Stories of Local Leadership during Crises amplified through NEAR Network

“There is a need to redesign the table to see systematic change in coordination mechanisms”  


That was a message from the Shifting the Power Coalition during an episode of the NEAR webinar series which addressed the “Presence and Influence of LNNGOS in Humanitarian Coordination Mechanisms: Learning from the Global South.” 

“Locally it is about ensuring there are resources for our national networks to convene, communicate and engage to “influence and inform” – shift the power in the way in which national coordination mechanisms are managed with a clear message to redesign the table – you can no longer only have one civil society representative in a national mechanism or one woman or one person with disability and no young women; national mechanisms must be informed by well-resourced sub national mechanisms which then should also be providing space for civil society groups to plan, meet and engage” said Technical Adviser Sharon Bhagwan Rolls. 

Bhagwan Rolls highlighted that in establishing the Coalition, rural women leaders, peacebuilders, young women leaders and women leaders on disability rights agreed to an intentional commitment to feminist practice in our collaboration and a focus on learning together, sharing resources and expertise: “This has been an important part of the development of the Shifting the Power Coalition which has dedicated time and resources enabling partners to understand each other’s perspectives as a method of capacity strengthening and promotion of good partnerships since the Coalition was formed in the aftermath of Cyclone Pam (2015) in Vanuatu and Cyclone Winston (2016) in Fiji.  

The Coalition’s approach has been affirmed by the Gender Responsive Alternatives to Climate Change research undertaken by Monash University’s Gender, Peace and Security Centre in partnership with ActionAid which highlights four key priorities that also guides the Coalition: “Supporting women’s participation in policy spaces at all levels; Resourcing women’s networks as key platforms for women’s collective influence; Valuing women’s localized and accumulated knowledge alongside scientific knowledge; and Shifting gender norms across all domains. This is designed to bridge the peace, humanitarian and development nexus and take a more targeted approach rather than one that silos women’s experiences.” 

The NEAR Network also showcased the Coalition’s COVID-19 response: 

It has been an opportunity to celebrate the innovation, collaboration, resilience, and expertise of local and national organisations who continue to respond to the needs of their communities under challenging circumstances. Our work together reflects the merits of collective advocacy, the need for women-led responses, and why community-led responses and innovations breed sustainability.

Read our story here:…