Module 21. and in humanitarian response . Oct-05-11. 1. Be familiar with basic principles of standards and accountability Know some universal standards for humanitarian response Be familiar with some inter-agency accountability initiatives being implemented
Know some universal standards for humanitarian response
Be familiar with some inter-agency accountability initiatives being implemented
Be familiar with the difference between SPHERE minimum standards, key actions, key indicators and guidance notesLearning objectives
international law that describes the rights of all persons and the obligations (or duties) of States.
(includes ‘right to food’!)
of Human Rights of 1948:
“…everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age, or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.”
The Right to Food requires States to provide an enabling environment in which people can use their full potential to produce or procure adequate food for themselves and their families. However, when people are not able to feed themselves with their own means, for instance because of an armed conflict, natural disaster or because they are in detention, the State has a responsibility to provide food directly.
Legal standards – laws/rights
Principle-based, voluntary standards – codes of conduct
Technical standards – e.g. SPHERE standards
Impartiality: no discrimination – relieve suffering guided by needs
Independence: maintain autonomy to be able to act in accordance with the principles
Neutrality: not taking sides in hostilitiesAdditionally the Code of Conduct has values
The International Code = World Health Assembly (WHA) Resolution (1981) + subsequent relevant World Health Assembly Resolutions
Humanitarian practice from past no longer sufficient
(complexity and number of disasters increasing, changing nature of humanitarian community and increasing diversity, increasing number of actors)
Post-Rwanda 1994: Multi-donor evaluation “Unnecessary deaths”The Sphere Project
2011 revised Sphere Handbook Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Humanitarian Response
The Humanitarian Charter - three principles:
The right to life with dignity
The right to protection and security
The right to receive humanitarian assistanceThe Sphere Handbook
Community-centered humanitarian response
Coordination and partnership
Analysis and design
Performance, transparency and learning
Aid worker performanceSphere 2011
Assessment and analysis
Infant and young child feeding
Food security and livelihoods
Treatment of acute malnutrition and micronutrient deficiencies
Other chapters on standards from other sectors (which are directly related to the underlying causes of malnutrition): water, sanitation and hygiene promotion; shelter/settlement, non-food items; and health services.Sphere 2011
Minimum standards: qualitative, specifying minimum levels to be attained in the provision of food security, nutrition and food assistance responses
Key actions: activities needed to achieve standards
Core indicators: signals that show whether a minimum standard has been attained (quality/quantity)
Guidance notes: specific points to consider, guidance on tackling practical difficulties, advice on priority issues, dilemmas, controversies, gaps in knowledgeStructure of 2011 Sphere handbook
Appendix 2: Seed security assessment checklist
Appendix 3: Nutrition assessment checklist
Appendix 4: Measuring acute malnutrition
Appendix 5: Measures of the public health significance of micronutrient deficiencies
Appendix 6: Nutritional requirements
Provide nutritional and medical care according to nationally and internationally recognised guidelines for the management of SAM. (see guidance notes X and Y).
Investigate and act on causes of default and non-response or an increase in deaths (see guidance notes X, Y and Z).Key Actions
Coverage is >50% in rural areas, >70% in urban areas and >90% in camp situations (see guidance note X).
The proportion of discharges from therapeutic care who have died is <10%, recovered is >75% and defaulted is <15% (see guidance note Y).Core Indicators
Focus on response phase but be alert to transition and recovery: (Some standards will have some indicators which will look at the longer term).
Used for M&E of nutrition programmes as proposing minimum standards for programme performance.
Often used as a tool in evaluations of humanitarian response – can highlight gaps
To some extent universal, BUT indicators need adjustment on an emergency-specific basis.
Achieving the standards may also require long periods of time
In what contexts standards and core indicators cannot be met
Application of minimum standards can create differences in standards of living of emergency-affected and surrounding populations
Lack of funds restrict delivery of humanitarian assistance
Accountability to whom?Limitations
Everyone has the right to adequate food and to be free from hunger.
Everyone also has the right to receive humanitarian assistance in times of disaster. This is known as the humanitarian imperative.
The humanitarian principles of humanity, impartiality, independence and neutrality provide a principle-based foundation for nutrition in emergencies.
The Code of Conduct sets out ten principles to guide humanitarian action.
The Sphere project’s Humanitarian Charter reaffirms that all people affected by disaster and conflict have a right to life with dignity; the right to receive humanitarian assistance; and the right to protection and security. However, there is currently no incentive, or obligation for humanitarian agencies to be accountable to affected communities, other than a voluntary commitment to do so.
The Sphere standards specify the minimum acceptable levels to be attained in a humanitarian response. The Food Security and Nutrition standards cover assessment, infant and young child feeding, management of acute malnutrition and food security (food transfers, cash transfers and livelihoods).
One of the main unresolved issues in relation to standards and accountability is that there is no body with overall responsibility for technical standards in nutrition in emergency response.Key messages