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Accountability to Affected Populations: Tools to assist in implementing the IASC AAP Commitments
At their meeting in April 2011, the IASC Principals acknowledged the fundamental importance of accountability to affected populations. They agreed to integrate accountability to affected populations into their individual agencies' statements of purpose as well as their policies. Further, they requested that the Sub Group on Accountability to Affected Populations (part of the IASC Cluster Sub Working group and comprising a diverse representation of UN agencies, NGOs and quality and accountability initiatives), develop a proposal for inter-agency mechanisms that would enable improved participation, information provision, feedback and complaints handling.
The Sub Group compiled a draft operational framework through collaboration with a wide group of stakeholders, in addition to drawing from current industry standards on accountability and quality in humanitarian work, in particular, the Sphere Minimum Standards and the HAP 2010 Standard in Accountability and Quality Management. The framework aims to highlight some of the “bottom line” accountability activities and indicators that should be in place at each stage of the project cycle.
As a complement to the framework, the Principals endorsed the statement of accountability commitments in December 2011, also prepared by the Sub Group. The CAAP aims to establish a shared understanding of the broad tenets of accountability to affected populations and is intended for integration within policy, guiding documentation and practice. Over the course of three meetings in 2011, in February, April and December, the IASC Principals therefore discussed the issue of accountability to affected populations in some depth and made a number of binding decisions, complementary to the CAAP.