Our Belief

The world is faced with unprecedented development and humanitarian challenges. Inequality, conflict, political instability, economic contractions, a global pandemic, and a rapidly changing climate force us to think differently about how we address these threats. As the gap widens between humanitarian and development needs and the resources available to address them, we are re-thinking how we work to better harness limited resources to save lives and ensure the rights of children everywhere. 

Save the Children acts as an ally to children and local actors by elevating and strengthening their role and voice to drive sustainable impact.  We believe that by shifting power and embracing localized approaches, Save the Children and the partners we work alongside – including children themselves – can better respond to increasingly dynamic development and humanitarian challenges and ensure that all children survive, are protected, and have healthy starts to life. This belief is captured in our Localization Policy and is the basis upon which our "Local to Global for Impact" vision for a Save the Children of the future is built upon.

In 2023, Save the Children committed over $205 million USD to the local and national partners that we work with, representing 9.7% of our global portfolio. While not insignificant, it is also not enough – we aim to increase both the quality and quantity of funds transferred to local and national actors wherever we work.

Across Save the Children’s global Movement, we work with Children Parliaments, Child/Youth-led Organizations, and Children directly to better understand their needs and priorities. These inputs inform our strategy and the design and implementation of development and humanitarian initiatives in their respective communities.

This belief is not merely rhetorical. Save the Children’s approach to localization and shifting power is grounded in tangible actions enshrined in the guiding principles of our Localization Policy, operationalized in our current strategy as the Shift Power Enabler, and further demonstrated by our commitments to the Grand Bargain and Pledge for Change.

Localisation Ambition infographic

Seven Dimensions of Localization

In line with these commitments, Save the Children is actively engaged across all seven dimensions of localization to shift power and embed localized approaches in our ways of working:

Local partner AJEDEC prioritizes youth wellbeing in Democratic of Congo

Prioritizing Youth Wellbeing in Democratic Republic of Congo with AJEDEC

In response to the growing issue of youth recruitment by armed groups in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, the national government established a Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) program in 2004. When Save the Children was charged with delivering the DDR program, one young organization stood out for its strong commitment to youth outreach and child protection work focused on the consequences of war on youth: the Association des Jeunes pour le Développement Communautaire (AJEDEC). Almost two decades on, AJEDEC remains a key partner and is now a recognized leader in the area of child protection, receiving funding directly from international organizations. Read more here



Child activists stand together at the Summit for Democracy 2022 in Zambia

 Creating Platforms for Children’s Voices Through Country-Level Roundtables

While promotion of human rights was at the top of the agenda at the first Summit for Democracy in 2021, there was limited conversation about children’s rights specifically, and very little opportunity to hear from children themselves. For the Summit for Democracy Year of Action in 2022, Save the Children hosted eight country roundtables, providing platforms for children and local civil society to speak directly to their governments about their top issues related to democratic strengthening and fulfillment of children’s rights in their country, including transparency and access to information, accountability for previously signed international commitments (e.g., the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Safe Schools declaration), public participation in decision-making, fair financing for children, climate justice, girls’ political leadership, and more.   


If you are interested in learning more about Save the Children's approach to localization and our Localization policy, please contact us:
[email protected]


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