Archive for August, 2012

We are happy to announce that the full Good Enough Guide Training of Trainers (GEG ToT) training modules are now available on the English, French and Spanish versions of the ECB website. 

This website contains all the information you need to conduct a Good Enough Guide Training of Trainers, including an agenda, activity guidance, PowerPoint presentations, and notes and tools for trainers.  The entire resource package in each language is also available for download as zipfiles.

Take a look and give us your feedback! 

Please share any experiences using this training tool with Katy Love at klove@care.org.


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Define common aims and objectives. Ensure effective leadership. Ensure alignment. Demonstrate visible support and reliable commitment. Prioritize staff time and facilitate and support the process.

Though most will agree that collaboration is critically important to humanitarian work, strengthening collaboration is not always easy. In fact, successful collaboration does not happen without considerable effort and organizational support.

Following multiple interviews captured from across our field teams “What do we know about collaboration: the ECB Country Consortium Experience” highlights 10 key factors for successful collaboration. The document offers suggestions on how to overcome possible challenges and links to ECB tools that will help with country-level consortium work.

Take a look through this reference tool and feel free to share it widely with your colleagues in non-ECB countries! This is a great opportunity to pass on some of our learning with those that may be considering developing a consortium approach.

The guide is currently available in both French and English, and a Spanish edition will be availably shortly. 

Though collaboration can be challenging, it is also exciting and profoundly important. Building trusting relationships can take anywhere from months to years. This document informs readers about successful approaches and tools for developing a consortia and staff capacity at a country level. Please take a look and let us know what you think in the comment section!

Ensure transparent, effective communication. Clarify roles and responsibilities. Fund the process. Find common approaches. Manage crisis within the consortium.

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Are you interested in further training? September will have some great training opportunities for Standing Team members!

There will be a Training on Coordinated Assessments in Humanitarian Crises followed by a Training of Trainers in Cairo, Egypt from September  23-27, 2012. As part of the IASC Transformative Agenda, humanitarian stakeholders have committed to strengthening coordinated needs assessments, including immediately following a major disaster. The IASC Needs Assessment Task Force is hosting this training workshop for humanitarian actors in Cairo, Egypt on the IASC Operational Guidance on Coordinated Assessments in Humanitarian Crises and the MIRA (Multi-Cluster Initial Rapid Assessment) approach.

Who should consider these opportunities? Participants in this training should work in assessment, coordination, and/or information management roles within their agency. You should have the potential to be deployed to support a joint assessment (including in the event of a Level 3 emergency). Candidates for the Training of Trainers should have experience in training.  You should also be available to conduct trainings/orientations on coordinated assessments for your own agencies in the future.

We would love to ensure that our talented Standing Team members can both learn and share their own skills and knowledge at these trainings. If either of these sound interesting to you, do let us know!

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Members of the Standing Team, preparing for deployments

This is an extremely busy and exciting time for the ECB Standing Team.  We are happy to announce Standing Team deployments to Nepal, the Horn of Africa, Bolivia, and Niger in the next several months.  Each of these deployments will be unique opportunities with a shared purpose – promoting humanitarian accountability principles, processes, and tools.

The Nepal deployment will be during the first two weeks of November 2012.  ECB staff is currently seeking two AIM Standing Team members to identify accountability strengths and gaps, as well as take an action plan forward in Nepal.

Sandie Walton-Ellery from ACAPS – ACAPS is a key partner for the Horn of Africa deployment

The Horn of Africa Standing Team deployment will take place the last week of September and the first week of October. It will be held in Kenya.  Objectives in Kenya include training staff on accountability issues using the Good Enough Guide Training of Trainers (GEG ToT), the five ECB key elements of accountability, how to design an impact measurement system, as well as proper assessment tools and techniques in collaboration with ACAPS.  Boliva has requested a Standing Team member in La Paz from September 24 to September 29, 2012. Ideally, this team member will have experience implementing systems and tools in the field and he or she can join the knowledge sharing platform that will bring diverse staff together for a two-day workshop.  This workshop will review AIM implementation experiences and learning in the field. Finally, the Niger Standing Team Deployment will take place in mid-October for two weeks.  Their request is for an AIM workshop for ECB staff, local NGOs, UN, and Red Cross to review accountability gaps, to capture best practices and lessons, and to determine mechanisms to better measure emergency response.

From the Andes to the Himalaya, the Sahel to the Serengeti, the ECB Standing Team will conduct and participate in activities to further increase accountability and impact measurement in emergencies.  As always, team members are excited to participate in and facilitate this exciting and crucial collaborative work.  Stay tuned for more updates! And Standing Team, get ready to deploy!

ECB Standing Team in Jakarta

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Design, monitoring & evaluation is one of the ‘key elements of accountability.’ Here’s a story from our colleague, Sarah Ralston at CARE International, who recounts the CARE experience in trying to capture evidence.

In the occupied Palestinian territories (oPt), CARE needs ‘evidence’ for its advocacy work.  But often this evidence does not always come naturally from our regular monitoring and evaluation processes, and it can be difficult to capture.  In reviewing all of our existing human interest stories and case studies, we found that we tended to only highlight positive outcomes of our work, rather than surfacing the ongoing negative effects of the conflict on their lives. We needed to capture these negative effects for our advocacy work.

So how can we better capture learning and use findings from our humanitarian programs for our advocacy work?  CARE West Bank Gaza has been exploring this over the past few months, and found a surprising answer:  it’s easy!  The first key ‘aha’ moment was realizing that we weren’t going to really be able to capture impact, which is often what we think of when we document evidence from our longer term programming.  But that’s not always necessary.  So we asked ourselves how we could surface some evidence for important messages in a quick, real-time way, and recently tried it out for two different cases. Here’s what happened:

Two weeks before the 5 year anniversary of the blockade on the Gaza Strip, the coalition of international organizations in the occupied Palestinian territories (oPt) decided to put together a media campaign supporting advocacy messaging to end the blockade. CARE was asked to be the lead in collecting case studies to support the statement.  We conducted a rapid ‘impact of the blockade’ assessment.  Partners and field staff asked some of the members of our community based organization partners a simple set of questions: “Five years ago before the blockade, what was your life like?  What is it like now – what has changed since then as a result of the blockade?  Five years from now, what do you hope your life will look like?,” We then went back to some of the beneficiaries in one of our projects for which we had already captured stories to learn more. We asked them more about why they even needed such a project (i.e. the blockade). From these two sets of people, we garnered some great quotes and inserted statistics.  On the day of the anniversary, all the material went up on websites.  We also used twitter for the first time, and the hashtag #EndGazaBlockade trended globally on the internet at number four, a rate of almost a thousand tweets per hour, and was picked up by media sites all over the world!

In the second case, we work in a village where CARE under threat of demolition from the Israeli authorities. One of our mobile health clinics was under threat.  We asked our field worker based near the village to talk to community members and ask them how they feel about the situation.  We wrote up a short 2 page article highlighting the outcomes of CARE’s health clinic work and photos, and how it and the rest of the village was at risk of demolition, and included quotes about the effects on people’s lives and how worried they are for their children.  In particular, we highlighted that women that CARE had trained as community health focal points were involved in medically treating protestors who had been injured by the Israeli army – certainly an unexpected benefit of the training we provided!  And perhaps most effectively, we used the petition website avaaz.org for a community member himself to call for the halt of the demolition, and circulated widely for people to sign (Click here to sign it yourself!)

What we’ve learned through these experiences is that applying the ‘good enough’ principle is important.  This is not to say that more rigorous measurement of outcomes isn’t still a priority.  To do so, we have developed several indicators capturing coping mechanisms and the way they change over time in line with conflict dynamics and our interventions, which is proving to be a good start.  But we no longer feel the need to wait until the end of major studies – we can be constantly engaged in ‘lighter’ efforts that can be highly effective.  We realized that we can capture the kind of evidence we need, especially for advocacy, by talking to community members, asking them a few questions about the effects of a humanitarian crisis on their life, and supplementing it with statistics, photos, videos and social media.

We leave you with a few tips we’ve learned.

Tips on capturing evidence:
* Coordinate with others when possible, but don’t let it slow you down unnecessarily
*  Always involve partners and communities and focus on our role in amplifying their voices
* Link stories and quotes with statistics to ground in ‘facts’
*  Use mixed media – twitter, facebook, articles, pictures, youtube videos
*  Use existing material – donor reports, case studies, human interest stories –but supplement them with specific questions

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