Indirect costs for local and national partners: A mapping of the current policies and practices of UN agencies and INGOs (June 2023)

Publication language
Date published
03 Jul 2023
Research, reports and studies
Funding and donors, Organisational

There is widespread agreement that local and national humanitarian actors should be provided with indirect costs or overheads. Members of the Grand Bargain caucus on the role of intermediaries have committed to allocating overheads to local and national partners and the Inter Agency Standing Committee has developed Guidance on the issue, based on research conducted by Development Initiatives (DI) in partnership with UNICEF and Oxfam through the IASC. DI has also published a discussion paper based on interviews with donors, which outlines current donor approaches and proposes ways forward.

These tables summarise the current policies and practices of several UN agencies, international nongovernmental organisations (INGOs) and Red Cross Red Crescent organisations around the provision of overheads or indirect costs for local and national partners. This is an update to a similar mapping completed in 2022. The purpose of this mapping is to act as both a reference document and an accountability tool to document progress made on the issue of overhead allocation to local and national partners since 2022.

This updated mapping shows some positive developments. Since last year, six organisations have developed new internal policies which ensure that local partner NGOs have access to overhead funding and a further 10 organisations are in the process of developing a policy. The list of organisations included in this mapping is not exhaustive. Please contact Development Initiatives with any updates and additions. This mapping will be periodically updated on a six-monthly basis to monitor progress made.