Authored by Medway, Gonzalez, Win, Kyaw, Russo. August 2021
The Humanitarian Assistance and Resilience Programme Facility (HARP-F) was established as an intermediary grant distribution mechanism for the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) humanitarian funding in Myanmar. The challenging and ever-changing operating context required a flexible and adaptable funding instrument that could support partner delivery in such circumstances.
These characteristics were built into the design of the HARP-F from the outset.
This evaluation sought to understand why and how HARP-F and its partners used different remote management approaches, how these approaches compared to those described in the literature, whether the preparedness undertaken was helpful and whether HARP-F and partners were able to manage the multiple risks faced through remote management. The evaluation was conducted in a period of significant crisis in Myanmar, largely due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and the military coup. Consequently, all interactions with stakeholders were conducted remotely, by a team of both national and international consultants, using a mixed methodology incorporating quantitative and qualitative inquiry.
HARP-F’s flexibility and adaptability as a fund distribution mechanism was highly appreciated by partners.
The most localised responses, whether led by national or international partners, have been best placed to sustain delivery through the pandemic and coup.
The formal instruments HARP-F developed to support remote partnership, specifically the Remote Management Partnership toolkit was not applied by partners but was, nonetheless, aligned with many of the operational adaptations that partners actually took.
HARP-F’s approach was well aligned with documented good practice.
Donors will continue to need intermediaries in Myanmar. They should be clearer about their accountability and reporting requirements and ensure the capacity of any intermediaries that succeed HARP-F is in place to meet such requirements.
We also make 19 specific recommendations for any intermediary organisations that follow HARP-F. The recommendations are structured around four of the research questions mentioned above, namely how, what, preparedness and risk management. HARP-F has already taken action in some of these areas where there was a self-evident need to take action, such as in the creation of a flexible budget line in each grant to facilitate quick responses to unanticipated emergencies. These are summarized on the next page.