Afghanistan: Community Engagement Working Group Recommended Assessment Questions (as of 6 November 2018)

Manual and Guideline
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The Grand Bargain Work Stream Six requires the humanitarian response in Afghanistan to systematically include participation of, and accountability to, affected populations within the country, including through ensuring that feedback from affected communities and the identification of local capacity informs decision-making at the project, programme and strategic levels.
Following key informant interviews with actors from across 16 provinces in September 2018,the CEWG identified the key information need of affected populations to be their understanding of how the humanitarian response works. More specifically, the targeting criteria and the duration of assistance. The key shortcomings identified by the CEWG to enhance AAP throughout the humanitarian cycle are: (i) lack of inclusion of standardised AAP questions in needs assessments; (ii) limited understanding of how to mainstream community engagement; (iii) limited understanding of policy-level discourse on the enhancement of common accountability approaches and mechanisms; (iv) lack of a dedicated community engagement coordinator; and the lack of an inter-agency mechanism for reporting sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA).
To address the key issue of information provision, promote effective accountability to affected population and to translate Work Stream Six into action, the CEWG proposes a set of questions that support a systematic collection, aggregation and analysis of community engagement indicators to be included in needs assessments.

This document divides assessment questions into:

a. Three community engagement elements:

i. Two-way Communication: Use preferred approaches and mechanisms for:

• Information provision to communities • Information received from communities ii. Participation of communities:

• Consultation • Building on/using local capacities iii. Complaints, Feedback and Response Mechanisms (CFRM)

b. Based on three areas of priority:

i. Mandatory (must include in assessments)

ii. Important (should include in assessments)

iii. Recommended (ideally include in assessments)
This document also supports the linkage between humanitarian agencies with the Core Humanitarian Standard on Quality and Accountability (CHS) and the Inter-Agency Standing Committee Accountability of Affected Populations Commitments (CAAP).