Humanitarian Risk and Accountability

CDA is sought out by leading humanitarian policy and practice actors to improve the quality, effectiveness, and accountability of their approaches, and as research partners on complex dynamics to guide investment and decision-making in the most challenging contexts.

Humanitarian Risk

CDA partnered with InterAction to identify and understand risk management “traps” that limit organizations’ abilities to meet humanitarian needs and adapt to complex contexts, as well as the strategic changes that can break these traps.

Risk III: From Evidence to Action defines strong risk management and the success factors of flexible and people-centered policy and practice. Risk is inevitable in humanitarian contexts. This work is a significant step to equip responsive and quality program delivery in some of the most challenging contexts.

Community Engagement and Accountability

Effective community engagement helps to ensure that humanitarian organizations are more accountable to the people they serve. The Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement has developed a robust set of resources that seek to support National Societies to strengthen their practices of engaging with local communities; yet a variety of barriers and challenges still exist in institutionalizing a consistent approach that ensures that community engagement is an integral part of all responses.

CDA has partnered with IFRC Africa Region, IFRC Global, and the Kenya Red Cross Society to support the operationalization of community engagement and accountability across all programs and operations.

CDA has also done extensive work on accountability and feedback loops in collaboration with World Vision. View the partnership here.

Humanitarian Effectiveness

CDA’s research on understanding local perspectives on humanitarian effectiveness informed the development of UNOCHA’s 2015 Report “Leaving No One Behind: Humanitarian Effectiveness in the Age of the Sustainable Development Goals” and the recommendations for the 2016 World Humanitarian Summit.

Between 2012 and 2014, CDA and ALNAP conducted field visits to Darfur, Pakistan, and Haiti to document effective feedback practices at the operational level in active emergency settings. The research led to the publication of 3 case studies, a literature review, a main research study, and practitioner guidance for operational agencies seeking to improve their feedback practices.

In 2017, CDA partnered with the International Rescue Committee to identify factors that enable feedback utilization in programmatic decision-making within humanitarian agencies.

Do No Harm

The Local Capacities for Peace (LCP) Project – later renamed Do No Harm – was formed in 1993 in order to help aid workers find ways to address human needs in conflict contexts without making the conflict worse. CDA developed a framework for analyzing the impacts of aid on conflict – and for taking action to reduce negative impacts and maximize positive impacts – based on the initial 13 case studies and the experiences of people participating in CDA consultations and feedback workshops.

Since the late 1990s, hundreds of organizations and thousands of individuals around the world have incorporated the Do No Harm framework into their programming.