Event series on strengthening accountability and inclusion: Making collective accountability to affected populations a reality

Banner for webinar Making collective accountability to affected populations a reality

Accountability to affected populations (AAP) is an essential part of good humanitarian programming. But while some organizations may integrate it well into their own operations, people do not live in silos and their needs and priorities regularly cut across different programs and as a result, they are often faced with confusing and overlapping feedback and engagement systems. Collective approaches to AAP seek to address this by focusing on the overall humanitarian response and putting people rather than projects at the center.

Building on the operational research on Communication and Community Engagement conducted by the Humanitarian Policy Group at ODI, as well as its ongoing work around inclusion, the first webinar will consider some of the lessons emerging from this research and explore how such approaches can be encouraged, particularly by leadership at country level.

About the event series on accountability and inclusion

Progress has been made, but the humanitarian system – as a whole – is not accountable to the communities it serves. To help practitioners understand the current state of accountability to affected populations (AAP) and how they can be part of strengthening accountability and inclusion, PHAP is organizing a series of events together with the IASC Results Group on Accountability & Inclusion. Join us for four webinars touching on different aspects of accountability and inclusion, bringing together global and local perspectives:

  1. Implementing collective accountability to affected populations
  2. Navigating guidance on accountability and inclusion
  3. AAP in the COVID-19 response
  4. Complaints and feedback mechanisms

Visit the event series page to learn more.

Event recording (YouTube)

Watch recording

Event recording (audio podcast)

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Oliver Lough Research Fellow, Overseas Development Institute
Mia Seppo UN Resident Coordinator in Bangladesh
Elham Youssefian Inclusive Humanitarian Action and Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) Advisor, International Disability Alliance
Nanette Antequisa Executive Director, ECOWEB Philippines


Manisha Thomas

Event polls

During the event, we also asked participants to respond to a few live polls. You can find the final results of these exercises below. 

Do you have an example of a collective approach to accountability that you have found to be successful?

  • Working with government, local CSOs, and other INGOs on a joint outward messaging and inward feedback mechanism.
  • www.talktoloop.org
  • Protection Referral Systems
  • Engaging local partners, empower children and communities
  • A specialized organization called by the UN in the field to do a collective assessment on AAP by interviewing the communities; the results were given back to the NGOs; capacity building was provided; started a common conversation on it
  • When I worked in South Sudan in 2014/15 there were community representatives attached to each cluster, which was partly successful, who worked as an intermediary
  • PFIM - People First Impact Method – Participatory Video – Survivor and Community Led Response
  • The collective approach in Mozambique during the Cycone Idai Response
  • ensure the participation of the affected population in the project cycle, and to ensure accessible complaint, suggestions and feedback mechanism .
  • Post distribution monitoring of cash assistance intervention – Involvement of Organisation of People with Disability in designing response plan
  • Accessible feedback mechanism
  • Right Based Approach to participation and accountability
  • FGD and Satisfaction Survey HH visits
  • In Iraq, the UN system piloted a country-wide AAP mechanism. The mechanism would collect feedback from communities, analyse it and circle back to individual agencies.
  • Assessing communication preferences first and building CFM on that - eg. People tend to want the chance to have face to face feedback formats, and the gender/ethnicity/age of the person they speak to is incredibly important
  • Listening to affected people, response to them and external dialogue/disclosure
  • Staff or volunteer needs to abide according to each organization´s guidelines
  • Collective final impact evaluation recommendations turned into policy guidance for future programming
  • The mechanism had a few gaps: 1. it was too slow. 2. it was "competing" against many other AAPs (PSEA network, agency level) 3. implementers were afraid to suffer kickbacks from donors as a consequence of feedback
  • Inter-agency PSEA network groupings in various locations: pooling awareness raising material development, outreach activities, and reporting channels
  • What Matters newsletter (Rohingya response) – Collecting multiple agency CFM data and have a collective analysis of feedback and complaints, share insights to the practitioners to change programmes strategically to put community at the center."
  • Two-way communication, feedback...
  • Multi-actor and multisectorial CFM
  • Capacity building across organization and local partners, that build a massive awareness a massive community in North East Syria response in Save the children program


What needs to change to move towards more effective collective approaches?

  • Improve referral mapping
  • Standardize access to feedback channels in a response
  • Listening to the affected populations on what they need and want
  • Limit the number of complaint and feedback mechanisms per area but instead put in place one multi-sectorial and multi-actors mechanism
  • Involve affected populations in humanitarian leadership structures
  • To improve ownership
  • Stop equating AAP with feedback mechanisms, focus more on participation and information-sharing components.
  • Every organization needs to do follow up closely on their approach on their activities.
  • Design new mechanisms by working in different groups of interests in order to diversify and includes. Continuing negotiation with leaders, stakeholders and their staff
  • Have effective leadership, activate policies and good governance
  • Assess needs in a wide, participatory way (not only when you need to write a project). Collect and capitalize on feedback. Respond to feedback. Include locally-led decision making processes (ie client selection, community score-cards etc).
  • Require members of affected populations to approve humanitarian agencies' funding proposals to donors.
  • Move from bureaucracy towards a flexible approach
  • Commitments from top management.
  • Revision of Mechanism of Accountability and Monitoring according to the Situations and Regions.
  • political will to listen and change based on peoples views.
  • Act upon the feedback provided
  • Recognize the community's capacity
  • Recruit more SOCIALLY diverse staff from the North and the South: people who know people, humble, who listens and avoid this Upper Interntaional elite
  • How do we integrate existing local feedback mechanisms in our own AAP system
  • Donor flexibility, timely implementation, resource allocation