UNICEF’s Accountability to Affected Populations ensures meaningful service provision to communities
As part of the Accountability to Affected Populations strategy for 2022-2023 developed by UNICEF Lebanon, the creation and implementation of an office-wide action plan that puts affected populations at the center ensures meaningful services to communities
As part of the Accountability to Affected Populations (AAP) strategy for 2022-2023 developed by UNICEF Lebanon, the creation and implementation of an office-wide action plan that puts affected populations at the center ensures meaningful services to communities.
Accountability to Affected Populations is one of UNICEF’s core commitments and refers to the responsible use of power, combined with effective and quality programming that recognizes the community’s dignity, capacity, and ability for self-determination.
Social and Behavioural Change Officer Antoine Hraiki believes the AAP strategy is integral, considering people and especially children are the core of UNICEF's work.
“Enhancing AAP into programmes and activities contribute to achieve the wellbeing of every child and rights holder ”
“Enhancing AAP into programmes and activities contribute to achieve the wellbeing of every child and rights holder by guaranteeing the most suitable and relevant outcomes for the people we serve and by putting their needs and interests at the center of decision-making,” Hraiki said.
UNICEF Lebanon defined a set of strategic priorities as part of the current year strategy including: Centrality of Complaints and Feedback Mechanisms; Capacity Building; Information Management and Program Adaptation; as well as Monitoring and Reporting.
In order to increase Accountability to Affected Populations, a hotline was established alongside a mix of online and offline reporting channels for UNICEF to receive and respond to complaints and feedback.
“We started hearing people's voices louder and clearer than before”
The use of such feedback from beneficiaries was also prioritised in adapting UNICEF programs and to strengthen the quality, relevance and appropriateness of the country office’s services.
Health and Nutrition Officer Youssef Karaki sees AAP as a mind-shifting approach at UNICEF.
“We started hearing people's voices louder and clearer than before, which will help us adapt our existing programs and create new ones based on that,” Karaki said.
“AAP [helps] us to understand the needs, challenges, and feedback of our community, [to be used] as a base for our program planning, design and implementation… [as well as making] people closer to us, getting more information, and accessing the needed services.”
In order for UNICEF Lebanon country office to achieve their aim of promoting and enhancing the rights of children, families and communities, the AAP principles needed to be integrated into the work of all staff levels and programmes.
Through the adoption of the AAP strategy, UNICEF is enhancing service access to affected populations by ensuring they are consulted, informed and engaged about the issues that matter to them, including their rights and entitlements and the expected conduct by UNICEF and partner facilitators.
This means that the communities themselves participate meaningfully in key decisions which impact them.
“It is a communication pathway that guarantees the right holders are involved in making decisions that affects their lives”
Regular training has been carried out for all UNICEF staff and partners to strengthen their capacity to carry out services that prioritize the safety and dignity of all affected groups.
Programme Associate Salam Ramdan is one of the people who delivered training to UNICEF partners to build their capacity on the importance of being accountable.
“While delivering AAP training … I have ingrained in them how paramount this part of our work to ensuring we are held responsible to the population we serve,” Ramadan said.
“Consequently, the partners understand that it is not just another element of programming; rather, it is a communication pathway that guarantees the right holders are involved in making decisions that affects their lives, they help shape the programs that address their needs, and show us how to adjust any aspect that doesn’t achieve equity for them.”