Burkina Faso is grappling with a growing and unprecedented humanitarian situation: around 500,000 people have been forced to flee their homes in the central and northern regions, a steep increase from around 80,000 in January 2019; hundreds of thousands of affected people in roughly a third of the country are struggling to produce and access food, water or medical services; the armed violence and insecurity have crippled health and education, with more than 68 health centres and 2,000 schools forced shut affecting respectively more than 800,000 people and 300,000 students.
“The mission was taken aback by the severity and urgency of the humanitarian crisis in Burkina’s central and northern regions. We must urgently step up the ongoing relief efforts to respond to current and foreseen humanitarian needs, for all conflict-affected populations, whose resources have been depleted” said Ms. Margot van der Velden, WFP, Director of Emergencies. “Increased international support is critical to shore up the efforts being made by the humanitarian community in Burkina Faso.”
Directors of 11 UN aid agencies and NGOs urged for a significantly increased attention and resources following a visit to Burkina Faso on 1 – 4 October during which they travelled in the Central North region and met with displaced people, civil society organizations and local NGOs in host communities, camps and schools, and held discussions with national and regional authorities on ways to enhance the humanitarian response.
“Tales of hardship abound among the many people we met in camps and in villages where they have sought refuge. We owe it to the people of Burkina to provide faster, adequate and commensurate humanitarian assistance. More urgency is needed to save lives and better protect populations”, said Mr. Julien Schopp, InterAction, Director of Humanitarian Practice.
With the rising needs, the humanitarian community in Burkina Faso revised the response plan in July, requesting for $187 million to assist 1.3 million people. As of October, just a third of the budget had been financed.
The delegation of emergency directors was composed of Ms. Margot van der Velden (Director of Emergencies, World Food Programme), Mr. Julien Shopp (Director of Humanitarian Practice, InterAction), Mr. Christian Gad (Head of Emergencies, Danish Refugee Council), Mr. Jeff Labovitz (Director, Department of Operations and Emergencies, International Organization for Migration), Mr. Dominique Burgeon (Director, Emergency and Resilience Division, Food and Agriculture Organization), Mr. David Carden (Deputy Director, Operations and Advocacy Division for the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs), Mr. Steven Fricaud (Director of Humanitarian Aid, Terre des Hommes), Mr. Aboubacar Koulibaly (Africa Team Leader, Crisis Bureau, UNDP), Mr. Andrew Mbogori (Principal Emergency Coordinator, Division of Emergency Services, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees), Ms. Meritxell Relaño (Deputy Director, Office of Emergency Programmes, UNICEF), and Dr. Renee Van de Weerdt (Acting Director Emergency Operations, World Health Organization).
The Money Where it Counts protocol was presented at an event in Brussels on 25 September 2019 by the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) and Humentum, with the support of the European Union Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid (ECHO) and the Voluntary Organisations in Cooperation in Emergencies (VOICE) Network. The event was attended by 65 participants representing six governmental donor agencies, three United Nations agencies, 40 NGOs, as well as the Red Cross and the Grand Bargain Secretariat. The event was also live streamed through an open link (no participants’ information was collected); two additional UN agencies and an NGO are confirmed to have joined the event online.
The protocol presented at the event is the result of four years of work by NRC, initially in collaboration with the Boston Consulting Group and subsequently in partnership with Humentum. The design of the protocol was led by Humentum acting as an independent broker of an agreement among nine NGOs (NRC, ACF Spain, CARE, DRC, Humanity and Inclusion, Oxfam GB, Save the Children International and UK, Welthungerhilfe). Over the course of several months since the last quarter of 2018, Humentum analysed each participating NGO’s cost structure and cost charging methodology to design an intensely practical solution for harmonisation, which required compromises for every participating NGO and is applicable well beyond the initial group.
"The Money Where It Counts Protocol sets out a new, harmonised and simplified approach to cost classification, cost charging and financial reporting for international funding of not-for-profit agencies. It is a collaborative initiative between not-for-profit agencies working internationally, which have come together to make these proposals. The complexity and cost of the current approach to cost classification, cost charging and financial reporting is unsustainable given the growing humanitarian financing gap. By signing up to this Protocol donors and not-for-profit agencies will make the delivery of humanitarian aid and development more efficient and fit for purpose."
At the time of the event, six of the nine NGOs involved already endorsed the protocol, with the remainder (ACF Spain, DRC, Oxfam GB) currently assessing the changes necessary before making a decision.
In line with the next steps outlined during the presentation, NRC and Humentum will focus on mobilizing resources through bilateral advocacy efforts to initiate a pilot project. Meanwhile, interactions with potential endorsers of the protocol will continue and intensify in preparation of the need to identify a core group of donors and implementing agencies to participate in the pilot project. Donors, UN Agencies, and NGOs interested in resourcing, endorsing, or participating in a pilot project were invited to get in touch with the NRC focal point Luca Peciarolo or NRC Geneva Poliyc team.
Please find below the full summary, including the main highlights, list of participants, the agenda, and the recording of the event.
A study on Field Perspectives on Multi-Year Humanitarian Funding and Planning: How Theory has Translated into Practice in Jordan and Lebanon. The overall proportion of multi-year humanitarian funding in Lebanon and Jordan was found to be insufficient to transform the humanitarian response. The limited capacity by downstream partners to absorb long-term funding and restrictions on the original grant were identified as other key obstacles to making multi-year sub-grants available. The perceived efficiency gains through the provision of quality funding in both contexts were through lower administrative burdens of grant management and implementers’ higher staff retention – which resulted in improved internal capacity building. Other effectiveness gains unlocked by quality – in particular flexible – funding included a continued presence and program adaptability, resulting in greater trust with affected populations, and better baselines through a longer start-up phase. In more stable crisis contexts, it provided an opportunity to facilitate a transition from humanitarian to development response.
A primary background document for the Grand Bargain Workstream 7 and 8 Multi-Stakeholder Accelerator Workshop in September 2019, analysing the barriers to increasing the provision and programming of quality funding.
Organised by the World Bank Group and the Netherlands as the Co-conveners of the transparency workstream together with Development Initiatives (DI), the second Grand Bargain transparency workshop was held on 14 May 2019 at the Centre for Humanitarian Data in the Hague. Over 50 participants attended the workshop, representing government donors, multi-lateral agencies, aid organisations and academic institutes. The meeting built on the outcomes of the 2018 Transparency workshop which identified three key priorities for the workstream and four criteria for determining success, based on the transparency commitments.
The workshop in the Hague brought together colleagues working on transparency, information sharing and data at both technical and policy levels within Grand Bargain Signatory organisations as well as the broader humanitarian and open-data communities in order to:
Review overall progress in implementing the Grand Bargain transparency commitments and discuss the workstream’s planned activities and next steps;
Share learning and good practice on how data might be or is being used, including data responsibility in humanitarian action; and
Begin developing a sustainable vision for humanitarian transparency beyond the Grand Bargain.
The workshop was preceded by a technical pre-meeting on 13 May 2019 that captured learning from the FTS-IATI pilot, which is supporting several Grand Bargain signatory organisations in reporting their funding to OCHA’s Financial Tracking Service (FTS) using IATI data and explored what organisations can do to publish better data.
Please find the key takeaways, outcomes, and next steps below.