Field perspectives on multi-year humanitarian funding and planning: How theory has translated into practice in Jordan and Lebanon: Chapter 4
It’s evident from the field experiences that the time frame of funding and planning is only part of the story. Funding needs to be accompanied by flexibility to adapt to changing contexts, and a critical mass of predictable funding is required to transform a humanitarian response. The latter was also found to be relevant to unlocking the benefits of MYHFP at scale by enabling implementers to increasingly pass on MYHF to downstream partners. The challenge therefore remains under which conditions donors can provide the required levels of MYHF for implementers’ operations to move to the longer term across their humanitarian response. A critical first step will be to agree a shared definition of MYHFP and what it will achieve. Without this, productive stakeholder discussions and monitoring of progress will be extremely difficult. Continued sharing of insights around how to effectively facilitate MYHFP – amongst both donors and implementers at country and global levels – is needed to harness the increasingly convincing case for long-term humanitarian approaches in protracted contexts and to inform their operationalisation.
The research also identified clear links with other areas and workstreams of the Grand Bargain. The challenge around providing predictable sub-grants to build organisational capacity is highly relevant to the localisation of humanitarian assistance. Harmonised financial reporting is likely to be required to free up administrative capacity to satisfy accountability demands by donors to increase their predictable and flexible funding. Lastly, while not a separate workstream anymore, the cross-cutting issue of operationalising the humanitarian–development nexus might depend on finding the right arrangements of predictable and flexible funding in the right contexts. This raises bigger questions around what the humanitarian response can realistically set out to achieve, and what role traditional development actors should play in it. The answers will be context specific, which is why protracted and relatively stable contexts, such as Jordan and Lebanon, might serve as most suitable starting points for more learning by doing more MYFHP.