The DRA is about collaboration, complementarity and learning, respecting identities and using each other’s strengths. The collaborative way of working entails that we learn from each other and push each other to improve quality and value for money. An overview of our learnings.


Wherever possible humanitarian action should be locally-led. Local actors hold specific capacities such as contextual knowledge and in-country networks which carry the potential to enhance the effectiveness of humanitarian responses. Local actors which adhere to humanitarian principles and have the right qualifications not only save lives but can sustain recovery and risk-reduction efforts long after international responders have left. Therefore, the DRA actively works towards a stronger position for local actors. 

From the first JR onwards, DRA partners have collaborated to support local partners. This is reflected in an increasing share of funds for local partners. By the end of 2021, we will have reached the Grand Bargain target of 25%. The effectiveness of the funding is being increased through the minimisation of transaction costs and by ensuring funds flow as directly as possible to local actors whilst upholding quality, strong risk management structures and accountability structures. 


By collaborating in JRs, the DRA has achieved impact through harmonised programs, joint needs assessments, and exchange of knowledge, skills, expertise and learning. Examples of collaborative impact in JRs include coordination of beneficiary targeting, technical information sharing and planning, joint trainings on MEAL, gender-sensitive programming and inclusion. Partners share resources including offices and warehousing, leading to cost-efficiencies. They have established referral systems among partners, and ensure standardised programming, for example through communities of practice. 


The DRA brings NGOs to the forefront of innovation for humanitarian action. Current approaches to innovation often fail to achieve impact at scale due to a lack of resources for research and development, the development of solutions in isolation and missed chances to share successes. To tackle these challenges, the DRA stimulates innovation and continuous learning across organizational structures through working with networks for innovation and learning. 

The DRA has tested how to do things differently through the DRA Innovation Fund (DIF), an exclusive funding window that provided innovation projects with funding. Building on the learnings from DIF over the past years, the DRA now scales up innovative practices within its own JR programming and feed into the global humanitarian sector’s innovation agenda. Read more.  


The DRA sees it as a responsibility to be accountable to crisis-affected populations, donors and their constituencies. Within each JR, partners aim for open, transparent and inclusive project implementation, meaningfully involving the affected population in line with the ‘participation revolution’. In order to do so, the DRA utilises the potential of growing digital connectivity and big data. All responses are designed in a gender sensitive way. 
The DRA has contributed strongly to humanitarian transparency through quarterly reporting of key indicators for JRs to the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) database and adopting the standardised GB reporting format 8+3, demonstrating a commitment to harmonised reporting. All DRA partners are committed to the Core Humanitarian Standards.