At the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul in 2016, the main humanitarian actors - governments, UN agencies and NGOs - agreed on a road map for reform of the international humanitarian system. They called it the Grand Bargain. Recognising that local, Southern-based humanitarian actors receive only a tiny fraction of total donor funding for emergency relief, the Grand Bargain set a target for rectifying this lopsided distribution of resources: 25 per cent of funds should be channelled through local actors by 2020.

In a series of articles, Development Today has followed this evolving discussion. It is technical, but at the heart of the matter is a raw struggle over some USD 5 billion in humanitarian funding between UN agencies and Western NGOs that now dominate and Southern-based actors that have been promised a greater share of the pie.

Western NGOs ‘must downsize’ to let local actors play a bigger humanitarian role

Mutual distrust between donors and humanitarians, ‘opaque’ decision making on both sides

Donors hold back direct funding, betting on more UN grants to local NGOs

Donor cash to local NGOs stalled, despite Grand Bargain promise to step up funding

Interivew: Plan’s CEO aims to shake up status quo

International NGO brands lay claim to billions of dollars earmarked for local actors

Interview: Western NGO affiliates raise millions of dollars in India, sidelining local NGOs

The Grand Bargain: Western NGOs lobby to tap into relief funds promised to local actors

New ‘localisation marker’ will measure how much humanitarian aid goes to local NGOs

Opinion: Oxfam: how to fix a broken NGO system

Donors lack credible strategy for increasing support to non-Western humanitarians

Interview: Asking uncomfortable questions. Degan Ali on NGO neo-colonialism