The Listen Learn Act Project

Enhanced response capacity through evidence-based quality and accountability standards and innovative inclusion of affected populations


What is it about?

Save the Children, DanChurchAid and Ground Truth Solutions (Keystone Accountability) have embarked on an exciting global quality and accountability project to be piloted in four countries; Mali, Nepal, Ethiopia (the response to the South Sudanese refugees) and Syria (response in Lebanon). With a serious commitment to quality and accountability for disaster-affected populations, and with ECHO’s support, the Listen Learn Act project will reinforce the roll-out of the Core Humanitarian Standard (CHS), and support humanitarian agencies in engaging affected populations better in the delivery of programmes. The project will be implemented in close collaboration with Sphere and the CHS Alliance.

What is the need?

All too often, humanitarian actors fail to thoroughly consult with affected populations, nor are they given much chance to offer their perspectives on the assistance they receive or the agencies that provide it. Over the past year or so, a series of reports and external evaluations have provided evidence to document that better accountability to beneficiaries leads to improved effectiveness of humanitarian interventions. though the accountability systems put in place in the communities often lack systematic effort across the humanitarian sector to put the voices of the affected populations at the heart of humanitarian interventions. The humanitarian system itself lacks incentives for organisations to put in place effective feedback loops and manage their performance based on evidence provided through beneficiary feedback. It is widely accepted that management buy-in is crucial for such systems to flourish. Hence there is a need for convincing evidence about the effectiveness of feedback systems and a better understanding of the benefits they bring to humanitarian assistance. Evidence can in turn drive a coordinated effort to influence humanitarian actors across the sector and provide incentives for setting up effective feedback loops.

How will it be done?

The specific objective of the project is to ensure Enhanced response capacity through the development, use and integration of an innovative and practical methodology for monitoring accountability to beneficiaries; training and awareness raising of humanitarian actors; and global dissemination of findings.

To address the needs for improving beneficiary feedback mechanisms across the humanitarian system, this project is therefore structured around 3 corresponding components:

1. Building the capacity of organizations providing humanitarian assistance to be accountable through the applying the Core Humanitarian Standard and effectively implement feedback systems, through face to face to trainings, on-the-job mentoring and through e-learning, on-line toolboxes and facilitation of communities of practices and sharing of data.

2. Refining and testing an innovative methodology to collect evidence on the implementation of the Core Humanitarian Standard by organizations providing humanitarian assistance on the ground.

3. Promoting organisations' capacity through enhanced quality and accountability and innovative beneficiary feedback systems to the humanitarian sector at large through dissemination of findings and results through reports and online media and providing input to key humanitarian events and fora.

A minimum of 16 organizations will participate in data collection on beneficiary feedback in their programs, 4 in each of the 4 countries targeted for field work under this action: South Sudanese Refugee Response in Ethiopia, Syria crisis in Lebanon, Mali and Nepal. Four organisations selected in each country are invited to a workshop where they will be introduced to the ‘Ground Truth’ methodology. During the workshop the organisations will work with Ground Truth Solutions to identify a set of up to 10 questions

rooted in the Core Humanitarian Standard. The questions are aimed at disaster affected communities to seek feedback on the aid that they receive and the organisations delivering it to them, and that they live up to the nine commitments outlined in the Core Humanitarian Standard. Enumerators will carry out frequent micro-surveys based on the questions to enable real time feedback from disaster-affected populations, allowing organsations involved to ‘course correct’; in essence listen, learn and act in a timely manner to the feedback from the affected populations.

Based on learning from the first phase four trainings will be held, one in each of the four countries reaching 200 participants from 40 organisations. The training workshops will incorporate sessions on methodology linked to component one of this project as well as introductions to the Core Humanitarian Standard 9 Commitments and Quality Criteria as the new framework for assessing performance. The training will feed in to the content of LLA e-learning modules and online toolbox, which will be available to the wider humanitarian community. Enabling them to make the feedback from affected populations and the Core Humanitarian Standard the centre of their ways of working.

Practical benefits of the programme include:

  • Better quality data from affected people on organisations performance and accountability, as well as an accompanied process to integrate that data and feedback into organisational programming decisions. 
  • Improved skills, knowledge, awareness and practices of effective communications and survey tools, potentially improving the quality of needs assessments and responses in future crises.
  • Less time spent monitoring and trying to understand feedback.
  • Improved accountability and beneficiary feedback systems through blended learning approaches and share experiences through a community of practice.
  • Save the Children, DanChurchAid and Ground Truth Solutions (Keystone Accountability) are grateful for ECHO’s support for this project.

For more information on this project please contact Humanitarian Advisor, Grethe Markussen, Save the Children focal point in the LLA project

Please check more information about this action on the homepage of DanChurchAid.