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|NGO Impact Initaitive: Synthesis Report||294.68 KB|
|NGO Impact Initative: Human Rights and Tsunami Recovery||294.68 KB|
In April 2006, the UN Special Envoy for Tsunami Recovery, former U.S. President Bill Clinton, presented the humanitarian community with a challenge – and an opportunity. With the intention to improve NGO global relief and recovery, President Clinton launched a six-month intensive review by U.S. and international NGOs of their activities in tsunami recovery in five critically important areas: accountability to affected populations; coordination; enhancing local capacity; human rights and recovery; and NGO professionalism. Working groups in each area led the respective reviews, which consisted of in-depth analysis and consultations with partners in the field and at the headquarters level, in India, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Geneva, London, New York, and Washington DC. This report represents the synthesis of the consultative process and the analysis and findings contained in the five working group papers. Informed by the experience of tsunami recovery, the analysis is most relevant to natural disaster response, though much of the analysis and many of the recommendations are also applicable to NGO response to man-made emergencies.
While the five papers contain numerous important findings and recommendations, this report synthesizes the key analysis and recommendations. It also draws out three overarching themes from the five working group papers – building better partnerships for sustainable recovery; quality assurance; and a call for informed and responsible giving – and articulates commitments to carry forward key recommendations in these three areas.
Progress Achieved by the INGO Community
International NGOs (INGOs) already incorporate many of the objectives described under these three areas as part of their ongoing work, and they have made significant progress in recent years in improving their policies and practices in these key areas. For example, in recent years, INGOs have developed guidelines to strengthen local capacity and ensure accountability to vulnerable populations receiving humanitarian and development assistance, and have begun to incorporate standards, such as the NGO/Red Cross Code of Conduct and the SPHERE standards, into their work. They have sought to promote quality management and recruitment and retention of highly skilled and motivated personnel through a range of professional standard-setting initiatives over the past several years. And they have undertaken concerted public education efforts to build a constituency for foreign assistance and educate the public and the media about the components and nature of effective and sustainable disaster preparedness and response. INGOs’ progress in these areas is also well reflected in the tsunami affected region, where INGOs have assisted in constructing tens of thousands of temporary shelters and permanent homes and creating livelihood programs that have put tens of thousands back to work, and supported microcredit and other programs designed to empower local communities.
Thus, the commitments made as part of this initiative represent a renewed call to action on the part of organizations that are already leading the way in terms of ensuring their own work best supports local communities, meets the highest standards, and reflects a close partnership with institutional and private donors throughout the world.
Key Findings and Commitments
1. Building Better Partnerships for Sustainable Recovery
INGOs should accelerate and expand efforts to recognize and promote the leadership of local communities, local aid groups, and, where appropriate, affected governments in recovery from major disasters; they should also make the strengthening of local capacity in recovery from an emergency a priority equal to that of service delivery.
Commitment: We will 1) increase investments in local capacity building and report systematically on such activities; 2) undertake audits to measure INGO accountability to local populations; 3) develop and articulate strategies for protecting and promoting human rights in emergency response programs; and 4) otherwise enhance capacity to collaborate and coordinate with local communities. We will report publicly over the course of the next year on our efforts to achieve these objectives.
2. An NGO Quality Assurance Initiative
INGOs should promote optimal standards of professional conduct in their humanitarian response.
Commitment: Building on existing guidelines and standards, we will convene INGO agencies, consortia, and networks to promote a common agreement on professional standards to ensure quality management, successful service delivery, and effective engagement with local communities. INGOs should draw on existing quality assurance initiatives to develop a mechanism to promote and verify optimal standards of performance by INGOs. We will report publicly over the course of the next year on our efforts to meet these objectives.
3. A Call for Informed and Responsible Giving
Donors should support actions that reflect best humanitarian and development practices, recognizing that recovery is a long-term process. INGOs should increase their efforts to educate the public and the media on the components and nature of effective and sustainable disaster preparedness and response.
Commitment: We will undertake joint and concerted efforts to raise awareness among institutional donors and the general public on the key recommendations of the NGO Impact Initiative and the principles of Good Humanitarian Donorship. We will report publicly over the course of the next year on our efforts to meet this objective.
Steering Committee Members
Sam Worthington, President and CEO, InterAction; President and CEO, Plan USA through September 2006; Committee Chair
Naomi Rush Olson, Consultant to the Steering Committee Chair
Nazaré Albuquerque, Advisor for NGOs & Civil Society, UN OSE for Tsunami Recovery
George Biddle, Senior Vice President, International Rescue Committee
Joel Charny, Vice-President for Policy, Refugees International
Sheba Crocker, Deputy Chief of Staff, UN OSE for Tsunami Recovery
George Devendorf, Director of Public Affairs Mercy Corps
Rigoberto Giron, Director, Emergency & Humanitarian Assistance Unit, CARE
Christopher Herink, Partnership Coordinator, Tsunami Recovery Program, American Red Cross (ARC)
Robert Laprade, Senior Program Advisor, Tsunami Recovery Program, ARC
Nancy Lindborg, President, Mercy Corps
Paul M. Majarowitz, Senior Program Officer, Mercy Corps
Cara Jean O’Hare, Research/Special Projects Manager, Plan USA
Mary Pack, Vice President, International Medical Corps
Rein Paulsen, Senior Director, Emergency Response and Disaster Mitigation, World Vision US
Virginia Vaughn, Consultant, CARE USA
Rudolph Von Bernuth, Vice President & Managing Director, Save the Children
George Ward, Senior Vice President, International Programs Group, World Vision US