A three-day learning event, held at Makerere University Kampala, aiming to share knowledge and experience of crisis response approaches driven by the affected population.

From Voices to Choices – expanding crisis affected people’s influence over aid and response decisions.

People affected by crisis take decisions every day about how to best use their capacities and the resources available to them to meet their specific needs. When it comes to the assistance meant to support them in doing so, however, people continue to report that they “feel unable to participate in decisions that affect them.” After decades of having conversations about putting people at the center of assistance and disaster response, the international community is still falling short.

Creative and innovative people all around the world are already implementing approaches and methods that respect the importance of local agency, supporting the population affected by crisis and filling gaps only as needed.

In order to take stock and drive these efforts forward, ReflACTION has opted to convene an exchange and learning event on the importance of locally led crisis response. The Innovation Forum aims to:

  • be a space to listen to crisis-affected people and those working with them at community level
  • bring together crisis response practitioners and initiatives
  • show what approaches already exist, as well as their potential for addressing critical needs during crisis response and displacement scenarios
  • explore methods for large scale transformation of the current aid and response system
  • connect practitioners utilizing these approaches in order to encourage mutual learning
  • link these initiatives with aid agencies and donors committed to apply these approaches and methods directly in crises contexts


Group 1 – Members of affected populations and local aid workers

Participants from crisis-affected contexts and those working in crisis-affected communities will be central throughout the different sessions and elements of the event. Aid agencies will be asked to invite and sponsor participants of this group. Furthermore, the Forum will sponsor the participation of up to 10 participants who could otherwise not attend.

Group 2 – Practitioners and service providers from the region and from international initiatives

Invited are individuals, groups and organisations that are already implementing crisis-response activities that acknowledge the crisis-affected population as central agents. These will be pilots or approaches and methods that have been developed as part of a program or an initiative. They will need to fulfil the following criteria:

  • From Voices to Choices: Innovative approach where actors work in a way that respects the importance of local agency, meaning crisis-affected people are in the driver seat of the action and external actors are participating in community-led responses.
  • Pilot tested: At the minimum, the approach must have been tested in a pilot phase. Lessons learned from the experience must be available and shared.
  • Crisis proven: Applied and applicable in crisis contexts.

If you identify with these points and are interested in sharing your work during the Forum, please apply by filling in this application for input providers.

Group 3 – Agency practitioners and donors engaged in crisis response ready to apply new approaches and methods

Invited are non-governmental-organisations, members of the private sector, consultants and researchers as well as donors who are ready to apply the presented approaches and methods. They will need to state where and when they plan to apply one of the pilots, who they want to meet with during the event and what their own contribution to the Forum and the agenda of “From Voices to Choices” will be.


Day 1

MorningInternal meeting and practitioner exchange for staff working on existing approaches and methods
AfternoonOpening of the Forum with setting the scene and community building

Participants from crisis-affected contexts and those working in crisis-affected communities give their views and expectations regarding the emerging future of international response to crisis.

The opening will feature a mix of inputs, screening of participatory video, debate in an interactive format, presentation of the workshops and more.
EveningWelcome reception and dinner

Day 2

MorningBreakout sessions:
Interactive sessions will allow participants to experience the innovative approaches and methods and to directly engage with those who are already working with these approaches

Throughout the day open space for bilateral meetings, matchmaking option via online platform
AfternoonBreakout sessions and open space for bilateral meetings
EveningJoint dinner (optional)

Day 3

MorningBreakout sessions and open space for bilateral meetings
AfternoonConcluding joint session, formulating a joint concluding statement and closing


If you are interested in attending the event, please respond by filling in a short application for participants. Deadline for applications is November 8, 2019.

For more details about ReflACTION and the Forum please visit the network platform.