The nine roles that intermediaries can play in international cooperation

By: Peace Direct | January 2023 | Reports and Policy Briefs



In recent years, there has been growing scrutiny of the largely unchanged role that INGOs have played in humanitarian, development and peacebuilding efforts. This scrutiny includes the push towards greater ‘localisation’, systems change processes that aim to ‘shift power’ towards more locally led development and global discussions around how to ‘decolonise’ the sector.

The dominant role of the INGO as implementer is now giving way to alternative models of international cooperation. One well established but less common role for INGOs is that of intermediary, though this has often focused on INGOs as conduits for funding to organisations in the Global South. However, the role of intermediary is far richer than just a mechanism for managing donor funds.

In this new publication, we explore the nine additional roles for intermediaries, which reflect our experience working with local partners for over 20 years.


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