NGOs & Risk: Managing Uncertainty in Local-International Partnerships

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This report examines partnerships between international NGOs (INGOs) and local/national NGOs (L/NNGOs) in two complex, conflict-driven emergencies: Nigeria and South Sudan. It presents case studies that are one component of InterAction’s Risk II: Local Actor Partnerships project – an 18-month research study funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA). The study involves 10 participating international NGOs (INGOs) and is a part of InterAction’s continuing work on organizational risk awareness and responsiveness. This report assesses the risk landscape; the real and perceived risks in local partnerships; and how existing structures, practices, and perceptions hinder or enable effective risk management and mitigation. Its analysis seeks to shed light on how and to what extent INGOs and L/NNGOs effectively assess and manage risk in their approaches to partnering, and how external factors create unintended consequences.

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Lindsay Hamsik

Lindsay Hamsik is a Program Manager for Humanitarian Policy & Practice at InterAction. She leads InterAction’s engagement with and follow-up to the Grand Bargain and the World Humanitarian Summit. As a liaison in this role, Lindsay focuses on bringing NGO perspectives from the field to bear in global policy development and refinement. Lindsay has field experience in Southeast Asia and East Africa. Recently, she worked as the Policy and Advocacy Advisor for the South Sudan NGO Forum, focusing on coordination, humanitarian access, and regulatory risk. Throughout her international career, Lindsay has worked across multiple areas of practice including food security and livelihoods, education, and civil society development and capacity building in both humanitarian and transitional contexts.

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