Inter-agency Standing Team improves accountability
Formed in Phase I of the ECB Project, the inter-agency accountability and impact measurement (AIM) Standing Team supports improved accountability practices across ECB agencies, through field deployments to build capacity, collaboration and learning.
Improving accountability and impact measurement is a multi-faceted task, so the six ECB agencies found that addressing these issues collectively provided a powerful approach. The Standing Team comprises members from all six ECB agencies, who are experienced humanitarian staff with the necessary accountability, monitoring, evaluation, and assessment experience.
Members of the Standing Team are available for deployment to country offices to work on aspects of accountability, needs assessment, monitoring, or evaluation, as requested by the country. Their objectives are to:
- Champion accountability and impact measurement in their agencies
- Undertake joint deployments
- Practice accountability to one another and to their agencies by feeding back learning and sharing experiences.
What are AIM Standing Team deployments?
A typical deployment will last two to four weeks with an inter-agency team of three Standing Team members. Possibilities for deployments include:
- Joint evaluations of emergency programs
- Reviews to assess and document current practice of accountability and impact measurement and advise and assist field staff in making improvements
- Training, induction and coaching on accountability and impact measurement practices in emergencies, including on the Good Enough Guide
- Promote the implementation of lessons learnt from previous deployments and evaluations
- Documentation of field practice on accountability and impact measurement to share widely across agencies and encourage institutional change
Thanks to funding from the Directorate General for Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection (ECHO)
in Spring 2011, ECB AIM Advisers have now started the second phase of the Standing Team’s work. First, an open recruitment process to identify highly qualified staff was coordinated across country offices from all six agencies. Thirty staff from 20 countries were selected in this competitive process.
The ECB Project is hoping that this global level team will lead to a permanent Standing Team of deployable agency-specific AIM experts. This has been the case for CARE, which started its team in Phase I and is currently the only agency with an active team.
In September 2011, the Standing Team’s first AIM learning workshop was held in Jakarta, Indonesia, hosted by CRS Indonesia, the lead member of the ECB consortium. A short report of the workshop is available.
- Allowed participants to share learning and experiences of AIM methodologies and tools in their local contexts
- Built understanding about a variety of agency, ECB, and sector approaches that the team has available to use in deployments.
- Enabled participants to outline deployment and communication protocols, and provided time to build the team to ensure deployments are effective.
In November 2011, another learning workshop was be held, specifically on joint evaluations. The ECB Project has much experience in this area, and building a deployable cadre of staff to conduct these evaluations will improve their quality. A short report of the workshop is available.
After the workshops, deployments, as requested by the ECB Project’s five consortia, began. The deployments are being held during 2012, and include the contextualizing of sector tools like the Good Enough Guide, joint evaluations, and support in establishing complaints and feedback mechanisms.
The project plans to learn from each multi-agency deployment, such as the April 2012 deployments in Bolivia and Bangladesh and the September 2012 Bolivia deployment, by capturing experiences and ideas generated during each deployment. Case studies and newsletter articles will be written to feature this learning and share it with the wider humanitarian sector.