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Fostering Transparency and Accountability: DRC's Community and Feedback Mechanism

In the south of Hodeidah governorate, on the west coast of Yemen, communities are currently grappling with the devastating consequences of conflict and displacement. The estimated number of individuals displaced in this particular area is more than 81,500* individuals with Danish Refugee Council (DRC) managing 23 of the camps hosting these individuals.

DRC Yemen

Posted on 08 May 2024

Community Feedback Mechanism

One of the crucial efforts made by the DRC in response to this crisis was implementing and activating the Community Feedback Mechanism (CFM) aimed at enhancing the relevance and effectiveness of humanitarian activities by integrating community input into the planning and execution phases.

This approach not only prioritizes local needs and capabilities but also improves the overall quality of assistance by promoting a two-way dialogue between aid providers and the affected communities, ensuring that the aid delivered is well-suited to the community's specific circumstances and preferences. 

As described by Salem Basuhai, the country MEAL Manager for the DRC:

"Engagement with communities provides a basis for dialogue with people affected by a crisis not only on what is needed but also on how what is needed might best be provided. Engagement improves the appropriateness of a humanitarian response by, for example, identifying priority needs and preferences and by ensuring that local capacities are taken into account. It strengthens the quality of assistance by facilitating dialogue and meaningful exchange between aid agencies and affected people at all stages of a humanitarian response and result in the empowerment of those involved.”

This participatory approach fosters empowerment among the displaced, making them active contributors to the coordination and execution of aid efforts. 

Salem Basuhai, MEAL Manager for the DRC in Yemen

Engagement with communities provides a basis for dialogue with people affected by a crisis not only on what is needed but also on how what is needed might best be provided.

/  Salem Basuhai, MEAL Manager for the DRC in Yemen

Significantly empowering both displaced individuals and host communities. individuals can now voice their concerns, offer suggestions, and actively contribute to the development in their areas affected by conflict and displacement through the CFM.

A notable instance of this empowerment occurred in Al-Khawkhah district, where displaced individuals highlighted a severe water shortage.

Previously, these individuals faced arduous journeys to nearby farms for water, a journey that added significantly to their daily burdens. Addressing this through -DRC's CFM, the DRC swiftly responded by constructing accessible water points in the camps, funded by the Yemen Humanitarian Fund (YHF).

This intervention drastically reduced the time and effort residents needed to spend on water collection. 

I used to carry water jerrycans weighing 30 liters, and we had to go back and forth up to five times a day to meet our needs.

/  Jameela, a displaced woman in Al-Wara'a camp

DRC Yemen

Jameela, a displaced woman in Al-Wara'a camp, described her previous struggles:

"We had to trek to distant farms in Al-Wara'a to fetch water, which took us about half an hour to go and return. I used to carry water jerrycans weighing 30 liters, and we had to go back and forth up to five times a day to meet our needs. It was a tiring task to secure water, as we didn't have donkeys to help us carry it, so we did it ourselves.” 

She adds, “Thanks to DRC, water points have been provided in the camp, this has significantly eased our burden in terms of time and effort." 

CFM is effective
DRC Yemen

CFM is effective

Saeed, another displaced individual from Al-Sabeaa, also shared his experience:

"Water is now available in the camp. The CFM was effective as they listened to our opinions and met our needs regarding water and other issues, such as repairing the toilets and fixing damaged shelter." 

In Al Khukha district, challenges such as limited mobile network coverage complicate communication. This makes it difficult for people to use hotlines effectively. Saeed explains:

"The mobile network coverage makes it difficult to reach the hotline. Therefore, in the camp, we prefer to physically reach out to the focal point person to share our feedback." 

The support from the Yemen Humanitarian Fund (YHF) has enabled DRC to develop projects by listening to and incorporating the voices of the displaced, demonstrating the profound impact of inclusive decision-making on the lives of the displaced and the host community. 

Saeed concluded, "The CFM has made a noticeable difference in the level of service compared to before. It has provided us with better and faster solutions." 

Source data: Executive Unit for Displaced Persons on the West Coast, Yemen. 

About Community Feedback Mechanism in DRC

In DRC, CFM uses various entry points to collect feedback from communities and stakeholders.

These channels are designed to be accessible to all members of the targeted populations, regardless of their gender, age, or other diversity characteristics.

The CFM aims to provide multiple avenues for beneficiaries to share their feedback or raise complaints, taking into account factors such as literacy, access, power dynamics, and other barriers.

Diversifying the methods of feedback collection is encouraged and considered a best practice. 

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