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ECB Project on TwitterThe Emergency Food Security and Livelihoods 48hr assessment tool is now available in #Bahasa #Indonesia: http://t.co/Ij4HZCDcys 7 hours ago
2011 Agency Self-Assessment Survey Reveals Progress in Key Areas
The ASAS helps us to understand our capacity to prepare for and respond to emergencies and will enable us to improve our ability to serve disaster-affected communities. Credit: © CARE
Published on 6 October 2011
The Agency Self-Assessment Survey (ASAS) is a key component of the ECB Project’s Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) system. A systematic self-assessment, using structured on-line questionnaires, completed annually by each global ECB partner agency, the survey provides the main method to collect baseline data, and to monitor progress against ECB Project targets and the objectives in each Agency Performance Improvement Plan (APIP).
Similar studies were conducted in August 2010 and August 2011, at the Consortium level involving at least 8 agencies. The Consortia Self-Assessment Survey (CSAS) is also designed to provide an overview of organizational capacity, though at a national country consortia level.
The Consolidated Self-Assessment Study is a comprehensive report presenting the ASAS findings for all ECB Project participating agencies. The report provides an opportunity to explore the insights into emergency capacity across the agency programs.
Agencies may also use the report to refine their performance plans (APIPs) to ensure they deliver the capacity objectives defined by the agency across the three core themes Accountability & Impact Measurement, Disaster Risk Reduction & National Staff Capacity building. ECB Global Project Staff also draw on findings in their ongoing work to support each agency with their capacity building efforts.
Highlights from the 2011 survey include:
- Staff Capacity: Significant improvements were reported in weak areas in the 2010 survey, such as improvements in stand-by partnerships, in measures to enhance national staff retention and in back-filling mechanisms for staff diverted to an emergency. World Vision International (WVI) reported that assessments had taken place in approximately 30 high-risk countries over the past year.
- Speed of Response: Half of the agencies significantly improved their response times, meeting a benchmark of 72 hours for an assessment and 7 days for beginning interventions with 90% or more of responses for 2011; compared to only 30% or less of responses for 2010.
- High-Risk Countries: There was increase in the number of high-risk countries in which systematic assessments of the emergency skills, capacity and development needs of local staff had taken place. World Vision and Save the Children lead in this area, reporting assessments in 30 high-risk countries over the past year.
- Accountability Frameworks: All ECB agencies now have full or partial accountability frameworks complete or in development. This result connects well with the Accountability advisors Key Elements paper and efforts to also learn from each other’s framework approaches.
- Performance Measurement: Over 80% of the agencies reported having a system to measure performance during emergency response; compared with 67% in 2010.
- Complaint and Feedback Mechanisms: In 2011, for the first time the majority of ECB agencies said their country offices in high-risk countries ‘often’ or ’sometimes’ tell people of their right to and how to complain and have a formal feedback mechanism in place. In 2010, most agencies responded ‘rarely’ or ‘don’t know’. This result can also be linked with CRM training that has occurred in ECB consortia countries in partnership with HAP.
- Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR): Most agencies indicated they had policies, frameworks and strategies in development in the 2010 survey, while in 2011 over 80% of responding agencies said that such policies or strategies were in place.
- DRR and Government: Two thirds of ECB agencies understand government disaster management plans and design programs to support the government plans. However; only Oxfam reported that staff fully participate in government forums related to DRR and Climate Change Adaptation (CCA).
- DRR Training of national staff: ECB agencies are falling back with respect to national staff DRR/CCA training or orientation in high-risk countries. In 2010, at least three agencies reported that national staff in at least 15 high-risk countries have received specific training or orientation to DRR and/or CCA compared with only World Vision in 2011. It is hoped the new Practitioner’s Guide to DRR & CCA (2012) will support agencies to increase their training programs.
- Use of ECB Resources & Tools: Two thirds of agencies reported that ECB tools have been used in 5-10 high-risk countries. World Vision reported that the tools are used in more than 20 of their high-risk countries.
In May, Catherine Gould, ECB Project Manager at Oxfam GB, presented the agency self-assessment tool in a workshop at the People in Aid Humanitarian HR Conference in Madrid. Catherine shared with an audience of human resources and program specialists, from more than 20 international organizations, examples of the dimensions of capacity tracked, current limitations of the tool and opportunities for the future.
After presenting the tool methodology, the majority of the session was used to demonstrate four facilitation approaches which Oxfam uses to gain consensus on multiple capacity judgments from a senior, multi-function team.
There was much interest in aspects of the ASAS tool, a suggestion that the ECB Project make it openly available, and that lower-level staff also undertake the assessment to compare results with management.
The ECB Project received new project funding from the Directorate General for Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection (ECHO) to develop several programs including one to review and build a consensus around the contents of the ASAS and CSAS, and to move the survey questionnaires to a tailored web-based database application.
The aim is to develop an accessible, visual and comparable ‘dashboard’ of headquarters and country level capacities across the disaster management cycle. The system will be piloted in five diverse disaster-vulnerable countries; it will be multi-agency and available to national and international decision-makers to provide insight into their emergency program strategies. More updates on this project will follow in 2012.
For more information, contact us.
17 May 2013: ECB Project publish new Case Study on Simulations
The new case study addresses the questions ‘What is a simulation and why use them?’, before focusing on six different simulation types to compare, contrast and draw lessons from. Read more
16 May 2013: Government, donors and humanitarian community prepare for joint needs assessment after Cyclone Mahasen
Arout 50 representatives from the donor community and International Non-Governmental Organizations in Bangladesh have held a meeting at the Save the Children office to decide on a response plan for when Cyclone Mahasen makes landfall. Read more
15 May 2013: Humanitarian agencies prepare for cyclone Mahasen
ECB Project Agencies and ACAPS representatives are preparing for cyclone Mahasen which according to reports from the Bangladesh Meteorological Department is anticipated will make landfall around the Chittagong area on Thursday 16th May. Read more