Accountability in Disasters

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

World Vision strives to be accountable to children and communities affected by disasters by respecting their needs, concerns and preferences; providing critical, timely information; and including them in activities and decisions that directly affect their lives. This commitment to accountability is reflected in the international and internal standards and polices that guide our humanitarian programmes. In order to ensure humanitarian accountability, World Vision not only works directly with children and communities, but also works collaboratively with other humanitarian organisations.

World Vision’s accountability mechanisms are informed by ongoing research and discussion in the wider humanitarian community, including the following initiatives:

Accountability in practice

World Vision uses a number of low-tech tools, including community notice boards and suggestion boxes, to gather feedback and provide information. In addition to these methods, we have introduced mobile technology tools in appropriate contexts, to help improve the efficiency and effectiveness of our accountability mechanisms.

In 2013, World Vision received funding from the Humanitarian Innovation Fund to develop a prototype for mobile technology to improve accountability to disaster-affected populations. The project improves two-way communication with disaster-affected communities, and makes crucial information and feedback available to decision-makers.

Our basic rapid assessment tool (BRAT) has been translated into more than ten languages to make it easier for communities to contribute to the design of our programs. World Vision uses this tool to gather information from people affected by disasters, including community preferences for receiving information from World Vision and the community’s capacity to participate in program activities.

In Sudan, World Vision facilitated research on accountability feedback mechanisms by the Active Learning Network for Accountability and Performance in Humanitarian Action (ALNAP) and CDA. The resulting case study shows how World Vision established and utilised feedback mechanisms in an challenging context.

Our evaluation reports give significant weight to the views of community members affected by disasters. In evaluating World Vision’s Horn of Africa response to Drought, the Sahel Food and Nutrition crisis and the Mali drought response, for example, more than 5,500 children and adults were consulted about the effectiveness of World Vision’s work. Feedback like this helps us to improve current and future programming.

Read the case study: 'We are committed to listen to you' - World Vision's experience with humanitarian feedback mechanisms in Darfur.