HAG: Accountability to affected people - Stuck in the weeds

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The humanitarian sector's struggle about achieving accountability to affected populations (AAP) commitments is undoubtedly a leading discussion topic on the agenda of many aid organizations. Five years after the Grand Bargain, which marked a milestone in focusing efforts and resources into AAP, humanitarians are still struggling to demonstrate tangible results. In the past few years, organizations invested significantly to improve accountability mechanisms, but there are still major gaps between the 'intention and implementation', and 'between actions and desired impact'. "Findings from the fifth independent review of the Grand Bargain in 2021 suggested ‘a consistent lack of political interest in participation, combined with a lack of incentive." (Humanitarian Advisory Group, Accountability to affected people - Stuck in the weeds, June 2021)

As part of their Humanitarian Horizons research program, the Humanitarian Advisory Group (HAG) has recently published a report that provides an overview of various evaluations and research pieces on AAP to understand better where the sector is stuck today.

"This practice paper provides a summary of the evaluations and reviews that have concluded that AAP is not having its intended impact. It goes on to provide possible explanations for this failure with a focus on the blockages between policy, practice and outcome, proposing that as a sector we are stuck in the weeds of AAP implementation without building in opportunities to consider the bigger picture of impact – and the changes in approach required. The paper concludes by proposing six ways to think about improved outcome-focused AAP. These are intended to support conversations and progressive thinking that can support humanitarian leaders in finding a path out of the weeds."

Access the report here.