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Innovation for Localisation: Exploring the Impact of Channeling Unrestricted Funding to NNGOs in Emergency Contexts

The impetus for advancing solutions towards local leadership, dispelling the risk narrative, and as a result increasing L/NNGOs’ access to unrestricted institutional funding has never been greater. Despite this, research and evidence in this area is limited. In direct response to this, Save the Children Denmark, in partnership with Street Child, piloted a study in 2020 aimed at improving knowledge and the evidence base for how L/NNGOs use unrestricted funds when available.

This study, which was funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Denmark, focused on three research aims:

  • Advance understanding of how L/NNGOs spend unrestricted funding;
  • Explore in what ways unrestricted funding influences access to further funding;
  • Draw on findings to share recommendations for funding L/NNGOs The project provided unrestricted grants of $15,000 USD to six randomly selected national organizations, without previous connection to or relationship with Save or Street Child.

The project provided unrestricted grants of $15,000 USD to six randomly selected national organizations, without previous connection to or relationship with Save or Street Child. The project took place in six different education in emergency contexts. Key findings from the study included:

  • All six partners expressed a high appreciation for the autonomy this initiative provided. The unrestricted nature of the project enabled partners to meet their community needs as opposed to donor needs.
  • Many partners used the funding for strategic reasons, such as kick-starting rapid COVID19 response, expanding their existing programming to new locations or beneficiaries, or piloting a concept to advocate for further donor funding. One partner was successful in mobilising further donor funding, based on the activities financed by this initiative.
  • The project highlighted the ability of NNGOs to accurately plan and predict the costs of programming. Selected partners achieved 95% expenditure against the initial budget, even with the unexpected challenges of COVID-19

Watch the Innovation for Localisation webinar below:

Published 2021-02-24

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