- Horn of Africa
- ECBinter-active learning conference success in five country consortia
ECBinter-active Indonesia: Accountability
At the ECBinter-active Indonesia event in Jakarta, attendees learned about and discussed accountability in two main sessions: firstly, a workshop covered some general topics in accountability to disaster-affected populations, and then a second session looked at the ECB Joint Needs Assessment approach. This page includes a summary of learning and feedback from participants collected during the workshop and some suggestions of the next steps to further improve in accountability across the humanitarian sector.
View more on communicating with communitieis in the ECB Joint Needs Assessment workshop.
For an additional resource, you can use click the image on the right to download a copy of the ECB accountability poster which was used at the ECBinter-active events as an introduction to ECB's five key principles of accountability.
Accountability to Disaster-Affected Populations
This session attracted participants wanting to talk about their experiences in developing practical accountability approaches in disasters, with a particular focus on ECB agencies' experiences of training and application of the ECB Good Enough Guide to Impact Measurement and Accountability.
Participants also learned about the ECB Accountability Framework, five basic principals of accountability discussed and agreed amongst the six ECB agencies at the global level:
- Leadership and governance
- Design, Monitoring and Evaluation
Participants discussed some of the key principals of accountability from their perspective and some of the challenges of implementing accountability principals in the field. Participants also reflected upon the differences between a feedback system and a complaints response mechanism, acknowledging that a complaints response system is often a more formal process, that requires significant resourcing if it is to be implemented appropriately.
Further lessons included:
- Serious complaints, involving fraud, corruption or misconduct allegations also need to be handled extremely sensitively and therefore staff involved in managing the system need to be trained appropriately. Feedback systems are also a method for picking up on issues as they emerge but are also more likely to be used by agencies to adjust programming as it progresses.
- Participants heard how, in Bangladesh, after an ECB supported training on the Good Enough Guide in 2010, attendees requested more specialist training on complaints response mechanisms. The ECB project was able to link the Bangladesh consortium to the Humanitarian Accountability Project, a global network dedicated to improving accountability practices and making humanitarian action accountable to affected communities.
- The ECB Project is also supporting Good Enough Guide training in Indonesia, and copies of the Guide have been distributed widely to INGO’s and government staff too. Download the Good Enough Guide in Bahasa (right) or in 12 other languages.
The Indonesia Humanitarian Forum shared their experience of working with the ECB Good Enough Guide tools and outlined their self-assessment appoaches which help an organization to measure their program effectiveness.
Photo shows participant feedback after a presentation © Angela Rouse CARE, 2011.
|The Good Enough Guide in Bengali (Left) and Bahasa Indonesia (right) © ECB Project 2012|
Participants discussed how improving accountability practices can also help to build trust between agencies and disaster affected communities.
Not only does this help to improve acceptance of the agency in the community but it often leads to better dialogue and relationships and therefore better targeted aid that can have a higher impact.
Simple steps such as ensuring that distribution sites have notice boards outlining who is receiving what, and on what basis can make a big difference to how agencies are perceived and accepted in communities.
I feel good to have participated in the two-day ECBinter-active workshop in Indonesia. I can draw at least two lessons from this event - one is the value of a process of discussion which is as interactive as the title of the event suggests - it provides an opportunity to build a network with new people and organisations who are in attendance. Secondly, I have learned a lot about accountability even though I am already familiar with the Good Enough Guide and its five elements of accountability. Now I can also measure how accountable we are through self-assessment from the Indonesian Humanitarian Forum.
Helmi, Save the Children Indonesia
Staff need to be trained in how to receive complaints, and then need to be able to action the complaint. This means management structures need to be set up to ensure that the agency staff member handling the complaint is able or empowered to resolve the complaint internally.
Accountability mechanisms should be seen primarily as a means fir agencies to establish trust with disaster-affected communities.
After conducting a needs assessment and community consultation, it should always be made clear to communities who is receiving what, and for what reasons.
Photo shows participants generating ideas in an Open Space session. © Angela Rouse CARE, 2011.