Archive for December, 2011

Hi Standing Team!

We thought you’d like to understand a bit more about ECB so here’s an introduction to ECB’s Good Enough Guide: Impact Measurement and Accountability in Emergencies. You might find its origin interesting!

The Good Enough Guide (GEG) originated out of the fact that there was too much material on the topic and that the bar (Sphere standards, etc.) was set too high, particularly during early phases of emergencies.  The Guide was written to provide a concise, pocket-sized synthesis of existing materials in simple language and basic “how-to” tools for field staff most in contact with beneficiaries, i.e. project managers and technical specialists.

As described in the “What is” section of the GEG,

“…’good enough’ means choosing a simple solution rather than an elaborate one.  ‘Good enough’ does not mean second best; it means acknowledging that, in an emergency response, adopting a quick and simple approach to impact measurement and accountability may be the only practical possibility.  When the situation changes; you should aim to review your chosen solution and amend your approach accordingly.”

In 2006, representatives from the ECB agencies created the Basic Elements of Accountability and Impact Measurement, which are the foundation for the Good Enough Guide. A consultant was hired to collect input and feedback from field staff to ensure it was written in a language they could understand and it met their needs. The Guide includes 14 tools from various sources. The Guide helps field workers ask questions such as “What difference are we making? How do we know? How can we involve the men and women affected by an emergency in planning, implementing, and judging our response?”

The Guide was field tested in emergency and recovery contexts in Indonesia, Sri Lanka, and Guatemala. From the first year of its publication, the GEG has been OXFAM Publishing’s second-best seller after Sphere.   Another example of the demand that exists is that the GEG has been published in English, French, Spanish and Portuguese, along with Bahasa Indonesia, Hindi, Chinese, Bangla, Russian, and more. These small yellow handbooks are available for purchase in hard copy from Oxfam. Or get in touch with the Standing Team Coordinator!

 In order to equip staff from the ECB agencies to train colleagues on  basic principles of accountability and impact measurement, we are coming out with a revised Training of Trainers module based on the Good Enough  Guide. We’ll let you know when that is available, and of course we’ll ask for your feedback.

Additionally, on the ECB Project website you can find various training  and communication materials to spread the messages of AIM to both communities and field staff. Materials include accountability films, multi-lingual posters and leaflets. The materials are available in six languages: English, Spanish, French, Arabic, Bangla, and Burmese, and in both in PDF or editable format for you to download. You can edit the translations or design your own images to make them relevant in your context.

Tell us what you think!


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To those of you based in the Horn, here is a workshop that could be of interest!

HAP International will be conducting a training course in Complaints & Response Mechanisms (CRM). The four-day course in Uganda aims to enable participants to identify practical issues in the design and operation of an effective complaints system and how to handle complex complaints, such as allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse. It will help participants in drafting a plan for settling up a complaints-handling system in their own operational context with the engagement of beneficiaries and other stakeholders.

The workshop is oriented towards organizations that are committed to setting up a CRM as part of their accountability framework. Participants will learn why complaints handling constitutes an essential part of an accountability framework and helps to deliver quality services to the beneficiaries. This is a great technical training for AIM ST members not yet experienced in setting up CRM.

More details of the purpose, intended audience, topics and objectives of the workshop are attached here: Objectives for HAP Complaints & Response Mechanisms Workshop.  (Disregard that it says the workshop is in Nairobi; the location has been confirmed by HAP as being in Kampala). Applications need to be submitted online before January 2, 2012 through http://www.hapinternational.org/book/ and the application form is here: HAP CRM workshop Nairobi Jan 2012 application form. (Disregard the form saying the workshop is 16-20 January; the dates of 16-19 January have been confirmed by HAP).

HAP International offers trainings throughout the year and around the world on topics such as accountability and quality management, complaints and response mechanisms, how to design an accountability framework and how to conduct a HAP standard baseline analysis for your organization. Visit the http://www.hapinternational.org/default.aspx and click on Services for more information. Trainings in 2012 will be posted on their website shortly (through the Services link).

See the HAP site for more details and contact your AIM Adviser with questions!

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The July 2011 report, “Sex and Age Matter: Improving Humanitarian Response in Emergencies” by Mazurana et al. was commissioned by OCHA and CARE International, with the wider support of the United Nations Sub-Working Group on Gender.

The study maintains that sex and age disaggregated data (SADD) is necessary to assess needs because natural disasters and armed conflict affect men, women, boys and girls differently in terms of access to essential life-saving services. SADD and its analysis allows understanding and prioritization of needs. SADD should also be used to assess impact to ensure the interventions served those with the greatest need.

The reported looked at 17 case studies across sectors whereby SADD and analyses were and were not used and the results of the emergency response. The authors found that the failure to use SADD can lead to interventions which fail to meet the needs of the most vulnerable. The paper provides guidelines on the collection, analysis and application of SADD, including what type of data to collect in the various phases of response for various sectors.

To reach the most vulnerable and to measure the impact of interventions on the most vulnerable, AIM Standing Team members should keep in mind the importance of disaggregating data by sex and age.

Here you will find the Executive Summary and here the Sex and Age Matter_final report.

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Here’s an issue Standing Team members will be interested in. Take a look and tell us what you think!

The Humanitarian Practice Network of the Overseas Development Institute dedicated its October 2011 Humanitarian Exchange magazine to accountability in humanitarian action. In their overview article the coeditors, John Mitchell and Paul Knox-Clarke of ALNAP, reflect on the underlying rationales – both moral and practical – we use to justify our commitments to improving accountability, and whether our understanding of accountability has changed in the decade since the ‘accountability revolution’ last featured in Humanitarian Exchange. Other articles discuss collective accountability, Real-Time Evaluations, NGO certification, the role of donors in improving accountability, accountability frameworks and systems, tackling corruption, dealing with sexual abuse by UN and NGO personnel, and case examples from Haiti and South Sudan. Click here for the magazine:  Humanitarian Exchange October 2011, “Humanitarian Accountability”

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Casablanca – Day 4

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Casablanca – day 3

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