Shelter Accountability Resources: A guide to improving accountability to disaster-affected populations during the implementation of humanitarian shelter programmes | Accountability

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Emergency Capacity Building (ECB) Project agencies, led by CARE, have developed the Shelter Accountability Resources for project managers and decision-makers in humanitarian shelter programs. As a guide it is also intended to be useful for Shelter Cluster coordinators, and other staff who would like to monitor the accountability of particular projects and programs. The tools and examples included here should help humanitarians to plan, implement and monitor shelter projects and programs in a way that is accountable to disaster-affected populations.
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    Shelter Accountability Resources  A guide to improving accountability to disaster-affected populations during the implementation of humanitarian shelter programmes  April 2013   www.ecbproject.org/cluster-accountability    Shelter Accountability Resources 2 Contents Contents .................................................................................................................................. 2    Acknowledgements .................................................................................................................. 3   The Emergency Capacity Building Project ............................................................................... 3    Acronyms ................................................................................................................................. 3   1.   Introduction ....................................................................................................................... 4   1.1.   What is accountability? Why is it necessary? 4   1.2.   Types of accountability 4   1.3.   Coordination and accountability 5   1.4.   Shelter responses 5   1.5.   Resources required to ensure accountability 5   2.    Accountability Checklist .................................................................................................... 6   3.   Shelter Accountability Framework ..................................................................................... 8   4.   Shelter Accountability Examples ..................................................................................... 13   4.1.   Example 1: Coordination and accountability 13   4.2.   Example 2: Participation in beneficiary selection 13   4.3.   Example 3: Participation in shelter design 14   4.4.   Example 4: Transparency in beneficiary selection 14   4.5.   Example 5: Transparency in project changes 14   4.6.   Example 6: Leadership commitment to accountability 15   4.7.   Example 7: Information sharing in structural damage assessments 15   4.8.   Example 8: Informal construction monitoring feedback 15   4.9.   Example 9: Fraud identified through complaints mechanisms 16   4.10.   Example 10: Thorough accountability mechanisms 16   5.   General resources to support accountability.................................................................... 17   6.   Conclusions .................................................................................................................... 17   Photo on cover page (Philip Barritt, CARE) Photo from the programme Flood Resistant Shelter for the South West Region of Bangladesh (2012), which aimed to reduce morbidity and mortality, and reduce loss of productive capacity and assets due to harmful coping strategies, and increase resilience to future disasters. The programme included many good accountability practices, including the modification of the shelter design following a community consultation to include a brick rather than mud plinth, a transparent beneficiary selection  process with several feedback steps, a successful Complaints and Response Mechanism, and the establishment of gender-balanced Local Management Committees to monitor the shelter activities at community level and resolve problems such as land disputes. Beneficiaries were also taught what quality  of materials to expect and how the construction would be undertaken to enable them to monitor vendors and contractors.    Shelter Accountability Resources 3 Acknowledgements These resources were developed by Hugh Earp on behalf of the Emergency Capacity Building (ECB) Project and the Shelter Cluster. Special thanks to Lizzie Babister, Jock Baker, Sarah Barr, Phil Barritt, Neil Bauman, Pippa Bown, Patrick Elliott, Gabriel Fernandez-del-Pino, Bill Flinn, Lucy Heaven-Taylor, Madara Hettiarachchi, Laura Heykoop, Fiona Kelling, Pablo Medina, Colin Rogers, Angela Rouse and Miguel Urquia for their contributions and guidance. Thanks to many colleagues and partners who supported the training deployments as part of work leading up to the publication of this guide. This Shelter Accountability initiative is funded by the Directorate General for Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection (DG ECHO).   The Emergency Capacity Building Project The complexity, frequency and impact of humanitarian emergencies and disasters continue to intensify pressure on the humanitarian system. In response to these challenges, six international humanitarian agencies, CARE, Catholic Relief Services, Mercy Corps, Oxfam, Save the Children and World Vision, formed the Emergency Capacity Building Project (ECB) initiative in 2006. These agencies, together with their partners, work collaboratively on common issues so that scarce resources, both human and financial, can be used more effectively to prepare national response teams, and surge teams, for future emergencies. Acronyms HAP Humanitarian Accountability Partnership HC Humanitarian Coordinator HCT Humanitarian Country Team IASC Inter-Agency Standing Committee NFI Non-Food Item Background: The Shelter Accountability Resources ECB Project agencies, led by CARE, have developed the Shelter Accountability Resources, a set of tools and examples for project managers and decision-makers to help them plan, implement and monitor humanitarian shelter projects and programmes in a way that is accountable to disaster-affected populations . The resources are also intended to be useful for Shelter Cluster coordinators and other staff who would like to monitor the accountability of particular projects and programmes. These resources  support the ECB Project‟s overall aim to improve the speed, quality, and effectiveness   of the humanitarian community to save lives, improve welfare, and protect the rights of people in emergency situations. Find out more at http://www.ecbproject.org/cluster-accountability  Contact us via email: info@ecbproject.org     Shelter Accountability Resources 4 1. Introduction The ECB Project has developed these resources to support humanitarian shelter programming and to improve the level of accountability to affected populations. Shelter programmes involve risk management, engineering and construction monitoring and concerns around secure land tenure. These are a few of the issues that imply a need for special accountability considerations. The resources here should help project managers and decision-makers, as well as those monitoring projects, to plan, implement and monitor shelter activities in a manner that is accountable. 1.1. What is accountability? Why is it necessary? The experience of humanitarian agencies has demonstrated the importance of accountability and this is reflected in the adoption of accountability frameworks within more and more agencies 1 . Whilst there are various definitions, the ECB Project has defined accountability as: the process through which an organisation makes a commitment to respond to and balance the needs of stakeholders in its decision-making processes and activities, and delivers against this commitment. In the ECB Project context this means making sure that women, men and children affected by an emergency are involved in planning, implementing and judging the response to their emergency  2  .  Humanitarian Accountability Partnership International (HAP) defines it as “the responsible use of power” . The examples in Section 4 show some of the consequences of programming where accountability was considered or omitted. Whilst definitions and frameworks may vary, the ECB Project agencies have agreed on a shared understanding of accountability, based on five key elements which were also recently adopted by the IASC in their Operational Framework for Accountability to Affected Populations 3 : ►   Leadership/governance: Demonstrate commitment to accountability to affected populations throughout the organisation. ►   Transparency: Provide accessible and timely information to affected populations. ►   Feedback and complaints:  Actively seek the views of affected populations to improve policy and practice in programming.   ►   Participation: Enable affected populations to play an active role in the decision-making processes that affect them.   ►   Design, monitoring and evaluation: Design, monitor and evaluate the goals and objectives of programmes with the involvement of affected populations.   1.2. Types of accountability  Accountability comes in a variety of formats: upwards  or backwards  accountability to donors; horizontal   or lateral   accountability to peer agencies, and forwards  or downwards  accountability to those receiving funds (either the affected population or implementing partners). These types of accountability can, of course, be at odds with one another. Managing expectations is therefore important. It is also good practice to make sure donors are aware of agencies‟ accountability principles and mechanisms that will be used in programmes, and ensure that the donor is comfortable allowing programme modifications based on the desires of affected populations. Likewise, it is good practice to ensure that affected populations understand the 1  e.g. http://www.care-international.org/Download-document/489-CI-Humanitarian-Accountability-Framework-Pilot-version.html  2  http://www.ecbproject.org/downloads/resources/keyelements-of-accountability-forecbagencies-final.pdf   3  In recognition of the importance of accountable programming, the Inter-Agency Standing Committee has adopted accountability to affected populations as one of the key areas for improvement in the humanitarian sector.
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