Humanitarian Exchange articles tagged:Assessment

Accountability to affected populations. The ubiquity of the phrase in the humanitarian sector masks a crucial fact: while formulating a policy statement detailing accountability aspirations is relatively easy, actually being accountable to recipients of aid is often, surprisingly, difficult – and demonstrating that you have been accountable is more challenging still. Part of the problem is the sheer diversity of accountability delivery methods available. But more problematic is the fact that, despite the decade-long focus on accountability, little research has been conducted on the link between accountability mechanisms and programme effectiveness. As Paul Knox-Clarke of ALNAP has suggested, arguments for…
In mid-2012, 18 months into the crisis in Syria, most actors agreed that the picture of the humanitarian situation was incoherent and fragmented: displacement flows, the scope and depth of humanitarian needs and the longer-term impact on infrastructure and livelihoods were largely unknown. Much of the problem revolved around the sensitivities associated with gathering and sharing information on the affected population and restricted access to the field. In neighbouring countries hosting hundreds of thousands of refugees, responses diverged and were not based on a coordinated and harmonised needs analysis. The Syria Needs Analysis Project (SNAP) was established in December 2012…
From Iran to western China, Central Asia is suffering its worst drought in decades. One of the states hardest-hit has been Afghanistan; poor and conflict-ridden, it is also the least able to cope Afghanistan is in its third year of severe drought, compounding the effects of conflict and international isolation. Precarious security conditions and problems of access make needs difficult to assess, but it is clear that the food crisis in much of the country has become acute. Millions of Afghans have little or no access to food, and require international humanitarian food aid. Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands more have been forced from their homes, congregating in camps in Afghanistan or across…
Results of RRN Members’ Questionnaire In the June Newsletter, we flagged up the very positive nature of the response to the RRN members’ Questionnaire, mailed in February this year. We also promised a fuller analysis of those responses and an indication of future directions for the RRN. A complete report is available on request from the RRN, including more detailed statistical analysis. The following is an edited version outlining the principal conclusions drawn from that data. We have not attempted to respond to each point raised in turn, but to report key findings. A number of initiatives are planned for…
Evidence of the particular vulnerabilities of LGBTI people (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex) has been documented in several emergency and disaster situations. For example, men who have sex with men (MSM) in Haiti were denied food aid after the 2008 earthquake because ration schemes were targeted only at women, and these men had no women registered in their residences; transgender people reported being denied entry to IDP camps after the floods in Pakistan because they did not possess proper government ID that matched their appearance; and aravanis (feminine, male-bodied, gender-variant people) routinely faced discrimination in access to housing, medical…
The IDP Vulnerability Assessment and Profiling (IVAP) project was launched in Pakistan in 2010 to enable agencies to provide humanitarian assistance in a more impartial and targeted manner. Responding to needs arising out of a protracted conflict, humanitarian agencies in Pakistan’s north-western Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) province were preparing to provide aid to hundreds of thousands of conflict IDPs for a third consecutive year. Effective targeting of beneficiaries – particularly in a period when financial resources were steadily decreasing – required humanitarian agencies to locate and identify those directly affected by the conflict, broadly understand their priority needs and then analyse…
The humanitarian reform agenda recognises the need for evidence-based decision-making in emergencies. However, current approaches to humanitarian needs assessment often do not provide a sufficiently coherent picture of humanitarian requirements and, therefore, are unable to effectively inform decisions. Multiple, independent, uncoordinated assessments often represent significant duplication of time, effort and funds, provide a fragmented picture of need and risk neglecting certain beneficiary groups and leaving gaps in information. These efforts may not meet commonly promoted humanitarian standards of accountability to vulnerable groups affected by crises. For all these reasons, coordinated needs assessments are increasingly seen as crucial for the more…
The way in which humanitarian needs are defined and prioritised can mean the difference between life and death for millions of the world’s poorest people. It is, therefore, critical that donors and humanitarian organisations invest effort and resources to ensure that our understanding is as accurate as possible, and programmes are directed to those most in need. Responses to emergencies require a consistently accurate picture of the scale and nature of the problems people face. Decisions should be informed by that understanding. But until now there has been no system-wide framework for judging the relative severity of situations. This may…
The emergency response to the 2004 tsunami in India demonstrates once more that, while disasters are class- and caste-neutral, those on the margins feel their impact much more severely. Marginalised people live in precarious conditions that increase their vulnerability to disasters. When viewed in this light, accountability to affected communities needs to go well beyond the provision of relief and rehabilitation, so that they regain their pre-disaster level. Accountability needs to empower them – socially and economically – to build their resilience and protection from future disasters. Accountability should not just be about the final outcome, but also the degree…
I was at home in London when I heard the news of the tsunami disaster on the morning of 26 December. It quickly became clear that this was a serious emergency, and that the DFID disaster response machinery was going to have a busy Boxing Day. But it was not immediately apparent how challenging the response would prove to be. DFID’s response The UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) normally responds through its financial support to NGOs, the Red Cross Movement and UN agencies. But it also has the capability to undertake direct bilateral response actions when deemed necessary and…
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