Localisation for who? Pacific resilience in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic

Osborne, K.
Publication language
Date published
10 Jun 2021
Australia Pacific Security College
Local capacity, COVID-19

Border closures due to COVID-19 have forced many Pacific countries to become more self-reliant in times of natural disaster, Kira Osborne and colleagues write.

Prior to 2020, ‘localisation’ was fast becoming the latest addition to the international aid and development buzzword dictionary. The Pacific was no exception, but pathways to put words into meaningful action was less clear.

The Head of the Solomon Islands National Disaster Management Office Loti Yates observed: “Localisation I am having difficulties [with], not really to have something bad to say about internationals coming in, but when people say localisation, I say: localisation for who?”

In March 2020 when a series of disasters hit the Pacific Island region, including an unprecedent global health pandemic and a category five cyclone, communities responded with what many have called ‘forced localisation.’