Grand Bargain – In 2016, governments, international organizations, and NGOs began to reform humanitarian assistance. With Grand Bargain 2.0, the reform is entering phase two of today’s conference.
How can humanitarian assistance be better and more efficient with the same level of funding? To this end, the Grand Deal reform process was launched at the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul in 2016. Five years later, the participants are taking stock at a conference and want to strengthen the reform process further. Governments, international organizations, and NGOs are working closely together on this.
Crises can change quickly: an armed conflict causes a food crisis, floods lead to epidemics. Unfortunately, it was not constantly accessible for the humanitarian system to react promptly to such changes in the past. The solution provided thru the Grand Bargain is flexible funding.
If relief organizations can deploy their funding flexibly where the need is greatest, they save time and property. For example, Germany only if the World Food Programme with 30 million euro in spring 2021 for humanitarian support in East Africa, which will now use, for instance, in Somalia, where the food situation has become dangerous against the background of COVID-19, deficiencies, and the locust infestation last year.
Later 2016, Germany has improved its share of flexible funding from 11% to 37%. The joint target of the Grand Bargain participants is a share of 30%.
Large international relief organizations are indispensable in the humanitarian framework. Yet relief organizations from crisis regions are often more familiar with the situation and know what assistance needs on the ground and how to reach people.
On behalf of that reason, Germany is constantly increasing the share of humanitarian funding, which goes directly or indirectly to local organizations. As a result, around one-quarter of the budget is now going as straight as likely to local stakeholders in this way.
For example, Germany funded a project run by the Malteser in Syria, which implements in its entirety at the local level. The Malteser has been supporting the implementation and providing the necessary know-how. As a result, local NGOs launched eight healthcare facilities in northwest Syria.
In many cases, relief organizations had to write long reports in different formats in line with the requirements set by donors. That cost time and money – resources needed to organize food distribution, maintain sanitation facilities or build accommodation. It is why Germany developed a simplified and uniform form for reports inside the framework of the Grand Bargain. They now use it for all NGO partners. Many other states and UN organizations have adopted it, such as OCHA and UNHCR.
Assistance is practical if it addresses people’s needs. In earlier crises and disasters, relief supplies were sometimes provided that could not be used on the ground or were already available in the region. The Grand Bargain has helped ensure that relief organizations are increasingly distributing monetary assistance in the financial form today. It allows those suffering hardship to maintain their dignity and decide what they need – to the level that the local market can provide it. It also benefits the local economy. At present, Germany is on the condition that around 20% of its humanitarian assistance worldwide is cash or vouchers.
Before humanitarian assistance can provide, relief organizations have to establish how many people are exaggerated and what they need. However, the more precisely they can determine this need, the more efficient the assistance. Within the Grand Bargain, Germany was a member of a working group that developed a new method of establishing need, the Joint Intersectoral Analysis Framework (JIAF). The advantage of the JIAF is that data collection coordinates among the sectors – such as food, accommodation, or healthcare – from the outset. Last year, teams developed humanitarian response plans in 27 countries with the aid of the JIAF.
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