Resource mobilisation

Photo: Forus

Access to resources is a challenge for CSOs. National CSO Platforms (NCPs) play important roles in negotiating funding with government, INGOs, other donors and private enterprise. This can help to match funding to local priorities and needs.

Timely access to resources is often a challenge for CSOs. This is particularly the case where resources are required urgently. Sometimes resources are available, but expertise on how to secure them is lacking. For example, CCONG has cited Columbian government funding for local reconstruction projects which local groups failed to secure because they didn’t know how to access and complete official forms. CCONG argues that they and their members need to present persuasive ‘value offers’ to increase government willingness to support them.

ASONOG finds that Honduran government agencies release funding reactively in response to disasters. They lobby and advocate to change this. They press for more strategic funding to support risk reduction, response and recovery, supporting the needs of the most vulnerable.

In India, VANI trades on its recognition and credibility to act as a conduit for funding from the private sector, providing assurance which is more difficult for individual CSOs.

In Uganda, collaboration between the Prime Minister’s office, the Ugandan National NGO Forum (UNNGOF) and its recently established Humanitarian Platform for Local & National Organisations (HP), and the Ugandan Red Cross together offer expertise and assurance for managing disaster funding. Government recognition of an emergency leads to the Red Cross attracting resources. Funding is also managed through the UNNGOF, with HP coordinating practical and material response at the frontline.

Accessing resources at local level to address the many shocks and stresses people face is often a challenge. The World Humanitarian Summit in 2016 established a ‘Grand Bargain’, promising that by 2020 at least 25% of aid would go direct to national and local level. Those working in local CSOs are dubious about this target being met. They turn the focus to mechanisms based on local coordination of funding, such as pooled funding and revolving funds. For example, NSET, in Nepal, argues that as project funding is time-limited, they favour developing pooled funding, providing flexible funding to organisations when they need it. NAHAB, in Bangladesh, also promotes this approach. UDYAMA, in India, applies it at community level to pool resources.

DENIVA in Uganda have developed revolving loans giving local access to funding. This is a model which – in various formats – has proved successful in many countries.

Both pooled funding and revolving loans are examples of ways to make funding available locally and flexibly, responding to local priorities and needs. This is vital in addressing complex, locally specific everyday disasters.

Resource mobilisation: Action Points

  • Develop expertise about sources of funding, sharing information to and from members, to identify all possible opportunities.
  • Strengthen credibility and institutional relationships to ensure that Platforms are eligible to secure funding on behalf of their members.
  • Consider all possibilities for funding, including for example the private sector, creating ‘value offers’ which fit with the expectations of different organisations.
  • Lobby and advocate with government to secure funding for effective risk reduction, response and recovery, based on CSO knowledge of vulnerability.
  • Develop partnerships in-country to match the ability to secure funding to the ability to distribute it and deliver an effective response.
  • Make use of locally coordinated funding mechanisms such as pooled funding and revolving loans to improve access to funding.

See Case Study 1 for an example of resource mobilization.