Operationalisation of the principles of engagement throughout the Project Cycle Management (PCM) Phases: Cross-border humanitarian response [EN/AR]

Manual and Guideline
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1. Identification & Design (or Programming)

Key applicable Humanitarian Principles: Operational Independence & Impartiality

Civilian Administration Entities should grant humanitarian organizations unhindered access to areas they administrate to allow humanitarian organizations to provide life-saving assistance and services to populations in need. Humanitarian organizations should notify Civilian Administration Entities at the relevant geographical levels about their planned humanitarian activities and provide related publically available organizational information.

Humanitarian organizations should take into consideration the local economic fabric and the existing local service provision and ensure that the planned intervention is complementary with the response of Civilian Administration Entities and other humanitarian organizations or stabilisation actors.

For humanitarian organisations, advanced engagement with Civilian Administration Entities at the relevant geographical levels is important since they may have information (population statistics, needs assessment, availability of facilities, etc.) that can inform needs assessments carried out by humanitarian organisations. Developing common understanding of prioritization criteria (in terms of geographical area, target group and sector of intervention) is instrumental. Engagement and information sharing will reduce risks of tensions between Civilian Administration Entities and humanitarian organizations. Selection of project location is one outcome of this phase and information provided by Civilian Administration Entities should be taken into consideration to avoid duplication and reduce gaps in the overall humanitarian response. In the case of a disagreement between the humanitarian organization and the Civilian Administration Entities, humanitarian principles and accountability to affected population and local community should be the main criteria to resolve the disagreement. Humanitarian organizations, adhering to internationally recognized methodologies for assessing humanitarian needs and response, cannot allow undue influence over the findings of needs assessments or the response. This is to maintain independence and to assess needs impartially so they are credible and acceptable to the affected population, the local community, and the international community.

Accountability to local communities and affected population:

Direct consultations with local communities and affected populations are conducted by humanitarian actors to ensure that the planned intervention answers the priority needs of the local community identified through a systematic assessment of the context (including existing resilience mechanisms and capacities that could be supported to have a positive and sustainable impact). Such consultations should also be designed to manage community expectations. Assessments should not pre-assume the needs and the capacities of the population. Assessments are conducted in a holistic, transparent, inclusive and participatory manner to better ensure that they are representative of all affected people, including marginalized and underprivileged groups. Trained data collectors should be male and female, data is disaggregated by age and sex and information is collected, used, stored and shared, with full respect for confidentiality, and in accordance with the “do no harm” principle.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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