Accountability for Affected Population

MASS core mandate is to support communities affected by calamities by alleviating poverty and suffering. All MASS staff and volunteers are expected to contribute towards this objective by ensuring that their actions do not expose more pain to the already affected population by upholding ‘do no harm’ principle. Through the MASS Accountability to Affected Populations (AAP) framework, Persons of Concern (PoCs) are at the center of programming and their rights and dignity must be respected and their safety observed at all times. PoCs must be provided with the basic right to participate in the decisions that affect their lives, receive the information they need to make informed decisions and to complain if they feel the help they receive is not adequate or exposes them to unwarranted risks. MASS staff must allow PoCs, to own processes by being involved in the entire project cycle management.  Doing this not only ensures adherence to humanitarian principles, but also improves quality and effectiveness of humanitarian aid and promotes sustainability of established ventures through inclusive community driven asset and process management.

MASS’ AAP framework encompasses the following:

  • Participation and Inclusion of Affected Population through Community aligned management approach: MASS shall ensure participation of affected populations at all stages of its programming including involvement in assessments, planning, design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of all established projects.   While working through affected communities, MASS will seek their contributions to ensure context specific, inclusive and improved programming and enhance their capacities to promote ownership and sustainability of established community assets and process. MASS shall also ensure that all affected population are provided an avenue where they feel represented and have access to support regardless of their status, disabilities, gender, religion, political,  race and sexual orientation.
  • Protection of Affected Population against Harm: All MASS staff will be expected to ensure the safety of all affected populations during at all times. This will be done by;
  • Ensuring that selected distribution points are within the reach of affected population and free from risks.
  • Reduce exposure to Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (SEA) by establishing effective mechanism to curb SEA during all stages of programming. All MASS staff and volunteers must sign SEA policy document committing to protect beneficiaries against SEA.
  • Establishing an effective grievance redress mechanism where beneficiaries can provide feedback freely on various issues and seed redress in a timely manner and without exposing the beneficiaries to more risks.
  • Working with the government, other humanitarian workers and communities to sustainably address protection issues emanating from the communities through well-established community structures.
  • Ensure all affected persons have equal and non-discriminatory access to available support.
  • Information sharing and openness:  MASS shall maintain an open communication channel at all times when dealing with affected populations. MASS will do this by providing timely, concise and relevant information to affected populations. This will be done by;
  • Ensure timely information on proposed project interventions, target locations, entitlements, established processes, community involvement and roles played by MASS.
  • Establish culturally sensitive and acceptable communication norms and use language largely understood by the affected population to reach a wider audience.
  • Promote a free environment where affected population can freely and openly engage in dialogue. For example, allow affected populations time and freedom to air their views and concerns.
  • Make use of community recommendations to improve future programming: At the end of each project, MASS shall work with affected populations to evaluate the project. During such times, MASS shall seek to understand affected populations’ perception on the project including what went well, areas that require improvement, lessons learnt and collect success stories. Collected information will be compiled, reviewed and incorporated to ensure improved programming for new projects.