Funding to local humanitarian actors: evidence from Somalia and South Sudan

Briefing papers
October 2018
Barnaby Willitts-King, Nisar Majid, Mo Ali and Lydia Poole
An agriculture club at a school in Gumbo, across the Nile River from Juba. © UNMISS

The localisation commitments within the 2016 Grand Bargain are one of the major achievements of the World Humanitarian Summit, with the potential to drive truly transformative change across the humanitarian system. Workstream two of the Grand Bargain – commonly known as ‘localisation’ – commits donors and aid organisations to provide 25% of global humanitarian funding to local and national responders ‘as directly as possible’ by 2020, along with more unrestricted money and increased multi-year funding.

Overall progress towards the Grand Bargain commitments is uneven and difficult to assess and better monitoring and analysis of progress and challenges is needed. Despite making an explicit commitment to measure progress in meeting the 25% commitment, and clear recommendations on how to monitor progress, no measurement of the baseline or progress against it has taken place.

This study, commissioned by NEAR, is an attempt to build the evidence base from a crisis perspective. It aims to explore alternative approaches to tracking funding dimensions of localisation, in order to complement global estimates of how much funding is provided to local and national responders directly and through one intermediary.

The main activity of the research was country case study fieldwork undertaken in Somalia and South Sudan. This briefing highlights findings from the two country studies.