Main progress in the last 3 years:
The Grand Bargain Commitments on Needs Assessments are a mix of assessment outputs (e.g. comprehensive and cross-sectoral), methods and resources to assessments (e.g. transparent, collaborative, shared data, with adequate capacities and independent reviews), and components of assessments (e.g. risks and vulnerability analysis). Through a series of workshops, participants identified a set of priority issues and associated activities. While the ODI second annual independent report was critical on the progress, in 2018 substantial progress has been made mainly due to high-level investment from the Eminent Person and coordinated action from OCHA and ECHO as co-conveners. However, the workstream still faces substantial political challenges, including a lack of confidence among aid organization that their investments in enhancing the quality of needs assessment and analysis will result in more informed and principled allocation of resources by donors .
Accomplishments in 2019:
- The Grand Bargain on Needs Assessments package of tools and guidance was released in June 2019 at the time of the Grand Bargain Annual Meeting, this included:
- Coordinated Needs Assessment Ethos
- Quality Criteria and Evaluation Methodology for Needs Assessments
- Joint Inter-Sectoral Analysis Framework (initial draft)
- Guidance on Ensuring Useful and Usable Data (EDUAAR)
- A workshop was held on joint humanitarian-development-peace analysis which resulted in a set of key messages for senior management and initial thoughts on next steps
- Capacity Strengthening: OCHA has expanded its Advanced Training on Analysis in Humanitarian Settings (ATHAS) training to include participants from other UN Agencies, NGOs and donors.
- Engagement with NGOs through Save the Children/OCHA workshop for senior NGO staff (October 2019)
- Advocacy with senior management, IASC and donors on attention, resourcing and incentivization. A number of donor meetings and fora were organized in 2019 with a specific focus on providing coordinated support to humanitarian agencies on the GBNA.
- Field application of the tools and guidance was initiated through the 2020 enhanced Humanitarian Programme Cycle, which included revisions to guidance, templates and approaches to strengthen linkages between situation, multi-sectoral needs and response monitoring
- Data Entry and Exploration Platform (DEEP) being used in 35 countries, and 25 crises. While its main use is to support strategic planning, it is also being used by OHCHR and ICRC for other purposes. Throughout 2019 additional features were added, including strengthened security, situation analysis features, user guides and tutorials, and translation into Spanish.
- While communications, rollout and application of GBNA tools and guidance was a priority for 2019, emphasis was primarily on the joint intersectoral analysis elements as linked to the 2020 enhanced HPC.
Why should you engage?
A number of discussions have taken place on the Grand Bargain Commitments on Needs Assessments (GBNA) during which many organizations have expressed concern with the wording that, it is argued, reflects neither identified best practice, a coherent vision, nor the current main barriers to an evidence-based, cross-sectoral analysis of needs and causal factors to inform response priorities. Then, a Theory of Change was developed which clarified the actionable steps required to make progress on the commitments. Moreover, a number of activities within the workstream have been held to encourage greater participation. It remains important to exert considerable influence in how we operate and it is a timely point to engage as workstream partners look towards field application of the tools, guidance and policies.
How can you engage?
- Co-Conveners: Gerard Van Driessche, ECHO (firstname.lastname@example.org), Agnes Dhur, OCHA (email@example.com)
- General Information/Theory of Change: Kimberly Lietz, OCHA (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Collaborative Needs Assessment Commitments: Shelley Gornall, UNHCR (email@example.com)
- Joint Inter-Sectoral Analysis Group: Herbert Tatham, OCHA (firstname.lastname@example.org), Valentina Giorda, FAO/Global Food Security Cluster (email@example.com)
- Data Entry and Exploration Platform: Wilhemina Welsch, JIPS (firstname.lastname@example.org), Fawad Hussein, OCHA (email@example.com)
- Humanitarian – Development Data and Analysis Nexus: Ben Pickering, DFID (firstname.lastname@example.org ), Rekha Das, UNDP (email@example.com)
- Useful and Usable Data: Daunia Pavone, IOM (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Analysis Capacity Building: Jude Burchett, ACAPS (email@example.com), Kimberly Lietz, OCHA (firstname.lastname@example.org)
 The Grand Bargain Annual Report 2019, ODI June 2019
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