How can NGOs hold the system accountable?

NGOs can hold the humanitarian system accountable in a variety of ways:

  • Request that coordination meeting minutes (HCT and cluster) are regularly shared with members and accurately reflect meeting discussions.
  • Follow up on feedback provided; if comments were not taken on board in a strategic or operational document such as an advocacy statement, joint needs assessment, Humanitarian Needs Overview (HNO), cluster response plan, Strategic Response Plan, etc ask why, document the response and escalate if necessary.
  • Every part of the architecture requires a document that explains its role and function in country, often in the form of a Terms of Reference (TOR).
    • If a cluster, a country-based funding mechanism and/or the HCT does not have such a document request that it be drafted and finalized in a consultative manner.
  • As cluster members, review and provide feedback on Cluster TOR and management arrangements.
  • As HCT members, review and provide feedback on the HCT TOR.
  • Engage with global and high-level missions.
  • If a cluster or HCT is not fulfilling its mandate, raise the issue. Try to resolve it in-country by engaging with the NGO coordinating body, Cluster Lead Agency (CLA), OCHA, and the Humanitarian Coordinator if necessary. Document your dialogue.
  • Inform your headquarters and potentially one of the global NGO consortia if the humanitarian architecture in-country is not fit for purpose.