Practical Guidance for field staff implementing Good Humanitarian Donorship 1. Introduction and overview
set disasters, different structures are likely to be required.
In 2003, 16 donor governments and ECHO created the Good Humanitarian Donorship (GHD) initiative to enhance the donor contribution toward efficient and principled humanitarian action. Donors agreed on a set of 23 principles and good practice to guide humanitarian donorship as well as an implementation plan to take the initiative forward.1 A separate briefing note provides more detail on the background to the initiative and the core principles2. In the three years since the inception of GHD, the concept of good humanitarian donorship has gained increasing currency in international circles. Two country pilots were undertaken in Burundi and DRC, which generated a number of important lessons regarding how donors might work together at field level to deliver more principled and effective humanitarian assistance. In 2006, GHD members agreed to reinforce collective and individual GHD implementation at field level. This note aims to provide guidance for field-based donors to promote the development and application of Good Humanitarian Donorship at the country level, building on lessons learned from the pilots. It will be a living document that will evolve as examples of good practice and lessons learned filter in. 2. Who is this guidance for?
3. Good donorship at field level: what does it mean in practice? The GHD principles are intended to provide a framework to guide donors’ work. GHD should not constitute an additional, separate activity, but rather a way of considering the effectiveness of our work individually and collectively. The primary responsibility for delivering on the GHD agenda lies with individual donor governments. However, evidence also suggests that there are aspects of good donorship that work better when donors coordinate their efforts in support of shared outcomes. 4. Why does better donor coordination at field level matter? Experience in development cooperation suggests that where donors work together to harmonise their procedures and to align with recipient country governments’ procedures it is more effective. In the humanitarian arena, there has been growing recognition of the importance of donors working together in order to increase effectiveness. At the global policy level, for example, donor support groups now operate for the largest international humanitarian organizations. To date, however, relatively little has been done to formally promote donor coordination at country level on humanitarian issues, although in many countries informal groups exist. 5. What specific aims and objectives might be achieved through improved donor coordination at field level? overall aim of improved donor coordination at field level is to contribute to effective humanitarian 1
Donor representatives working in country, and for desk officers working on those countries at headquarters. It aims to promote the application of GHD primarily in countries affected by protracted crises. In sudden on-
All GHD-related documents can be accessed on www.goodhumanitariandonorship.org 2 See: GHD: A rough guide available at: www.goodhumanitariandonorship.org
action, delivered in line with international law and humanitarian principles. The specific objectives are to: i. Ensure timely, adequate and predictable funding flows to the humanitarian action; Support the development and implementation of timely, coherent and prioritised planning by the humanitarian community, in particular through the Consolidated Appeals Process; Support the achievement of international standards and strengthen accountability of humanitarian action, including to beneficiaries Strengthen protection of civilians and promote humanitarian access.
teams on issues relating to safe and unimpeded access; Promoting where possible joint monitoring and evaluation efforts.
6. What could help the donor group to function well? Experience from the pilots suggests that donor coordination works best when donors plan to meet formally on a regular basis (monthly or six-weekly or as required), and a Chair is appointed. The calendar of these meetings could be designed to coincide with key points in the planning cycle, such as preparation of the CHAP, the launch of the CAP and the mid-term review. Ad hoc meetings might be convened to discuss emerging issues, such as problems in access, planning, evaluations etc. In addition to donoronly meetings, it is useful for donors to plan to meet regularly with the Humanitarian coordinator and the IASC country team to communicate the main issues emerging from inter-donor consultation. 7. What about countries who aren’t represented in the field? Not all donors are represented in the field. It might be useful for the Chair of the country group to circulate minutes from meetings to desk officers in donors countries without country representation. 8. Where can I find out more and get support? The first stop for all donor representatives working on these issues should be their own headquarters. Generic information about good humanitarian donorship is available at www.goodhumanitariandonorship.org.
In the case of DRC, the donor group established a set of indicators to monitor their progress against these objectives3. 6. How might donor coordination work at field level? What might a donor group discuss?
Using the 23 principles and good practice as general guidance for donor behaviour, donor coordination groups could consider focusing on the following: Sharing funding intentions at key points in the planning cycle and considering readjustments where necessary to avoid imbalances; Promoting improved and shared needs assessment and analysis, including taking an active part in strategy setting, such as the Common Humanitarian Action Plans; Supporting advocacy efforts by the Humanitarian Coordinator and InterAgency Standing Committee Country
These can be found at: http://www.reliefweb.int/ghd/GHDDRCindicatorsrevised18-12-2003.doc