Localisation under the Looking Glass; a feminist perspective

  • Date: 28/11/2019
  • Author: Jo-Ann Ward


Localisation under the Looking Glass; a feminist perspective

Post World Humanitarian Summit 2016 – Progress, lessons & challenges

“Firsthand testimonies on women-led humanitarian responses in international humanitarian contexts”.

This learning seminar is presented by ActionAid Ireland & Oxfam Ireland on behalf of the Dóchas Humanitarian Aid Working Group (HAWG)

When: Tues 10th December

Where: Red Room, UCD Student Centre, Belfield Campus, Clonskeagh, Dublin 4

Parking information & transport options to UCD

(Just ask for the Red Room at Student Centre Reception or follow the signs)

Who?The event is for practitioners, humanitarian actors, programmers, policy makers and students; it will consist of a lively panel discussion, following which attendees will participate in a breakout session exploring the themes and issues raised.

Registration from 8:45am. Event starts 9.30am & Closes 12:30.

Tickets available here.

Event overview:

-To share first-hand experiences on Women-led Humanitarian Responses, the lessons learned, and actions needed to achieve decentralization and localisation

-Engaging with systemic approaches to Shifting Power – what have we learned, and what more needs to happen?

– Exploring how international donors and humanitarian agencies can support women-led humanitarian efforts in terms of specific funding and ensuring spaces in local and global discussions

Keynote speakers:

Naomi Tulay Solanke is a Liberian feminist, human rights activist, humanitarian and a Founding Executive Director of Community Health Initiative (CHI).

After the Ebola outbreak in Liberia subsided, Naomi and other women who had led humanitarian efforts realised the hundreds of women who had responded to Ebola had no collective voice to assert themselves in the humanitarian space in Liberia. They formed the Liberian Women’s Humanitarian Network, which now comprises of 40 community service organisations. The Network ensures all women who respond to humanitarian needs in their communities have a space to engage in collective advocacy and response in Liberia.

Naomi and the Liberian Women’s Humanitarian Network have also been actively involved with the formation and launch of the Feminist Humanitarian Network since its inception.

Clare Bleasdale is member of ActionAid’s humanitarian surge team, currently deployed to ActionAid’s Arab Regional Initiative based in Amman, Jordan.

Clare will share an overview of ActionAid’s humanitarian signature which defines ActionAid’s humanitarian work and focuses on women’s leadership, shifting the power, accountability to affected populations with the overarching aim of building resilience. Following the World Humanitarian Summit in 2016, ActionAid made a series of commitments in line with that unique humanitarian signature; Clare will share examples of how ActionAid measures the impact of these commitments in promoting women-led accountable humanitarian responses. Clare is a key member of the team that in 2019 led to ActionAid (including ActionAid Ireland) being the first group to achieve Core Humanitarian Standard verification, illustrating the strong commitment to quality and accountable programming. Clare will draw on her current experience of working in Jordan and Lebanon.


Naomi Tulay-Solanke is a Liberian Feminist, human rights activist, humanitarian and a Founding Executive Director of Community Health Initiative (CHI), a local non-governmental organization that provides healthcare and social services to women and children in underserved and hard to reach communities in Liberia. Naomi has nurtured a career in female advocacy with an interest in working with underprivileged youths and slum dwellers through the provision of advocacy, awareness and basic health and social services, especially to women and girls. She is passionate about the role local actors play at community and national levels. She holds a Master’s degree in Public Health with an emphasis in Community Health. As a Social Entrepreneur, Naomi launched the PAD4GIRLS project – a solution to menstrual health management, by training women how to locally produce reusable sanitary pads making it more available and accessible to girls of school going age which in turn promotes girls retention in school during their period to help them live, learn and lead. Naomi is the 2017 Dr. Fritz Raleigh Humanitarian Award Recipient from Harvard University. She is an ASPEN New Voice Fellow and as a Change Maker, Naomi is also an ASHOKA Fellow. Naomi dreams of living in a peaceful world free of all forms of violence and gender inequities.

Clare Bleasdale is Global Accountability in Emergencies Advisor with ActionAid Kenya. As a member of ActionAid’s humanitarian surge team, she is currently deployed to ActionAid’s Arab Regional Initiative and is based in Amman, Jordan. Since joining ActionAid in 2015, Clare has had a variety of roles in different humanitarian teams including ActionAid’s International Humanitarian and Resilience Team and the Humanitarian Policy and Practice team in ActionAid UK. She works closely with colleagues across the ActionAid federation, in over 45 countries, and can be deployed to provide surge capacity with a focus on accountability. Before joining ActionAid in 2015, Clare worked at Living Well International CIC coordinating HIV services.

Photo credit: Malati Maskey responding to the 2015 earthquake in Nepal.

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