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.

Read the answers by Susan Kyle, Walter Brill, and Magali Mourlon to the follow-up questions

Session recording (YouTube - faster loading time)

Closed captions available in English/ Sous-titré en français

Session recording (Adobe Connect - higher quality)

Session recording (audio podcast)

Introductory whiteboard video

Learning objectives

  • 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

Target audience

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.

Recommended resources

During the event the following resources were mentioned by speakers and participants:


Susan Kyle

Attaché, Humanitarian Affairs, U.S. Mission to UN in Geneva

Alberto Garralon Perez

Deputy Head, Budget, Finance and Control Unit, DG ECHO, European Commission

Walter Brill

Director of Operations, International Catholic Migration Commission (ICMC)

Magali Mourlon

Program Coordinator, NGO VOICE


Angharad Laing

Executive Director, PHAP

Melissa Pitotti

Head of Policy, ICVA


Learning stream on humanitarian financing

As part of the learning stream on humanitarian financing, this event was the fourth session of five live interactive online learning events that ICVA and PHAP have been organizing with the purpose of providing NGOs and humanitarian workers with a stronger understanding of the humanitarian financing system.

December 6th, 2016 10:30 AM   through   12:00 PM

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