What is the Grand Bargain?
Launched at the World Humanitarian Summit, the Grand Bargain aims to reduce the humanitarian financing gap – estimated at US$ 15 billion – by improving the delivery and efficiency of aid. More than 50 donors and aid organisations have endorsed the Grand Bargain and its set of commitments. From an NGO perspective, the Grand Bargain is seen as a very innovative process given that donors and implementing agencies are mutually responsible and accountable for implementing the different commitments; many of them addressing a number of critical gaps long-identified in the sector. With the Grand Bargain donors commit to reduce earmarking, harmonise reporting requirements and provide longer-term funding while implementing agencies agreed to contribute to improve needs assessments, more transparency and to define longer-term strategies and planning. Together, on the operational side, donors and implementing agencies aim at strengthening the role and engagement of local actors, being more accountable and strengthening the participation of affected populations, and considering cash as the preferred aid modality wherever possible.
This logic of mutual concessions aims at strengthening and building more trust among the actors involved. As a direct consequence, it is expected that major efficiency gains will be made collectively within the humanitarian aid system thereby generating more confidence for new donors to step in and for traditional donors to increase their contribution to humanitarian assistance.
NGOs through different networks: ICVA, InterAction, SCHR and VOICE requested to be part of the process, NGOs being at the frontline of humanitarian aid delivery. It was then decided that the three NGOs networks member of the IASC would take part in the discussions. VOICE had an active role all along the process by interacting and sharing key messages with the three NGOs networks. More than 15 NGOs have already endorsed the Grand Bargain and many others continue to contribute to GB discussions via their involvement in NGO networks’ activities.
So far, the process has triggered a high level of engagement and generated a great degree of expectation. The EU member states and institutions, together being the biggest humanitarian donor worldwide, played an important role in the negotiations and since then have maintained a high degree of commitment and leadership in the implementation of the Grand Bargain.
Overall, the Grand Bargain is seen as a successful and innovative initiative that created a new and sustained momentum addressing significant issues in the humanitarian architecture.
The official Grand Bargain website hosted by the IASC:
Other useful resources for NGOs: