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New project to lower compliance burdens for local and national associations

DRC, HQAI, ICVA, and SPONG join forces to launch "LOCAL" project. The project will explore and test innovative approaches.

Posted on 20 Mar 2024

The Danish Refugee Council (DRC), in collaboration with the Humanitarian Quality Assurance Initiative (HQAI), International Council of Voluntary Agencies (ICVA), and the Secrétariat Permanent des Organisations Non Gouvernementales (SPONG), today announces the launch of the project named LOCAL: LOwering CompliAnce burdens for Local and national associations.

The LOCAL project, led by DRC with HQAI, ICVA, and SPONG as subgrantees, funded by the European Union, will operate across three countries: Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger, with a pilot phase commencing in Burkina Faso.

The project addresses the increasing pressure on Local/National associations (LNAs) from international actors (International Organizations and donor agencies) to comply with complex and sometimes duplicative quality standards. This project proposes an innovative approach to:

The LOCAL project will benefit:

We are proud to lead the LOCAL project, which embodies our commitment to supporting and empowering local and national associations in humanitarian efforts. By collaborating with HQAI, ICVA, and SPONG, we aim to streamline processes and reduce compliance burdens, ultimately facilitating greater access to international funds and advancing the localisation agenda.

/  Romain Sztark, Head of multi-country operations, DRC

Expected Outcomes:

By streamlining compliance processes, strengthening LNAs capacity, and fostering collaboration among stakeholders, the LOCAL project aims to:

The LOCAL project builds upon existing initiatives and expertise of the consortium members:

The LOCAL project is a pilot initiative with the potential for broader application.

The LOCAL project represents a significant step towards enhancing quality, accountability, and equity within the humanitarian sector. By streamlining due diligence processes and providing access to tailored capacity-strengthening services, we aim to empower local and national associations to meet international standards and access vital funding.

/  Désirée Walter, Executive Director, HQAI

About the Consortium


Danish Refugee Council (DRC) was founded in Denmark in 1956. We are a leading, international humanitarian displacement organization, supporting refugees and internally displaced persons during displacement, in exile, when settling and integrating in a new place, or upon return. We provide protection and life-saving humanitarian assistance. We support displaced persons in becoming self-reliant and included into hosting societies - and we work with communities, civil society, and responsible authorities to promote protection of rights and peaceful coexistence.


The Humanitarian Quality Assurance Initiative (HQAI) is an independent, not-for-profit and non-governmental auditor for the humanitarian and development sector. It was founded in 2015 to provide independent third-party quality assurance services to organizations working with vulnerable and at-risk communities.


The International Council of Voluntary Agencies (ICVA) is a global network of non-governmental organisations whose mission is to make humanitarian action more principled and effective by working collectively and independently to influence policy and practice.


The Secrétariat Permanent des Organisations Non Gouvernementales (SPONG), a platform in Burkina Faso, promotes synergy and collaboration among NGOs and development associations.

Local and national associations are constantly solicited by international actors and must undergo repetitive, multi-faceted assessments from various potential partners or collaborators within the humanitarian response framework. This is inefficient, counterproductive, and ineffective. This initiative with DRC, ICVA, HQAI will allow beneficiaries to streamline the time spent on assessments and establish minimum standards and procedures to meet the expectations of international actors.

/  Mavalow Christelle KALHOULE, Chair of the Board of Directors of SPONG

About EU Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid

The European Union and its Member States are among the world's leading donors of humanitarian aid. Relief assistance is an expression of European solidarity with people in need all around the world.

It aims to save lives, prevent and alleviate human suffering, and safeguard the integrity and human dignity of populations affected by disasters and human-induced crises.

Through the Directorate General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations of the European Commission, the European Union helps millions of victims of conflict and disasters every year.

With headquarters in Brussels and a global network of field offices, the EU provides assistance to the most vulnerable people on the basis of humanitarian needs.

FRENCH PRESS RELEASE: Un nouveau projet vise à réduire le poids des exigences de conformité pour les associations locales et nationales

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Romain Sztark | Head of Multi-Country Operations, DRC | [email protected]

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