Editorial January 2023

The True Partnership between International NGOs and National NGOs, Between International Bodies and National NGOs

A commitment is to be made among all in view of the year 2030, the end of the SDDS/UN.


Deve acabar o conceito que as ONG’s Internacionais estão mais preparados e podem trabalhar sozinhas no mundo da Cooperação, mantendo os seus privilégios de serem mais auscultados pelos Doadores, relegando às ONG’s Nacionais as migalhas da Cooperação!

Deve acabar que a maioria dos Programas de Emergência seja confiada às ONG’s Internacionais, devido è diferentes fatores sociais, como se a solução dos problemas não fosse uma prioridade das ONG’s Nacionais e Organizações locais.

Deve ser fortalecido o conceito e a convicção que as ONG’s Internacionais são facilitadores de busca de todas as soluções para ultrapassar os estados de emergência e criar as condições de desenvolvimento local…. E para tal, devido a melhores conhecimentos, possam serem assumidos como formadores dos quadros locais e nunca serem substitutos dos mesmos!


I really liked the conclusions drawn up by Somalia's ONGI which in plenary, have taken in line with the SDGs 2030 a radical change of attitude in the work of cooperation, and are the following conclusions that I want to present!



Days ago, in October 2022,  a set of international NGOs, prior to an in-depth analysis of all attitudes and commitments made in the field of Cooperation, prepared a COMMITMENT TO CHANGE - PLEDGE FOR CHANGE (P4C) 2030, www.pledgeforchange2030.com which tends to radically change the constant individualistic attitudes and their supremacy in the Cooperation programs!


These are the strengths of the reflection issued by all international NGOs!


Covid, conflict, and climate change have focused attention on the inequalities of the world like never before.

As leaders of international non-governmental organizations (INGOs), we are working with national and local organizations around the world for a fairer future in which all people's needs are met and their rights guaranteed, governments fulfill their responsibilities, and civil society is strengthened!

To achieve this, we need to build a stronger aid ecosystem based on the principles of solidarity, humility, self-determination, and equality.

Aid should work more effectively for those to whom it is intended to help and reflect the challenges the world will face in the future. This means creating genuine partnerships with local and national organizations and governments and transferring more power, decision-making, and money to those in places affected by the crisis and poverty. Only through such partnerships will we eliminate any reliance on aid and continue to build the strength of the communities we strive to support.

The best results are achieved when people in their communities lead the way in decision-making.


Our commitment is the result of an unprecedented year-long process convened by Adeso, a humanitarian organization and development organization in Somalia, in which global North ONGI leaders paid attention to the challenges, and their ways of working with those based in the Global South. The pledge is based on previous commitments made by our industry, for example, the Charter for Change and the Great Bargain, in pursuit of the Global Goals agreed upon by world leaders in 2015. While these initiatives focus on the role of international NGOs, the commitment emphasizes the role to be played by local organizations and the rights, needs, and priorities of local communities.


We are committed to accelerating real change.



• Fair partnerships will be our standard approach by 2030. National and local organizations lead humanitarian and development efforts whenever possible. We will help them take control and engage directly only when there is not enough national or local capacity to meet people's needs.

• Where there is no partnership or we are responding to an emergency, we will find ways to work with national and local organizations at the first opportunity. We will support them while they take control, making a decision. Wherever we work, our broad goal is to encourage a more resilient, independent, and diverse civil society that works in true solidarity with international organizations.

• International NGOs competing for funds, facilities and talents may unintentionally weaken civil society in the countries where we operate. In the coming years, we will allocate more resources to help local organizations take the lead. We will work in partnership with them to ensure that they benefit from our presence.

• We will share the burden of costs to make our partners stronger and more sustainable.

• We will take a more collaborative approach to risk management. We will avoid applying more stringent risks and requirements to our partners than ourselves and look for ways to minimize the compliance burden in partnership.



Some of the stories we tell and the images that illustrate them reinforced harmful stereotypes.

We will make the following changes:

• We will continue to show the harsh realities of poverty, conflict, hunger, and natural disasters because

humanitarian crises should not be sanitized. But we will avoid exploitative images that retract people as helpless victims. We will give credit to partners where it is due.

• We will strengthen efforts to make all of our narratives ethical and secure, based on informed consent and accurate representation. Let's amplify the stories that people want to tell instead of just talking about your name. We will preserve the authenticity of a story throughout the editorial process, from the gathering of words and images to editing, production, and publication.

• Let's stop using incomprehensible words that confuse our audience, our colleagues, and the communities where we work. We will use simple words that can be easily translated from English or French into different languages and readily understood by everyone.

• We will use language and images to inspire broader cultural change. We co-produce stories, photographs, and videos with local organizations and talents. Whenever possible, we'll put local people at the center of the story.



We will move forward with our goals by explaining the commitment to our team, colleagues, supporters, and donors and urging them to support and join us.

• Our leaders will publicly announce the promise, explaining to colleagues, donors, philanthropists, and the private sector why we decided to change the way we work and how we do it.

• We will advocate for these changes to be made across the aid and development industry and create opportunities for global southern leaders to lead conversations and advocate for change in public.

• We will speak out against any government policy or international action that perpetuates an aid and development approach.

• We will monitor our progress in implementing the 2030 Commitment to Change and report it publicly to show employees, supporters, partners, and the global aid system that we are 'doing what they say'.

• We will share what we have learned and demonstrate how we are transferring power and resources to Global South to encourage other NGOs to follow suit.


If these commitments are made by international organizations and international NGOs...

  • It will radically change the life of cooperation.
  • It will drastically decrease the use of the English language, if not banned!
  • They will change the super sophisticated mental structures that are reflected in the documents to be written! And the whole set of required reports, which take a mountain of precious time for service in the Communities.
  • They will give more confidence to the African and local leadership.
  • Expatriates will become true collaborators, facilitators, and trainers in carrying out emergency and development programs.


When is all this?



Let us hope that the sensitivity and courage of commitments by international NGOs operating in Somalia can spread elsewhere in the world, but especially in Mozambique, where we live in a virtually "Colonial" environment. 



Domenico Liuzzi,


Diretor Nacional de Kulima.

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