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The Grand Bargain in 2022: an independent review

Research report

Written by Victoria Metcalfe-Hough, Wendy Fenton, Farah Manji

Image license:CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

Following a reformulation of the Grand Bargain priorities and structure (the Grand Bargain 2.0 framework) in 2020 and 2021, 2022 saw a consolidation of action at the political level, which resulted in concrete and measurable progress in key areas.

In regard to the two Enabling Priorities, multi-year funding increased for multilateral aid organisations, and there were increased investments in supporting and empowering local actors. There was important progress in other areas of the Grand Bargain too, with collective successes including an agreement on a model for coordination of cash and voucher assistance and a revised framework for joint intersectoral needs analysis. Many signatories continued to embed the original framework in institutional ways of working, indicating its ongoing relevance and their continued commitment to the fundamental changes in policy and practice that it set out. These achievements challenge some of the negative narrative that has grown up around the Grand Bargain in recent years and reinforces its value at a critical juncture, as the latest framework period concludes and signatories reflect on the Facilitation Group’s proposal for the future of this multilateral mechanism.

Despite this progress, the potential of the Grand Bargain to address the political barriers to change in other areas is still to be realised, with, for example, as yet no substantive shift towards a demand, rather than a supply, driven humanitarian response and no concrete increase in funding provided directly to local actors. Signatories will need to further refine their focus and approach if this mechanism is to help them realise the transformation of the international humanitarian system that the authors of the Grand Bargain originally envisaged.

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