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About The Pledge for Change

The Pledge for Change 2030 re-imagines the role of INGOs in the global humanitarian and development aid system.

The Centre for Humanitarian Leadership is proud to be a supporter of the Pledge for Change, a new set of commitments signed by leaders of international non-governmental organisations (INGOs) who pledge to work with national and local organisations worldwide for a fairer future in which all people’s needs are met and their rights upheld, governments fulfill their responsibilities and civil society flourishes.

Pledge 1 – Equitable Partnerships

Pledge 2 – Ethical Storytelling

Pledge 3 – Influencing wider change

Please visit the Pledge 4 Change website for more information and a full list of signatories.

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The Pledge

How did the pledge come about?

In the grip of a global pandemic, the climate crisis, and the global Black Lives Matter movement, our failed global aid system is facing a long overdue reckoning. The humanitarian system is no exception. The continuous cycle of domination in which the white global minority decides and defines the future for the global majority must end. The Pledge for Change aims to re-imagine the role of INGOs in the global aid system.


Pledge for Change was spearheaded by Degan Ali, CEO of Adeso, an outspoken critic of traditional humanitarian and development aid, and Mary Ana McGlasson, Director of the Centre for Humanitarian Leadership, who supported Adeso in making Pledge for Change a reality. Within a year, several INGO leaders joined the initiative as they wanted to change the current workings of the global aid system.

Adeso has pioneered forward-thinking approaches for decolonising aid delivery for over 29 years and continues to impact the entire humanitarian sector. As a result, Adeso is well known for its leadership in the localisation and power-shifting movements. Degan Ali has been at the forefront of action towards decolonisation and anti-racism in aid.

Localisation does not cut it for us. It’s a term that’s loaded with all the wrong things that we want to dismantle. Our communities and countries don’t need to be localised. We don’t need the global north people to do something to us or for us. We need global north organisations to recognise their purposeful neocolonial role in perpetuating an aid system that is all about continuing the power dynamics that continue to keep us in poverty and in a position of need.

—Degan Ali at the 2021 Humanitarian Leadership Conference

Watch Degan Ali present at the 2021 Humanitarian Leadership Conference on the lack of the substantiative and transformative action since the Grand Bargain.



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