Accountability to Affected People
Accountability to Affected People (AAP) is an active commitment by humanitarian and development actors and organisations to use power responsibly to take account of, give account to, and be held to account by the people they seek to assist. It is a rights-based framework grounded in the rights, dignity, capacity and safety of people through the responsible use of power in humanitarian action informing appropriate, effective and quality programming. Systematic and coordinated community engagement ensures humanitarian response is accountable to affected people. In this light, system-wide accountability is essential to meeting organisational and collective commitments as outlined by the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC), the Grand Bargain Participation Revolution (Workstream 6) and the Core Humanitarian Standard on Quality and Accountability (CHS). Under these commitments and standards, aid agencies are expected to strengthen coordinated and harmonised community engagement practices for more effective and accountable humanitarian action.
In Asia Pacific region, there is a growing work to establish and scale up joined up approach for Community Engagement and AAP among aid actors to ensure system-wide accountability in response operations and programming. In the past several years, some collective approaches have been undertaken in countries such as Afghanistan (AWAAZ), Central Rakhine, Myanmar (CCCM – Complaint Response Mechanism), Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh (Common Feedback Platform), Fiji and Vanuatu (Communication and Community Engagement Approaches), Indonesia (Suara Komunitas Bulletin)6 , Nepal (Common Feedback Project), Philippines (Tingog sa Komunidad Bulletin). The efforts within these joined up approaches are built around common foundational activities that have shown to improve the quality of emergency response and programming globally. They are:
Provide information to affected communities about humanitarian agencies’ activities;
Ensure humanitarian agencies’ decisions are informed by the views of affected communities;
Enable affected communities to assess and comment on agencies’ performance, and give feedback (including on issues of sexual abuse, exploitation and harassment).
Additionally, AAP is being increasingly integrated into Anticipatory Action and Cash interventions across the region. While there is growing interest and demand on collective AAP among aid agencies in various contexts, there are challenges to operationalise AAP meaningfully in response and programming as there is a lack of leadership support, human and financial resources. This regional coordination mechanism aims to support addressing some gaps and challenges to enable collective AAP is central to aid operations and programming.