Cohere is an international NGO of 50+ employees registered in Uganda, Kenya, and the United Kingdom that specialises in building holistic partnerships with Refugee-Led Organisations (RLO) in refugee-hosting areas. Currently, we operate in 5 different locations across East Africa and have partnered w... read moreith more than 40 RLOs. We support RLOs in strengthening their professional capacity, establishing social enterprises and accessing resources to implement, sustain and scale-out humanitarian response activities. With our RLO partners, we aim to support refugees to lead fulfilled and dignified lives and transform the humanitarian and development sectors towards more community-led responses.
In recent years, RLOs have finally received some recognition for the critical work they do as first responders to refugee crises as well as crises faced by the wider community, such as COVID19, Ebola, and famine. RLOs are also key actors in promoting the integrated development of refugee hosting areas all over the world. Recognition of their work, however, and the number of new RLOs emerging as key players humanitarian actors has not been enough to shift meaningful humanitarian funding to RLOs. RLOs still receive less than 1% of the international aid allocated to refugee responses. What is more, there are systemic barriers preventing refugees from playing a meaningful role within the refugee response as a whole, such as within humanitarian organisations, and within decision making processes where decisions are made about the futures of refugee communities. Beyond allocating funding to refugee leaders there are numerous opportunities for reforming the humanitarian sector as a whole so that the way we respond to forced migration crises globally is more appropriate, effective and sustainable.
Cohere is one organisation that also needs to reform to be fit for purpose in playing a key role in these critical changes. We are part way through a five year process that will enable our organisation’s work to be informed, guided and led by the people whose lives we affect through our work. We are committed to continuing this journey in a transparent manner so that we can share the process with the rest of the sector.