The Grand Bargain struck by more than 30 humanitarian donors and aid agencies at the 2016 World Humanitarian Summit set out to reform the aid system so it is better prepared for tackling the emergency needs of people affected by crises worldwide. Since then, Ground Truth Solutions and the OECD, with support from the German Federal Foreign Office, have endeavoured to set a baseline for tracking the impact of the Grand Bargain at the country level through the experience of affected people and aid providers.
We developed three survey instruments to track perceptions of affected people, field staff, and local partner organisations working with international aid agencies, in six countries: Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon, Uganda, Somalia, and Haiti.
We look at whether there is a shift from what the Grand Bargain describes as a supply-driven model dominated by aid providers to one that is more demand-driven, with the aid system becoming more responsive to the people it sets out to serve. We also probe people’s views on whether they see progress in going beyond meeting basic needs to creating self-reliance and restoring opportunity, especially in the context of protracted crises and recurring vulnerabilities. Finally, we ask national and local organisations – those crucial links in the humanitarian supply chain – about their views on the support provided by the international intermediary agencies.
Findings from the surveys conducted in late 2016 and 2017 show that
• Are appreciative of aid providers and feel treated with respect. • Say they are poorly informed about what to expect from aid agencies and how to access support. • Feel unable to participate in decisions that affect them. • Criticise the quality and relevance of aid and do not feel the aid they currently receive will help them to become self-reliant in the future.
Staff of aid agencies:
• Assess their own performance quite positively and do not share the views of affected people about shortcomings in the aid system. • See programming as rather flexible, with aid going where it is most needed.
Local organisations currently working with international partners:
• Feel treated with respect by their international counterparts and consider the latter as knowledgeable about the context in which they work. • Want more long-term capacity strengthening and more core funding.
Ground Truth Solutions and the OECD is conducting a second round of surveys with affected people, field staff, and local partner organisations in 2018, with support from the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID). In addition to the six countries covered in the first round of surveys, the project will be expanded to include Bangladesh.
Survey of affected people and field staff