ODI found that important progress has been made against specific commitments and in a number of workstreams, particularly cash programming, participation revolution, and multi-year planning and financing. There has also been some progress towards integrating gender as a cross-cutting issue and there remains strong consensus among signatories that the Grand Bargain is acting as a catalyst for institutional and systemwide change.

However, progress against individual commitments and across and within the workstreams remained uneven throughout 2017, due in part to underlying practical and political challenges. Key challenges included a lack of clarity on the collective end goal; the sheer breadth and scope of the 51 commitments; differing views on how the Grand Bargain should relate to country-level operations; and a lack of visible leadership and engagement at the political level.

To stay on track to achieve its commitments, the report puts forward six recommendations. Overall, the Grand Bargain needs to become more nimble, more focused, more pragmatic and more responsive to the wider aid environment in which it is operating.