The Dutch Relief Alliance (DRA) is a coalition of 14 Dutch aid organisations in partnership with the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The DRA partners are: CARE Nederland; Cordaid; Dorcas; Oxfam Novib; Plan International; Help a Child; Save the Children; SOS Children’s Villages The Netherlands; Stichting Vluchteling; Tearfund NL; Terre des Hommes; War Child; World Vision; and ZOA. The Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs (BZ) partners with the DRA by funding Joint Responses.

The DRA was established in 2015 by 10 Dutch humanitarian NGOs, which started cooperating in 2014 on three crises – South Sudan, Ebola and Iraq. The Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs (BZ), which was funding the relief projects, saw an opportunity for a large-scale, lean funding model.
The NGOs and MFA have since established a mechanism that goes far beyond a fully operational humanitarian funding modality – which would have been a major achievement in itself. The DRA is not so much about what we are but what we want to achieve. We aim to become a leading example for humanitarian reform, in line with the Grand Bargain Commitments and Core Humanitarian Standards. It is as much an approach as an alliance.

Grand Bargain and Core Humanitarian Standards 
At the heart of the DRA is ‘putting the Grand Bargain commitments into practice’. The sector now recognises that the ‘what’ in humanitarian responses is less of an issue than the ‘how’. This is where the DRA is breaking ground. We are committed to a joint vision and finding ways to realise it together as an alliance. The DRA is a continuous global testing ground on the operationalisation of Grand Bargain (GB) and Core Humanitarian Standards (CHS) commitments such as localisation, multi-year funding and programming, accountability and community engagement. 



The DRA vision is a world in which people affected by crisis are at the centre of a humanitarian response that saves lives, alleviates suffering, restores dignity and contributes to resilience. Our mission is therefore to work with those most in need to provide a timely, efficient and high-quality humanitarian response through equitable partnerships. 

Through the last years of collaboration, DRA partners have established a set of 7 values by which we work: 

  1. The DRA approach is built on a foundation of principled humanitarian action
  2. The DRA collaborates within the Alliance and with a wide range of other players 
  3. The DRA is accountable to affected populations, partners, donors and their constituencies
  4. The DRA’s responses are gender sensitive and inclusive of vulnerable groups
  5. The DRA pursues quality, innovative ways of working and continuous improvement
  6. The DRA uses its voice to influence the humanitarian system in support of its vision
  7. The DRA works as locally as possible and as internationally as necessary


The DRA Board of Directors comprises a Chair, Vice Chair and Acute Crisis Coordinator. The Board manages and coordinates the DRA activities and liaises between the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and DRA partner organisations. DRA partners come together in the DRA’s Partners Meeting – with delegated representatives from each partner – and in the CEO meeting. Several working groups exist on specific topics, like localisation and early warning.  


Central to the DRA approach is the Joint Response Mechanism. Joint Responses are co-created and implemented by DRA partners and local partners, which are chosen based on geographical and technical reasons, and in collaboration with other international and local humanitarian actors. Peer-review mechanisms are in place to ensure the quality of each Joint Response.  

The DRA is characterised by a ‘dual response mode’ as Joint Responses are designed for both acute and protracted humanitarian crises. The idea behind the ‘Acute Crisis Mechanism’ is to respond in a timely manner – within 72 hours – to an acute crisis or spike in need, without lengthy approval processes. The ‘Protracted Crisis Mechanism’ allows the DRA to invest in more sustainable longer-term responses through predictable multi-year funding. With Joint Responses for protracted crises, local partners are more and more engaged in all program phases.  

Have a look at the current Joint Responses