• Report
  • 13 June 2018

Progress report 1: Supporting Grand Bargain signatories in meeting commitments to greater transparency

In May 2016, leading donor governments, multilateral and UN agencies, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and the Red Cross/Red Crescent movement agreed the ‘Grand Bargain’, a package of reforms aiming to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of humanitarian action.

Development Initiatives (DI) is working with the Grand Bargain transparency workstream co-conveners the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the World Bank Group to support Grand Bargain signatories in implementing and monitoring their commitments to greater transparency.

This report reviews the progress made by the transparency workstream and Grand Bargain signatories in meeting their transparency commitments, including their commitment to publish open data on their humanitarian funding within two years of the World Humanitarian Summit.

As part of the Grand Bargain, signatory organisations agreed to work towards greater transparency by improving the quality, availability and use of data on humanitarian funding. Greater transparency will enhance accountability and decision-making and, critically, contribute to improving humanitarian effectiveness.

As a first step, signatories agreed to publish timely, transparent, harmonised and open high-quality data on their humanitarian funding within two years of the World Humanitarian Summit (May 2016). The International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) Standard was identified as the basis for a shared, common standard and UN OCHA’s Financial Tracking Service (FTS) as the platform for reporting how humanitarian funding is allocated and used.

The report provides an update on progress made in meeting the Grand Bargain commitments on greater transparency since DI’s baseline report was published in June 2017, as well as on improvements to the IATI Standard to better meet the needs of humanitarian publishers and data users. It also offers recommendations for further action by the Grand Bargain transparency workstream and the wider humanitarian community.

Key findings

There has been good progress by Grand Bargain organisations in publishing open data on their humanitarian financing and providing much more useful and usable data on their activities. As of 1 May 2018:

  • 44 of 59 Grand Bargain signatories (75%) were publishing open data using the IATI Standard. An additional seven organisations have started publishing to IATI since the baseline report was published in June 2017.
  • Of the 44 signatories publishing open data using the IATI Standard
    • 36 (82%) were publishing open data on their humanitarian activities; five more organisations (or their members or affiliates) have started publishing their humanitarian activities than a year ago.
    • 8 (18%) were providing more granular humanitarian data than previously, such as information on humanitarian response plans or clusters.

Over the last year the IATI Standard has been further developed to enable even more granular reporting on humanitarian funding. Released in February 2018, version 2.03 enables signatories (and other IATI publishers) to show levels of earmarking, pledges, cash-based programming and whether funding is channelled via local and national responders.

  • 31 organisations or 70% of the Grand Bargain signatories publishing to IATI are now using either version 2.02 or 2.03 of the IATI Standard, both of which allow for some degree of detailed humanitarian reporting. An additional 15 organisations (or their members or affiliates) have made improvements to their internal systems by upgrading to a more recent version of IATI since the baseline report of June 2017.

Being able to demonstrate efficiency savings on how organisations can use their IATI data for multiple reporting, for example via FTS and the European Commission’s EDRIS, will be a key incentive for further progress on the Grand Bargain transparency commitments. FTS is working together with the Centre for Humanitarian Data, the IATI technical team and Development Initiatives to use IATI data on its digital platform to demonstrate:

  • A reduction in the reporting burden for participating organisations, in support of the Grand Bargain commitment to harmonise and simplify reporting requirements.
  • That disaggregated and open data, published to IATI, is easier to compare and faster to process than bespoke manual reporting.

More open information on humanitarian funding is now becoming available. However, more and better data is required to meet the commitment and to help drive uptake and use.

Download the report

View an overview graphic of progress so far

More information

Download An introduction to IATI for humanitarian actors

Download our 2017 Baseline report: Implementing and monitoring the Grand Bargain commitment on transparency

Read the blog on Connecting IATI and FTS for streamlined humanitarian reporting

Access the Grand Bargain Transparency Dashboard, a public online tool to enable signatories to track their own progress

Listen to our webinar series Improving humanitarian transparency with IATI