Towards collective accountability in Chad

How is the humanitarian response in Chad going? What do affected people and aid workers think? Are the right things being done in the right way?

Ground Truth Solutions and the CHS Alliance have just released the first round of results of perception surveys with approximately 1,600 affected people and 400 aid workers. Funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), the project aims to collect the points of view and priorities of affected people in order to monitor the implementation of the Humanitarian Response Plan 2017-2019 for Chad against the Core Humanitarian Standard on Quality and Accountability (CHS).

Here are some of the most salient findings so far:

  • Aid workers feel confident in their targeting, with 94% saying that they believe that services reach those people most in need. However, the affected populations interviewed were much less certain, with only 34% saying that those most in need are reached. Only 28% of affected people say that they understand how humanitarian agencies determine who receives aid.
  • Positively, 76% of the affected population interviewed say that they feel treated with respect by humanitarians and 65% feel satisfied with the way humanitarians treat their community. Yet, only 16% overall say that they know what behaviours were expected of humanitarian workers.
  • Affected populations do not feel their opinions are considered by humanitarians.
  • Humanitarians are divided on the question of whether programmes are designed and implemented in a participative way with 48% answering positively.
  • 88% of the affected population feel safe making a complaint to humanitarian organisations, but two-thirds were not certain about how to go about doing this.   

In some instances, the perception divide between aid workers and affected people is particularly telling, with 76% of aid workers considering that they have sufficient information on how affected populations perceive humanitarian programmes.

In the coming months, Ground Truth Solutions, the CHS Alliance and the Humanitarian Country Team in Chad will work with aid agencies to act upon these results and make their work more accountable, collectively, towards the people they serve.

“In a large and complex response, people views are not systematically collected and all too rarely are they acted upon,” says Nick van Praag, Executive Director, Ground Truth Solutions. “Along with our partners, we are building the capacity of humanitarian actors on the ground to use the views of affected people as a measure of whether the goals of the response plan are being met. The biggest challenge we face is to build the incentives so that inaction is eliminated from the list of possible follow-up actions.” 

In line with the CHS the project will support aid agencies in Chad to increase their accountability toward crisis-affected people and make agents of the decisions that impact on their lives. Practically speaking, this will happen through a series of workshops and bilateral meetings with cluster representatives, members of the CHS Alliance based in Chad and other stakeholders.

“We find this project very encouraging when it comes to enhancing the participation of crisis-affected populations in the humanitarian response,” says Judith F. Greenwood, Executive Director, CHS Alliance. “If we want to assess the service we provide to people and communities in a crisis area it is essential to listen to their feedback and yet, paradoxically, the collection, analysis and response to people’s feedback about our work is still one of the main weaknesses of our sector. This is a trend that we notice with most of our members, with whom we work on a day-to-day basis in order to help them fulfil their commitment to the CHS.”


Following this first survey round, which took place from May to July this year through one-on-one interviews, focus groups and online questionnaires, two other rounds will take place by February 2019, targeting three of the most affected regions of Chad, namely the Lake Region, Ouaddai and Western Logone.

For more information on this project and to see the results of the first round of surveys, please go to: http://groundtruthsolutions.org/our-work/strengthening-the-humanitarian-response-in-chad/