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Accountability and inclusion

Accountability and inclusion

FAO is accountable to the women, men, boys and girls whose lives it aims to improve, and places this responsibility at the core of its emergency response and resilience programmes.

This people-centered and rights-based approach is captured by the term accountability to affected populations. Focusing on the rights, responsibilities, dignity and safety of all segments of an affected community, this approach identifies the capacities, aspirations, constraints and unique needs by gender, age and diversity groups as they evolve over time. In practice, accountability to affected populations entails two-way communication channels, which are essential to provide information that enables affected people to make informed decisions about their own lives. It also includes encouraging, listening to and acting on their complaints and, adapting programmes based on their feedback.

There is an intersection between accountability to affected populations, protection from sexual exploitation and abuse, diversity and inclusion, and how the response to these issues is often intertwined. Hence, the Organization approaches these issues under the umbrella of accountability and inclusion. This guarantees that they are addressed concurrently, and neither is overlooked as they are all essential aspects of emergency programming.

Accountability and inclusion involves ensuring meaningful participation of affected populations in all stages of the programme cycle considering important aspects such as gender, age, diversity, disability etc. Another important measure is guaranteeing affected populations have access to aid without fear of exploitation or abuse by any aid worker. Overall response efforts involve enabling people to report on or address sexual exploitation and abuse, and sexual harassment without fear of retaliation.

FAO’s approach

FAO fulfils its commitment to accountability and inclusion by ensuring a people-centred response through:

  • institutional commitment to integrate and mainstream accountability and inclusion across all emergency and resilience programming
  • partnerships and coordination with key stakeholders at all levels to maximize synergies and foster exchange of best practices
  • continuous awareness-raising and capacity development of staff and partners ensuring participation and inclusion of affected populations in decisions that impact their lives.

Accountability and inclusion mechanisms are essential to ensure quality programming, thus are present in each stage of the project cycle and strategic planning. They ensure affected people’s needs are better met, contribute towards projects’ sustainability, strengthen local organizations, and transform power structures and dynamics.

Accountability and inclusion is increasingly being applied across FAO’s programmes and initiatives around the world, requiring adaptation of standard approaches according to the differing socio-cultural and operating contexts on the ground.

In this endeavor, FAO’s overall goal is to promote and support the delivery of better, more accountable and inclusive humanitarian response and action. By being more accountable to affected populations FAO achieves programmes of higher quality, with greater and more sustainable impact. It increases the space for communities to shape their own recovery and for FAO to better deliver against its commitments to stakeholders, including the people FAO assists and the resource partners who make assistance possible.

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