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Archive for the ‘Standing Team Deployments’ Category

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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Following face to face planning during their time in Nepal, Kaiser (Oxfam Bangladesh), Ajaz (Mercy Corp India), and Hugh (ECB Shelter Accountability Advisor) arrived in Indonesia for the final Standing Team deployment of the year! They are supported by new Standing Team member Yvonne (CRS Zimbabwe) and CRS AIM Advisor Driss . Here is their first update:

We can’t wait to share our first day’s experience! We started with a planning and consolidation meeting, discussing the terms of references of our deployment, the objectives and the deliverables. The four key expected outputs/deliverables are:

  1. Gap Analysis – identify strengths and areas of improvement for shelter accountability mechanisms and practices among stakeholders: ECB consortium member agencies, partners and local NGO’s.
  2. To facilitate a one day training/learning workshop in shelter accountability mechanisms and their implementation
  3. Improve linkages, collaboration and levels of commitment among ECB consortium agencies, local partners, government and NGO’s for implementation of accountability mechanisms/practices

    Kaiser and Hugh discuss cluster accountability in Nepal prior to deploying to Indonesia

    Kaiser and Hugh discuss cluster accountability in Nepal prior to deploying to Indonesia

Considering all these objectives, we met with CRS Indonesia, followed by meetings with CARE and Oxfam. These discussions aimed at understanding the perspectives, reflections, opinions, knowledge, capacity and experience of the shelter programs each agency had implemented in the past. The information collected helped us to better understand the shelter accountability mechanisms adopted thus far, the challenges the agencies face, areas of improvement and the learning that has come from adopting such mechanisms. It was highly encouraging to know that each agency is keen to increase their knowledge about, and capacity for, accountability mechanisms and their implementation in shelter projects.

These organizations consider the ECB Project a rich resource for facilitating the relationship among consortium agencies and value its role and expertise in implementing accountability mechanisms in emergency response related projects. In order to make these accountability mechanisms highly sustainable, the participating agencies are willing to integrate them into project implementation processes and share and disseminate the knowledge about their usefulness among the local partners for wider coverage. So far all three agencies expect to learn about the best practices in shelter specific accountability mechanisms and their feasibility in Indonesia. This will be covered in the nextworkshop.

We look forward to sharing more information soon!

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Participants were divided in 4 groups, to look at past deployments in depth (in Bangladesh, Bolivia, Horn of Africa, Nepal).

Each group was composed of

  • people who had direct experience of the deployment (either as “clients” or as “providers”): they could share their experience first hand.
  • People who were not involved in the deployment – and acted as “interviewer” and “note taker”.

To support the interviewers, we suggested the following questions (but each group was free to add, change, adapt questions):

1. What activities were conducted as part of your deployment?

2. State two or three specific outcomes that were a result of the deployment for:

  • The country office/consortium: How has your agency’s country office/consortium benefited from the deployment?
  • Your own professional development:  What did you learn? And what did you gain from the experience?

3. What follow-up was/should be done after the deployment? And for what purpose? (e.g. sustainability, acting on recommendations, liaising with the Standing Team for additional support etc.)

4. What were the three biggest successes?

5. What were the three biggest challenges?

6. If the deployment was to happen again, what could be done differently?

7 What did you learn about the Standing Team model, and how can it be improved?

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Standing Team members Sajjad (Save Pakistan) and Tarun (Save Nepal) discussing accountability

Team members Faten and Sajjad write to us from Nepal:

Hello team members, colleagues, and readers! This is Faten and Sajjad writing you from our deployment in Nepal. The weather is quite pleasant here. Though a bit cold, we find that the cold is good to balance out the hot topic of accountability!

We are here working with many NGOs in Nepal, and are hosted by CARE and Save the Children Nepal. On Tuesday we visited the CARE Nepal office, and Wednesday we met with fellow Standing Team member Tarun at Save the Children Nepal. Even as we walked through office buildings of CARE and Save the Children, we could see that accountability is taken quite seriously by both agencies. It is well reflected in the vision and mission statements of both organizations, and it is core to their organizational values. Wall hangings  shared the core principles of humanitarian work, theories of change, ways of increasing our influence in a positive manner, and methods to empower communities to organize themselves and fulfill their fundamental rights.

It was great to discuss the ways in which CARE and Save the Children have adopted theories and practices of the fundamentals of accountability to communities. This includes information sharing, consultation, participation, and complaints and feedback. There are great things being practiced, but at the same time we strongly feel that we need to build evidence and demonstrate that affected communities feel that humanitarian organizations are really accountable to them. We have already discovered that many evaluations undertaken so far do not necessarily deal with information provision, consultation, participation and complaints and feedback as an important subject matter.

We intend to keep asking challenging questions in the coming days. Please let us know if you have any questions or feedback that could assist in our assessment. We would love to know what is on your mind! Please include your thoughts in the comments of this blog post and we will keep you posted.

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The two week Horn of Africa deployment, conducted by Sajilu (World Vision) and Syma (Oxfam) came to an end October 5th.  Below Sajilu shares with us the remainder of his experience.

“Kenya’s Got Talent” winners received the copies of the Good Enough Guide!

During the last two days of the workshop, spirits remained high.  As we reviewed our field day of testing the assessment tools a number of accountability aspects were highlighted. Some of the issues that came up were around having a conducive and safe space for different members of the community to participate in an assessment. The assessment team noted the importance of ensuring that men and women were separated during the discussions.

Our last accountability session was around sharing information (assessment findings) with communities. To start off the session a YouTube video prepared by the International Federation of Red Cross & Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) that drives home the message on why information sharing during the initial phases of an emergency can save lives was shared. A few PowerPoint slides were then shared with the participants. The key message was that humanitarian agencies regularly extract information from communities through various data collection exercises, but rarely share that same information with communities. The presentation underscored the importance of sharing information with communities so that they can understand how their data is being used and can help verify its analysis. During the plenary session, participants reflected on their experiences in sharing information with communities and all thought it to be a positive experience.

The last part of the deployment was a reflection exercise with our colleagues from ACAPS. It was agreed that the deployment added value to the Kenya Initial Rapid Assessment (KIRA) process. This was affirmed by informal interactions with the workshop participants. The next stage of the KIRA process is to conduct trainings in different regions of Kenya. It is important that the accountability momentum gained is not lost. I am confident that our in-country ECB colleagues will make this happen.

The deployment was a success and a good learning experience for me and Syma. A big thank you goes to all those who supported this deployment!

To read Sajilu’s post about the first half of his deployment with Syma, click here.

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The following videos are in Spanish. A rough English translation has been provided below each video for non-Spanish speakers

Daniela Zambrana – Viceminister of Transparency, Government of Bolivia

Good afternoon, my name is Daniela Zambrana. I am from the Ministry of Institutional Transparency, and I fight against corruption. The workshop on accountability was a good experience for me. I really enjoyed the experiences that they have shared – many projects that are unlike the ones that I am used to seeing.  This has brought me experiences to try to implement and some tools that I can use in the projects that I am carrying out.

Alexander Fortin – Oxfam

Hi, I am Alexander Fortin. I work with Oxfam, and I have been participating in these workshops over the last few days. What I found most valid, well, most interesting, was the presentation from our partner from Kenya who you can tell has a lot of experience with accountability, and from there, I was able to better understand how you can evaluate your work in the best way possible: seeking the perspectives of the beneficiaries, always returning to see how it’s going and taking suggestions from the beneficiaries to improve the projects. I think for me that has been the most interesting. And I think that it has been even more valuable to reflect on his experience.  Then, in my work, we are just now developing a qualitative analysis that will actually serve to understand the people’s perceptions, and we are going to integrate this new tool that we are using into our accountability work, and into our future planning at the Oxfam level, and also at the Oxfam Bolivia level – how we will integrate this aspect of accountability into our next projects.

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