Accountability in action: building trust through responsive complaints in Yemen

27 November 2023

by Muna Alhammadi,

Head of Partnership, NDEO

Nabd Development and Evolution Organisation (NDEO) is a Yemeni organisation that aims to provide stabilisation in society through sustainable development work. They joined the CHS Alliance this year and have been champions of the CHS and accountability since. Hear how their adoption of an effective complaints mechanism led to real change for people receiving aid.

A complaints mechanism in action

Our story begins when a person we assist submitted a complaint regarding the recent collapse of a plastic tank provided to him as part of NDEO’s Agricultural Greenhouses project in Amran Governorate. Improper installation of the tank caused it to completely shatter after falling. He was upset and angry.

The person receiving assistance submitted the complaint using our dedicated hotline for that project. Staff monitoring the line promptly documented the complaint and shared it with the relevant staff. They quickly formed an investigation committee for the issue consisting of the project engineer, the project manager, and a member of the community committee. This group visited the site to check what happened. Within the week, our team analysed what caused the issue, moved to fix the tank and shared our learnings with others across the organisation to ensure it wouldn’t happen again.

In response, the person who reported the issue shared: “I never expected that this complaint would be resolved, and I had completely lost hope based on previous experiences with other organisations. But NDEO has proven to be an exceptional organisation; NDEO truly understands us!”

How did NDEO achieve success?

This simple story is the result of much work to improve how we are held accountable by the people we serve. Ensuring prompt responsiveness to the issues closest to the people we support has been part of NDEO’s visions and strategic goals since our establishment.

On joining CHS Alliance, NDEO increased our focus on achieving accountability and providing genuine responsiveness by establishing appropriate complaints and feedback channels for each project and enhancing our mechanisms for rapidly responding.

Field visit conducted by NDEO committee to verify and address the complaint. Credit: Agricultural Greenhouses Project, NDEO.

To achieve this, during the initial assessment of project needs and project design, people receiving our support are involved throughout. Alongside, a community committee is formed, comprised of individuals from different parts of the community, to represent them and express their opinions at all stages of the project. Additionally, we organise training sessions for all our staff to ensure they understand how their roles are responsible for the organisation’s accountability to affected people affected by crisis.

Working in partnership with the community committee, we design the most useful complaints and feedback channels so that they align with the area, people receiving aid and the project.

People supported by NDEO’s projects being trained on how to use the complaints and feedback channels and explaining their rights. Credit: Agricultural Greenhouses Project, NDEO.

In the first month or after the community selection process, training is provided to the crisis-affected community on how to use the complaint and feedback channels. We encourage them to express their complaints and suggestions at any time without fear.

Through these measures, NDEO is showing our dedication to meeting our Core Humanitarian Standard commitments.

In the last year, we’ve received numerous acknowledgments from many of the people we serve who expressed their gratitude and satisfaction with the professional, prompt, and compassionate approach of our team. These acknowledgments reflect the trust that we have built with the people we help.