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From Grand Bargain to Beneficiary: An Analysis of Funding Flows Through the Humanitarian System

2017 — By Tasneem Mowjee, Lydia Poole, Barnaby Willitts-King

The study undertook a financial analysis of a range of projects that received ECHO funding in order to answer the following questions listed in full in the terms of reference (Annex 1):

  • How much donor money (net) gets to the beneficiary?
  • What are the total costs of each stage in the chain?
  • What is the total volume of funding implemented by a local partner and how much of this reaches the beneficiary?
  • What are the principal role(s) of each actor in the chain?

The study contributes to the discussions around the Grand Bargain – an agreement between donors and aid providers that aims to get more resources into the hands of those in need. The Grand Bargain includes steps towards improving the transparency and efficiency
of the humanitarian system. By providing a better understanding of different types of costs and how donor funding flows through the humanitarian system. It will also help to inform efforts towards empowering national and local humanitarian action – a core commitment at the World Humanitarian Summit.

This study focuses on the classification and analysis of expenditure. It has not sought to make any judgements about the value or benefit of these expenditures to the aid recipients. While this approach does not capture the quality of assistance provided to crisis-affected populations the study aims to lay the foundation for
further discussions about cost-efficiency, the quality of humanitarian assis-tance and the added value of each actor in the chain.