Advancing Humanitarian Response: Reflecting on Quality and Improvement.

On the 26th to 28th of February 2024, ActionAid’s International Humanitarian and Resilience Team (IHART), ActionAid Kenya, and its partners in Taita Taveta County embarked on a pivotal journey, delving deep into the latest trends in humanitarian response. In a collaborative effort, they scrutinized the quality of their interventions during various crises, seeking avenues for enhancement, and reaffirming their commitment to delivering timely and effective aid to those most affected.

Hachangu Hakalima, IHART (International Humanitarian and Resilience Team) PQMEL Coordinator makes a presentation during the IHART PQMEAL workshop in Voi, Taita Taveta County

Humanitarian crises, whether sparked by natural disasters or conflict, often thrust communities into states of vulnerability and distress. The response they receive during such dire circumstances can make all the difference in their ability to recover and rebuild their lives. Recognizing this, ActionAid Kenya and its allies are dedicated to continual learning and improvement in their programmatic approach to humanitarian assistance.

At the heart of this endeavor lies a commitment to reflection. By critically examining past responses, these organizations can identify areas of success and areas for growth. They scrutinized not only the efficacy of their interventions but also their adherence to humanitarian principles, such as impartiality, neutrality, and independence. Through this introspection, they aim to ensure that their actions align with the needs and rights of the affected populations.

Esther Sharara Regional Humanitarian Advisor Southern Africa, IHART (International Humanitarian and Resilience Team) engages ActionAid Kenya partners during the IHART PQMEAL workshop in Voi, Taita Taveta County

One key aspect under the spotlight is the timeliness of response. In the wake of a crisis, every moment counts. Delays in delivering aid can exacerbate suffering and prolong recovery. Thus, ActionAid Kenya and its partners explored strategies to streamline their processes, ensuring that assistance reaches those in need with greater speed and efficiency.

Equally important is the effectiveness of the aid provided. Beyond just delivering relief goods, there is a growing emphasis on building resilience within communities, empowering them to withstand future shocks. To this end, organizations are integrating measures for capacity-building and long-term sustainable development into their humanitarian efforts.

Furthermore, the quality of response extends beyond the tangible outcomes to encompass the dignity and agency of the affected individuals. Humanitarian aid should not merely be a handout but a means of restoring people’s sense of autonomy and self-worth. ActionAid Kenya and its collaborators are committed to fostering community participation and decision-making throughout the response process, ensuring that the voices of those impacted are heard and respected.

ActionAid Kenya team and IHART (International Humanitarian and Resilience Team) engage community members in Kishushe, Taita Taveta County.

ActionAid Kenya and its partners are not content with merely identifying areas for improvement. They are dedicated to translating these insights into concrete actions that will elevate the standard of humanitarian response in Taita Taveta County and beyond. Through innovation, collaboration, and a steadfast commitment to humanitarian principles, they strive to ensure that no one is left behind in times of crisis.

Author: Ezra Kiriago ,Communications Coordinator ActionAid Kenya.

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