May 11, 2015
Posted by Tegan Rogers in Blog.
Matching emergency response with local development sustainability: The importance of multi-level cooperation
It is common knowledge that strong collaboration with local partners allows an efficient delivery of outputs within a short period. The Start funded interventions after the recent flooding in Sri Lanka revealed that such collaboration is central not only for timely, one-off delivery; it is about properly articulating emergency responses with long-term development initiatives carried out by larger bodies, such as governments at all levels.
When flooding hit Sri Lanka in late December 2014, the Start Fund was activated to support emergency interventions in the central and eastern parts of the island, where 1.1 million people were affected. All three implementing agencies (CAFOD, CARE International and World Vision) reached more people than expected. This was mostly because increased information created improved efficiency following the establishment of strong links with partners at various levels.
Widening the network of contacts and partners during the emergency intervention contributed to the likelihood of sustainability for the projects. For example, in CAFOD’s intervention, collaboration with local partners encouraged an improved flow of information that increased the efficacy of activities. Thanks to carefully calculated decisions made by Caritas Sri Lanka (CAFOD’s partner), the project waited a few days for prices of essential goods to be adjusted by the incoming government (elections had taken place on January 8). Caritas was eventually able to obtain 300 additional packages (150 of food and 150 of NFI). This represented a 10% increase that allowed reaching 600 additional people. It confirmed that the quality of any intervention depends as much on creating the conditions for useful communication to flow and be assimilated into decision-making as it does on thorough design.
At the same time, the involvement of a multitude of different stakeholders during implementation proved to be essential at various stages of the projects, showing that collaboration permits longer-term sustainability of interventions. CARE International worked closely with local governments (District Secretariats), who were better placed to identify the magnitude of the disaster and determine which implementing agencies should intervene where. The District Secretariats coordinated the whole process to avoid duplication. Moreover, the Secretariats involved community leaders in the project’s implementation, so that they could help CARE International’s intervention to monitor the distribution of goods, particularly construction materials and the building up of shelters.
World Vision’s project relied on close, pre-existing relationships with government bodies from various levels, local NGOs, community associations (such as youth clubs) and health action teams. The Medical Officer of Health (MOH), for example, assisted in identifying families with malnourished children to be provided with food assistance to help prevent further deterioration. Other relationships helped ensure smooth implementation in identifying target groups, transporting goods and running distribution centres.
CAFOD’s experience with local rural development societies and women’s rural development associations also complemented the work of their partner, Caritas Sri Lanka, in providing assistance to small scale livestock development and small agriculture businesses. These activities were implemented in coordination with local government programmes, contributing to the sustainability of local development initiatives.
In sum, cooperating with local actors strengthened the projects by allowing them to integrate their emergency relief activities with long-term existing development initiatives in the local context. Multi-level collaboration in this context helped drive down costs, avoid duplication, monitor distribution, identify beneficiaries and complement ongoing programmes to improve effectiveness for people so severely affected.
Photo: CARE International
Tagged: engagement, fund, learning, local, spotlight
Join the conversation
Leave a Reply
Sean Lowrie on how the Start Fund enables local and international NGOs to work together
October 30, 2015
Start Network director Sean Lowrie describes the Start Fund and...
An open letter to Mihir Bhatt from Sean Lowrie
October 23, 2015
Following the World Humanitarian Summit consultation in Geneva, Sean Lowrie,...
Mindfulness and stress management for aid workers
October 22, 2015
Hitendra Solanki, Mindfulness & Wellbeing Adviser for ACF-UK & The...
ReShapeAid: Voices from the frontline
October 13, 2015
With the World Humanitarian Summit set to happen in Istanbul...
Working collaboratively – expecting the unexpected
September 24, 2015
Catherine Dennis, Protection in Practice Project Manager at Oxfam tells...
View from the Engine Room #3
June 12, 2015
Summer is here judging by the flowers in the garden...
Spotlight on the Start Fund: Islamic Relief’s 1% learning activity Bangladesh
April 23, 2015
Lessons Learned responding to floods in Northwest Bangladesh CARE,...
New humanitarianism, local capacity and the case for system change
April 20, 2015
“….Nigeria, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Tunisia, and the Democratic Republic of...
Spotlight on the Start Fund: Choosing to have choice
March 20, 2015
Choosing to have Choice : Lesson Learning on Cash Transfers...
Is collaboration the key to more effective surge?
March 13, 2015
A key tenet of the Start Network’s vision is that...
A View from the Engine Room #2: Turning up the Dial
March 3, 2015
The engine room has been working round the clock on...
Spotlight on the Start Fund: Malawi Flood Response – Uniting to Secure People’s Rights
February 26, 2015
ActionAid is an international federation working to eradicate poverty, particularly...
Spotlight on the Start Fund: Handicap International and Plan’s joint 1% learning activity Nepal
February 17, 2015
Developing a Joint Emergency Contingency Plan after Floods in...
What does the future hold for humanitarians? Notes from the Futures Roundtable
February 11, 2015
Last November the Start Network was invited to participate in...
Collaborative advantage: why working together is like a marriage
February 5, 2015
On the 12th February, Start Network agencies and CDAC- Network...
Spotlight on the Start Fund: Why does the Start Fund work so well for Christian Aid?
January 28, 2015
From April to December, 2015, the Start Fund was alerted...
Crisis anticipation – what are we aiming for in 2015?
January 27, 2015
Crisis anticipation – what are we aiming for in 2015?...
Spotlight on the Start Fund: Lessons Learned responding to floods in Northwest Bangladesh
January 20, 2015
Lessons Learned responding to floods in Northwest Bangladesh: Summary of report...
Building a movement: What are the magic ingredients?
January 13, 2015
In late November 2014 I represented the Start Network at...
View full archive
View more posts in the Blog archive.