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As part of the 2020 Regional NGO Partnership Events[1], a webinar titled ‘Safeguarding: Know – Act – Apply’, was hosted and organised by Asian Disaster Risk Reduction Network’s (ADRRN) Quality and Accountability (Q&A) Hub and Community World Service Asia (CWSA). The webinar discussed on-going initiatives on community safeguarding and explored how safeguarding can be adapted more widely and to traditional contexts. It also built upon approaches of familiarizing communities on safeguarding policies and the humanitarian community’s accountability to them on the issue.

More than 250 humanitarian and development practitioners participated in this 90-minute webinar that shared a wide array of diverse expertise and knowledge from all over the world. Panelists, Smruti Patel, Founder and Co-Director of The Global Mentoring Initiatives (GMI) and Member of International Convening Committee of A4EP based in Switzerland; and Kjell Magne Heide, Complaints and Accountability Advisor at Norwegian Church Aid (NCA) based in Norway joined the session to share best practices on safeguarding.

Speaking about Protection against Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (PSEA), Ester Dross, lead facilitator and moderator of the webinar, shared, “We would like to look at safeguarding from a different angle, to give more weight to the P of Prevention. Safeguarding is a common task; a common goal and we all have a role during the travel to reach the final destination.”

What do you understand by safeguarding? Is this a policy? Is this about protection? Participants shared their views on what safeguarding mean to them during the webinar.

Safeguarding is a framework including a range of different policies, procedures and practices to protect vulnerable populations from any harm which can be provoked by the very existence of our work, including code of conduct safeguarding policy, child safeguarding, guidelines, good practice, HR manuals, and also establishing efficient Complaint Response Mechanisms.

Ester shared, “When we talk about a safeguarding framework we speak about protecting people from any harm that we as an organization potentially bring to themharm as a result of power imbalance, linked to gender, to poverty, to any kind of different vulnerabilities, as much for children as for adults. Internally displaced, refugees and migrants are particularly exposed to safeguarding risks.

Power imbalances bring us to Accountability!

When talking about Safeguarding measures, it is essential to acknowledge that most sexual exploitation or abuse has as an underlying reason – the power differential between humanitarian workers and the people we work with or for. The shortest definition of accountability is the responsible use of power.

“Safeguarding and accountability is about how we change those power dynamics, how we change our organisational culture into a more open, more equilibrated, more inclusive and more diverse work space where different voices can not only be heard but lead to choices for the people who are in the center of humanitarian aid.  This also means that communities need to be better integrated and taken into account when we define our safeguarding strategies,” suggested Ester.

Power is about wealth, independence, ability to set standards, influence, independence, privilege, status and but also about knowledge. It is not easy to change quickly some of these factors; however, access to information and knowledge sharing contribute to have more power, therefore sharing information and knowledge are key, not so difficult to implement and the essential basis for equilibrating power imbalances and integrate communities fully into the accountability cycle, preventing exploitation and abuse.

While sharing some of her own experiences on witnessing issues of PSEA as an aid worker, Smruti shared,

“We need to work with partners to really think about safeguarding holistically. We have to learn how to create a culture inside and outside the organisation because unless we start inside with the staff you cannot permeate that culture outside of safeguarding.”

Identifying key steps and channels to discuss Safeguarding

Smruti highlighted steps that need to be taken to ensure a culture of safeguarding through key messages. According to her, it was vital to sit together with senior management teams and initiate a discussion on value.  Citing her own experience, she said,

“Through consistent and meaningful dialogue, we laid out the policies and procedures in place and staff’s knowledge on that. We mapped the communications channels in the organisation to communicate the policies and code of conduct. For instance, as part of their communication strategy, a partner organisation based in Myanmar shared how they discussed such issues during their regular staff meetings held at project level on a quarterly and monthly basis. These are opportunities to communicate the orgainsation’s code of conduct and remind people constantly on adhering to these policies at every level of the organisation.” 

Secondly, building the capacity of staff on effectively bringing PSEA to the communities is essential.  Since the issue is a sensitive one, it needs to be done in a strategic way for which relevant staff should be trained.

“I encouraged the staff to talk about the values as part of code of conduct in terms of transferring the code of conduct to the communities we work with. We mapped out the target communities and communication channels in place in terms of programming. We looked at those channels and what key messages can be provided through them.”

The third step is to move in the communities. This involves identifying key focal persons from among the communities to engage with on enlightening the people about safeguarding.

“In the communities we visited, there were child protection focal points, some were working on women issues as gender activists and other were working on GBV[2]. We saw these platforms as a way to communicate the key messages on safeguarding. Additionally, we aimed at setting up a mechanism through which the community can approach us with their concerns. This holistic approach ensured engagement of people on the ground, people who are dealing with safeguarding issues and get their collective wisdom, establishing the right kind of communication system in place. When the feedback came in the organisation, the key messages were drafted on basis of that. The key inspiration are those six core principles of SEA.” 

Smruti encouraged organisations to explore communication networks within the communities through which key messages can be communicated and clearly understood by the communities. The key messages have to be appropriate to men, women, girls and boys. Likewise, internal messaging is as important as external messaging. Working collaboratively with other organisations is vital in addition to understanding the internal culture of the organisation.

Meaningful dialogue with communities and stakeholders helps to build trust, which is another important pillar.

To take PSEA forward through collaborations, building trust with communities and staff through open discussions is vital. Then we ACT. By acting on the complaints and feedback, we can show the trust. To maintain trust, you need to act,” added Smruti.

Investigations as a Preventive Tool for SEA

What are the core principles of conducting PSEA investigations?

How do we encourage people for to report?

How can we overcome rumors, especially about SEA?

Participants raised these questions in the webinar. While addressing these questions, Kjell Magne Heide talked about investigations on SEA,

You need to know the expected behavior of people that work with you and you should know how you will be able to report it. Sadly, many people do not report it. And even if they do, they have expectations which sometimes might not be realistic. Like Smruti said, there has to be a culture, it should be built into you and not rely on documents always. However, in an investigation, one has to refer to documents and policies,” initiated Kjell in his discussion about investigations on SEA.


Trust has to be earned. “It takes years to build trust and it only takes a day to lose it. You have to be structured in order to build and maintain this trust. It is therefore essential to assign a system that fits in the context you are working in and it is crucial that you follow the procedures.”


“There are some limitations to investigations, especially now in the COVID-19 situation. Be honest about the limitations with the communities, so that the people you work with have the right expectations to maintain the trust. Be sure to treat with dignity and respect. It is easy for me an as investigator to judge complaints on basis of severity. For the person who registered the complaint, it is a serious concern and therefore, I have to treat all complaints with the same dignity and respect, independent of how I as an investigator judge the severity of the case.”

Kjell recalls a case in a country office, where one staff filed a complaint of SEA against another which was thoroughly investigated and the perpetrator was found guilty and was dismissed.

“There were more complaints filed in the same context from the same office. This shows that through vigilant and transparent investigations, we can demonstrate a reaction to the alleged perpetrator when we have enough evidence. This contributes building trust with others who then feel empowered to come forward with their own concerns.”

Kjell remarked however that it is difficult to conduct SEA investigations and while investigating one has to be true to themselves and the organisation.

Key Takeaways

  • The Code of Conduct ensures that an organisation’s employees understand and accept legal and professional responsibilities of working in the organisation and to promote good practice and appropriate behavior among employees and promote the highest levels of ethical behavior
  • Promotion of safeguarding within the organisation is key to cultural changes
  • Media is an effective channel to raise awareness on safeguarding and to highlight expected and prohibited behaviors around the issue
  • An allegation cannot be substantiated unless facts are substantiated with reasonable inference on the balance of probabilities through a transparent and active investigation process
  • Thorough contextual research and integration of community voices is key to implementing safeguarding principles effectively in emergencies.

[1] collaborative events hosted collaboratively by Community World Service Asia (CWSA), Asian Disaster Reduction and Response Network (ADRRN), International Council of Voluntary Agencies (ICVA) and United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA).

[2] Gender-based Violence

When: 2nd December, 2020
What time: 1:00PM to 2:30PM (Pakistan Standard Time)
Where: ZOOM – Link to be shared with registered participants – Register Here
Language: English
How long: 90 minutes
Who is it for: Humanitarian and development professionals, academics and UN staff committed to Quality and Accountability standards and approaches for principled actions
Format: Presentations, Discussion, Experience Sharing
Moderator & Presenter: Ester Dross

Background  

The 2020 Regional NGO Partnership Events are a series of consultations and webinars, that will bring key humanitarian actors — local and national NGOs, INGOs, NGO networks, Red Cross and Crescent Movement, UN agencies, academics and others together for focused discussions and perspective sharing on how disaster risk reduction, emergency preparedness and humanitarian response should transform in this changing context. These events are organised collaboratively by the Asian Disaster Reduction and Response Network (ADRRN), International Council of Voluntary Agencies (ICVA), UN Office for Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), and Community World Service Asia.

The 2020 Regional NGO Partnership Events will be an online learning and exchange journey of three months, starting with a consultative meeting on ‘the future of humanitarian response in Asia and the Pacific’, followed by various consultations and webinars, and a research that will produce a policy paper on the sector’s future in the region.

ADRRN’s Quality and Accountability (Q&A) thematic hub is hosted by Community World Service Asia. The focus of the hub is to strengthen principled humanitarian action in the region through promoting Q&A standards, approaches and principles among ADRRN members. The Q&A hub is organising webinars and panel discussions around different themes on Q&A during the 2020 Regional Partnership Events which will result in a position paper that will advocate for continuous mainstreaming of Q&A.

About the Event:

Complaints handling is a key component to any safeguarding framework and remains one of the great challenges in organisational efforts to improve accountability, close the gap and listen to people’s voices. To be compliant to this commitment, we need not only to prevent sexual exploitation and abuse, but act upon received reports. For this to happen, we need to proactively facilitate reception of such complaints.

This webinar will build upon the webinar organised earlier in May this year where basic issues such as key components of establishing CRM, while taking into account increased challenges of the Covid-19 crisis were discussed. Recent public reports demonstrate once again that, even when such systems are established, reporting remains low. The How to Make Complaint Response Mechanism Participatory & Responsive webinar in December therefore seeks to explore the reasons for the lack of reports, how to establish trust within communities through improved communication and identifying ways of ensuring better dialogue.

Ester Dross—Independent Consultant

Ms. Dross is an independent consultant with over 25 years of experience, specializing in accountability, prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse, gender and child protection.

Ms. Dross has had an extensive exposure to humanitarian certification systems and accountability to affected populations while working with HAP International as their Complaints Handling and Investigation Advisor, later as their Certification Manager. She has been closely involved in the Building Safer Organizations Project since 2005, dealing with sexual exploitation and abuse of beneficiaries, particularly focusing on gender and child protection. Over the last 6 years and since working as an independent consultant, Ester has been leading a pilot project for FAO on accountability and gender mainstreaming in emergencies and working with numerous NGOs including ACT Alliance members, supporting and training their staff on gender issues, child protection, accountability, complaints handling and investigations. She is an experienced investigator herself and has conducted investigations in Asia, South America, Africa and Europe.

Register here for the Webinar on Participatory and Responsive CRM


When: Monday, November 30, 2020
What time: 11:00 AM (CET)
Where: ZOOMRegister Now
Language: English
How long: 90 minutes
Who is it for: Humanitarian and development practitioners working with NGOs, INGOs, UN agencies and academic institutes
Moderator / Presenter: Smruti Patel
Format: Panellists will make a five-minute presentation that will be followed by questions and answers, providing a space for participants to ask questions.

Background and Purpose

The World Humanitarian Summit (WHS) in 2016 brought significant attention to Localization. The Grand Bargain confirmed a commitment from the largest humanitarian donors and aid organizations to make sure national and local partners are involved in decision-making processes in any humanitarian response, and deliver assistance in accordance with humanitarian principles. Because local actors often have the best understanding of the context and acceptance by the people in need of assistance and protection, they are essential for an effective humanitarian response. Grand Bargain states “Support and complement national coordination mechanisms where they exist and include local and national responders in international coordination mechanisms as appropriate and in keeping with humanitarian principles”.

What is the reality and experiences of local actors with the coordination mechanisms? In this dialogue, local and international actors will share their experiences and the way forward to ensure more effective and meaningful participation in coordination mechanisms.

The webinar will help to explore:

  • What is the purpose of coordination mechanisms at different levels?
  • Where are decision made and who is at the table?
  • What are the existing barriers and what can be done to reduce the barriers for local actors?
  • What systematic changes need to take place?

What are the shifts in attitudes and behaviors that are required?

Webinar Speakers
  1. Puji Pujiono, Senior Advisor, Pujiono Centre, Indonesia
  2. Ignacio Packer, Executive Director, International Council of Voluntary Agencies (ICVA)
  3. Marina Skuric Prodanovic, Chief, System-wide Approached and Practices Section, Coordination Division, OCHA
  4. Takeshi Komino, General Secretary, Asian Disaster Reduction and Response Network (ADRRN)
  5. Mervat Shelbaya, Head, Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) Secretariat, TBC
  6. Amad Muhammad, Executive Director, IDEA, Chairperson, National Humanitarian Network (NHN) Pakistan
Register her for the webinar:  Coordination and Representation

“Quality & Accountability Mainstreaming is a process, a journey of bringing specialized areas into the main flow of our humanitarian work. In this case, it is Accountability. The question is how is it done? What are the steps taken? What are the processes that are put in place?”

Uma Narayanan, HR and OD Consultant, raised these questions while moderating the webinar on ‘Mainstreaming Quality & Accountability’ on November 20th. As a kick-start to the 2020 Regional NGO Partnership Events, the webinar was hosted and organised collaboratively by Community World Service Asia (CWSA), Asian Disaster Reduction and Response Network (ADRRN), International Council of Voluntary Agencies (ICVA) and United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA).

The 2020 Regional NGO Partnership Events are an online journey of three months, starting with a consultative meeting on ‘the future of humanitarian response in Asia and the Pacific’, followed by various consultations and webinars, and a research that will produce a policy paper on the sector’s future in the region.

The participants were asked about their familiarity and experience working on Q&A standards. 65% of the participants were familiar with both, the Core Humanitarian Standard (CHS) and Sphere Standards, while 6% were not yet familiar with Q&A standards.

What is Q&A Mainstreaming?

“It is a process to integrate Q&A into existing frameworks and practice and make institutional changes. This is done by linking the organisation’s mandate and thematic areas and aligning organisation’s vision and commitment with Q&A,” said Uma during the session. “It is about ensuring accountability is part of your organisation’s DNA,” said Uma.

The webinar explored different entry points of Q&A mainstreaming. Some organisations do it through CHS certification process; some others start, at project level, such as setting up Complaint Response Mechanism (CRM). Numerous organisations implement accountability mechanisms as part of the donor’s requirements in terms of ensuring certain policies, processes and mainstreaming accountability in M&E[1]. 

What are the barriers to Q&A mainstreaming?

Participants discussed the various obstacles that many organisations face while mainstreaming Q&A in their framework and practices. Some challenges included diverse culture of communities and organisations, lack of technical expertise, lack of management ‘buy-in’, various mismatched expectations, accountability is linked to project durations and limited resources and time, lengthy certification process.

Bonaventure Sokpoh, from CHS Alliance, added here, “We have updated the CHS self-assessment manual in a way that is survey-based and much easier for organisations to take and use. Every individual, i.e. your key stakeholders, can take some time out to answer key questions. The result of the survey will help to learn meaningful reflections of the organisation in terms of Q&A, making it less time-consuming for all functions.”

The Responsibility Matrix: Key Players in Mainstreaming Q&A 

Within the organisation, there are key players who have an essential role in mainstreaming Q&A in the organisational framework and thematic areas. Here is a quick introduction to these players:

  • Allocate Resources
  • Align Policies
  • Model Q&A Behavior
  • Create Q&A Culture
  • Implement Q&A in Programme
  • Makes changes to programme based on feedback
  • Share examples of best practice
  • Listens to stakeholder & purchase quality service & products
  • Makes changes based on feedback
  • Select staff that are Q&A compliant
  • Build staff capacity on Q&A
  • Revise HR policies, procedures that is competency based
  • Budget allocation for Q&A
  • Ensures financial donor commitments are met
  • Ensure Anti-fraud measures and auditing
  • M&E processes & tools integrates Q&A
  • Help set up Q&A mechanism
  • Analyze complains

Key Reflections

  • Q&A is a Shared Responsibility

Rizwan Iqbal, Quality and Accountability Coordinator, ACT Alliance, shared a key aspect of Q&A, that is shared responsibility.

“In my experience, I have witnessed that accountability is not one person’s responsibility. To achieve shared responsibility, while working in Community World Service Asia before joining ACT Alliance, we built capacities of internal and external stakeholders. The team members, who were directly involved and supporting the Q&A programme, were trained through in-house training programmes to enhance knowledge of Q&A and how to link Q&A to their role and job responsibilities.

Resource allocation for Q&A as a challenge in many organisation but there are some ways to overcome them. Organisations lacking in resources, are encouraged to show more commitment towards accountability by taking small steps. This will strengthen your standing in the development sector and more support can come your way.”


[1] Monitoring & Evaluation

When: 26th November, 2020
What time: 11:00AM to 12:30PM (Pakistan Standard Time)
Where: ZOOM – Link to be shared with registered participants – Register Here
Language: English
How long: 90 minutes
Who is it for: Humanitarian and development professionals, academics and UN staff committed to Quality and Accountability standards and approaches for principled actions
Format: Presentations, Discussion, Experience Sharing
Moderator & Presenter: Ms. Ester Dross

Background  

The 2020 Regional NGO Partnership Events are a series of consultations and webinars, that will bring key humanitarian actors — local and national NGOs, INGOs, NGO networks, Red Cross and Crescent Movement, UN agencies, academics and others together for focused discussions and perspective sharing on how disaster risk reduction, emergency preparedness and humanitarian response should transform in this changing context. These events are organised collaboratively by the Asian Disaster Reduction and Response Network (ADRRN), International Council of Voluntary Agencies (ICVA), UN Office for Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), and Community World Service Asia.

The 2020 Regional NGO Partnership Events will be an online learning and exchange journey of three months, starting with a consultative meeting on ‘the future of humanitarian response in Asia and the Pacific’, followed by various consultations and webinars, and a research that will produce a policy paper on the sector’s future in the region.

ADRRN’s Quality and Accountability (Q&A) thematic hub is hosted by Community World Service Asia. The focus of the hub is to strengthen principled humanitarian action in the region through promoting Q&A standards, approaches and principles among ADRRN members. The Q&A hub is organising webinars and panel discussions around different themes on Q&A during the 2020 Regional Partnership Events which will result in a position paper that will advocate for continuous mainstreaming of Q&A.

About the Event:

Safeguarding is a core component of our shared commitment to accountability towards affected populations. Keeping communities safe from additional harm, from sexual exploitation, abuse and harassment committed by our own staff is essential.

The webinar will build upon the on-going initiatives for community safeguarding and will explore the basic issues such as key definitions of safeguarding and setting standards as well as discussing the increased challenges due to the Covid-19 crisis and potential solutions.

Objectives of the webinar:

Our aim is to look at safeguarding and prevention from a different perspective:

  • How can we communicate key messages around safeguarding more widely and adapted to traditional contexts?
  • How can communities relate to our policies and increase understanding around this topic?
  • How can efficient complaints handling and investigations contribute to prevention efforts and be a deterrent for inappropriate behaviour?
  • What minimum requirements do we need to put in place to decrease the risks of Sexual Exploitation, Abuse and Harassment?

Moderator / Presenter:

Ms. Ester Dross—Independent Consultant

Ms. Dross is an independent consultant with over 25 years of experience, specializing in accountability, prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse, gender and child protection.

Ms. Dross had extensive exposure to humanitarian certification systems and accountability to affected populations while working with HAP International as their Complaints Handling and Investigation Advisor, later as their Certification Manager. She has been closely involved in the Building Safer Organizations Project since 2005, dealing with sexual exploitation and abuse of beneficiaries, particularly focusing on gender and child protection. Over the last 6 years and since working as an independent consultant, Ester has been leading a pilot project for FAO on accountability and gender mainstreaming in emergencies and working with numerous NGOs including ACT Alliance members, supporting and training their staff on gender issues, child protection, accountability, complaints handling and investigations. She is an experienced investigator herself and has conducted investigations in Asia, South America, Africa and Europe.

Register here for the Webinar on Safeguarding: Know – Act – Apply 


When: 20th November, 2020
What time: 11:00AM to 12:30PM (Pakistan Standard Time)
Where: ZOOM – Link to be shared with registered participants – Register Here
Language: English
How long: 90 minutes
Who is it for: Humanitarian and development professionals, academics and UN staff committed to Quality and Accountability standards and approaches for principled actions
Format: Presentations, Group Discussion, Experience Sharing

Background  

2020 Regional NGO Partnership Events are scheduled as a series of consultations and webinars, that will bring key humanitarian actors — local and national NGOs, INGOs, NGO networks, Red Cross and Crescent Movement, UN agencies, academics and others for focused discussions and perspective sharing on how disaster risk reduction, emergency preparedness and humanitarian response should transform in this changing context. These events are organised collaboratively by the Asian Disaster Reduction and Response Network (ADRRN), International Council of Voluntary Agencies (ICVA), UN Office for Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), and Community World Service Asia.

The 2020 Regional NGO Partnership Events will be an online journey of 3 months, starting with a consultative meeting on ‘the future of humanitarian response in Asia and the Pacific’, followed by various consultations and webinars, and a research that will produce a policy paper on the sector’s future in the region.

ADRRN’s Quality and Accountability (Q&A) thematic hub is hosted by Community World Service Asia. The focus of the hub is to strengthen principled humanitarian action in the region through promoting Q&A standards, approaches and principles among ADRRN members. The Q&A hub is organising webinars and panel discussions around different themes on Q&A during the 2020 Regional Partnership Events which will result in a position paper that will advocate for continuous mainstreaming of Q&A.

About the Event:

Quality and Accountability mainstreaming is a strategy towards promoting and sustaining greater accountability to affected populations. For successful accountability mainstreaming to take place, changes are required at different levels in the organisation. It involves the integration of Q&A in both programmatic and operational aspects in the organisation. Q&A mainstreaming within organisations is key to shifting attitudes and practices toward internal motivation to implement and self-monitor Q&A compliance. This organisation-wide process requires engagement across departments to assess existing practices, procedures, and policies, and then adopt changes through allocation of required resources.

Organisations tend to embark on the accountability mainstreaming process through various entry points and means. The webinar will explore the barriers to mainstreaming accountability, the process of mainstreaming and experience sharing.

Objectives of the webinar:

This webinar aims to introduce the essence of Q&A mainstreaming both from the humanitarian and development perspectives.

The webinar will cover the following points:

  1. Why Q&A mainstreaming?
  2. How it is done in the humanitarian programmes and development programmes?
  3. What are the barriers to Q&A mainstreaming?
  4. Good practices of mainstreaming

Register here for the Webinar: Mainstreaming Quality and Accountability (Q&A)

When: 29th October, 2020
What time: 11:30 AM to 1:00 PM (Pakistan Standard Time)
Where: ZOOM – Link to be shared with registered participants – Register Now
Language: Urdu
How long: 90 minutes
Who it is for: Pakistan-based NGOs interested in registration with the Economic Affairs Division (EAD)
Format: Presentations followed by Discussion

Background

All kinds of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) across the country have found an evolving regulatory environment which has been fairly challenging to navigate; particularly, around how to legally access foreign funding, through grants and contributions.  With the Foreign Contributions Act of 2013, any Non-Government Organisation(NGO) that accepts or wants to apply for foreign funding must apply to the Economic Affairs Division(EAD) and sign an MOU.   Community World Service Asia (CWSA) is, therefore, providing practical assistance to CSOs and NGOs who have questions and need guidance on the processes and procedural requirements for applying for registrations with the EAD.

CWSA has established an “NGO Help Facility” that provides technical discussions, coaching, on-line information resources and virtual clinics to support NGOs wanting to file their applications and sign their MOU with the EAD to be legally eligible to apply for foreign grants and contributions.

This service is facilitative and free of cost. CWSA will help organisations in clarifying application guidelines, and will support organisations with fulfilling all application documentation as per EAD requirements as well as providing any additional follow up support.    Activities offered by the NGO Help Facility will include the following:

  • Legal & administrative advisory sessions/ days for NGOs
  • Rotating legal advisory clinic days via webinars
  • Creation of a center within CWSA, available to any and all NGOs on demand.
  • Provision of training and coaching to NGO representatives to support development, revision and follow up of their application documentation

Disclaimer: Assistance provided through the NGO Help Facility is a pro bono service that offers technical support and brokers positive relationships.  Engagement, in itself does not guarantee that the client organization will be granted an MOU without having successfully completed all of EAD’s required due diligence processes.

The webinar scheduled for October 29th, 2020 will:

  • Introduce the NGO Help Facility and its services
  • Discuss some of the challenges in the application and signing processes and provide clarity on the process
  • Identify key issues that participants consider as key priorities for facilitative support. These issues will them be  addressed during more further discussions in November-December 2020

Interested in Participating?   Register here for the Webinar! 

Community World Service Asia is a Pakistan-based humanitarian and development organisation addressing factors that divide people by promoting inclusiveness, shared values, diversity, and interdependence.  It engages in the self-implementation of projects, cooperation through partners, and the provision of capacity building trainings and resources at the national, regional and global levels.

When: October 15, 2020
What time: 11AM (Geneva, Switzerland time)
Where: ZOOM – Link to be shared
Language: English
How long: 90 minutes
Who is it for: Humanitarian and development practitioners working with NGOs, INGOs, UN agencies and academic institutes
Format: Presentation & Discussion
Panelists will make a five-minute presentation that will be followed by questions and answers, providing a space for participants to ask questions.

Background and Purpose

Accountability to affected populations has been a long-standing discussion in the aid sector. During the World Humanitarian summit in 2016 there was a renewed call to accelerate progress. Commitment 6 of the Grand Bargain urges humanitarian actors to enable a ‘participation revolution’ i.e. “include people receiving aid in decisions which affect their lives”. The Core Humanitarian Standard encourages humanitarian actors to create situations where “communities and people affected by crisis know their rights and entitlements, have access to information and participate in decisions that affect them.”

What is becoming more evident for local actors is that Accountability to Affected Populations can only become possible when there is Principled Partnership which creates mutually trustful environment and where accountability is not one-way, but two-ways – not only upward but downward as well. And it requires behavioural change from both partners. Principled Partnership means co-designing; co-creating processes with partners and the community.

Localisation is not only about the transfer of more resources to local actors but requires revolutionary change in the systems and processes to enable real participation of the major stakeholders in decision-making of aid. It is about power and it is about challenging the barriers that perpetuates power imbalance brought about by centuries of unequal relationships in the power structures. The formalistic complaints and response mechanisms and other accountability mechanisms are not adequate enough to address the more deep-seated problems, attitudes, behaviour and mind-sets. We need to establish a more conscious culture of accountability.

The webinar will help to explore:

  • Who is accountable to whom?
  • What needs to shift to improve partnership to deliver accountability to affected populations?
  • How do we deal with the deeper-rooted issues of PSEA?
  • How can we create a more conscious culture of accountability?
Webinar Speakers

Regina “Nanette” Salvador-Antequisa – Ecosystems Work for Essential Benefits, Inc. – Executive Director

Regina “Nanette” Salvador-Antequisa is the founding Executive Director of Ecosystems Work for Essential Benefits, Inc. (ECOWEB) and convenor of the Community Led Emergency Action Response Network (CLEARNet) in the Philippines that actively promotes survivor and community-led response (SCLR) to crisis approach – a humanitarian-development-peace nexus advocacy in action. She has been in peace and development work for over 25 years and engaged in local and national policy advocacy on the issues of disaster, poverty, conflict, environment and governance. She is actively involved in international advocacy on localisation of humanitarian aid through her engagement with Charter4Change, Local to Global Protection and participation in the World Humanitarian Action Forum. She is the chair of global Alliance for Empowering Partnership (A4EP).

Bernadette Castel-Hollingsworth – Deputy Director of the Division of International Protection (Field Protection Service), UNHCR – Co-Chair IASC Results Group 2 Accountability and Inclusion

Ms. Castel-Hollingsworth joined the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in 2000 and has held numerous positions in Protection and Management in Pakistan, Liberia, Uganda, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Central African Republic, Jordan, Myanmar, and Egypt. From November 2017-December 2018, Ms. Castel-Hollingsworth was Senior Protection Coordinator in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, after which she was deployed on emergency support missions to Burkina Faso and Cameroon. Since May 2019, she has joined UNHCR’s headquarters in Geneva where she is the Deputy Director of the Division of International Protection (Field Protection Service).

Angelina Nyajima Simon Jial – Hope Restoration – Executive Director

Angelina Nyajima Simon Jial is the Founder and Executive Director of Hope Restoration South Sudan, formed on 23 March 2010 in Unity State, South Sudan. The organization’s major area of focus is ending gender-based violence and force and early child marriage; keeping girls in schools; improving women’s standard of living; investing in food security and livelihoods; empowering women to be peacebuilders.

Angelina has chaired the National NGO Forum for two terms and represents national NGOs on the UN Humanitarian Country Team (HCT) and other country coordination mechanisms. Angelina is a Member of A4EP, Grand Bargain Localization Work stream 2 and, also a member of Call to Action. In March 2019, she addressed the Security Council on the issues of SGBV in South Sudan and lack of accountability particularly the Bentiu incident where over 150 women and Girls were raped during food distribution and most especially when going to collect firewood.

Tanya Wood – Core Humanitarian Standard Alliance – Executive Director

Ms. Wood is the Executive Director of the CHS Alliance, a network of more than 150 organization making aid work better for people, through application of the Core Humanitarian Standard. She brings more than 20 years management and leadership experience in the international humanitarian sector, predominantly in international membership organizations.

Marvin Parvez – Community World Service Asia – Regional Director

Marvin Parvez has twenty-eight years of experience in humanitarian relief, development, and advocacy in Asia, Europe and the Pacific. Marvin is also highly experienced in lobbying, advocacy, and resource mobilization. He has long-standing interests in setting quality and accountability standards, visibility and image building, as well as donor relations and networking. Marvin has been a strong & committed voice for just, dignified and equal partnerships between northern and southern NGOs.  Marvin believes that if partnership paradigm is not changed & worshiping of brands & bottom-lines replaced by dignified & empowering partnerships, the whole sector and specially, large northern NGOs will experience decline and lose credibility.

To register for the webinar, please click on this link: Who is Accountable to Whom?

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When: September 29, 2020
What time: 11 AM (Geneva, Switzerland time)
Where: ZOOM – Link will be shared with registered participants
Language: English
How long: 90 minutes
Who is it for: Humanitarian and development practitioners committed to the dream of Localisation all over the world, academics and donors
Format: Presentation & Discussion

Purpose

Background: International Humanitarian response is a show of solidarity towards the populations affected by crisis. The International humanitarian aid is made available out of a fundamental recognition of shared humanity and solidarity.

There are small and large humanitarian disasters all around the world. Normally, it is the local authorities working together with Civil Society actors and the citizens who show solidarity and are the first and longer-term responders to those disasters. Local solidarity continues to be expressed in times of crisis as a seemingly innate response to human suffering. This was true in the Nepal Earthquake, in response to the influx of Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh, the grassroots organisations to response to refugee crisis in Greece, France, Italy and Germany, The White Helmets in Syria, Proactiva Open Arms in the Mediterranean, the Women of Las Patronas in Mexico, those who are running food banks in the UK, US and other parts of the world during Covid 19 response. All these are true embodiments of the ‘essence of humanitarianism’ in everyday acts. However, what is particularly problematic is “the way in which grassroots expressions of solidarity are pressed to better align with the ‘Professional’ humanitarian’s unique interpretation of humanity and solidarity.”

The Anti-racism protests across the globe, led by the Black Lives Matter movement and others, has put a spotlight on deeply ingrained historic and systemic racist attitudes and racial discrimination that deny people their fundamental human rights. It has –finally created the opening to speak about racism and attitudes of colonialist superiority also in the ‘humanitarian’ sector. We need to work in solidarity to tackle inequality and injustice, not only in the society around us, but also in our own ‘aid sector’.

The webinar will help to explore:

  • How is humanitarian solidarity expressed?
  • What attitudes and behaviours show solidarity?
  • What lessons have we learned about solidarity during Covid-19 crisis?
  • What impact does the recent discourse on racism and de-colonisation of aid have on solidarity?

What is the way forward?

Speaker(s):

Mrs. Ritah Nansereko

Ritah Nansereko, Is a teacher by profession but also studied Human Rights at Masters, plus postgraduate studies in leadership. She is a Human Rights Advocate, and currently serves as the Executive Director of a local humanitarian organization- African Women and Youth Action for Development- AWYADbased in Uganda. She is the Chairperson for Charter4Change Working Group in Uganda and a member for the African NGO Council which is hosted in Sierra Leone, and a member of the steering committee of the National Humanitarian Platform.

Ritah has over 8 years of experience in responding to humanitarian crises, particularly the safety and protection needs of refugee women and Children, as well as victims of massive land evictions. During her career, she has worked on a number of successful campaigns at both national and regional level. For example the campaign against land grabbing and massive land evictions in Uganda, the campaign on the regulation of GMOs in Uganda, the campaign to include Local Governments in refugee planning and response, to mention a few. She will be leading the discussions.

M Rezaul Karim Chowdhury

Rezaul Karim Chowdhury is leading “COAST “(www.coastbd.net), a CSO working for coastal poor in Bangladesh. COAST is the first Asian organization to receive HQAI (www.hqai.org) certificate on quality management and accountability. He was also on the board of different international bodies; at present he represents humanitarian organization from southern countries on IASC – OPAG (Inter Agency Standing Committee- Operational Policy and Advocacy Group). He participated in the Principles of Partnership (PoP), Grand Bargain (GB) and Charter 4 Change (C4C) discourse. He leads along with others the localization mobilization in Bangladesh through Bd cso process (www.bd-cso-ngo.net) and in Rohingya Response through CCNF (www.cxb-cso-ngo.org). He is also part of international conveners’ committee of A4EP (Alliance for Empowering Partnership, www.a4ep.net). He believes in complementarity and inclusiveness in the CSO sector. He also believes that UN agencies should provide more robust technical assistance, support and promote of local CSO development.

Regina “Nanette” Salvador-Antequisa

Regina “Nanette” Salvador-Antequisa is the founding Executive Director of Ecosystems Work for Essential Benefits, Inc. (ECOWEB) and convenor of the Community Led Emergency Action Response Network (CLEARNet) in the Philippines that actively promotes survivor and community-led response (SCLR) to crisis approach – a humanitarian-development-peace nexus advocacy in action. She has been in peace and development work for over 25 years and engaged in local and national policy advocacy on the issues of disaster, poverty, conflict, environment and governance.

She is actively involved in international advocacy on localisation of humanitarian aid through her engagement with Charter4Change, Local to Global Protection and participation in the World Humanitarian Action Forum. She is the chair of global Alliance for Empowering Partnership (A4EP).

Dorothea Hilhorst

Dorothea Hilhorst is a professor of humanitarian studies at the International Institute for Social Studies (ISS) of Erasmus University in The Hague. Her focus is on aid-society relations: studying how aid is embedded in the context. She has a special interest in the intersections of humanitarianism with development, peacebuilding and gender-relations. Her latest research programme aims to understand changes in humanitarian governance in relation to localisation and resilience, and to reform humanitarian studies towards equal partnerships and participatory methodologies. Email: hilhorst@iss.nl  Twitter: @hilhorst_thea

To register for the webinar, please click on this link: Solidarity and Diversity 

2021Mon22Nov(Nov 22)9:00 AMWed24(Nov 24)5:00 PMFeaturedTraining On: Quality and Accountability for Project Cycle Management9:00 AM - 5:00 PM (24) Theme:Quality and AccountabilityType:TrainingRegister here

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