Our broad frameworks

The review will focus in particular inclusion (with a focus on gender) and accountability. Have they been incorporated in the response? Did they shape it?

Inclusion/gender and accountability are understood as essential, crosscutting components of a quality response. And they are linked. They both require that the response strengthen the power and dignity of people at risk of being marginalized and sidelined. This is achieved by involving them, as much as possible, in decision making.

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A “good enough” response. But aiming high!

Both concepts are aspirational: humanitarian organization always aim at high degrees of inclusion and accountability. But practical consideration limits the extent to which they can be achieved. The different dimensions of inclusion and accountability – shown below – help to gauge: are achievements good enough, in the circumstances? Do organization show a commitment to improve them? We well look at different dimensions of inclusion and accountability to explore this. All these dimensions have already been tested in previous work in Nepal

 

Dimensions of inclusion (focus on gender)

  • Participation in decision making: can and do all people participate in decision making? Can they be active? Do they have a voice? Can they hold institutions accountable?
  • Recognition of diversity: does the response recognize that there are different people, institutions, contexts? What challenges, opportunities they have? What risk they face? What is their power? What barriers they encounter?
  • Tailored approaches: is the response adapted to the diversity encountered? Is it suitable, sensitive? Does it do “no harm”? Can it build on available opportunities?
  • Removal of barriers: to what extent the response also removes existing barriers, marginalizing individual and groups? Can the response address the causes of exclusion? Can it lead to power shifts (or does it risk to consolidate the power of few people)? Can it be sustained?

 

Dimensions of accountability

  • Who “shakes hands”? Who is involved in setting and checking commitments? (are people directly consulted and informed? Are they well represented? Are effort made to involve the most marginalized?)
  • How are people engaged? How have people been engaged in setting and checking promises? Are decision taken in offices? To what extent people are consulted? What participatory processes have been set? Are organizations responding to local initiatives?
  • Is the promise clear? Are commitments clear? This involve checking clarity and sharing of plans and budgets, criteria, MOUs, regulation, operational procedures, operational mechanisms (e.g. for feedback, arbitration)
  • How is it shared? Is information relating to accountability reaching all that needs it? In what formats, through what channels? Is it easy to understand? Can people effectively share and use this information? Are they in a position to communicate back / give feedback?

 

Our main reference: the Core Humanitarian Standards

Our exploration of inclusion and accountability will also be linked to the Core Humanitarian Standard. They will be the primary reference for this review, as they can encompass other existing standards in use (Sphere, HAP, People in Aid, of course, but also the OECD/DEC standards and other humanitarian code of conduct.

Linking the core humanitarian standards to our understanding of inclusion, and accountability, will also help to deepen it. We will do this as part of our analysis process.

For example, we will explore questions such as:

    1. is the work done on inclusion / accountability lead to assistance that is relevant for diverse people?
    2. What is the impact of accountability / inclusion on the timeliness of the response?
    3. Is it helping to avoid negative effects, reduce risk, seize opportunities to build on local capacities? (or can it cause harm?)
    4. Is it built on and does it strengthen participation and communication?
    5. Is it supported by effective feedback mechanisms? (and/or does it strengthen them?)
    6. Is it supported by coordinated work, and/or does it foster collaboration amongst different actors?
    7. Is is built on previous learning, and/or efficiently captured / shared?
    8. What implications did it have for organizational staffing?
    9. Are organizational systems and resources supportive of accountability and inclusion? And do accountability and response help effective management of resources?

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