Two years on, Grand Bargain signatories highlight importance of CHS and self-assessment process

In the second independent report since the signature of the Grand Bargain in May 2016, the majority (52%) of signatories reported actions against commitment 6.3., which aims at strengthening local dialogue and harnessing technologies to support more agile, transparent but appropriately secure feedback. Many aid organisations highlighted their implementation of the Core Humanitarian Standard on Quality and Accountability (CHS), specifically commitments 4 and 5. 

ZOA notes that the CHS self-assessment process encouraged fresh learning on beneficiary accountability and participation, and the development of new practices, including setting up complaints mechanisms.

In total, 47% of donors reported actions. Several, including Canada and Germany, reported that they had provided or were planning to provide guidance to recipient organisations on
participatory approaches. SIDA has funded a project implemented by Ground Truth Solutions and the CHS Alliance aimed at strengthening accountability to affected populations and applying the CHS in Chad. Italy reported that it allocated €700,000 in 2017 to a new programme in Jordan that aims to include people with disabilities in humanitarian projects, collec tquantitative and qualitative data and train staff and raise awareness of the needs of people with disabilities.

In May 2016, 18 donor countries and 16 aid organisations (including UN entities, INGOs and the Red Cross Movement) signed a ‘Grand Bargain’ outlining 51 mutual commitments across ten thematic workstreams – all aimed at improving the overall efficiency and effectiveness of humanitarian aid.Signatories to the Grand Bargain agreed to undertake an annual independent review of progress made against the commitments. Issued in June 2017, the first annual independent report noted that, on average, signatories reported action against 40% of the commitments, with more focus and progress in some workstreams than others; that the Grand Bargain had a light bureaucratic footprint; and that its design – a unique collaboration between donors, the UN, INGOs and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) Secretariat – had strengthened buy-in from stakeholders. The report also highlighted decreasing political momentum and growing frustration at a perceived lack of impact and action at country level.

The Overseas Development Institute (ODI) was commissioned by the UK Department for International Development (DFID) on behalf of the Facilitation Group to produce the second annual independent report. ODI was tasked to provide an impartial overview of collective progress made during the period January - December 2017, based on an assessment of actions and activities undertaken by the then 56 signatories.