Effective crisis response does more than solve an immediate problem. It creates the capacity for communities to successfully respond to future challenges.
Inside-out peacebuilding stands up to extreme pressures…
When outsiders offer aid to communities in the midst of a crisis, the challenges of implementing inside-out principles are compounded, sometimes exponentially. And yet, even in the most confusing and frightening times, the answers are still there. We may need to look even harder, listen even more closely and fund even more aggressively for them to emerge, but they will.
No matter how urgent the need, how complex the problem, or how diverse the coalition trying to solve it, the response to an international crisis must be:
In troubling times, communities can close in around themselves, unsure of whom to trust. Even the most well-meaning outside intervention can be met with skepticism or outright suspicion. Cultural norms, language barriers and breakdowns in infrastructure can further complicate communication between individuals inside an afflicted community and outside aid organizations.
But when leadership, strategy and resources emerge from within the community and outside partners follow, outside aid finds—and makes—its mark.
Any crisis sends disruptive ripples outward from its center that can disturb communities long after the most urgent issues are resolved. When we offer our assistance, we must offer it for as long as it is needed. And we must prioritize aid efforts that put in place leaders, processes and platforms that will last long after the foreign correspondents and aid workers have gone home.
…and protects communities well into the future.
A community in crisis does not need to be told how to solve that crisis. It needs safe, protected space to develop its own local leadership and local solutions. And it needs outside partners willing to share the long-term work of implementing them. An inside-out, long-term and locally-led response to crisis puts in place the people, processes and platforms that communities need to face adversity.
At Catalyst for Peace, we are currently engaged in supporting a powerful, inside-out response to the Ebola crisis, and we are both awed and inspired by the Sierra Leonean capacity to respond to this outbreak. You can follow our progress in real time on our blog.
If you or your organization are interested in grounding Crisis Response in Inside-Out principles, contact us.
Home page and current page banner image (c) Sara Terry for Catalyst for Peace