2009 Humanitarian Accountability Report

The 2009 Humanitarian Accountability Report contains four chapters, as follows:

Chapter 1: An Overview of Humanitarian Accountability in 2009. The opening chapter provides an overview of the principal developments and apparent trends in relation to accountability in the humanitarian system.The purpose of the annual humanitarian accountability review is to offer an informed and independent view of progress made by the humanitarian system towards meeting HAP’s strategic vision of “a humanitarian sector with a trusted and widely accepted accountability framework, which is transparent and accessible to all relevant parties”. John Borton, a distinguished independent consultant, undertook the review in 2008 and 2009. From the materials reviewed in this chapter, the impression of the author is one of continuing progress in the process of widening and deepening of accountability to beneficiaries and affected communities within the humanitarian system. The chapter highlights a series of steps and developments that represent real progress in improving the quality and accountability of the humanitarian system, concluding that, “HAP and its members can be proud of their contribution to such progress.”

Chapter 2: Survey of Perceptions of Humanitarian Accountability. This chapter reports on the fifth annual survey of perceptions of humanitarian accountability. Based on perceptions of 377 respondents, the 2009 Survey supports the trends that have emerged over the past five years; while there is growing optimism about progress being made in accountability across the aid sector, the results also highlight the gap in accountability to different stakeholders, particularly so to intended beneficiaries and host governments.

Chapter 3: Voices of Disaster Survivors in Southern Sudan. Since 2007, the Humanitarian Accountability Report has presented the views of people with first hand experience of receiving aid, using quotes that typified the sentiments most often expressed to HAP staff during programme-site activities in different countries. The 2009 Report includes a more detailed overview based on focus groups and semi-structured interviews held with 539 disaster-survivors and aid recipients in Southern Sudan. While the chapter does not claim to represent the range of perspectives of aid recipients in Southern Sudan, it shares some of the issues that were consistently raised by persons from different states and diverse communities and highlights some overall themes and trends on the aid efforts in 2009, with particular focus on accountability.

Chapter 4: HAP Members’ Accountability Workplan Implementation Reports. In previous years, the Humanitarian Accountability Report presented HAP members’ annual reports exactly as they were submitted to the HAP Secretariat. This year, full copies of the reports are being placed on the HAP website, while this chapter provides a summary of the main activities undertaken by members as they reported them to the HAP Secretariat. John Borton prepared this chapter.

Based on a review of Accountability Workplan implementation reports submitted by 28 members and covering the period 1 January to 31 December 2009, the author concludes that “it is striking and impressive to see the effort and commitment of HAP members (supported in a variety of ways by the HAP Secretariat) focussed on improving accountability to beneficiaries and disaster-affected communities.”