Time to Decolonise Aid

As discussions about unequal power dynamics in the international aid system have entered the mainstream, local activists have become increasingly vocal about the ways in which power and resources in the system remain dominated by, and between, certain organisations and relationships largely based in the Global North. Despite the commitments to address the inequities in the system, most notably announced at the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul in 2016, little progress has been made in many key areas, including in the funding for local organisations and the way that decisions, power and control is still held by a relatively small number of donors and INGOs.

In November 2020, Peace Direct, Adeso, the Alliance for Peacebuilding, and Women of Color Advancing Peace and Security held a three-day online consultation with 158 activists, decisionmakers, academics, journalists and practitioners across the globe. Participants and guest contributors exchanged insights and local experiences on the current power dynamics and imbalances that exist within the humanitarian, development and peacebuilding sectors. They discussed how structural racism manifests itself in their work, and how they envision a decolonised system that is truly inclusive and responds to their needs. The consultation received
more than 350 detailed comments across nine discussion threads. This report presents the findings and recommendations from that consultation.