Learning Stream on Humanitarian Financing: Bilateral funding – trends, challenges and opportunities for NGOs
Funding agreements between implementing organizations and donors can significantly reduce transfer and administrative costs, but such direct funding relationships can also lead to challenges and additional burdens for NGOs. Different rules and processes between donors, pre-qualification requirements, delayed disbursements, and overly restrictive budget lines have long been common issues faced by NGOs. While there are initiatives to improve this situation, notably through the "Grand Bargain," the donor landscape has become more complex with the growing importance of so-called "emerging donors" for humanitarian work.
The fourth session of the learning stream on humanitarian financing, organized by ICVA and PHAP, aimed to provide a clearer understanding of the changing context for NGOs and bilateral funding. Join this event to hear from speakers from the European Commission and the U.S. Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM), as well as from NGOs with experience of working bilaterally with these two donors.
Session recording (Adobe Connect - higher quality)
Session recording (YouTube - faster loading time)
Closed captions available in English/ Sous-titré en français
Session recording (audio podcast)
ICVA has prepared a briefing paper based on the discussions during the event. You can access the document in English. The briefing paper will be soon available in also French and Arabic.
For additional resources on this topic, you can go here.
- Understanding of the concept of bilateral funding
- Knowledge of the overall size, flows, and forms of bilateral funding and the main donors and recipients
- Awareness of the main trends, challenges, and opportunities for NGOs trying to access funding from bi-lateral donors
- Knowledge of the different sources of information on bilateral 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.
- OECD, “DAC donors: Key figures in humanitarian aid,” OECD Brief Number 01, 2016
- WHS, “The Grand Bargain - A Shared Commitment to Better Serve People in Need”, World Humanitarian Summit, 23 May 2016
- Clare Collingwood Esland & VOICE, “Exploring EU humanitarian donors’ funding and conditions for working with NGOs,” VOICE Study, December 2015
- Rachel Scott, “Imagining More Effective Humanitarian Aid: A Donor Perspective,” OECD Working Paper 18, October 2014
- Kerry Smith, “Non-DAC donors and humanitarian aid: Shifting structures, changing trends,” GHA Briefing Paper, July 2011
During the event the following resources were mentioned by speakers and participants:
- Sophia Swithern & Charlotte Lattimer, “Global Humanitarian Assistance Report 2016,” Development Initiatives, 2016
- US Department of State, "FY2017 PRM General NGO Guidelines for Overseas Assistance," PRM, December 2016
Attaché, Humanitarian Affairs, U.S. Mission to UN in Geneva
Alberto Garralon Perez
Deputy Head, Budget, Finance and Control Unit, DG ECHO, European Commission
Director of Operations, International Catholic Migration Commission (ICMC)
Program Coordinator, NGO VOICE
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 and 1.7.
Learning stream on humanitarian financing
As part of the learning stream on humanitarian financing, this event was the fourth 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.