Category Archives: Accountability and Sensitivity

Where Should the Feedback Function Sit? Determining the Institutional Location for the feedback function

-If we want to see change informed by local feedback, what elements are vital? While perhaps less ‘sexy’ than real-time SMS feedback channels, the decision on where to anchor your feedback mechanism within your institution has a significant impact on its effectiveness and your ability to utilize the data it generates. This blog traces CDA’s evidence regarding the institutional location of feedback systems, and provides questions for practitioners seeking to strengthen their accountability mechanisms and processes.

Anyone working on improving accountability and feedback loops these days has undoubtedly engaged in discussions about innovative, technology-based feedback channels, the role of local partners and the aspiration to place the affected people at the center. While all these dimensions hold merit in advancing effective accountability practices, we need to ask ourselves: if we want to see change informed by local feedback, what elements are vital? Continue reading

When You Are The Divider

– In this installment of our accountability and sensitivity seriesSabina Carlson Robillard urges colleagues in the humanitarian and development world to know who they are in the context they work in, and use that knowledge wisely. She draws on her time working in Haiti and Guinea, and the moment she realized she was a “divider” in the N’zerekore Ebola response context  – Continue reading

How we listened for the virus: the contribution of community engagement to the Ebola response

– In this post Sabina shares her personal experience supporting the response to the Ebola epidemic in Guinea. She explains that listening and community engagement gave responders a better fighting chance – by locating contaminated areas before the disease spread, and by increasing community willingness to collaborate with epidemic protocols. She points out helpful listening methods, and argues that her experience shows it is possible – and that responders must – take the time to listen even in the heat of the response. – Continue reading

Presenting Feedback Data to Decision-Makers: Does Form Influence Action?

Experimenting and learning with Catholic Relief Services in Haiti, a post by Isabella Jean and Nathalie Francisque first published on FeedbackLabs;

Organizations supporting local development and responding to humanitarian needs agree on the need to improve the quality and use of feedback data in program decision-making. There is less agreement, however, on what factors ensure quality and consistent utilization of feedback data. Recurring questions continue to pop-up in inter-agency meetings, learning events and peer-to-peer discussions: Continue reading

Right Smart Feasible

The Right Smart Feasible Thing To Do

FeedbackLabs organized an excellent Summit on Oct 15th and 16th.  The Summit brought together feedback experts, leading thinkers, practitioners, and philanthropists to think jointly, creatively, and pragmatically about the promises, challenges, successes, and opportunities in closing feedback loops in aid and philanthropy. Feedback Labs defines itself as a growing network of policy, advocacy, service, funding, and technology groups who jointly explore how feedback loops from constituents can be the: Continue reading

Ask and Listen

We Will Not Know Unless We Ask and Listen

Sabina C RobillardWhy do feedback mechanisms matter in Haiti, Nepal, and beyond? I recently wrote a blog post for CDA that emphasized the importance of open-ended listening to communities in aid recipient countries. But in humanitarian disasters, such as the recent earthquake in Nepal, this also applies to establishing feedback loops with disaster-affected communities.

Here’s why effective feedback mechanisms matter, and how they are done right, from an experience of post-earthquake Haiti: Continue reading

moments between crises

In the Moments Between Crises

Sabina C RobillardWhile the world scrambled to pick up the pieces left by the earthquake that struck Haiti on January 12th, 2010, I spent most of my time listening. I was not a doctor, not a logistician, not a GIS specialist – but I was an American who spoke Haitian Creole. Working for both small and large post-earthquake operations, I had a drive to support better communication pathways between Haitians affected by the earthquake and the people who came to assist them.

Continue reading