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Delivery agencies

Source: GHA Update, February 2010


Non-government
organisations (NGOs)

United Nations (UN)

International Red
Cross and Red
Crescent Movement

WHAT WE DO TRACKING THE HUMANITARIAN DOLLAR FAST FACTS

GATHER INFORMATION. CLARIFY DEFINITIONS. At the sharp and most important end of • In 2008, the 22 governments of the
We are gathering information directly from humanitarian response is the final delivery of aid to Development Assistance Committee (DAC) and
delivery agencies in order to understand their individuals, families and communities. For people in the European Commission directly disbursed
different definitions of what constitutes need, delivery agencies are the key element of the just under 58% of their humanitarian aid to
humanitarian assistance, and their different humanitarian assistance chain, and very often the multilateral organisations and UN agencies –
organisational structures, mandates and ways of only recognisable face of international support. we have some unravelling to do in order to find
delivering the aid to those in need. out exactly how much was then implemented
The humanitarian world is a complex one because through NGOs or other partners.
MAP REPORTING PATTERNS
of the very different contexts where assistance is
• In 2008, DAC donors spent 23.8% of their
We are aiming to clarify the interchanging nature
needed and delivered. It is further complicated by
humanitarian aid through NGOs, civil society
of the income and expenditure categories and to
the complex interrelation of the organisations
and the Red Cross and Red Crescent
develop clear and comprehensive definitions that
delivering aid and dependent on country and
Movement ... we need to find out how much of
will allow us to track funding volumes and trends.
disaster context, as well as the relative strengths of
this was directly implemented and how much
an organisation and its mandate. These
ANALYSE DELIVERY PRIORITIES was spent by these ‘recipient’ delivery agencies
organisations also have various and changing roles
We are gathering detailed information on financial through other partners.
in both coordination and delivery, where each may
flows and analysing the geographic and sector
act as a donor, recipient or deliverer of aid, often in • Some of the big NGOs make more significant
focus of delivery agencies. We are also looking at
the same context. contributions than many governments.
how and where delivery agencies spend their
Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), for example,
humanitarian assistance – from both government
We are highlighting the key role of delivery spent US$496 million on humanitarian
and other sources.
agencies both as ultimate providers of humanitarian assistance in 2006 – if it were a country that

assistance and as relevant financial contributors to would have made it the third most generous.
PROVIDE ACCESS TO DATA
We are systematically collecting financial data the humanitarian aid budget. • For every US$10 spent in 2006, US$4 was
from a sample of representative delivery agencies spent by NGOs.
and presenting it in a consistent and accessible Collecting timely, comparable data that allows us to

format. track the humanitarian dollar from donor to recipient


is a challenge!

GLOBALHUMANITARIANASSISTANCE.ORG
WHAT WE CAN FIND OUT QUITE EASILY: FUNDING THROUGH THE UN AND NGOS FROM THE EUROPEAN
THE DATA CHALLENGE...
COMMISSION AND THE 23 DONOR GOVERNMENTS OF THE DEVELOPMENT ASSISTANCE COMMITTEE (DAC)
Statistics published by the OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC) allow us to see how its
The complexity and scale of delivery agency
members channel the humanitarian component of their official development assistance (ODA). This data
humanitarian income and expenditure makes
is published in the December following the year of expenditure.
comprehensive representation of the delivery
system difficult. Moreover, different WHAT WE CAN FIND OUT LESS EASILY #1: FUNDING THROUGH THE UN AND NGOS FROM OTHER DONOR
organisations have different views as to what GOVERNMENTS

constitutes ‘humanitarian’ expenditure. Analysis of UN OCHA’s Financial Tracking Service (FTS) allows us to see how other (‘non-DAC’)
government donors channel their humanitarian expenditure. Reporting to the FTS is voluntary – so we
The UN is made up of many different agencies, may not be capturing the totality of their expenditure. (The data captured by the FTS and the DAC is not
and there are literally thousands of NGOs comparable without many caveats.)
around the world. These are diverse
WHAT WE CAN FIND OUT LESS EASILY #2: PRVIVATE CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE UN AND NGOS
organisations, with different mandates,
capacities, financial systems and reporting There is no central source of information on how much non-governmental funding goes to the UN and

periods. Data has to be sought on an NGOs around the world for humanitarian purposes. The only way to do this is to approach agencies

organisation-by- organisation basis. directly and to ask them for this information.

WHAT WE CAN FIND OUT LESS EASILY #3: EXPENDITURE BY THE UN AND NGOS ON ‘HUMANITARIAN’
All of this diversity has to be translated into a ACTIVITIES

single comparable understanding of the income There is no central source of information on how much UN agencies and NGOs spend on humanitarian
and expenditure of humanitarian delivery in a delivery, as well as where they spend that money. The only way to do this is to approach agencies
given year. Consolidating this into a single directly and to ask them for this information.
format for meaningful research is complex.

... AND OUR RESPONSE

We have established a methodology that allows We try to complement the documented picture
us to deal with some of these data challenges. of government funding to the UN and NGOs by
We used the methodology to carry out some finding out about private contributions – and
initial analysis for 2006 and 2007 and are now how this money is then spent – based on a
working on gathering data for 2008, 2009 and study set of 19 of the largest and most well
2010. known individual NGOs, coalitions and
groupings of national societies, which comprises
We gather what we know about government 114 organisations raising funds in 23 countries.
funding through UN agencies and NGOs from
the OECD’s Development Assistance
Committee (DAC) statistics and from UN
OCHA’s Financial Tracking Service (FTS).

GHA Update, February 2010

Velina Stoianova, Policy Advisor | Keward Court, Jocelyn Drive, Wells, BA5 1DB, UK
Tel +44 (0) 1749 671343 | Fax: +44 (0) 1749 676721 | velina.stoianova@devinit.org
April 2010