Haiti Earthquake Appeal Evaluations

Protection and Accountability Study

This report [1mb .pdf] assesses the protection work of member agencies and how they dealt with accountability issues during the earthquake response.  It was produced by lead authors Eric James and Julie R. Dargis who are independent consultants and was based on research carried out in and around Port au Prince in Haiti in January 2013.  The study reached five main conclusions: 
  • NGO staff were aware of the issues and sought practical approaches to providing protection and ensuring accountability.
  • Community representation occurred in some unexpected ways and NGOs should approach community partnerships with a critical eye to local power relations.
  • There was evidence that standards from the Humanitarian Accountability and Sphere projects were being used.
  • NGOs need to more consistent in conducting detailed initial assessments and creating baselines.
  • Definitions of protection are often different between field staff and their home office colleagues, partners or donors and a common understanding is required.
The report highlight examples of what it regarded as good practice such as:
  • ActionAid delivering aid through existing management structures and partnerships to build on local knowledge and capacities.
  • Oxfam monitoring that identified some members of the community were seeking to appropriate cash grants intended for vulnerable children and women, allowing corrective action to be taken.
  • Christian aid built advocacy on preventing sexual abuse and other protection issues into its emergency programmes with local partners.
  • Age International created a network of older volunteers to ensure the most vulnerable older people were able to get a share of the aid being offered by other agencies.

Urban Disasters: Lessons from Haiti

This report [3.5mb .pdf] was commissioned to examine the risk of other large urban disasters over the next decade and to guide preparation for future responses. The report said that the 950 million people now living in urban slums would be particularly vulnerable during any disaster. Three of the potential urban disasters which aid workers fear most are earthquakes affecting Tehran, Istanbul or Kathmandu.

The report seeks to highlight the lessons learned from good practice and errors made in the response to the Earthquake in Haiti, which took place in the context of widespread poverty and high population density.

It said it was particularly important to work closely with local traders, businesses, communities and government following such disasters. It also suggested prioritising support for permanent resettlement in existing neighbourhoods, rather than focusing on working in camps or providing temporary shelter.

This video summary presents the ten key lessons from the response in Haiti: