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Archive for January, 2013

Losing one of our own

Idrissa, on the right

Idrissa, on the right (photo courtesy Zahairou Mamane)


We recently received news that we have lost a member of our team. Our friend and colleague, Idrissa Amadou, passed away earlier this week. We mourn his loss and send our condolences and prayers to his family.

Idrissa joined the ECB world as a part of the Niger consortium in 2008. He was a CARE staff member of and contributed to the global development of the ECB Knowledge Management & Learning strategy. He was passionate about creating a learning environment within CARE and the larger ECB world.

In 2011, he was nominated to join the ECB Standing Team by his CARE global accountability Advisor.  He participated in the Casablanca training on Joint Evaluations. Idrissa left CARE in early 2012, taking a position with Oxfam in Burkina Faso. Luckily for us, his Oxfam colleagues were keen to support him, and he kept up his membership in the ECB team.

The ECB Niger consortium requested a deployment for Standing Team services in October of 2012.  Idrissa was a logical choice and the consortium requested that he participate in the deployment. Along with another colleague from CRS, he traveled home to Niger to participate in the two-week deployment. He gave his all for those two weeks and then some.

Idrissa on his Niger deployment

Idrissa on his Niger deployment (photo from Niger consortium)

In 2011, Idrissa said this about himself:

“Since I am with CARE, I have occupied a position that has a link with accountability and impact measurement, and this is my current job area.  I believe in this process and I am convinced that it is the best way to ensure that we reach people who are in need.  It is one of the best way to contribute to CARE’s vision and mission of ending poverty and social injustice and the Standing Team provides a space for learning and sharing.

I support accountability and impact measurement by sharing experiences and participating in real emergency situations.”

We celebrate the life of Idrissa Amadou. We give thanks for the contributions he made both to our team and to our sector. We remember him for his warm smile, his friendly nature, and his kind ways. We deeply appreciate the advocate that he was for the most vulnerable and for disaster affected populations.

We will miss him.

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Over the years, we worked closely with Silva Ferretti. Not only was she a co-facilitator in all three of our workshops, she also worked closely with the coordinator to develop all of the key Standing Team tools. Following our recent workshop in Nepal, she leaves a final note to the team (and the final pictures):

It was a pleasure to co-facilitate the Nepal workshop, and to have the privilege to see again many AIM Standing Team members I met in Jakarta or Casablanca. And of course, to meet new team members! It is always such a lively crowd.

I was impressed by how much the team had achieved, and the ripple effect of members’ work over the last 1.5 years. Clearly the AIM standing team had facilitated much needed learning and sharing on accountability and impact measurement.

It was refreshing to see the passion, the enthusiasm and the knowledge brought by each participant in the room, and to be reminded of the importance and the benefit of connecting people and organizations.

So, I wish good luck to the AIM Standing Team members and participating agencies. Keep up the good work you are doing!

Here are the pictures taken during the workshop – the people, the flipcharts, and all, in no particular order! – to remember the workshop and our fun and energizing days together! Just click on the link below.

Pictures from the Learning Workshop

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You read the first part of the Indonesia Standing Team deployment, here’s the second part, written by Ajaz (Mercy Corps) about his deployment with Kaiser (Oxfam) and Yvonne (CRS). 

During the interviews with representatives of ECB member and other stakeholder organizations (both national and international) it was emphasized that there is a need to have work collectively to enforce shelter accountability. The experiences and best practice of one organization must be shared. This would help not only to maximize the impact but would also make optimal use of the limited resources available in shelter programming.

During our interagency team’s interviews with representatives of the ECB Indonesia organizations, we found that many organizations have achieved higher benchmarks in the five key elements of accountability which could be highly useful for other stakeholder organizations given the openness and willingness of organizations to acclimatize best practices in shelter accountability. We also identified many gaps through these interviews and the shelter accountability workshop, and a lack of collaboration among stakeholder was one area. The other key gap identified was a gap in leadership and governance related to accountability. Therefore, agencies should review their strategies, disaster readiness or preparedness, partnership and capacity strategies and community of practice in shelter accountability. As few organizations use different impact measurement and accountability tools and (like Good Enough Guide) it is necessary to share the usefulness and experience of adapting such tools. We recommended to  ECB Indonesia to promote learning across organizations.

The Shelter Cluster Forum in Indonesia should work with BNBP (Badan Nasional Penanggulangan Bencana – the national disaster management agency) as member of the Community of Practice to effectively coordinate and facilitate emergency response in Indonesia.  This would help to improve the quality of emergency response and would also help to better understand its role and new regulations in disaster response that would potentially impact the accountability to affected populations.

Other than the detailed gap analysis of organizations involved, following were the key learning’s from the workshop:

  • Significant work has been done in accountability to affected populations in Indonesia. The existing level of level of accountability and the recognition of its understanding is higher than in other ECB consortia countries.
  • There are legal challenges in disaster management laws currently in Indonesia. These changes would have significant implications on INGO interventions in emergency response.
  • The Indonesia Shelter Cluster Forum should work as a umbrella organization to provide support for knowledge and experience sharing and provide a platform  for joint advocacy initiatives.

Thanks to our colleagues in Jakarta for hosting us!

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Standing team members Hugh Earp (ECB Project) and Angela Rouse (CARE International) recently attended a talk on communication technology and accountability to crisis-affected populations. The event profiled two projects funded by the Humanitarian Innovation Fund which aim to improve NGO accountability to communities in crisis through the use of innovative communication technology.  Here, Angela gives a little background on the complaints mechanism that DRC is using in Somalia.

Piloting Accountability Systems for Humanitarian Aid in Somalia

In Somalia the Danish Refugee Council (DRC) is seeking to address accountability in the context of remote management so as to enable meaningful beneficiary participation and strengthen the demand-side of local level governance and community-based organisations.  The organisation is using mobile phones, internet, on-line communities and social media to collect feedback from communities, all of which are mapped using the Ushahidi platform, first used to map reports of election violence in Kenya in 2010.  Community members are able to send a text message using their mobile phone with any feedback or complaint on DRC’s activities.  This text is payable at the normal, local rate which seems not to be a barrier to submitting an issue.  The SMS is received and reviewed by a dashboard administrator, who removes any identifying information for confidentiality purposes and posts the message to the map.  Have a look at the map here.  You can zoom in and then review complaints by location.   For example, on 19 March 2012 the complaint illustrated below was submitted – you will see the location mapped, the original complaint and the translation and – importantly – the follow up that was made in response.  Thinking back on tool 12 of the Good Enough Guide you’ll see this system ticks many boxes:

  • it is an accessible system provided you have access to a mobile, although there are also other ways in which complaints can be submitted, such as through agency staff
  • complaints are handled in a clear, systematic way that ensure each complaint receives a response and appropriate action
  • the complainant receives a text message confirming receipt of the complaint
  • it allows tracking of whether the complaint has been investigated and acted upon, or whether it is still pending
  • it helps to promote consistency: ensuring similar complaints receive a similar response
  • confidentiality is ensured
  • it allows learning: statistics and trends can be tracked and can inform future approaches and programming.

SMS feedback

More information on this project can be found here.

The second project that was presented was around using the radio to communicate with communities in an interactive way in Haiti.  Read more about it here: Mobile technology – listening to the voice of Haitians.

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