- Español: ECBinter-active Bolivia
- ECBinter-active Bolivia: Accountability
- ECBinter-active Bolivia: Disaster Risk Reduction
- ECBinter-active Bolivia: Staff Capacity
- ECBinter-active Bolivia: Building Community Capacity
- ECBinter-active Bolivia: Cooperation and Funding Mechanisms
- ECBinter-active Bolivia: Joint Evaluations
- ECBinter-active Bolivia: Emergency Response
- ECBinter-active Bolivia: Working as a Consortium
- ECBinter-active Bolivia: Other Humanitarian Themes
- ECBinter-active Bolivia Agenda
- Español: ECBinter-active Bolivia Agenda
- ECBinter-active Bolivia Blog
- Horn of Africa
- ECBinter-active learning conference success in five country consortia
ECB Project on Twitter#DRR advisors from @ecbproject attend Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction #gpdrr13 http://t.co/QTibhkRtsW 5 hours ago
ECBinter-active Bolivia: Cooperation and Funding Mechanisms
The Bolivia Consortium is a “Bolivian Version” of the ECB and CBHA (Consortium of British Humanitarian Agencies). It involves 10 agencies and promotes coordination through four working groups on Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) and Climate Change Adaptation (CCA); Staff Capacity; Accountability and Coordination and Funding.
The advantages are:
- Better coordination for the channeling of funds
- Shared strategies
- Optimized resources management such as reduced administrative costs
- Increased added value (due to the progess made as a Consortium)
- More interest from donors
- A shared logic.
This session looked specifically at coordination of funding. Please also see ECBinter-active Bolivia: Working as a Consortium.
All documents are in Spanish unless otherwise stated.
Ventajas humanitarias en la gestión de fondos compartidos / Advantages in managing humanitarian pooled funds 1MB
ECB Bolivia Consortium
Joint funds leverage contributes to:
- Better coordination for the channeling of funds based on a collaborative strategic proposal. See the case study right in English and Spanish.
- Sharing of strategies with regard to donor relationships.
- Optimization of resources management: negotiation of bigger amounts with reduced transaction costs.
- It enhances the proposal’s added value, increases competitiveness and possibilities.
- Enhances the interests of donors to invest through the The Consortium of British Humanitarian Agencies (CBHA) towards a more concrete reality.
- Even if one or two agencies apply, they do it under a common logic.
USAID Office For Disaster Assistance (OFDA)
The role of the United States Government is to support, not substitute the efforts of the affected country’s government, it also verifies if the response is appropriate.
It works in specific areas:
In order to have a flexible budget it is necessary to have a declaration of National Emergency. Immediate assistance is available of up to USD $ 50,000. This provides assistance for: logistics, shelters support, health.
Priorities for the 2012-14 plan are: training and technical assistance, work on disaster risk reduction, and OFDA alignment to the priorities of the affected people. Photo © ECB project 2012.
UN OCHA (Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs)
There are different mechanisms within the different bodies of the UN, for example, a Flash Appeal, where six months of funds are allocated in case of emergencies, which are granted based on a response plan and a damages and needs assessment initial estimation.
The goal is to avoid competition and duplication of efforts, to have a list of priority responses and to provide a strategic programming framework.
Sometimes the focus of a Flash Appeal is for sudden disasters. For a Flash Appeal it is necessary to have a sectoral organization. Flash Appeals tends to include recovery. There is still the need to incorporate NGOs, crosscutting themes (gender and multiculturality) and more standardization, for example.
The United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) is only for United Nations agencies under partnership with NGOs and government. It looks to strengthen the partnership of humanitarian players, where saving lives is the basic principle. Problems can inlcude late requests, and activities not really focused on life-saving.
Questions/problems stated by participants:
- There is interest in funding the consortium activities; the perception is that this idea is new for donors.
- The complexity in the nature of funds from United Nations makes the work of NGOs difficult.
- There is the need to have more participation of NGOS in the inter-institutional spaces, for example, Clusters.
Answers from other sessions within ECBinter-active Bolivia:
Question: How did Haiti collect funds from the same region - Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). Through a Flash Appeal? How is the complex nature of funds addressed eg for 1 month, 6 months, 8 months?
Answer: We accept the problem of complexity. The United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund tries to cover the first gap until other funds are channeled.
Question: What is the trend for the years to come? Will existing answers continue? How does the consortium see this?
Answer: For the time being we are only looking into DIPECHO (Disaster Preparedness, European Commission's Humanitarian aid and Civil Protection Directorate General), but it seems that donors are going to address the different problems in a cyclical manner. Now development funds are being used to answer emergencies.
USAID Office For Disaster Assistance (OFDA) is coordinating with Bolivia VIDECI (Vice-ministry of Civil Defence - photo of Franklin Condori left © ECB project 2012) on the prevention of forest fires.
The OCHA mandate puts emphasis on response since these are funds for Humanitarian Assistance, but emergency and prevention needs to be divided in half.
Still emergencies are under-funded. Risk Management shall not only be funded through specific funds, but through funds for development initiatives. Is there not the need of having parallel programming?
Question: What is the interest of donors in consortia?
Answer: The idea of a Consortium is still new for OFDA, for the time being work with organizations with independent capacities is prioritized. In the United Nations, the idea of a consortium is also new. However, the possibility of working as a consortium is highly valued. The donor sees this as something positive, but there are some difficulties in the administrative mechanisms.
Working as a Consortium is something new in Bolivia, but on the way we will have to see how this operates.
Stanley Blanco, USAID Bolivia
Working in consortium generates more meaningful impacts.
Sergio Sánchez, OXFAM Bolivia (right © ECB project 2012)
Question: Is there concern with regard to leadership?
Answer: The theme contributes to have a first selection of agencies, then the location of the project is an issue of incompatibility.
What is difficult is to fight the institutional role each agency has. The different government bodies shall have the capacity of working on prevention, and humanitarian agencies shall contribute to this work.
Question: How can NGOs be incorporated into United Nations mechanisms?
Answer: Promoting and building more clarity on the role NGOs play in the sectorial working groups. NGOs for different reasons have taken a low profile - they do not share much information and have sporadic assistance.
Question: What are the difficulties of working within a network when there is a hierarchy within clusters?
Answer: The humanitarian network is not established yet – work is being done to establish it. The Humanitarian Network is organized in a sectorial manner.
Schedule of funding proposals
Question: Is there a schedule for calling for proposals in the humanitarian field?
Answer: OCHA does not have a schedule – it only works on responding to fiunding requests. OFDA has an annual plan where funds are allocated for some organizations. Non-requested proposals are also accepted.
Question: Are there conditions for accessing the funds? Are there organizations that want to act as middle-men for funds targeted at affected people? What are the possibilities of sharing funds?
Answer: United Nations agencies are requested to work in partnership with NGOs. As for Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), the United Nations almost always works with NGOs such as Oxfam. In OFDA there are no conditions, only those related to the emergency.
Challenges: collaboration, use of an interactive approach or tool for working.
The following were observations made on the learning wall (right © ECB project 2012):
- The openness of donors (USAID – OFDA and United Nations) to fund consortia shall be analysed in Bolivia by the different players.
- Need to build trust as a key element to promote joint proposals, which shall be managed by different organizations in different times.
- Flash Appeal and OCHA CERF can be used in a more effective manner if NGOs are more involved.
- What is the feasibility of standardizing the internal processes for the management of resources between the Consortium Agencies?
- The complexities of United Nations funds can complicate the work of NGOs. Need to motivate United Nations Agencies to work in partnership with NGOs and vica versa.
- Risk Management shall not only be funded through specific funds, but through funds for development initiatives. The creation of parallel programming needs to be avoided.
- The humanitarian network is still not in place. However work is being carried out for its establishment and the network is being organized in a sectorial manner.
- There are collaboration challenges which need to be overcome when using an interactive approach or tool.
- The openness of donors (USAID – OFDA and United Nations) to fund consortia shall be analysed in Bolivia by the different stakeholders.