Nick van Praag, Director of Keystone’s Ground Truth program argues that the best way to gauge whether humanitarian programs are making a difference is to ask the intended beneficiaries

Nick van PraagNick van Praag, Director of Keystone’s Ground Truth program argues that the best way to gauge whether humanitarian programs are making a difference is to ask the intended beneficiaries

Writing on the Feedbacak Labs blog, Nick discusses The forum on humanitarian standards, which was held in Geneva with support from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC). He suggests that the big question is whether these supply-side initiatives, by distilling best practices and determining whether aid organizations are capable of acting on them, have improved humanitarian outcomes. In other words, “is the humanitarian aid system, which has grown into a sprawling $17 billion a year industry, any better at serving the needs of those it seeks to support than it was?”

In response he also discusses recent piloting of the Ground Truth program as a new cut-through approach to accountability and performance management based on the beneficiary perspective. He concludes that if beneficiaries are the unit of account in humanitarian programs, which no one questions, we need to start systematically engaging with them in a continuous dialogue. Unless we do so, it is hard to verify whether supply-side initiatives have the desired impact.

Read the blog here.

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