regard to receiving direct and flexible funding or not having a say in important decision-making matters. This became most evident during the initial stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, which restricted access for many aid actors and demonstrated the tenacity of local actors who, often with less resources, continued to be best placed to respond to needs exacerbated by the pandemic.
This briefing note takes the experiences of WeWorld-GVC staff in its interactions with Palestinian communities in the West Bank in the aftermath of the outbreak and subsequent lockdown, what their perspectives are in continuing to work together with affected populations to address their protection needs and how the programmatic framework of the Community Protection Approach (CPA) can empower communities to take effective action in identifying and demanding their rights from the respective duty-bearers responsible for their safety and dignity.