27 May 2024

Endorsement of the Donor Statement on Supporting Locally Led Development by Enabel

Press release

representatives of USAID, Philea, Enabel

27 May, 2024 – Belgium – Today, Enabel, the Belgian Development Cooperation Agency, endorsed the Donor Statement on Supporting Locally Led Development, initially championed by the U.S. Agency on International Development (USAID) and the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD). 


Enabel herewith pledges to contribute to efforts to:

    • Shift and share power to ensure local actors have ownership over and can meaningfully and equitably engage in development, humanitarian, and peacebuilding programs. Supporting locally led development requires rethinking our roles as donors; understanding and valuing local knowledge, capacity, and expertise; and integrating diverse local perspectives (including those of marginalized and underrepresented groups) into all aspects of the efforts we support. Decisions should be made in partnership with those who will be affected by them. We will work to prioritize and reinforce local leadership and ownership, and reposition ourselves and other international actors as supporters, allies, and catalysts of a more inclusive, locally led, co-created, and sustainable approach to development.


    • Work to channel high quality funding as directly as possible to local actors while ensuring mutual accountability for the effective use of funds, management of risks, and achievement of development, humanitarian, and peacebuilding results. This shift will require a longer-term development perspective, more flexible mechanisms, and support for organizational development and capacity strengthening. Implementing this approach will require creativity and innovation to address structural barriers to local actors’ access to funding and alignment with local partners’ goals and capacities. It will also require building trust, simplifying reporting requirements, and reexamining the role of intermediary organizations.


    • Publicly advocate for locally led development using our convening authority; our partnerships and networks; enhanced cooperation with national and subnational authorities, community leaders, and civil society; and our voice in international fora and multilateral institutions. This will require intentional and consistent engagement with local actors, including sharing our platforms with local partners rather than speaking for them.”


Jean Van Wetter
Managing Director
Enabel – Belgian development agency

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