Fostering NGO's and frontline responders' engagement


The 10 Grand Bargain workstreams

Greater Transparency
More support and funding tools to local and national responders
Increase the use and coordination of cash-based programming
Reduce Duplication and Management costs with periodic functional reviews
Improve Joint and Impartial Needs Assessments
A Participation Revolution: include people receiving aid in making the decisions which affect their lives
Enhanced quality funding through reduced earmarking and multi-year planning and funding
Enhanced quality funding through reduced earmarking and multi-year planning and funding
Harmonize and simplify reporting requirements
Enhance engagement between humanitarian and development actors

A Participation Revolution: include people receiving aid in making the decisions which affect their lives


Aid organisations and donors commit to:

  1. Improve leadership and governance mechanisms at the level of the humanitarian country team and cluster/sector mechanisms to ensure engagement with and accountability to people and communities affected by crises.
  2. Develop common standards and a coordinated approach for community engagement and participation, with the emphasis on inclusion of the most vulnerable, supported by a common platform for sharing and analysing data to strengthen decision-making, transparency, accountability and limit duplication.
  3. Strengthen local dialogue and harness technologies to support more agile, transparent but appropriately secure feedback.
  4. Build systematic links between feedback and corrective action to adjust programming.

Donors commit to:

  1. Fund flexibly to facilitate programme adaptation in response to community feedback.
  2. Invest time and resources to fund these activities. Aid organisations commit to:
  3. Ensure that, by the end of 2017, all humanitarian response plans – and strategic monitoring of them - demonstrate analysis and consideration of inputs from affected communities.

The co-conveners: SCHR and The US
NGOs co-champion: SCHR
Helpful contacts: Gareth Price-Jones, David DiGiovanna
Official IASC page on this workstream available here

Main progress in the last 3 years:

What has been achieved to date?

  • A definition of Participation for the purpose of the workstream has been agreed.
  • Recommendations for action by Grand Bargain signatories (donors and aid organisations) to progress their Participation Revolution commitments have been agreed.
  • Indicators to measure progress have been agreed.
  • A close and complementary working relationship with the IASC Results Group 2 on accountability and Inclusion has been established.
  • A stakeholder analysis has been conducted to identify how to turn agreement in theory into participation in practice.

Currently (February 2020), the workstream is focusing on

  • Supporting a permanent and sustainable change in the way we do business, including the way that response programming and budgets are designed and react to the inputs of affected people.
  • Promoting the link between effective participation and the quality and effectiveness of humanitarian response.
  • Ensuring the inclusion of Participation, using the agreed indicators, in signatories’ Grand Bargain annual reporting.
  • And aligning and incorporating our work with other workstreams.

Why should you engage?

Because without a change in the way individual NGOs and agencies design and deliver their programs, participation will remain theoretical. The Frameworks are agreed and exist – its up to humanitarians on the ground to make them real.

How can you engage?

Your engagement is an organisational commitment to participation, which translates in country-level responses which are influenced by what affected people are saying they need and want. You can demonstrate that your responses are influenced by what affected people are telling you.

If you are a Grand Bargain signatory, you report your progress on participation using the agreed indicators. If you are not, you use them to report internally, to your donors, and to affected people themselves.

Your country-level programmes collaborate with other humanitarian actors to ensure that affected people have coherent means to influence the decision-making of the different humanitarian organisations which are providing them with assistance and protection. You demonstrate how you collaborate with others in terms of participation and how this contributes to your own operational decision-making.

You engage with the co-convenors of the Participation Revolution workstream to share your experiences, challenges and learnings, to inform and influence Grand Bargain signatories and hopefully also benefit from their relevant experience.



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