- Photo Moayed Al Shaibani/Oxfam -

The Grand Bargain

Signatories of the Grand Bargain made ten commitments which the humanitarian sector is currently implementing. KUNO aims to facilitate learning on the implementation of Grand Bargain commitments, specifically on the localization and cash-based programming agenda.

Background to the Grand Bargain

2016 was the year in which donors and aid providers came together to talk about the future of Humanitarian aid. The former United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon convened the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul on the 23‒24 May 2016 to make commitments to deliver aid more efficiently to those suffering in humanitarian crises. One of the most influential outcomes of the summit was the Grand Bargain.

The Grand Bargain entails a package of reforms to make humanitarian aid more efficient and effective to relieve the suffering of people in need. It attempts to solve the financing gap: each year an increasing amount of money goes to emergency aid, but the number of people in need also increases, leaving a funding gap for humanitarian assistance of an estimated 15 billion dollars. To meet this gap, both the way in which funding is given and the way in which aid is delivered need to change. The Grand Bargain is an attempt to do this with ten commitments:

  • Greater transparency
  • More support and funding tools for local and national responders
  • Increase 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
  • Harmonise and simplify reporting requirements
  • Enhance engagement between humanitarian and development actors

A learning agenda on World Humanitarian Summit and the Grand Bargain

KUNO facilitates reflection and learning on Grand Bargain commitments, with a focus on the commitments on cash based programming and localization. The implementation of the commitments come with fundamental questions. For Cash, for instance: How to join forces for a greater impact? What formal and informal money transfer systems are adequate? How to deal with data privacy? What other risks are there for beneficiaries, local partners, NGOs and donors? And for localization: What do we mean by localization? How should localization be shaped? Can we work out workable and acceptable criteria or standards.

Further readings

Theme articles