Progress Report

The self-report below is organized according to the 24 transformations of the Agenda for Humanity. It is based on commitments pledged at the time of report submission. Click on the 'Expand' symbol to expand each section and read the reporting inputs by transformation.

2A
Respect and protect civilians and civilian objects in the conduct of hostilities

Individual Commitment

  • What led your organization to make the commitment?

    Violence (acts or threats) against civilians and health structures/staff/patients is today one of the most serious and widespread humanitarian problems in the world (for example in Syria, CAR, South Sudan) and urgently needs to be addressed. Humanitarian actors, principles and access are challenged more than ever.

  • Achievements at a glance

    Belgium recalled the importance of ensuring the protection of civilians in armed conflicts, stressing that targeting civilians and civilian property was intolerable and violated international law. Belgium also strongly supported, in several fora and vehicles, the absolute necessity to protect medical missions/infrastructures/patients, in accordance to IHL regulation, as well as humanitarian principles, actors and access.

    Belgian Defense respects IHL and takes all feasible precautions when planning or conducting an attack on a military object and to continuously review and improve the measures guiding the conduct of such operation (ad hoc procedures, targeting lectures for the key personnel during the pre-deployment training phase, legal advisory monitoring such actions...). The manual on ops law is finalized and published.

  • Cross cutting issues

    Humanitarian Principles

2B
Ensure full access to and protection of the humanitarian and medical missions

Individual Commitment

Core Commitment

  • What led your organization to make the commitment?

    Belgium identified a weakness in internal training on State-led principled humanitarian action. Belgium is convinced of the necessity to respect humanitarian principles while engaging with the private sector. To guarantee respect for humanitarian principles, Belgium finances only private sector bodies through recognized international humanitarian organisations and humanitarian NGOs.

  • Achievements at a glance

    The humanitarian unit has led humanitarian training sessions inside and outside of the MFA. Belgium has actively advocated, in international conferences and bilateral dialogues, for principled humanitarian action, for the respect of IHL and for the protection of civilians and humanitarian aid workers, with a special focus on medical facilities and staff. Belgium has made a contribution to the Connecting Business Initiative (CBi), which is a platform to engage the private sector pro-actively when a disaster strikes. Article 136quater of the Penal Code is in conformity with the international obligations.

    Belgian Defense respects IHL and takes all feasible precautions when planning or conducting an attack on a military object in the vicinity of a health care facility and to continuously review and improve the measures guiding the conduct of such operations. Key personnel are trained by the royal military academy or the Ministry of Defense.

  • How is your organization assessing progress

    2 humanitarian training sessions on humanitarian action were organised inside the MFA for diplomats and civil servants, and 1 training session on State-led principled humanitarian action was organised for students studying for a humanitarian masters degree.

    Belgium participated in the first CBi annual meeting in Geneve at the beginning of 2017 and is a member of the Executive Committee of the CBi.

  • Next step to advance implementation in 2017

    Repeat training sessions on humanitarian action.

  • Cross cutting issues

    Humanitarian Principles

  • Specific initiatives

    The Connecting Business initiative

  • Other related Agenda for Humanity transformations

    2A - Respect and protect civilians and civilian objects in the conduct of hostilities 4B - Anticipate, do not wait, for crises

2C
Speak out on violations

Individual Commitment

Core Commitment

  • What led your organization to make the commitment?

    Belgium is strongly engaged in ensuring respect for international law and, specifically international humanitarian law and human rights. The Belgian Humanitarian Aid Strategy establishes "protection" in humanitarian crises as a key priority of Belgian humanitarian aid, in particular the protection of children. Protection requires both political and financial commitment. Belgium is committed to oppose violations of international humanitarian law and will continue to advocate for the protection of humanitarian aid personnel and their access to disaster-stricken areas.

  • Achievements at a glance

    Belgium allocated EUR 4,500,000 to a UNICEF programme of two years on the "Monitoring and Reporting Mechanism (MRM) on grave violation against children in situations of armed conflict". The Programme aims at strengthening the monitoring, verification, and reporting of grave violations against children, including through the development of monitoring strategies for the most conflict-affected and remote areas, in Afghanistan, CAR, DRC, Iraq, Mali, Nigeria, OPT, Somalia, South Sudan, and Syria and its neighbouring countries. Through the task forces in conflict affected countries covered by the MRM, UNICEF and partners collect information on grave violations committed against children to share with the UN Security Council and to develop appropriate responses to respond to children’s needs. We also continuously support the ICRC, which also collects data on IHL violations due to its specific mandate.

  • How is your organization assessing progress

    Progress reports, bilateral discussions.

  • Next step to advance implementation in 2017

    Assess results of the programme and consider further support.

  • Cross cutting issues

    Humanitarian Principles People-Centred Approach

  • Other related Agenda for Humanity transformations

    2A - Respect and protect civilians and civilian objects in the conduct of hostilities

2D
Take concrete steps to improve compliance and accountability

Individual Commitment

Core Commitment

  • What led your organization to make the commitment?

    Belgium is strongly engaged in ensuring respect for international law, specifically IHL and human rights. Belgium is a strong advocate of the ATT. Belgium also strives for a strict application of the Common Position 2008/944 establishing the European framework for military weapons’ exports outside of the EU. Finally, weapon diversion, which can lead to serious illegitimate uses of arms, is a main concern of the actual national and the European legal framework on arms transfers.Regarding SGBV and considering its impact on victims, families and communities, Belgium has been politically committed for many years to fight this plague.

  • Achievements at a glance

    In the MFA, two departments have the specific mission of promoting respect for international humanitarian law and respect for human rights. In addition, the MFA is the secretariat of the Inter-ministerial Commission on Humanitarian Law, which brings together representatives of all ministerial departments responsible for the implementation of IHL. According to Art. 26 of the Flemish Parliament Arms Trade Act (June 2012), licenses shall be denied if there is a clear risk that the goods or technology in question might be used to commit serious violations of human rights or international humanitarian law criteria for the export or transit of arms.

    Belgian Defense participates as a full member at the Advisory Committee for the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. Articles 136bis, 136ter, and 136quater of the Penal Code are in conformity with the international obligations. Belgian Defense trains foreign armed forces on IHL in the Royal Military Academy and abroad.

  • Next step to advance implementation in 2017

    Regarding the 3rd amendment to the Rome Statute, a ratification bill is under drafting exercise.

  • Cross cutting issues

    Gender Humanitarian Principles

  • Other related Agenda for Humanity transformations

    2A - Respect and protect civilians and civilian objects in the conduct of hostilities

2E
Uphold the rules: a global campaign to affirm the norms that safeguard humanity

Individual Commitment

Joint Commitment

Core Commitment

  • What led your organization to make the commitment?

    Respect for international law and in particular international humanitarian law is a long-standing priority for Belgium. Belgium believes that strengthening respect for IHL requires, inter alia, the widest possible ratification of international conventions constituting the international legal framework and a dialogue between States on their good practices.

  • Achievements at a glance

    In the EU statement made during the 6th Commission debate on Status of the Protocols additional to the Geneva Conventions, the EU and its Member States encouraged those States that have not yet done so to accede to the Additional Protocols. Belgium is actively participating in the intergovernmental process re-launched by Resolution 2 adopted at the 32nd International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent. Belgium supports the ATT outreach activity of the EU by providing expertise for legal workshops and formations. This contributes to the universalization of the Treaty and to the improvement of the quality of implementation.Belgium has assumed the Presidency of the Ottawa Convention in 2015 and currently holds a seat in the Committee on Victim Assistance, which is the main priority of the Belgium mine action approach. Belgium fully endorses the objective of a world free of mines and without (unattended) victims.

  • How is your organization assessing progress

    Belgium respects the annual ATT reports’ deadlines and strives for a higher reporting rate that will strengthen general transparency in arms’ trade. Following this concern for transparency, Belgium is active in the Working Group on Transparency and Reporting of the ATT.

  • Cross cutting issues

    Humanitarian Principles

  • Other related Agenda for Humanity transformations

    2D - Take concrete steps to improve compliance and accountability

3D
Empower and protect women and girls

Core Commitment

  • What led your organization to make the commitment?

    The Belgian Strategy for Humanitarian Aid recognizes that it is essential to take the gender dimension into consideration in conflict and emergency settings. The Strategic Note « Gender and the Belgian development cooperation » and its related Action Plan were published in 2016. The strategic note highlights 4 priorities: (i) education and decision-making, (ii) SRHR, (iii) food security, access to natural resources and economic empowerment and (iv) protection of the rights and fight against gender-based violence, with special attention to LGBTI. The Action Plan consists in 5 expected outcomes, of which one specific to humanitarian aid.

  • Achievements at a glance

    Recently started projects fighting GBV include both humanitarian initiatives (strengthening prevention of and medical and psycho-social response after sexual violence in the DRC, the Central-African Republic and Mali through the ICRC) and interventions in the judicial sphere in collaboration with the international NGO TRIAL (Track Impunity Always). A mobile app, Eye Witness, allows evidence to be gathered, safely stored in a ‘cloud’, as steps in the fight against impunity following sexual violence in the eastern DRC. A program implemented by UNICEF has also been funded in Mali to provide support to GBV victims.

  • How is your organization assessing progress

    The gender markers might still not be properly used when registering Belgian funding and, as a consequence, doesn't allow us to report and to adjust our policies. Budgets are shrinking and humanitarian needs still increase.

  • Next step to advance implementation in 2017

    The international conference "She Decides" held in Brussels in March 2017, co-organized with the governments of the NL, SE and DK, raised US$181 million (Belgium committed to EUR 10 million for 2017) in the wake of the anticipated drastic scaling back of engagement in this sector by a major donor. The follow-up is still to be determined in order to transform this conference in a long-standing and effective initiative. The implementation of the Belgian Gender Action Plan will continue in 2017 with special attention on SRHR and the proper use of gender markers.

  • Cross cutting issues

    Food Security Gender People-Centred Approach

  • Other related Agenda for Humanity transformations

    2D - Take concrete steps to improve compliance and accountability

4A
Reinforce, do not replace, national and local systems

Individual Commitment

Core Commitment

  • What led your organization to make the commitment?

    Belgium believes country-based pooled funds (CBPFs) should encourage strong partnerships between international humanitarian organizations and local humanitarian actors leading to a reinforcement of local capacities, transparency and accountability. Belgium believes that engaging in partnerships with the private sector will support the humanitarian system to better address the needs. Donors and implementing partners should explore how humanitarians and the private sector can team up in partnerships while respecting humanitarian principles..

  • Achievements at a glance

    Within the Pooled fund Working Group (CBPF), Belgium has supported the idea of "joint project proposals" by local and international actors, so that local actors have access to international humanitarian financing and that their capacities can be strengthened. Furthermore, when humanitarian organizations apply for Belgian funding, Belgium uses partnerships with local partners as a key criterium to assess the field experience and local appropriation of the proposal.

    Launched at the World Economic Forum in Davos in January 2016, Belgium is working with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to establish the first Humanitarian Impact Bond (HIB). The HIB sets concrete goals and hopes to attract private investors and raise the necessary funds to provide physical rehabilitation services to thousands of disabled people in countries that suffer from conflicts and violence. Belgium has adapted its legal framework in order to be able to put this new mechanism in place.

  • How is your organization assessing progress

    Belgium has developed a position regarding "joint project proposals" in the CBPFs framework and has defended it in the appropriate fora. Reporting of CBPF on the number of joint project proposals will be used to monitor evolution of this matter.

    Belgium has already adapted its legal framework in order to be able to fund an HIB. Regarding the success of the programme, at the end of the HIB, a group of lenders, led by Belgium, will examine the results and compensate the original investors depending on the objectives that are achieved by ICRC.

  • Challenges faced in implementation

    CBPFs operate in very different contexts. In some countries local actors have very little access to CBPF funding (largely due to government restraints, i.e. Ethiopia), in other countries it is absolutely necessary to work through local actors (largely due to limited access for international organizations). There is a necessity to adapt regulatory and legal frameworks to overcome barriers in the implementation of innovative funding mechanisms.

  • Next step to advance implementation in 2017

    Belgium hopes to conclude the Humanitarian Impact Bond (HIB) by the beginning of April 2017.

  • Cross cutting issues

    Country Based Pooled Funds Disability Innovation People-Centred Approach Private Sector

  • Specific initiatives

    The Grand Bargain

  • Other related Agenda for Humanity transformations

    5A - Invest in local capacities 5E - Diversify the resource base and increase cost-efficiency

4B
Anticipate, do not wait, for crises

Individual Commitment

Core Commitment

  • What led your organization to make the commitment?

    Disaster preparedness is a key priority within the Belgian Strategy for Humanitarian Aid.

    The private sector has been active in humanitarian action, but experience shows that there is a clear gap in coordinating the efforts of local companies with international humanitarian action. Belgium believes the private sector can bring further added value to humanitarian action. Engaging the private sector in disaster preparedness and response is part of Belgium's current humanitarian strategy.

  • Achievements at a glance

    Belgium has contributed EUR 270,000 to the Connecting Business Initiative (CBi), which is a platform to engage the private sector upfront before disaster strikes. With this contribution, Belgium is to date the only donor country that has kept up to its stated support made at the WHS. Belgium has also joined the Executive Committee of the CBi.

    Belgium has launched an appeal for disaster preparedness in 2016 to be financed from the humanitarian budget. This appeal targeted Belgian humanitarian NGOs active in the Great Lakes region, the Sahel region and oPt. The total budget of the appeal was EUR 15 million.

  • How is your organization assessing progress

    Too early to tell. Eventually "anticipation" should lead to "less response".

    Reporting of the CBi on the member networks and follow-up through the CBi Executive Committee.

  • Challenges faced in implementation

    - Preparing financing framework to allow the receipt of quality proposals which are truly in the area of disaster preparedness.
    - Discussions have been initiated with our developmental colleagues but are still at an early stage. Common ground has to be found on processes and methodologies in order to integrate disaster preparedness both in humanitarian and development programmes.
    - CBi still faces financial difficulties due to the low number of donors that have contributed so far.

  • Next step to advance implementation in 2017

    Belgium has launched a second appeal for disaster preparedness in 2017. The target area is the Great Lakes region and the Sahel. The total budget of the appeal is EUR 11.5 million.

    Deepen the discussions with development colleagues on how to better tackle together disaster preparedness.

    Further engagement for CBi through follow-up in the Executive Committee and support to the fundraising efforts of CBi.

  • If you had one message for the annual report on what is most needed to advance the transformation 'Anticipate, do not wait, for crises', what would it be

    Make sure that you have the right set of financing instruments available when engaging in the filed of anticipation. Typically humanitarian actors have only short term financing instruments at their disposal. Anticipation activities requires longer-term financing.

  • Cross cutting issues

    Disaster Risk Reduction Private Sector

  • Specific initiatives

    The Connecting Business initiative

  • Other related Agenda for Humanity transformations

    5B - Invest according to risk

4C
Deliver collective outcomes: transcend humanitarian-development divides

Individual Commitment

Core Commitment

  • What led your organization to make the commitment?

    The data revolution and digital transformation present an unprecedented opportunity for development. Our vision is to transform the Belgian development cooperation using data and digital technologies as enabling tools that can help achieve the SDGs.

    Due to its mandate, OCHA holds a key position in the international humanitarian ecosystem. Belgium has supported OCHA for over a decade, as the organization has a key role to play in finding "common understanding" and promoting coordinated action for more effective humanitarian response. Belgium has supported OCHA in its efforts to reform the humanitarian system and will continue to do so.

  • Achievements at a glance

    Belgium has adopted in September 2016 the Strategic Policy Note: ‘Digital for Development’ (D4D) for the Belgian Development Cooperation, and has organised the High-Level Event on Digitalisation for Development, "Mainstreaming digital technologies in EU development cooperation" in December 2016. Belgium has also provided support to two innovative projects implemented by WFP: mVAM (1 Mio), and the UAV project (EUR 500,000).

    Belgium has supported the idea in the WB Board of “making available/using” IDA resources for middle income countries which are confronted with an unusual and sudden shock. IDA resources are concessional and normally reserved for Low Income Countries.

    Belgium ranked as the 9th top donor of OCHA in 2016. Belgium has also been an active partner in the OCHA Donor Support Group (ODSG), where it has pushed OCHA to undergo a change process, in order to make the organization ""fit for purpose" and set clear priorities for its future activities.

  • How is your organization assessing progress

    - Close follow-up of projects funded and regular discussions with our humanitarian partners on the potential of digitalization; exchange of best practices; organization of workshops.
    - Through the ODSG regarding OCHA's institutional strength and weaknesses, and through independent international reports on OCHA's performance.
    - Follow-up on the results of the Change Management Unit within OCHA.
    - Through our dialogue with other UN agencies on the humanitarian system and transformation/policies advocated by OCHA.

  • Challenges faced in implementation

    Institutional and psychological barriers associated with the fact to try something new and different from the usual working methods; ethical considerations.

    For OCHA to be fit for the growing and diverse challenges it faces, it first needs to reform and decide on where its core priorities lie. This process is ongoing.

  • Next step to advance implementation in 2017

    Better document the results of such innovative methods and tools. We need to document much more the positive aspects of digitalization and have a more concrete idea of the limits of those tools.

  • If you had one message for the annual report on what is most needed to advance the transformation 'Deliver collective outcomes: transcend humanitarian-development divides', what would it be

    Document the results of innovation, compared to more "traditional" approaches.

  • Cross cutting issues

    Private Sector

  • Specific initiatives

    The Global Alliance for Humanitarian Innovation

5A
Invest in local capacities

Individual Commitment

Core Commitment

  • What led your organization to make the commitment?

    Belgium allocates a large portion of its humanitarian funds to country-based pooled fund (CBPF). We believe in their added value in the "localization debate", as CBPFs can provide direct funding to national and local NGOs. This is particularly relevant in contexts where, due to the insecurity, local actors are sometimes the only ones operating. Therefore, Belgium wants to ensure that the CBPFs are well managed, transparent and efficient. Belgium also envisages supporting the START fund and initiated a discussion on access for local organisations to this fund.

  • Achievements at a glance

    In 2016, Belgium engaged in the Advisory Boards of the CBPF for Jordan, Syria and Iraq. Belgium has the intention to continue this engagement, if a seat is attributed to Belgium.

    In 2017 and 2018, Belgium will program EUR 62,800,000 million for 10 country-based pooled funds, which clearly shows the important share of Belgian humanitarian funding for CBPFs.

    Discussions with the Start Fund have been initiated. Belgium already participated to the 17 November 2016 Start Fund Council meeting.

  • How is your organization assessing progress

    - Number of Advisory Boards Belgium has engaged in.
    - Percentage of funding to CBPFs compared to total humanitarian funding.
    - Evolution of discussions with the Start Fund.

  • Challenges faced in implementation

    The Belgian law on development cooperation (which includes humanitarian aid) does not allow the Government to finance local actors directly. Therefore, it is necessary for us to work through financing mechanisms that can reallocate funding as directly as possible to local actors.

  • Next step to advance implementation in 2017

    - Applying for a seat in the Advisory Boards of CBPF for 2017.
    - Deepening discussions with the Start Fund.

  • Cross cutting issues

    Accountability to affected people Country Based Pooled Funds

  • Specific initiatives

    The Grand Bargain

  • Other related Agenda for Humanity transformations

    4A - Reinforce, do not replace, national and local systems

5B
Invest according to risk

Individual Commitment

Core Commitment

  • What led your organization to make the commitment?

    Evidence indicates that in the future, disasters will become even more frequent than today. The centrality of risk is becoming an essential component of all development and humanitarian work. However, in 2014, only 0.4 of development assistance was spent on disaster preparedness. Real progress is required, through political effort, bureaucratic changes and allocation of dedicated financial resources. While this involves costs in the immediate term, financing preparedness activities has enormous potential to reduce the costs of the response and to release the pressure on the humanitarian system, while transferring responsibilities to national actors.

  • Achievements at a glance

    Belgium has earmarked EUR 9,429,639 of its longer term humanitarian funding to NGOs for disaster preparedness implemented in 2016-2017. It has approved a financial framework of EUR 11,000,000 for disaster preparedness activities to be implemented in 2017-2018. It has approved the allocation of EUR 1,000,000 for the "Early Warning-Early Action" window of the SFERA (FAO).

  • How is your organization assessing progress

    Review of intermediate reports, field visits, regular exchange with external and internal partners.

  • Challenges faced in implementation

    Limited humanitarian resources; enlargement of mandates of humanitarian actors; coordination and collaboration between humanitarian and development actors.

  • Next step to advance implementation in 2017

    Draw from the lessons learned of the dedicated funding and on that basis, reallocate the funding according to the most relevant activities in preparedness, considering the "short" timeframe of humanitarian funds.

  • Cross cutting issues

    Disaster Risk Reduction

  • Specific initiatives

    Commitment to Action: Transcending the humanitarian - development divide Global Partnership for Preparedness

  • Other related Agenda for Humanity transformations

    4B - Anticipate, do not wait, for crises

5C
Invest in stability

Individual Commitment

  • What led your organization to make the commitment?

    In 2015, we adopted the SDG. The new Agenda, more particularly SDG 16 on peaceful and inclusive societies, is a true game changer. Indeed, for countries affected by conflict and fragility, peace building and state building are central to any development ambition. Nine out of Belgium’s fourteen partner countries appeared on the OECD’s States of Fragility list at least once since 2007, eight of them were listed in 2015. Belgium, with others, firmly believes that Official Development Assistance (ODA) must focus on countries most in need:on LDCs, small island developing states, land-locked developing countries and fragile and conflict-affected states.

  • Achievements at a glance

    Belgium has actively advocated and will continue to advocate for the proposal that at least 50% of ODA should be devoted to least developed countries. Belgium has committed itself to do so as well, which is reflected in the new list of 14 partner countries of Belgium's development cooperation: 12 of these countries are least developed.

    In order to leverage ODA for mobilizing private capital and other financial flows to fragile countries, not just to LDCs, but lower middle income countries as well, Belgium is working, together with the ICRC, to leverage additional private capital through the Humanitarian Impact Bond, an innovative way of financing. Belgium has also supported the idea in the WB Board of “making available/using” IDA resources for middle income countries which are confronted with an unusual and sudden shock. IDA resources are concessional and normally reserved for Low Income Countries.

  • Cross cutting issues

    Innovation Private Sector

  • Other related Agenda for Humanity transformations

    1C - Remain engaged and invest in stability

5D
Finance outcomes, not fragmentation: shift from funding to financing

Individual Commitment

Core Commitment

  • What led your organization to make the commitment?

    Multi-annual financing allows the necessary predictability and flexibility of funds to implement this approach through multi-annual joint planning. While many donors still do not make multi-annual funding available for humanitarian assistance, full core and multi-annual financing is an important part of the Belgian humanitarian strategy. Belgium has committed to continue to provide strong support to flexible funds such as country-based pooled funds (CBPF), because these instruments also allow a context-based approach and a local response wherever it is possible by directly financing local actors and reinforcing their capacities.

  • Achievements at a glance

    In 2016, EUR 81,500,000 have been allocated to core resources and to flexible funds of humanitarian aid organisations: EUR 10,000,000 to the CERF (OCHA), EUR 5,000,000 to the IRA (WFP), EUR 600,000 to the DREF (FICR), and EUR 3,025,000 to the SFERA (FAO). EUR 33,875,000 have been allocated to Country Based Pooled Funds (CBPF/UNDP of OCHA). and EUR 5,000,000 have been allocated to the Humanitarian Action for Children Syria (HAC Syria/UNICEF). Flanders is committing to three year contributions of EUR 479,000 to pooled funds in its partner countries Malawi and Mozambique.

  • How is your organization assessing progress

    Overview of Belgium's humanitarian funding for 2016.

  • Next step to advance implementation in 2017

    In the next years, Belgium wants to reach the following targets: 60% of unearmarked funding by 2020; 30% of earmarked funding for cash-based transfers; 25% for financing local organisations (as directly as possible).
    In 2017 and 2018, Belgium will program EUR 105 million through a variety of global and country-based pooled funds (CBPF): CERF, IRA, SFERA, DREF and ten CBPFs.

  • If you had one message for the annual report on what is most needed to advance the transformation 'Finance outcomes, not fragmentation: shift from funding to financing', what would it be

    The CBPF-instrument should be able to attract a more diversified and enlarged donor base. Only then can CBPF reach their target of funding 15% of HRPs. There should also be more visibility for donors of unearmarked funds

  • Cross cutting issues

    Country Based Pooled Funds People-Centred Approach

  • Specific initiatives

    The Grand Bargain

  • Other related Agenda for Humanity transformations

    5E - Diversify the resource base and increase cost-efficiency

5E
Diversify the resource base and increase cost-efficiency

Individual Commitment

Core Commitment

  • What led your organization to make the commitment?

    With the signing of the “International Aid Transparency Initiative” (IATI) in 2012, and the agreement on the new “Common Open Standard” for the High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in Busan in 2011, Belgium demonstrated its clear commitment to providing transparent help. Belgium fully recognizes that to close the widening gap between resources and needs, it has to tap into alternative sources, including private ones.
    Belgium is a supporter of flexible funds and strongly believes in pooling resources upfront in order to support rapid humanitarian response for people affected by natural disasters and armed conflict.

  • Achievements at a glance

    Belgium’s aid transparency increased since the last analysis in 2014 from 18.8% to 47.7% (Aid Transparency Index). Belgium has been developing a new internal database, which will be equipped with a module for the automatic creation of our IATI xml activity files. We also have started working on the set-up of a transparency data-portal.

    Belgium has launched the first humanitarian impact bond (HIB) with a view of engaging the private sector not only as an investor but also as an outcome funder.

    Belgium has translated 3 commitments from the Grand Bargain into official policy with the following targets: 60% of unearmarked funding by 2020; 30% of earmarked funding for cash-based transfers; 25% for financing local organisations (as directly as possible).

    Belgium has increased its contribution to the CERF in 2017 by 25%. Flanders has doubled its contribution to CERF in 2016 and is committing to a yearly contribution.

  • How is your organization assessing progress

    - IATI reports and Aid Transparency Index. Given the achievements listed above as well as our pipeline transparency-projects (data-portal), we could safely state we're making substantial progress.
    - Belgium hopes to conclude the humanitarian impact bond by the beginning of April 2017.
    - Through the CERF reporting.
    - Annual progress towards the targets set for the Grand Bargain commitments can be easily calculated. Currently Belgium is at 47% for unearmarked contributions, at 15% for cash distributions and at 8% for local aid.

  • Challenges faced in implementation

    The budgetary context means we have to do more with less or limited staff, which slows progress reg. development and implementation of new projects/IT tools.

    The biggest challenge for the humanitarian impact bond is finding non-traditional donors as outcome funders. While the idea generates sufficient interest among traditional donors, non-traditional donors are not easily convinced of the advantages of this new approach.

    While unconditional cash distributions and financing local organisations make sense from an efficiency point of view, both modes of operation need to be accepted by our controlling authorities.

  • Next step to advance implementation in 2017

    In the following years, Minister De Croo wants our country to increase its transparency efforts within international development policy. These efforts reflect the choice to focus more on achieving results rather than simply spending budgets, as a measure of the quality of the Belgian development policy. It is a clear wish of the Minister for Development Cooperation to mainstream the HIB mechanism within the broader organisation. A dedicated unit is now looking at starting development impact bonds. CERF allocations are based on a multi-annual basis. In 2017 the decision was taken to augment the CERF contribution by 25% for 2017/2018.

  • If you had one message for the annual report on what is most needed to advance the transformation 'Diversify the resource base and increase cost-efficiency', what would it be

    Based on the experience of the HIB, "patience" is what is most needed. Transactions costs are high, the benefits are not easily argued for.

    Resources for the CERF compete with other priorities. CERF's biggest challenge is to demonstrate value for money. Better visibility for such flexible funds also needed.

  • Cross cutting issues

    Central Emergency Response Fund Country Based Pooled Funds People-Centred Approach Private Sector

  • Specific initiatives

    The Grand Bargain

  • Other related Agenda for Humanity transformations

    5A - Invest in local capacities 5C - Invest in stability

Attachments

  • Self report attachment
    5E | The Grand Bargain