A rough guide to

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					                                                            PAPER C: GHD at Country level draft guidance
                  A rough guide to
 Good Humanitarian Donorship
What is Good Humanitarian Donorship?
Good Humanitarian Donorship (GHD) is a set of                  But we also need to make sure that these add up to a
principles to inform the humanitarian work of                  coherent whole at global and country levels.
governmental donors. First agreed in Stockholm in
2003, in April 2005 these principles were endorsed by          A new definition of humanitarian aid
the Development Assistance Committee of the OECD
as the standard against the work of its 23 members             The definition of humanitarian assistance agreed in
should be judged. Individual donor agencies are                Stockholm, reaffirmed the distinctive purpose and
responsible for translating these principles into their        principles of humanitarian action. The purpose of
policy and practice.                                           humanitarian assistance is to save lives, alleviate
                                                               suffering and maintain human dignity. For donors
The Good Humanitarian Donorship Initiative, is a               signing up to GHD principles, their humanitarian
network through which donors advocate for greater              assistance must be allocated on the basis of need and
knowledge and awareness of the principles, consider            without discrimination (impartial). It must not favour any
how they can work together to deliver on these                 side in a political dispute (neutral). Humanitarian
principles, and share experiences and good practice.           objectives are autonomous from political, economic or
                                                               other objectives (independent).     In June 2006, the
Why do we need “good” humanitarian donorship?                  Development Assistance Committee of the OECD
                                                               reflected the GHD definition of humanitarian assistance
Donors are spending an increasingly large proportion           in its statistical work. This will increase the accuracy
of their aid on humanitarian assistance. In 2004, over         and transparency of official statistics in this area.
10% of official development assistance (oda) was
spent on emergency relief, for some donors it was              GHD a framework for practice and accountability
nearly twice this amount. Despite its size in both
absolute and proportionate terms, until 2003, no               The adoption of these principles by the DAC has
standards existed to guide individual donors work, and         further strengthened GHD as a framework for donors to
no mechanism existed to promote coordination of                guide their humanitarian work, and against which they
donor efforts at global and country levels.                    can be held accountable. Since 2004, the
                                                               humanitarian aid work of eight donors has been
The decisions that donors make have critical                   reviewed as part of the DAC’s regular peer review
implications for the quality and quantity of humanitarian      process, with over 60 substantive recommendations.
action. They provide the bulk of resources that allow
the United Nations and Red Cross Movement and                  Some donors have used the GHD framework to guide
many NGOs to respond to crises around the world.               the development of new policies, or to map out their
Donor decisions critically influence how much money is         strategies for implementation, through a domestic
available, where and how it is spent. Individual donor         implementation plan.
decisions matter.

                                                            PAPER C: GHD at Country level draft guidance
GHD: Towards harmonisation of reporting

GHD principles have been used to promote the                   using data from 2004 and 2005, will be available in July
harmonisation of reporting by multilateral and                 2006.
international organisations to donors. The development
of common reporting formats and the harmonisation of           How can I find out more?
management requirements has been negotiated with
the key agencies through their respective donor                More information can be found at:
support groups. This helps agencies to reduce their
transaction costs, freeing up more resources for     
operational work.

                                                               Alternatively, you can contact :
GHD: a forum for debate on global policy issues.
                                                               Dr Joanna Macrae
                                                               Humanitarian Adviser
Good Humanitarian Donorship has provided a forum
for donors to discuss issues of shared concern. For
example, they have discussed the development of new
financing instruments such as the Central Emergency
Response Fund and the Common Humanitarian Funds.
More recently, GHD has provided an umbrella under
which donors are sharing good practice on approaches
to needs-based resource allocation, and on the new
‘clusters’ approach adopted as part of the humanitarian
reform efforts.

What does it do at country level?
Two pilots were undertaken in Burundi and DRC over 2
years to see how to translate the principles into
practice at field level. The results of these pilots were
reviewed and key lessons identified. Now a guidance
note is being produced to support and encourage field
level buy-in to GHD concept more widely.

How will we know that it is working?

The GHD Initiative has developed a set of indicators
that monitor how donors are delivering against some of
their core commitments. These indicators can also be
adapted for use by individual donor agencies to monitor
their own performance, if they wish. An independent
expert has been commissioned to establish a baseline,
and to monitor progress against this. The first report,

                                                    PAPER C: GHD at Country level draft guidance
Practical  Guidance   for  field  staff                3.    Good donorship at field level: what
implementing     Good     Humanitarian                 does it mean in practice?
                                                       The GHD principles are intended to provide a
1.      Introduction and overview                      framework to guide donors’ work.        GHD
                                                       should not constitute an additional, separate
In 2003, 16 donor governments and ECHO                 activity, but rather a way of considering the
created the Good Humanitarian Donorship                effectiveness of our work individually and
(GHD) initiative to enhance the donor                  collectively. The primary responsibility for
contribution toward efficient and principled           delivering on the GHD agenda lies with
humanitarian action. Donors agreed on a set            individual donor governments.       However,
of 23 principles and good practice to guide            evidence also suggests that there are aspects
humanitarian donorship as well as an                   of good donorship that work better when
implementation plan to take the initiative             donors coordinate their efforts in support of
forward.1 A separate briefing note provides            shared outcomes.
more detail on the background to the initiative
and the core principlesi.                              4.      Why does better donor coordination
                                                       at field level matter?
In the three years since the inception of GHD,
the concept of good humanitarian donorship             Experience in development cooperation
has     gained      increasing   currency   in         suggests that where donors work together to
international circles. Two country pilots were         harmonise their procedures and to align with
undertaken in Burundi and DRC, which                   recipient country governments’ procedures it
generated a number of important lessons                is more effective.
regarding how donors might work together at
field level to deliver more principled and             In the humanitarian arena, there has been
effective humanitarian assistance.                     growing recognition of the importance of
                                                       donors working together in order to increase
In 2006, GHD members agreed to reinforce               effectiveness. At the global policy level, for
collective and individual GHD implementation           example, donor support groups now operate
at field level. This note aims to provide              for the largest international humanitarian
guidance for field-based donors to promote             organizations. To date, however, relatively
the development and application of Good                little has been done to formally promote donor
Humanitarian Donorship at the country level,           coordination at country level on humanitarian
building on lessons learned from the pilots. It        issues, although in many countries informal
will be a living document that will evolve as          groups exist.
examples of good practice and lessons
learned filter in.                                     5.      How might donor coordination work
                                                               at field level? What might a donor
2.      Who is this guidance for?                              group discuss?

Donor representatives working in country, and          Using the 23 principles and good practice as
for desk officers working on those countries at        general guidance for donor behaviour, donor
headquarters. It aims to promote the                   coordination groups could consider focusing
application of GHD primarily in countries              on the following:
affected by protracted crises. In sudden on-
set disasters, different structures are likely to            Sharing funding intentions at key points
be required.                                                  in the planning cycle and considering
                                                              readjustments where necessary to
                                                              avoid imbalances;
 All GHD-related documents can be accessed on

                                                    PAPER C: GHD at Country level draft guidance
    Promoting improved and shared needs               good humanitarian donorship is available at
     assessment and analysis, including      
     taking an active part in strategy setting,
     such as the Common Humanitarian
     Action Plans;

    Supporting advocacy efforts by the                i
                                                           See: ‘A rough guide to Good Humanitarian Donorship’.
     Humanitarian Coordinator and Inter-
     Agency Standing Committee Country
     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 donor-
only 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

The first stop for all donor representatives
working on these issues should be their own
headquarters.    Generic information about