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
Increase collaborative humanitarian multi-year planning and funding
Reduce the earmarking of donor contributions
Harmonize and simplify reporting requirements
Enhance engagement between humanitarian and development actors

Increase the use and coordination of cash-based programming

Aid organisations and donors commit to:

  1. Increase the routine use of cash alongside other tools, including in-kind assistance, service delivery (such as health and nutrition) and vouchers. Employ markers to measure increase and outcomes.
  2. Invest in new delivery models which can be increased in scale while identifying best practice and mitigating risks in each context. Employ markers to track their evolution.
  3. Build an evidence base to assess the costs, benefits, impacts, and risks of cash (including on protection) relative to in-kind assistance, service delivery interventions and vouchers, and combinations thereof.
  4. Collaborate, share information and develop standards and guidelines for cash programming in order to better understand its risks and benefits.
  5. Ensure that coordination, delivery, and monitoring and evaluation mechanisms are put in place for cash transfers.
  6. Aim to increase use of cash programming beyond current low levels, where appropriate. Some organisations and donors may wish to set targets.

The co-conveners: The UK and WFP
NGOs co-champions: Dina Brick CRS,  Sheila Thornton Collaborative Cash Delivery (CCD)
Helpful contacts: CALP: Isabelle Pelly,WFP: Silvana Giuffrida 
 Official IASC page on this workstream available here

Main progress in the last 2 years:

There has been important progress under this workstream, with reported increases in the use of cash programming, and significant efforts have been made by the co-conveners and participating signatories to capitalise on other processes. Differences remain over how to track cash programming, and there was limited progress on operational coordination. The co-conveners, WFP and the UK, sought to take advantage of the active groups and mechanisms already in place around cash programming before the launch of the Grand Bargain and organised a workshop held in May 2017 for workstream participants, which identified strategic priorities that build upon pre-existing knowledge and processes. The six priority actions identified were: measuring cash; donor coordination; measuring value for money, efficiency and effectiveness; clarification with IASC on cash coordination; risk; and mapping of cash.

Collective activities included sharing of standards, guidelines and expertise on cash programming and proposals to enable better tracking by using the IATI standard, mapping of and planning for a joint donor mission to Lebanon and Jordan in 2018. Joint planning was also underway for workshops, studies and consultations on tracking cash and communicating evidence on efficiency, outcomes and gender-related issues.

There are also ongoing challenges in relation to the lack of global tracking, and differing interpretations as to whether the cash commitment refers specifically to cash transfers or to cash and vouchers. Overall operational coordination also remains a major challenge. the Global Cluster Coordinator’s Group (GCCG) agreed, in line with the World Bank’s strategic note (produced by GPPI), to include cash at the Inter-Cluster Coordination Group (ICCG) level, and it is hoped that this will lead to improved operational coordination of cash programming.

This workstream has actively engaged with workstream 1 through Development Initiatives, FTS and IATI around measuring cash in the humanitarian system. It has also identified the importance of engagement with other workstreams, including workstream 5 (needs assessments) on the data required to design cash programmes, and workstream 10 (humanitarian–development nexus) to explore links between humanitarian cash programming and social protection mechanisms.[1]

Why should you engage?

While the use of cash in humanitarian settings is no longer new to humanitarian actors, recent major programmes using cash as the main aid modality (e.g. in Turkey) serve as significant learning opportunities for the community and generate new debates aiming at improving the delivery of aid to the most vulnerable people.

Learning from the different operational models and gathering evidence on quality, efficiency, effectiveness and accountability are essential for fostering the use of the multipurpose cash transfer modality in the future.

NGOs, as first responders, can bring added value individually but also collectively in large-scale operational models for humanitarian cash transfers programmes. Given NGOs proximity to beneficiaries and field expertise, they are essential actors particularly in relation to ensuring the quality and effectiveness of cash programmes.[2]

How can you engage?

  • the Cash Learning Partnership (CaLP) which include donors, UN agencies and NGOs, has just published the first State of the World’s Cash report: This report critically analyses the current state of CTP in humanitarian aid, and the extent to which commitments have been achieved, in order to provide shared insights that can accelerate progress.
  • The NGO group active on cash is the Collaborative Cash Delivery, a platform for interoperability established in August 2015, which brings together 15 INGOs around common objectives, sharing resources while maintaining individual systems and recognising the added-value of different organisations.

[1] The Grand Bargain Annual Report 2018, ODI June 2018

[2] VOICE Cash workshop report: Exploring and fostering Space for NGOs to add values in large-scale operational Models For Humanitarian cash transfer programmes.



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