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Archive for May, 2012

The April 2012 research report, Building a Better Response: Gaps & Good Practice in Training for Humanitarian Reform, by Andy Featherstone, discusses NGO initiatives in training staff in humanitarian reform.  This includes humanitarian leadership, the cluster approach, pooled funding and general coordination.  The study found that current humanitarian reform training methodology, i.e. the teaching style, is not meeting the needs of those trained.

Key Findings

Humanitarian workers tend to prefer learning-by-doing and simulations. Examples of learning-by-doing can include a staffperson coaching or mentoring another staffperson or by placing staff in emergencies as part of their training. The report states:

While there are no easy solutions, existing knowledge certainly suggest the use of innovative and creative approaches to learning rather than formal techniques such as classroom-based methods.

The study also found international and national NGO field staff receive the least training in humanitarian response, while middle and senior managers and technical coordinators from the UN and international NGOs participate in training the most. Thus, training needs to be made available at the local level—not just in capital cities—for front-line humanitarian staff.

The report did, however, acknowledge ECB and the Consortium of British Humanitarian Agencies for their ENHAnce project, an in-country training program for national staff. The project “addresses some of the more frequent criticisms of training in the sector, using a mixture of methods which includes learning-by doing through on-the-job coaching and distance learning.”

Tips for Adult Learning

A four-day workshop held by the Humanitarian Accountability Partnership (HAP) in April on how to facilitate accountability trainings also addressed this issue of learning style. The Training of Trainers on the 2010 HAP Accountability Standard workshop held a session on adult learning in the classroom. While such learning style is not learning-by-doing in the field, it is more participatory than the traditional classroom-based method.

Here are a few pointers on adult learning:

Learning should be engaging and participatory

  • Encourage participants to share their thoughts and experiences
  • Change activity every 30 minutes
  • Use examples to which participants can relate through their lives or work experience

Use a variety of education styles, media, activities, such as

  • Interactive lectures (ask questions, encourage discussion between participants, promote participant sharing of their knowledge and experience)
  • Group discussions/exercises
  • Role play (learners practice using new knowledge or skills in a simulated situation, can be scripted or improvised, is discussed afterwards)
  • Quizzes (reinforce learning, serves as a different presentation of the information)
  • Questions (to determine participants’ knowledge and understanding)
  • Energizers (a short, fun activity that provides a break, can be related or unrelated to the topic of the learning, can build rapport between participants, can involve moving around)

Ask participants to

  • Explain complex issues
  • Describe how they would apply the learning to their jobs
  • Repeat key ideas during the reviews

Check out this blog on the findings of the Building a Better Response report, as well as this blog, submitted by Standing Team member Piva (Mery Corp), for more on the HAP workshop.

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In this recent blog, we discussed a study and report on the communication efforts during the response to the earthquake in Haiti in January 2010 and the cholera outbreak that began the following October. The report, written by Imogen Wall with Yves Gerald Chéry, is entitled Ann Kite Yo Pale: Let Them Speak: Best practice and lessons learned in communication with disaster affected communities: Haiti 2010 . Here we continue with some examples of communication with local media and local people during the response.

Agency Communication with Local Media

After the earthquake, there was a desperate need among the disaster-affected to receive and to provide information. International aid agencies worked mainly with international media, not the local media that was quite active after the quake. In general, local media found it difficult and frustrating to engage with humanitarian actors, as well as access international agencies due to the barriers of language.  Few staff of international agencies even long-established in Haiti spoke Kreyol. Local journalists could not access the UN base outside of the city to attend press conferences for the first few months following the natural disaster, and press releases and situation reports were not translated into French. Even a year after the quake, journalists were still finding it hard to work with humanitarian agencies.  The report states:

Given the lack of dedicated local communication staff, few organisations were prepared to spend any time going to local radio studios and giving interviews or explaining their work. Those that did, however, found that communicating did not just help fill the information vacuum among the affected population, it delivered considerable operational benefits.

Below are examples of aid agencies that benefited from engaging with local media:

World Food Program (WFP)

The WFP had to manage food distribution to more than a million people. After a chaotic first run, they introduced a voucher system and hired a local spokesperson, Fedrique Pierre, to explain the system to the local media and thus to the affected population. CDAC Haiti, a consortium of humanitarian agencies and media organizations that coordinate communication in emergency response, put WFP in touch with local radio stations. Mr. Pierre gave more than 150 interviews in his first month and became so popular that he was nicknamed ‘Mr. Rice.’

Because there was no systematized feedback mechanism, ‘Mr. Rice’ decided to give out his mobile number.  Hundreds of people called and texted him to relay their gratitude for the information or tell him which area lacked food. (SMS-based feedback mechanisms were quite common in the earthquake response). He created a spreadsheet on his computer to track all the information received on his phone, and WFP used such information in the operational and decision-making processes, “enabling WFP to respond quickly to any problems.”

United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)

The UNFPA hired a Haitian American spokesperson who spoke fluent Kreyol to work with local and international media. “He worked with the gender-based violence team to record and broadcast a series of public service announcements (PSAs) with advice for victims. Based on anecdotal feedback, UNFPA say the response to the PSAs helped convince the Police Nationale d’Haiti to step up their patrols in the camps.”

Jamil Simon

Agency communication with people

Due to high mobile phone usage, the people of Haiti were able to communicate with agencies unlike ever before. The ENDK radio show shared the phone numbers of agencies, and feedback was collected through phone calls and SMS. Few agencies established feedback systems in the early phase of the response. Those that did, however, did not find the flood of feedback unmanageable, as some agencies expected, and confirm that this feedback was invaluable, allowing them to gather real-time information on survivors needs.

Recommendations

The study recommended the following for humanitarian aid agencies:

“The humanitarian system and agencies need to recognise the importance of communication as a sector and as an essential aspect of successful operational delivery of humanitarian assistance.”

There is a need to:

  • Reform humanitarian funding criteria to include communication as a legitimate form of humanitarian assistance
  • Incorporate communication work into the project design and budget
  • Prioritize communication with affected communities at the cluster level, employ local communication staff
  • Develop a feedback system for the disaster-affected, explore SMS or web-based feedback systems
  • Coordinate communication to avoid duplication of efforts and provide consistent and accurate information

For more about communication in emergency response, see this blog, and to read more about the work of CDAC Haiti, click here.

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In March, ECB’s Shelter Accountability Adviser, Hugh, conducted an assessment of the accountability practices of the shelter cluster in Côte d’Ivoire.  A full report is forthcoming; however, as part of this assessment, Hugh visited the village of Fengolo where the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) had implemented a project to rebuild homes that were destroyed during the 2010-2011 post-election violence.  Below is a summary of the methodology used and some of his findings.

Methodology

Hugh facilitated a focus group discussion of male and female beneficiaries, as well as community members that did not receive a new home.  NRC staff were present during the majority of the focus group, but were asked to leave at the end.  Hugh then invited participants to change their earlier answers or add any extra information.  Given time constraints, only one focus group discussion was possible. 

The following questions were asked during the focus group and cover various aspects of accountability: two-way communication between the agency and the community, agency consultation with both men and women, and match between project activities and beneficiaries’ needs.

  • How familiar are you with the project of the agency in your area?
  • Does it match your personal priorities
  • Do you have regular contact with the organisation, and know when, where to meet? Is this always convenient for you?
  • Do you feel the organisation listens to you, and that you get satisfactory answers to your questions?
  • Do you, or have you had, any complaints about the work of the organisation? If you were to have a complaint, would you know what to do in order to get it solved?
  • Is there adequate consultation with both men and women in the group?
  • Are you aware of how much the organisation spends on activities in your village?
  • Are you aware of how the organisation selects beneficiaries, and do you agree with this method?
  • Do you feel that organisations in general come and ask you too many questions?
  • [Once agency staff have left] is there anything you want to add, or any change you want to make to your answers?

Findings

  • There is a high level of respect and communication between NRC and the community.
  • The activities of the project met the needs of the beneficiaries, who were satisfied with the quality of the houses built.
  • Communities emphasised that they had never had cause to complain about the work of NRC, nor could imagine such a possibility. However, should a problem arise, no one was aware how to make a complaint, or how it would be followed up.

The main recommendation was to set up a complaints and feedback mechanism and communicate to the community how it should be utilized.

For more information on ECB’s work to improve accountability in the cluster system, see this blog.  Look for a full mission report from Hugh coming soon!

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UNOPS community mobilizers hand out government fliers and explain cholera.

Communication is an essential component of practicing accountability and transparency with the disaster-affected and a means to practicing the Humanitarian Accountability Partnership (HAP) Principles of Accountability. Yet, as a strategy, it is still in its infancy in the humanitarian field. Communication projects are often about far more than information sharing and collecting: they can also be key to trust building, conflict resolution, effective participation, provision of psychosocial support, transparency and accountability.

 The DFID-funded project Infoasaid commissioned a study and report on the communication efforts during the response to the earthquake in Haiti in January 2010, as well as to the cholera outbreak that began the following October. The report, written by Imogen Wall with Yves Gerald Chéry, is entitled Ann Kite Yo Pale: Let Them Speak: Best practice and lessons learned in communication with disaster affected communities: Haiti 2010 

The study

The study investigated the communication efforts that took place in Haiti,  their effectiveness, why or why they were or were not effective, and the views of such efforts by the disaster-affected. Questions the study sought to answer were:

  • What models work best?
  • Where should aid agencies invest for the best cost-value outcomes in communications work?
  • How can the impact of a communications project be judged?
  • What actually is the value of mobile phone technology, and how can this emerging phenomenon be meaningfully understood and engaged with?
  • And what are local actors doing, and what implications does that have for responders?

The findings

Must invest in communications and technical capacity to see impact

The agencies with the most effective communication “were those that invested in dedicated technical capacity and in funding for basic communications tools.” Such agencies were also those with the most effective programming. For example, “during the cholera outbreak, the response of communication actors from the first hours was essential to the survival of potentially thousands of people, whose ability to recognise symptoms and take prompt action was literally the difference between life and death.”

Need to coordinate communication among actors

Because more agencies are engaging in communication strategies, there is a need for coordination. The CDAC project was the first of its kind to coordinate communication, which it did across clusters. It “was judged a success and [a] highly useful service by interviewees, particularly during the cholera emergencies.” In future responses, coordination of communication, including sharing information to the disaster-affected and collecting feedback and input, will need to be provided.

The biggest gap: M&E of communication efforts

The single biggest gap found in the study was the lack of monitoring and evaluation of communication projects. Such a gap meant that best practices could not be captured and impact could not be measured, thus hindering the development of this emerging sector.

A Haitian journalist working for an Internews project works in a settlement for those displaced from the earthquake.

High demand for two-way communication between agencies and people

There was a high demand for information by people affected by the earthquake and the cholera outbreak on things like finding loved ones and finding assistance. “They placed huge value on being listened to, being able to contact humanitarian organisations and were very sensitive to and appreciative of efforts by agencies to communicate.”

Another large gap: two-way communication

Yet, despite that high demand, such communication was hard to come by. Communication is often perceived as solely the distribution of information from one to many. But those interviewed in the study, including affected communities and local partners, emphasized the importance of being able to provide feedback, make complaints, ask questions, discuss issues and share information themselves. However, “models that facilitate genuine dialogue and facilitate listening to the perspectives and concerns of local populations are far rarer yet much more effective on multiple levels (including improving operational design and delivery, relationship building, delivering on accountability and transparency commitments and developing trust).”

Furthermore, the study found the affected people and local partners were not included in the decision-making process. Thus the response was based on agencies’ perception of need, not the actual needs of the communities. “This is a transparency and accountability issue, as well as one of communication, and of survivor rights.”

For more about Infoasaid and communication in emergency response, see this blog. For more about CDAC, see this blog.

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Evaluations of the response to the Haiti earthquake and the floods in Pakistan in 2010 exposed “weaknesses and capacity gaps in humanitarian response architecture.” To address these, the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) identified five key areas for action which include leadership, accountability, coordination, global preparedness capacity, and advocacy and communications.

A report was commissioned by USAID’s Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) and United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) to better understand capacity building initiatives within the humanitarian community regarding the IASC’s five key areas. The April 2012 report is entitled Building a Better Response: Gaps & Good Practice in Training for Humanitarian Reform and was written by Andy Featherstone.

The study found that partnership, accountability and leadership are three training gaps which, if addressed, could have significant “impact on NGO participation in humanitarian reform and on the quality of humanitarian response more generally.”

Accountability Gaps

A specific accountability gap that was uncovered was in the practice of and training on collective accountability to beneficiaries among clusters. The report did acknowledged the progress made toward collective accountability, however. In 2011 the IASC set out to strengthen collective accountability within the humanitarian system through the Transformative Agenda. As mentioned in this previous blog, one of the components of the Transformative Agenda is mutual accountability between agencies in the Humanitarian Country Team and between agencies and the Humanitarian Coordinator. However, the cluster system has no official stance on collective accountability thus far.

The study did also find many country-level and agency-level trainings on beneficiary accountability and a plethora of resources available. Some of those interviewed thought that “there were too many different approaches and that the sector would benefit from a more coordinated approach which could be achieved through cluster-level oversight on accountability and associated training.”

Areas of Good Practice

Despite the lack of accountability to beneficiaries within the cluster system, the global WASH cluster led by Oxfam has created a practical toolkit to practice accountability in the sector. There are also communication and training materials for WASH professionals available on the global WASH cluster website. The WASH Accountability Resource booklet discusses staff competencies and attitudes and includes accountability tools.

As discussed in an earlier blog post, facilitating communication between the disaster-affected and agencies in an emergency enables vital information on services to be shared as well as enables people to provide their own input in the response. The report mentioned several initiatives to improve communication in emergencies, Infoasaid and CDAC, both discussed in previous blogs.

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World Vision Sri Lanka’s Tsunami Response Team showcased an innovative and interesting way of educating the community on their rights and responsibilities, as well as advocating for future community action. Their concise case study is entitled 3D Animation for Community Mobilisation & Accountability, and was written by Joshua Pepall and Romesh Fernando.

Providing information to beneficiaries on their rights and responsibilities and facilitating community participation in programming are key components of accountability practice. Such practices support trust and positive relationships between the community and the agency and lead to more effective outcomes. In fact, without information on their rights, responsibilities and the project, people cannot ask questions, make choices and participate.

After rebuilding over 2,000 homes for tsunami-affected families across the country, World Vision needed to provide information to the new tenants and to clarify confusing housing policies (for example, the government was responsible for installment of electricity, while the family was responsible for septic maintenance and repairing damage they caused to their home). Additionally, people were living next to each other for the first time, and they were reluctant to take responsibility for common problems. Thus an informational campaign was needed to bring people together to discuss these housing issues and provide a platform for future community mobilization. However, a traditional mass information campaign would not have been sufficient, due to the fact that the information needed to reach marginalized groups, such as women and the illiterate, and the aim was to facilitate dialogue.  World Vision decided to hire a local Sri Lankan software engineer for only a few hundred dollars to develop a 3D Animation to convey the information and generate questions, discussion and action.

A red-circle is used in the animation to identify a common community problem.

World Vision announced the meetings to show the animation using community notice boards and community organizers. Screens were made out of bamboo poles and a sheet or by using the wall of a house. After the animation was shown, people were given the opportunity to ask questions and discuss problems identified in the animation, as well as others not shown in the screening. This created a shared understanding of the problems and solutions. Next, ideas for advocacy and collective action were explained, including how the community could elect representatives for a Community Action Group to advocate on their behalf.

Have you worked on a communication campaign that used an alternative approach? Leave a comment and let us know about it!

For more information about the practice of accountability by World Vision Sri Lanka’s Tsunami Response Team, see this blog. For more on the use of innovative approaches to sharing knowledge, such as animations, visit this blog.

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Last week, the third Accountability “Book Club” (now known as the “Accountability Club”) took place, hosted by Hana with Save the Children.  The topic was Complaints and Response Mechanisms (CRMs).  There were no prior reading materials, but instead the group simply shared their learning and experiences from their own work.  Though the group was small, the conversation was quite rich! Participants included Accountability and Impact Measurement (AIM) Advisers and Standing Team members.  Below is a summary of some of the key topics covered:

Aligning CRMs with agency HR procedures

Hana shared how Save The Children categorizes its complaints and how it reacts accordingly. Upon receipt, complaints are categorized into one of 4 types:

1. Minor dissatisfaction
E.g. a household kit is missing; Save staff said they would come back to talk to someone but didn’t

2. Major dissatisfaction
E.g. a hand pump was fitted but doesn’t work; half of a distribution list is family members of the chief

3. Inappropriate behaviour of staff
E.g. staff members asking for payment to be put on a distribution list; rude or verbally abusive behaviour; misappropriation of project goods

4. Serious staff misconduct
E.g. physical or sexual abuse; fraud; corruption.

The first two categories may derail a program and need to be addressed, but are of a different nature to the latter two, which relate closely to Save’s staff code of conduct. If any complaints are received that fall into categories 3 or 4 the relevant HR disciplinary procedures would be followed, including—if appropriate—the necessary judiciary processes. Serious staff misconduct would be reported immediately to the HR Director and a crisis action meeting called within 2 hours as a first step in the follow-up.

This highlights the importance of setting up your CRM in conjunction with your HR department to ensure that your mechanism and how you act on complaints aligns with HR procedures.

How do you give feedback when a complaint is submitted anonymously?

Complainants may not always want to be identified, for example for fear of retribution. How can you provide feedback on actions taken in response to a complaint if you do not know who submitted it? In a CARE program in the Democratic Republic of Congo a monthly overview was provided of all the complaints received and what action had been taken. To protect confidentiality, no names or other information that could lead to the individual being identified were included. This overview was published on a public notice board and was also shared verbally in community meetings and with community leaders.

 This type of sharing enables feedback on anonymous complaints and provides a transparent overview to the community of the complaints received and actions taken. World Vision in Kenya currently follows a similar approach, but also shares this information via the local radio.

Using a variety of approaches to target a variety of beneficiaries

High-tech CRMs could mean high exclusion: In 2011, Save the Children used an SMS-based complaints system in its Pakistan response. Staff would place phone calls to each SMS complaint received to discuss the issue. The system worked very well, but upon analysis Save realized that mostly men used it. Consultations were then held with women on how to include them, and the system was subsequently revised.

When setting up a CRM it is important to think about the diversity of stakeholders and consult different groups in the design phase of your CRM. As this example also shows, it is also worth monitoring who uses the system so you can improve your approach.
 
In Dadaab camp in Kenya Save set up hot desks in their child-friendly spaces for children to speak about their complaints. In other programs these hot desks may be in schools or other places you find children. Don’t expect them to come to you—your CRM may have to have proactive elements. For more about Save’s CRM in Dadaab, see this blog

How formal should a CRM be? A look at a community CRM

In CARE Niger’s program in Konni a community level complaints system was set up so that complaints could be handled without necessarily involving the agency, CARE. This helped to successfully and quickly resolve some major and many minor dissatisfactions, such as the omission of a Cash for Work beneficiary on a payment list. The system is well set up, with elected members sitting on a complaints committee. The community knows who the members are and has confidence in them and their ability to resolve problems. Anything that cannot be resolved by the committee is raised either with the local chief or with CARE staff, as appropriate, and resolved at that level. On the whole, it is a system that works well, and the beneficiaries have even reported a decrease in community conflict as a result of this committee—yet this is not a culture where documenting information through writing is common. Nothing is written down. Having to write complaints and documenting the process may actually discourage people from reporting complaints in a community with an oral tradition.  

So how can you ensure each complaint receives a reaction? How do you know your community CRM is working? How do you make sure you are improving the quality of your programming? How do you capture the learning and share it so that others do not repeat mistakes? Agency staff could carry out a regular debrief with the community committee to capture data and lessons learned.

World Vision in Kenya has made a formal system work: each complaint is documented and a receipt is given to the complainant. They did this by wide community sensitization which emphasised the importance of this system, particularly to ensure mistakes are not repeated. Including a name in the complaint remained optional, as that was the greatest barrier in documenting process.

As was shown in the example of Save in Pakistan and CARE in Niger, the method of registering a complaint should accommodate the culture and diversity of target beneficiaries to ensure a robust, far-reaching mechanism that can be accessed by boys, girls, men and women alike. Doing a stakeholder analysis and asking different stakeholder groups can help you design your mechanism.

Want to know more?

Whether you want to review your current CRM or are thinking about setting one up, have a look at sections 4 and 5 of the Good Enough Guide and tool 12 to guide you! Also, check out some previous blogs: Part I and Part II on case studies on complaints handling. 
 
The next Accountability Club will be held on June 14th and will cover the topic of financial transparency in response.  More information to come!

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The AIM Standing Team deployment to Bangladesh was met with success!

meeting with a community in the field

Despite a major strike during the deployment and restricted ability to freely move about, AIM Standing Team members Saji  from World Vision India and Shagufta from Mercy Corps Pakistan were still able to meet the deployment  objectives in time. The deployment lasted from April 22 to May 6. The purpose of the deployment was to review and document current practices of accountability and impact measurement of ECB and its member agencies in emergency response over the last year, in order to identify strengths and gaps and produce an action plan that paves the way forward.

They visited with several NGOs, field staff, partners, and communities to discuss standards, policies, practices and initiatives around accountability. On May 3 they conducted a workshop for focal points and steering committee members (senior management) from Oxfam, CARE, World Vision, Concern Worldwide, Save the Children and the ECB Bangladesh consortium. At the workshop Shagufta and Saji shared their findings. Then workshop participants identified their own agency-level and ECB recommendations.  After this exercise, Shagufta and Saji shared their own recommendations. The participants are to create an action plan with the rest of their agency staff and submit by next week.

The review of the practice of accountability among ECB agencies in Bangladesh is not a thorough study to identify their specific strengths and gaps. The findings are general.

Here are some of their findings:

Meeting with women beneficiaries

Leadership/Governance

  • Among almost all agencies, there is a commitment to accountability in their country strategies and policies and among senior management. However, there were not enough resources allocated to the practice.
  • Agencies knew about the Good Enough Guide and ECB’s Key Elements of Accountability, but no evidence was found of actually using these. 
  • Most of the agencies have incorporated accountability in program proposals but mostly in terms of sharing information and involving communities.
  • Some agencies use results from reviews and evaluations to improve their practices.

Transparency

  • Some organizations shared information with communities about projects, plans and activities, particularly beneficiary selection criteria and relevant financial information, using banners and information boards.  However, because a majority of the population is illiterate, they were not completely aware of project details.
  • Progress/performance reports of project are not shared with communities.
  • Involving communities and sharing information have given NGOs a positive image and increased trust by the communities.

Feedback

  • Feedback and complaint mechanisms were used in communities and people were aware of their right to complain. However, serious weaknesses were found in such mechanisms. Such systems were not formally agreed upon with communities. Communities did not know how to complain. No field staff and managers dedicated to the Complaints and Response Mechanisms (CRM) were found, and no documentary evidence was found of incorporating communities’ feedback.

Participation

  • Communities were consulted during needs assessments, and all agencies involved communities during project implementation. Communities were involved only a little in assessment of impact of the project. There was no evidence of involving communities in the development of proposals, activities and plans.
  • Agencies used various means of communicating with communities about project interventions, including focus group discussions, loud speakers, information boards, etcetera. Such diversity of communication ensured information reached all segments of the population. 
  • Communities need more information about their rights to assistance and in order to ask questions.

Design, Monitoring and Evaluation

  • Many good accountability practices were found but were not documented, i.e. in case studies, reports, complaints handling.
  • Agencies do evaluate projects but with little to no focus on accountability
  • There was no evidence of sharing progress and evaluation reports with relevant communities.

Discussing the findings and brainstorming recommendations for the action plan at the workshop

Shagufta wrote

We are so happy we received very positive responses from [workshop] participants. Everyone agreed with our findings and used many of them for their actions plans.

We will post a few videos of participants discussing the outcome of the deployment after the workshop. Stay tuned!

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Brian facilitating the workshop

“Hello from Bolivia, where over the last week, Brian and I have been facilitating a workshop about accountability and impact measurement.

The Bolivian government has made interesting strides towards accountability, for example in the creation of a Ministry of Transparency six years ago. The aim is towards a more transparent, more accountable system of working throughout Bolivian society. And to some extent this is working.

The goals of the workshop were to both improve awareness of accountability and to build trust amongst the actors. During the workshop, we had the national government, UN agencies, international NGOs and local NGOs participating, and this was the first time that all of them had been in a room together. Our challenge was to ensure that they worked together.

We had the opportunity to visit several of the camps set up after the landslides from 2011, and advise on the accountability of the programmes being run as part of them. We also took one day, in the three-day course, to look at the accountability of existing projects and the next steps to take towards improving accountability throughout the humanitarian system in Bolivia. Other sessions covered:

  • the views and strategies of government, UN agencies and Consortia members regarding accountability to beneficiaries
  • ECB’s five Key Elements of Accountability to beneficiaries 
  • impact measurement
  • accountability tools and the Good Enough Guide, among others.

The workshop focused on concrete products, including clear commitments as to the next steps towards improving accountability, but it remained a challenge to develop these within the time available. More work will be needed to ensure the commitment desired, although at least we managed to identify the key gaps and key challenges that the Bolivian humanitarian community is currently facing.

The challenges we faced included the variety of actors that participated – this improved the workshop contents, but made commitments more challenging. As expected, there were a number of logistical challenges too, including several agencies sending different representatives for each of the days.

Once these obstacles were faced, however, the overall workshop was facilitated well, with excellent support from the consortium in Bolivia. The next steps include documenting all the actions that were proposed as part of the workshop, and ensuring that those responsible agree to undertake those actions. Another workshop is planned as well, for approximately September 2012, to follow-up on the commitments made during this event. Whilst we can review the opinions that participants gave during their evaluation of the workshop, it is the progress made prior to the next event that will test how successful we were.”

A video of the event (in Spanish) can be found here, and a full workshop report is forthcoming.

Thank you to Hugh, Brian and the Bolivia consortium for your hard work on this deployment! 

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