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Grand Bargain annual independent report 2018

Research reports

Written by Victoria Metcalfe-Hough, Lydia Poole, Sarah Bailey

In May 2016, 18 donor countries and 16 aid organisations signed a ‘Grand Bargain’ outlining 51 mutual commitments across ten thematic workstreams – all aimed at improving the efficiency and effectiveness of humanitarian aid.

ODI was commissioned by the UK Department for International Development (DFID) on behalf of the Facilitation Group to produce the second annual independent review of progress made against the commitments.

ODI found that important progress has been made against specific commitments and in a number of workstreams, particularly cash programming, participation revolution, and multi-year planning and financing. There has also been some progress towards integrating gender as a cross-cutting issue and there remains strong consensus among signatories that the Grand Bargain is acting as a catalyst for institutional and systemwide change.

However, progress against individual commitments and across and within the workstreams remained uneven throughout 2017, due in part to underlying practical and political challenges. Key challenges included a lack of clarity on the collective end goal; the sheer breadth and scope of the 51 commitments; differing views on how the Grand Bargain should relate to country-level operations; and a lack of visible leadership and engagement at the political level.

To stay on track to achieve its commitments, the report puts forward six recommendations. Overall, the Grand Bargain needs to become more nimble, more focused, more pragmatic and more responsive to the wider aid environment in which it is operating.

Victoria Metcalfe-Hough and Lydia Poole with Sarah Bailey and Julie Belanger

This version was updated on 8 June 2018 to correct errors in the data.