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Archive for the ‘Case Study’ Category

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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Last year, Tearfund embarked on a 6 month research project, funded by the Humanitarian Innovation Fund, to explore accountability in remotely managed projects.  Stakeholders from INGOs, NGOs, UN agencies, donors and research organizations participated, producing the report Monitoring and accountability practices for remotely managed projects implemented in volatile operating environments.

Remote management approaches are becoming increasingly common in humanitarian operations.  Though many publications have covered this subject, research found that “there was limited evidence that creative processes had been applied to considering accountability through the lens of remote management.”  This report highlights several key areas in which more attention is needed; with many examples of good practices featured as well. 

 

Apparent, however, was that often this good practice was confined to individual organisations rather than its being shared more widely to promote learning and best practice. A significant portion of the information required is already out there; the challenge is to ensure that this good practice is shared and communicated in a way that it is practical and realistic.

Key Issues Identified

Decrease in program quality – Weak technical oversight – Poor communication between offices – Increased fraud and corruption – Inaccurate data – Limited capacity of personnel – Irregular access to beneficiaries – Increased security threats – Increased political/social pressure on local staff

Recommendations

Key recommendations fell into six different categories: establishing and delivering on commitments, staff competency, sharing information, participation, beneficiary feedback and complaints handling, and learning and continual improvement.  These recommendations included the following:

1.) Establish a beneficiary accountability focal person at the program head office and the local project office, and initiate a beneficiary accountability working group at a regional and/or country level, with local staff participation.  Ensure that there is sufficient time and preparation to develop contextually appropriate beneficiary accountability approaches for the remotely managed project.

2.) Increase resources for internal and external training, develop training programs to promote beneficiary accountability specific to the remote management context, and provide adequate follow-up after training.   Staff capacity is a significant issue for remotely managed projects.  The report states,

Staff capacity issues were often worse in remote management situations where senior programme staff were not based with local staff and could not provide day-to-day mentoring and capacity building opportunities. Staff training workshops represent an additional expense, requiring trainers to travel to the project location (which is not always possible in insecure environments), or requiring project staff to travel elsewhere for training.

Those programs, however, that switched from direct management to remote management were found to be better implemented, because training was done before the program head office was moved. 

3.) Provide regular opportunities for local staff to present findings related to beneficiary accountability practice (e.g. methods that work particularly well) to senior program management.

4.) Develop additional structures within the community to promote beneficiary participation.  Also, ensure that agreement is reached between senior management and local staff on the content of information shared with beneficiaries about project activities and safe and practical means of sharing this information.  Additionally, as in any humanitarian intervention, it is critical to develop complaint and response mechanisms.  In remote management situations, it is particularly important to make certain that this feedback and reporting system is supported by third-party verification (e.g. visits by senior national personnel; peer monitoring by other agencies; meetings at a secure location between beneficiary representatives and senior expatriate personnel).

5.) Consider whether it is practical and appropriate to meet with beneficiaries outside of a project implementation area, as remote meetings could involve significant risk.  In addition, conducting such meetings could lead to contact only with beneficiaries who are not necessarily representative of the wider beneficiary group.

These are just a few highlights.  We encourage you to read the entire report here for more information!

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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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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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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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In our previous blog we discussed the findings of the 2009 HAP paper, The right to a say and the duty to respond: The impact of complaints and response mechanisms on humanitarian action by Helen Baños Smith. The four case studies in this paper explore evidence of the impact of Complaints and Response Mechanisms (CRMs) on beneficiaries, on staff and on service provision.  We found the research so fascinating, we wanted to share more!

Summary of additional findings:

Quality of investigations needs improvement

using complaints cards to set up a CRM, World Vision, Sri Lanka, hapinternational.org

Baños Smith found that there was disagreement and lack of clarity among staff and intended beneficiaries on what constituted a satisfactory investigation into complaints and how to go about it. The research suggests, “Creation of a pool of investigators/agencies with specialised skills to work alongside effective CRMs (a service offered by the HAP Secretariat) is one way forward.”

HAP training helps

Staff who had received HAP training on accountability and CRMs reported that such training was helpful. But actual changes in the field were not always implemented. “Corporate prioritising and integrated efforts at all levels are needed.”

Management support for CRMs is essential

Senior-level support for accountability and CRMs was “seen as essential to securing staff commitment to the implementation of a CRM.” Some international head office staff spoke of the difficulty of getting field staff to implement CRMs and practice accountability, due to long-established ways of working. Accountability measures need to be in the work plans of field staff, and rewards or incentives should be considered for those who practice accountability effectively.

Need clear designation of duties for CRMs

Head office staff reported that the roles and responsibilities for CRMs need to be clearly defined and communicated, and that senior-level staff should be in charge of the CRM. Such management needs to include support of junior-level staff who receive and deal with complaints. Staff in one case study “said they did not always feel qualified or supported to deal with complaints especially where the validity of the complaint was in question.” Management support of junior staff requires effective two-way communication.

Need to evaluate effectiveness of CRMs

The study found a range of responses from staff and intended beneficiaries on the effectiveness of CRMs, thus revealing the need for agencies to seek beneficiary feedback on the CRMs in order to improve them.

Setting up CRMs is time-consuming, but necessary

Staff complained of the large amount of time required to set up a CRM, including training of staff and the community on the CRM and the development of trust and rapport between the two parties.

The time required to implement an effective CRM and then pursue investigations of complaints thoroughly (especially when other agencies are involved or it has to be referred up the management chain) can seem disproportionate and unattainable given the short timeframes required for emergency work, yet delivering emergency relief without taking into account the negative unintended or intended effects that programmes and staff may have on communities is not an acceptable option.

As one national office staff member explained, “There is an African proverb that says, ‘If you like to go fast go alone, if you like to go far go collectively.’  This is how it is with accountability!”

CRMs for staff

The HAP Standard Benchmark 6 on complaints handling also specifies that agencies must implement a CRM for staff as well as for those affected by disasters. The requirements for an effective CRM for beneficiaries were the same as that for staff, including attitudes of management and staff toward the CRM.

Have you encountered successful examples of Complaints and Response Mechanisms in your work?  We would love to hear about them!

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You probably already know a lot about Complaints and Response Mechanisms (CRMs):

Complaints handling is one of the six benchmarks of the HAP 2010 Standard in Humanitarian Accountability and Quality Management .  Humanitarian Accountability Partnership International (HAP) member agencies must practice a complaints procedure for staff and beneficiaries according to specific HAP guidelines. We have discussed case studies of CRMs in Sri Lanka and Dadaab Refugee Camp, Kenya. The 2009 HAP paper, The right to a say and the duty to respond: The impact of complaints and response mechanisms on humanitarian action by Helen Baños Smith, explores evidence of the impact of CRMs on beneficiaries, on staff and on service provision. The study presents four cases of four anonymous agencies, two in Bangladesh and two in Uganda The agencies include a partner of a Certified HAP Member Agency, a partner of a HAP member, a HAP member, and a HAP Certified Member.

The paper presents the views and experiences of 237 staff and intended beneficiaries, including views of staff from 17 agencies not studied in the case studies (including CARE, Save the Children UK and World Vision in Bangladesh, and World Vision in Uganda). Each case study presents a description of the existing CRMs as related by staff; communities’ understanding of the purpose and function of CRMs; the views of both beneficiaries and staff on the effectiveness and impact of CRMs and, finally, presents communities’ expectations and suggestions on how CRMs could be improved.

The overall finding was that staff and beneficiaries of the HAP certified agency felt that the CRM was effective, but with need for some improvement. However, for the other three agencies, program staff and intended beneficiaries did not find the CRM effective, and the two groups had different descriptions and perceptions of the CRM.

Here are some other findings:

Explanation of the CRM to the community:    

Without the relevant information about the CRM in the local languages, community members, especially those with less power, are not likely to use the CRM. Information on the CRM should be in a form accessible to those who are illiterate as well. Communication about the CRM should include what can and cannot be complained about, and staff need to know what can and cannot be addressed within what time frame.

Local power imbalances:     

 Those with less power felt unqualified, unjustified or uncomfortable utilizing the CRM due to the difference in power and social status between the intended beneficiary and the staff, or they reported having to get past the “gatekeeper.” Those with power, those well respected in the community, and men were “less likely to be viewed negatively by their communities if they complained.” One intended beneficiary commented:

In our country we don’t all enjoy equal rights. All of us don’t have equal value. If there were any discussions we would not be invited, only rich people are invited. Who will listen to us? No one listens to the poor.

Thus the intended beneficiaries should feel comfortable using the CRM.

Unless agencies ensure that all potential users are aware of and confident in using the CRM, they risk reinforcing existing power imbalances and consequently put at risk their ability to be accountable to the marginalised groups.

CRMs: culturally acceptable?    

Even if CRMs are appropriately communicated and designed so that the most marginalized can easily utilize the mechanism, staff and beneficiaries interviewed reported that the idea of formally lodging a complaint about an organization may be culturally alien and therefore undesirable by the community. Others interviewed, however, relayed that adjusting the channels of making complaints to the context could make the CRM acceptable and therefore effective. The program staff need to understand the value of local input so they can design with the community an appropriate CRM.

Access to the CRM      

People must be able to easily access the CRM without incurring a significant loss, such as loss of income or time to work. Submitting a complaint or comment should not require substantial time. Additionally, women beneficiaries reported that they prefer to talk to female staff about their complaint. Thus more female staff should be made available to women beneficiaries. The author wrote:

In the light of feedback from the communities interviewed […] more female staff at all levels would be likely to improve accessibility to the CRM for both community members and staff and bring a different perspective in the process of setting up the CRM.

Staff attitude  

Staff interviews revealed that staff attitude toward the community was a major factor in the success of the CRM. One staff said

It is all about relationships between staff and communities, demonstrating dignity and respect, having compassion, working with humility and a sense of equality; with that commitment and mind set amongst staff then the CRM is so much more likely to be meaningful and used, because there is no mismatch between the mechanism and what the community sees in terms of the attitudes and behaviours of staff. That is what makes the difference.

Staff training     

Lack of training of staff was also cited as a barrier to effective CRMs. Staff on all levels—not just those in the field talking with the community—need sufficient knowledge and skills.

More findings from this paper to come soon. Stay tuned!

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In June of 2011, the ECB Project published the latest version of What we know about joint evaluations of humanitarian action: Learning from NGO Experiences. This paper aims to share the experiences and learnings of NGO staff who have conducted joint evaluations and serve as a resource for agencies considering conducting  joint evaluations in the future.

The Guide section of the booklet can be considered a ‘how‐to’ for those closely involved in joint evaluations. It discusses the benefits and disadvantages of the process, and what to do before, during and after a joint evaluation.

The Stories section shares three case studies from the ECB Project’s experiences.

  1. Joint Independent Evaluation of the Humanitarian Response of CARE, Catholic Relief Services, Save the Children and World Vision to the 2005 Food Crisis in the Republic of Niger
  2. Multi‐Agency Evaluation of the Response to the Emergency Created By Tropical Storm Stan in Guatemala – CARE, Catholic Relief Services, Oxfam
  3. CARE, Catholic Relief Services, Save the Children and World Vision Indonesia Joint Evaluation of their Responses to the Yogyakarta Earthquake in Indonesia

The Tools section includes templates and tools that can be adapted for evaluations, including sample terms of references, agreement documents, a joint evaluations readiness checklist, and suggested topics for discussion with prospective partner agencies.

Advantages of a Joint Evaluation

  • Like a single‐agency evaluation, a joint evaluation provides an opportunity to learn from past action so as to improve future decision‐making.
  • It allows agencies to see a bigger picture of the collective response and what gaps still exist.
  • By looking at a non-joint response of different agencies side by side, you can see where a coordinated effort would have been beneficial and can plan accordingly for the next response.

“Evaluation reports repeatedly show that better coordination would have led to a more effective response.”

  • When agencies open up to one another by sharing weaknesses and strengths, they increase transparency and make it easier for them to hold one another accountable for acting upon the recommendations.
  • Conducting the evaluation with other agencies allows sharing of perspectives and technical knowledge and builds trust for future cooperation.

Disadvantages

  • It takes greater time, funds and skills for agencies to agree to do and conduct a joint evaluation.
  • Less depth on the work of each agency is covered.

So check out What we know about Joint Evaluations and tell us what you think!

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So, you asked for more case studies…and we have found you some!

Why do accountability? A business case from Sri Lanka is a case study that examines the contributions of an independent Humanitarian Accountability Team (HAT) within World Vision’s Sri Lanka’s Tsunami Response Team (LTRT) program.  In order to demonstrate what accountability to beneficiaries looks like on the ground, this study makes the case for having empowered humanitarian accountability teams in the field and describes what is needed to make them work.

After the 2004 tsunami in Sri Lanka, the Sri Lanka Tsunami Response Team (LTRT) was formed with a Humanitarian Accountability Team (HAT) set up within it, separate from the technical programming and program support teams. By the way, the HAT Team Leader was one of ECB’s Staff Capacity Advisers (and former AIM Adviser), Alexandra Levaditis! The HAT complimented the program implementation by focusing on community engagement and liaising with NGOs and the government. The field-based HAT included Stakeholder Representatives that worked closely with communities and District Liaison Officers to coordinate activities and communicate with other NGOs and the government.  The operational responsibilities of the HAT included facilitating assessments, refining beneficiary lists, managing community complaints and dealing with many government liaison and coordination issues.

Advantages of the Humanitarian Accountability Team

crwrc.org

  • National staff have learned that the consideration of local perspectives and needs is valuable, because it helps the staff to better meet those needs.
  • The HAT served as the primary point of contact in the field, which built trust and therefore improved communication and the quality of the program services. For example, when a project budget was cut, World Vision was able to convey this to the community and prioritize programming according to  needs. Such communication helped deter/reduce corruption because complaints could be made.

Splitting responsibility for accountability and programming

  • Having a HAT focus on beneficiaries allowed it to find problems and solve them more quickly. Since there was a HAT representative on the senior management team, this kept the latter in tune with beneficiaries’ issues/needs.
  • It was easier to hire staff when the job descriptions did not require both technical expertise and accountability expertise, a rare combination of skills. Technical staff were able to perform their job well without having to consult with communities and handle complaints at the same time. HAP staff could focus on beneficiaries and, for example, conduct greater quality community consultations.

Saved scarce resources

  • “Through good community engagement and liaison with stakeholders, HAT was able to save LTRT over USD 5 million in construction costs by preventing either unsuitable or unneeded construction in the south.”
  • Working with communities to refine beneficiary lists reduced them by 40% on average.

Enabling Factors that made the HAT successful in the LTRT program

  • Senior leadership needs to support HAT staff to be able to follow through with complaints internally to resolve problems.
  • The HAT should be separate from other units and have its own budget so it can focus on accountability only, maintain independence and protect its budget from cuts.
  • All staff, from guards, receptionists and drivers to engineers, need to be sensitized to the value of accountability and trained how to address beneficiary complaints and questions. This is to avoid non-HAP staff incorrectly handling complaints or questions.
  • The HAT only focused on one area of programming (shelter) so as to not be spread too thin. This was the area with the greatest risk of accountability issues.
  • The cost of running the HAT was 3% of the annual project budget ($1.3 million out of $40 million per year).

So, have a look at the World Vision Humanitarian Accountability Team case study!

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Given that many of you speak Spanish and French as your first language, we thought we’d find out what accountability tools are out there in Spanish and French. Some of these you have probably already seen, but some should be new. Feel free to share here any tools in French or Spanish you have found useful with the rest of the Standing Team!

ECB Project

The ECB Project website has several accountability tools in Spanish and French, like the Good Enough Guide (GEG).  For more on the GEG, see this previous blog post.

GEG in Spanish;  GEG French

GEG Training and Communication materials in Spanish and French.  These include posters, leaflets, films and training guides.

GEG poster

For developing these  GEG materials yourself, use this guidelines: Technical guidelines in Spanish and French.

Sphere

Sphere Handbook in Spanish; Sphere Handbook in French

Active Learning Network for Accountability and Performance in Humanitarian Action (ALNAP)

You can use ALNAP’s Evaluative Reports Database to search for documents in French or Spanish. You can search by agency, year, country, region, keyword (i.e. accountability, coordination, etc.) and type of document (i.e. evaluation, lessons paper, manuals, articles, etc.).

Groupe URD (Urgence Réhabilitation Développement)   

Groupe URD is a non-profit research institute which works on evaluations, methodology and training to improve humanitarian practice for crisis-affected populations.

URD website in Spanish  URD website in French

The Participation handbook for humanitarian field workers contains detailed practical advice on the participation of affected people in humanitarian action. Chapters can be downloaded in Spanish or French.

The Quality COMPAS is a Quality Assurance method  in the humanitarian sector which comes equipped with its own set of tools, training modules and consultancy services.

Quality COMPAS in Spanish and French.
COMPAS training modules in Spanish and French.

Humanitarian Accountability Partnership International (HAP)

Case studies and tools in French and Creole

Materials for building staff awareness on quality and accountability and Quick reference tools for staff in French and Creole

Sharing Information in Creole, French and Spanish

Participation in French

Handling Complaints in French and Creole

World Vision

These structured discussion guides for beneficiaries and staff to improve accountability in the field were developed in Sri Lanka in order to evaluate the impact of World Vision’s Humanitarian Accountability Team.  In Creole and French.

Here are one page visuals showing the steps to set up and run a complaints mechanism in French and Creole. These were developed in Haiti in 2010.

Christian Aid

"Accountability is not an add-on." (Christian Aid)

Check out some accountability cartoons in Spanish!

Catholic Agency For Overseas Development (CAFOD) 

Accountability Briefing: Handling Community Feedback / Complaints provides a basic step-by-step guide for partners of CAFOD to handle community feedback and complaints as part of development and/or humanitarian projects. Available in Spanish and French.

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