Learning Stream on Humanitarian Financing: Pooled funding – how can NGOs engage?
Pooled funds have enabled more timely and flexible funding for responding to sudden humanitarian crises, and have made it possible to operate in otherwise underfunded emergency settings. In the context of the World Humanitarian Summit, the UN Secretary-General (SG) recommended that member states and other donors should double the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) to $1 billion, with the Grand Bargain calling for an exploration of whether NGOs could directly access CERF. The SG also called to increase the aid funneled through the Country-based Pooled Funds (CBPFs) to 15 per cent by 2018. Given the current and growing importance of pooled funding, it is important that humanitarian NGOs understand how these mechanisms function and how they can be accessed in order to be part of improving the overall response to humanitarian crises.
NGOs are also managing a growing number of pooled funding mechanisms. The START fund (established and managed by a consortium of NGOs) is providing a quick alternative avenue for NGOs to access timely humanitarian funding. The NEAR Network is exploring options for NGO-run pooled funds at the local level.
In the third session of the learning stream on humanitarian financing, jointly organized by ICVA and PHAP, participants were provided with an overview of the different existing pooled funding mechanisms with a focus on the CBPFs, and pooled funds managed by NGOs. Guest experts also addressed current challenges and opportunities regarding NGO access to pooled funds, followed by an opportunity to questions and answers.
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Closed captions available in English/ Sous-titré en français
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For additional resources on this topic, you can go here.
- Awareness of the different existing pooled funds and familiarity with their raison d'être and history
- Understanding of how NGOs can access the main pooled financing mechanisms, including the CBPFs, and NGO-led pooled funds
- Awareness of the main challenges and opportunities for NGOs to access pooled funding
- Knowledge of the different sources of information on humanitarian pooled funding
The stream specifically targets NGO staff, including field, policy and HQ staff, but all live sessions are open to anyone interested in improving their understanding of humanitarian financing.
- CERF, “Delivering CERF-funded Humanitarian Action with Partners,” UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF), May 2016
- CERF, “10 Years Saving Lives Together: The World Helping the World,” UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF), December 2015
- Start Network, “Start Fund Induction Pack,” Start Network, August 2015
- OCHA, “Operational Handbook for Country-based Pooled Funds,” UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), February 2015
- Anna Jeffreys, “NGOs look to new humanitarian funding model,” IRIN News, 6 November 2013
- Anne Street, “Humanitarian pooled funding mechanisms: Learning from NGO experiences in accessing pooled funds,” CAFOD, 21 October 2010
During the event the following resources and websites were mentioned by speakers and participants:
- CBPFs Global Guidelines
- Start Network, for more information on the Start Fund
- The Grand Bargain - A Shared Commitment to Better Serve People in Need”, Istanbul, 23 May 2016
- OCHA and ICVA, "NGO Challenges to Accessing Country-Based Pooled Funds - Summary of Findings," June 2015
- Velina Stoianova, "Review of NGO Experiences with the Syria-Related Pooled Funds," ICVA, December 2014
Head, Policy and Partnerships Unit, Funding Coordination Section (FCS), UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)
Humanitarian Funding Manager, Oxfam
Start Fund Officer, Start Network
Rezaul Karim Chowdhury
Executive Director, Coastal Association for Social Transformation Trust (COAST)
Executive Director, PHAP
Head of Policy, ICVA
PHAP Credentialing Program
Understanding the Humanitarian Ecosystem
In particular, the event will address segment 2.6 of the certification assessment outline. It will also address some aspects of segments 1.5, 1.7, 2.3, 3.1, and 3.2.
Learning stream on humanitarian financing
As part of the learning stream on humanitarian financing, this event was the third of six live interactive online learning sessions that ICVA and PHAP have organized between September 2016 and March 2017 with the purpose of providing NGOs and humanitarian workers with a stronger understanding of the humanitarian financing system.
Geneva Humanitarian Connector
This event was organized in line with the aims of the Geneva Humanitarian Connector, an initiative of PHAP supported by the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs.