From 28 November to 2 December, 22 ActionAiders representing AAI programmes in Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, Rwanda, Somaliland, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe and IHART gathered at MS TCDC in Arusha for a five-day training on Accountability in Emergencies. The training constituted the third in the series of trainings led by AA Kenya under SO4 and as part of the delegation of responsibility for Accountability within the federation. This series of workshop have been in partnership with IHART and AA Denmark.
The training built on the lessons learned from the initial workshops in Jordan and Bangkok respectively during 2016. It provided participants with an opportunity not only to share experiences, but to critically examine ActionAid’s accountability in Emergencies tools including its relevance to the Core Humanitarian Standard (CHS). International legal Instruments, laws and tools were also given due attention in AA’s attempt to facilitate accountability in a protracted conflict and nature disaster context. Reflecting the changing funding landscape and more and more donors’ requirements to comply with the CHS as a prerequisite for funding, the training dedicated a total of three days to the CHS, striving to deepen participants’ understanding of each of the nine commitments and their practical implications pre and post a humanitarian crisis.
Over five intense days, participants refreshed their knowledge of key concepts including HRBA, women’s rights and shifting power, examined accountability practices in different contexts, and worked their way through the nine commitments of the Core Humanitarian Standard.
Throughout the training, emphasis was placed on identifying ways and tools through which communities and people living in poverty and exclusion can hold stakeholders to account even in contexts that lack effective governance structures. Effective ways to analyze internal accountability were also discussed in several sessions. Lastly, all participants committed to ensure that learnings from the training are translated into action.
Accountability is an integral part of deepening democracy with equity. Based on the experiences, as shared during the workshop the participants attending inferred that Accountability to the communities living in poverty and exclusion is an essential and possible option that AA must pursue. The participant’s recognised that Accountability is an integral part of AA work, which is inherently a political process and project. ActionAiders can play a facilitating role, but ultimately - people living in poverty and exclusion and their institutions - have to drive this process even during the course of a disaster.
As an active member of the CHS Alliance ActionAid is committed to complying with the Core Humanitarian Standard. AA will, as part of the initial self-assessments, critically reflect on its work and organisational policies. AA Kenya and AA UK have made a start by committing to conduct a self-assessment by the end of 2016. The three Accountability in Emergencies trainings have so far introduced 55 participants from over 23 country offices to the CHS. The expectation for 2017 would therefore be for more country offices to undergo the self-assessment process.