Latest Discussion Posts


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  • Posted in: Open Forum

    Thanks for your insights, Alexei! You've confirmed what has been my own experience as well. I do hope that a shift in talking can lead to a shift in thinking - and eventually a shift in doing as well. Thanks again, Naomi ------------------------------ Naomi Falkenburg Independent Consultant Self-employed ... More

  • Posted in: Open Forum

    Excellent points, Naomi! The short answer to all your questions is that what you see is not a "shift in thinking ". It is a shift in " talking ". The rest is pretty much the same as it used to be: organisations (in particular the "big ones") come with their own "pre-defined" package of services, imitate ... More

  • Posted in: Open Forum

    The Global Protection Cluster Strategic Framework 2020-2024 includes a priority around 'Promoting research and the use of minority languages in protection activities, including translation and interpretation.' Does anyone in the community know how this is being implemented during the COVID-19 response? ... More

  • Posted in: Open Forum

    Hello PHAP community, Whether you are a MEAL specialist or someone working more broadly in project/programme management, I am interested in hearing about your experiences with inclusive and participatory MEAL (or any other combination of M, E, and L!). I am a MEAL advisor and would like to get some ... More

  • Posted in: Open Forum

    This is an interesting and true observation. One reality about security management is of course that it is context specific. As such, while there needs to be a drive from the HQ to harmonise a "security culture", it will be obvious that there will still be differences in approach. However, if the security ... More

  • Posted in: Open Forum

    My take if I understood the question correctly: Security culture is a 'process' which takes time to develop within an organization. The starting point/approach would be: 1. Ensuring that new employees are correctly socialized into the organizational culture (including security culture) at the time ... More

  • Posted in: Open Forum

    Hi Raman and All True, that was a big challenge in several humanitarian contexts in the regions I work in too, especially in the early days of the pandemic.  Generally, 'accountable' governments cooperated more with humanitarian actors as they understood the complexity and dangers of the pandemic. I ... More

  • Posted in: Open Forum

    Dear Nelly Maonde, Thank you so much for sharing the GBV in Emergencies Minimum Standards, well received.  ------------------------------ Dr Abdulhaq Niazi Executive Director Today's Afghanistan Conciliation Trust (TACT) Afghanistan ------------------------------ More

  • Posted in: Open Forum

    In international NGOs, it's not uncommon to find quite different security cultures in different offices around the world, depending on how interested senior field management is in security, and how much they understand and prioritise it. How can this tendency be overcome? And how do we impress on Country ... More

  • Posted in: Open Forum

    Hi Abdulmalik.  A very good question and one we should be concerned about as we can do harm if not correctly managed. Have a look at the recently launched Inter-Agency Minimum Standards for GBV in Emergencies Programming (Launched November, 2019).   Very useful for a quick guide if you are not a GBV ... More

  • Posted in: Open Forum

    An important question to ask in any programme aimed at "improving organizational culture" is "what do I want people in my organization to DO differently?" Then, based on the answer to this question, you could decide which of the many ways of achieving that purpose ("creating an Ethics Office" could ... More

  • Posted in: Open Forum

    Dear colleague, To start with establishing an ethics office is a cumbersome process. However, if you have already some HR manuals, other policies which are regulating the process could be used as a starter. In fact, OD is a full-fledged area which required huge attention. Please explore all associated ... More

  • Posted in: Open Forum

    Hello Raman, You are right that there are some regions where the government response to Covid-19 is quite indifferent. However, frequent follow-UP and evidenced-based advocacy is a good tool to start negotiations. One can start by writing letters but these letters must be based on some facts and figures ... More

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    Starting an Ethics Office

    Posted in: Open Forum

    We are looking at ways to improve organizational culture in our relatively large organization. One idea under consideration is to create a distinct Ethics Office. Does anyone have experience of how introducing an Ethics Office into your organization changed the organizational culture? Would you have ... More

  • Posted in: Open Forum

    Dear all,  Hope you are well and safe.  I'm working as PM for Protection/Child Programs in which we face daily pressure of dealing with very sensitive information regarding beneficiaries. The donors used to work with third parties to do PDM [Post-Distribution Monitoring] or other relevant verification ... More

  • Posted in: Open Forum

    Hi there, the post is a couple of months old, but as large parts of the world are approaching a second lockdown, still relevant. In Afghanistan, data from WHO showed a decrease of utilization of critical health services, including surgeries and deliveries in hospitals, by about 30% during the lockdown ... More

  • Posted in: Open Forum

    Hi Katherine, I believe your point is extremely relevant here. I also work in Afghanistan, and am aware that working through community elders or religious leaders is practiced when communities cannot be reached personally, and women not by phone, yet, I am also concerned about the lack of accountability ... More

  • Posted in: Open Forum

    Hi Raman, True, the situation in many countries became much more restrictive in terms of access due to governmental COVID19 restrictions of movements. In Uganda, we had a complete lockdown for more than 3 months during which most NGOs were not able to operate for some time before the government started ... More

  • Posted in: Open Forum

    My experience is from Tanzania, Rwanda and Zimbabwe. The Ministry of Education, with support from INGOs and UN agencies, developed visual lessons to be broadcasted through TVs stations, and the voice lessons to be broadcasted by radio. For poor families who cannot afford radios and TVs, we distributed ... More

  • Posted in: Open Forum

    Thank you all for your contributions, very helpful.  Mohamed  ------------------------------ Mohamed Khaled DRR & Resilience Consultant Independent/Consultant Kenya ------------------------------ More

  • Posted in: Open Forum

    Hi Mohammed, From my experience working through local partners in South Sudan, the starting point should be creating a good working relationship with you partner field staff based on trust and respect. There you will be in position to freely communicate with them through phone calls/emails, if there ... More

  • Posted in: Open Forum

    Hello Mohamed, I deeply appreciate the answers of Julia. The approach will depend upon the time of intervention and/or duration of the project. I have been working in a fragile environment in the WASH/SHELTER sector. We use phones, video recording and sometimes WhatsAp video calls to see how activities ... More

  • Posted in: Open Forum

    Hi Mohamed,  I can contribute to the topic only from my experience in Afghanistan - I think the situation is comparable to what you describe. What type of monitoring is reasonable depends on the type of intervention. Here are some approaches I personally or close colleagues of mine made good experiences ... More

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  • Posted in: Open Forum

    Dear Allissa; I am so grateful to hear such a nice insight. The community latrine was designed initially as a paid job, but because of prolonged crisis the partners want the community to clean their latrine on a rotation basis as "community participation". However, the community leaders didn't accept ... More

  • Posted in: Open Forum

    Dear Fahim; Many thanks for the wonderful demystification. Definitely, the points you have mentioned are core responsibilities for the camp management agency. As camp management, all community governance structures (Community High Committee (CHC), Youth Committee, Women Committee, Community Disabled ... More

  • Posted in: Open Forum

    Hi all, I would agree with Alissa -- sometimes community involvement won't work and that must be accepted and the consequences managed. Rarely does the community do a very good job at cleaning and emptying latrines, for example. So then the question becomes -- what is the priority? Community participation ... More

  • Posted in: Open Forum

    Great thoughts Alexei.  The Global Fund Tuberculosis program provides free drugs and testing for patients. In some countries, the principal recipient org has collaborated with a few private clinics which have high patient loads on a daily basis by providing them with testing kits and drugs. This ensures ... More

  • Posted in: Open Forum

    From experience in a fragile state in East Africa, you could use third party monitoring who use either or a combination of on the ground verification and phone system. The phone system is extremely difficult in some contexts because of the dependency that has been created by donor funding. You are likely ... More

  • Posted in: Open Forum

    Hi, there is infrequent access with strict security measures on international staff. Local staff of implementing partners are based at Community level. Thank you ------------------------------ Mohamed Khaled DRR & Resilience Consultant Independent/Consultant Kenya ------------------------------ More

  • Posted in: Open Forum

    Hello Bany Reath. I am curious. Did the community have decision-making power over the purchase and installation latrines and then not want to clean them? Or is the decision-making held by internationals and the cleaning of latrines given to the community as a proxy for "ownership." I am curious and want ... More

  • Posted in: Open Forum

    Hello! Just a quick question: Is this a remote management situation or do you have direct access to the area with specific security measures? If you can clarify this point, I can try to help. Best, Simone ------------------------------ Simone Sarcia Head of Mission Cooperazione Internazionale (COOPI) ... More

  • Posted in: Open Forum

    Hello, Thanks for sharing your situation, the question about ownership is definitely an important one. I think a crucial point on ownership is deciding, alongside community members, what ownership means (what they can or wish to "own"), and agree on a clear division of responsibilities between the ... More

  • Posted in: Open Forum

    Dear Mohamed, I like your question - very practical. So this is what I want to share with you. Working in humanitarian contexts due to conflicts and natural disasters is challenging since you have to make sure that the support has reached and benefited the most vulnerable and affected. One thing ... More

  • Posted in: Open Forum

    Dear Bany, Your concern is quite valid and in camp settings it is a challenging situation as camps are in most cases a temporary settlement. I don't know how it works in your context but here we used to have a structure of coordination and community engagement and community services as an integral ... More

  • Posted in: Open Forum

    Hi everyone, I would appreciate if you could share based on real life and practical experience some tips, examples, or practices to help ensure effective monitoring procedures in high risk program contexts. I am referring to contexts where your program was implemented by local partners, either government, ... More

  • Posted in: Open Forum

    In my country, South Sudan, we engage the affected population for community participation and ownership. However, we find that the community is reluctant or even sometimes possesses robust resistance to accept that the community should have ownership over WASH facilities, e.g. latrines cleaning. As the ... More

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    RE: Effective approaches for reporting on violations ...

    Posted in: Open Forum

    It very much depends on the situation on the country (situation of internal conflict? situation of international conflict?) and which parts of IHL you can refer to. Also, it depends on the nature of each end every case. Example: a woman was killed. Is it IHL violation, IHRL violation or a criminal law ... More

  • Posted in: Open Forum

    Dear All, I hope you are well & safe. I'm preparing a plan of online interactive activities for people seeking asylum during Covid times. It's part of a program I manage on Empowerment. If you could suggest ideas, guidelines, best practices that I can look into, that will be helpful. Defining ... More

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    Effective approaches for reporting on violations of ...

    Posted in: Open Forum

    In my country, there is an armed conflict between the communist-led insurgents versus the armed forces of the government. As an NGO tasked to monitor and report violations of international law in this conflict, we often are faced with situations where both International Human Rights Law (IHRL) and International ... More

  • Posted in: Open Forum

    Hi Amel You're focusing on an important topic/set of topics concerning gender, humanitarian action, policy and practice.  You've already had some excellent and informative replies. I would encourage you to keep participating in collegial activities with others - I saw Sarah mentioned a GBV Community ... More

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    Reporting on violations of international law

    Posted in: Open Forum

    In my country, there is an armed conflict between the communist-led insurgents versus the armed forces of the government. As an NGO tasked to monitor and report violations of international law in this conflict, we often are faced with situations where both International Human Rights Law (IHRL) and International ... More

  • Posted in: Open Forum

    Hi Patrick, I would agree with that statement strongly. I am interested though to hear from those who may not agree with it and why they think differently. Veronique ------------------------------ Veronique Barbelet Senior Research Fellow Humanitarian Policy Group Overseas Development Institute ... More

  • Posted in: Open Forum

    Hi Veronique, Your explanation has also added to my understanding. And, the facts I am taking home are that, both Humanitarian Assistance and Protection  are inter connected and, can also stand alone. Although, a quality Assistance should have protection mainstreamed into it to uphold the principle of ... More

  • Posted in: Open Forum

    Dear Patrick,  To add to Raman's excellent explanation. Some people refer to humanitarian aid as encompassing both humanitarian assistance and protection. Some organisations would also argue that humanitarian assistance is essentially protection too but this is perhaps more controversial and not necessarily ... More

  • Posted in: Open Forum

    Dear Raman, I am good with the clear explanation. Thanks. ------------------------------ Patrick Igbana Deputy Head of Department, Food Security and Livelihoods Action Against Hunger (ACF) - Nigeria Nigeria ------------------------------ More

  • Posted in: Open Forum

    Hi Patrick, It's not exactly the same. Sometimes there are dedicated protection programs only which do not have any assistance components such as logistics or relief distribution etc. Protection program encompasses all activities aimed at obtaining full respect for the rights of the individuals in ... More

  • Posted in: Open Forum

    Thanks for this clear explanation. I want to seek more clarification on this matter: Is it right to state that, Humanitarian Protection is a sub-set of Humanitarian Assistance? Meaning that while we provide the assistance, protection is also observed in the process. You may throw some more light on this. ... More

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  • Posted in: Open Forum

    Hi Alexei, Thanks for the additional thoughts! Will keep these in mind when approaching our prospective partners. Best, Sylvia ------------------------------ Sylvia Wamalwa Kenya ------------------------------ More

  • Posted in: Open Forum

    Hi, Humanitarian protection is about improving safety, well-being and dignity for crisis-affected populations. Protection refers not only to what we do but the way we do it . It involves actively applying core protection principles and responsibilities to our humanitarian work across all sectors. ... More

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    Humanitarian assistance vs. humanitarian protection ...

    Posted in: Open Forum

    Hi everyone, I have been providing humanitarian training, mainly in international humanitarian law, for a couple of years. Course participants are often confused about the difference between humanitarian assistance and humanitarian protection. How would you explain this to someone who is new to the ... More