Integrity Insights: Humanitarian assistance and hopes of peace

At Integrity, we wish for a peaceful world that is respectful of diverse views and able to adapt and respond to challenges. However, the reality is that protracted and complex crises are increasingly the norm. If we are to achieve understanding and clarity, we need to adopt innovative approaches and solutions that meet the needs of the most vulnerable, ensure access to essential services, build resilience and promote stability. Here, Senior Manager Megan Weaver shares more on Integrity’s portfolio of humanitarian response work and gives an insight into our approaches to building a more peaceful planet.

Conflict and protracted crises are often built on complexity. The Global Humanitarian Overview 2022 estimates that 2022 will see 274 million people in need across 63 countries. Currently a total of 82.4 million people, representing 1% of the global population, are estimated to have been forcibly displaced from their homes. Many of them are fleeing violence or renewed conflict, others the effects of climate change or extreme poverty. Compounded by the third year of the global COVID-19 pandemic, extreme poverty and food insecurity are on the rise, with famine-like conditions a “real and terrifying possibility” in 43 countries. In these fast-paced, high-pressure and increasingly complex contexts of humanitarian crises, decision makers and implementers need timely, high-quality, context-aware and conflict-sensitive information.

Integrity’s humanitarian portfolio

Humanitarian assistance seeks to save lives, alleviate suffering, and maintain the dignity of those affected. As we embark on a new year, Integrity is energised and poised to support a range of humanitarian assistance programmes that will help to inform decisions and enhance engagement between humanitarian, development, and peacebuilding actors. Of the 10 countries with the most people in need, Integrity is currently implementing activities in three – Afghanistan, Syria, and South Sudan – as well as providing support to several global humanitarian programmes. Our humanitarian portfolio focuses on providing high-quality and community-centred monitoring, evaluation and assessment services to critical donors and leaders in the humanitarian community to increase aid effectiveness and build resilience among affected communities.

Across our portfolio of work, we employ context-aware approaches and constantly adapt to provide independent advice that is clear, informative, and timely. Our active work in this area covers:

Social protection in crisis – Integrity is conducting a mixed methods performance evaluation of the £20.5-million Better Assistance in Crises (BASIC) programme. BASIC aims to help poor and vulnerable people in more than 30 low- and middle-income countries cope better with crises. By providing technical assistance, research, knowledge management and learning services to the country offices and partners of the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), BASIC is expected to improve the effectiveness, efficiency, and sustainability of social protection infrastructure.

Global humanitarian response and aid effectiveness Integrity is also working with the FCDO and Stabilisation Unit (SU) to provide evaluation support to the Humanitarian Emergency Response Operations and Stabilisation (HEROS) Programme, which provides the operational support functions needed to support the UK government’s response to disasters. It provides year-round 24/7 emergency support and response cover and is equipped to support multiple rapid-onset responses simultaneously. The findings from our Independent Evaluation of the HEROS programme are expected to feed into the design of the ongoing support function to ensure that the UK government is ready and able to respond whenever and wherever there is a crisis.

Supporting early recovery and building resilience – Integrity is providing third-party monitoring and evaluation services to the FCDO’s multi-year humanitarian programme (MYHP) in Pakistan. The MYHP is a six-year £100-million programme that aims to reach at least two million people with life-saving assistance and early recovery activities following natural disasters and conflict.

Bridging the humanitarian-development gap through long-term self-relianceCentral to our work this year will be our innovative work with USAID/South Sudan to support their Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning Support (MELS) activity. The Mission’s scenario-based strategy will use a community-focused approach to help targeted areas move beyond a critical need for humanitarian aid and towards longer-term self-reliance. Through MELS, Integrity will play a critical role in piloting participatory and community-based approaches to activity monitoring for both humanitarian and development assistance. We will work closely with USAID to develop an accessible and user-friendly data repository and support the identification of information gaps MELS can fill.

Despite the major challenges facing the humanitarian community, hope remains. As the Global Humanitarian Overview notes, the humanitarian system is taking “determined action to prioritize equity, inclusion and access to information for affected communities.”

At Integrity, it is our hope that our work will support humanitarian actors to achieve this critical goal through new and innovative data collection and monitoring approaches. Our services and expertise serve to increase complexity awareness and support evidence-based decision making at the local, country and global levels. Our ambition is that this, in turn, will continue to elevate the voices of affected communities, improve lives and bring us closer to a more peaceful world.

Discover more about our Humanitarian Response approach or email us at [email protected] to discuss how we can support your programmes.

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