Some basics and guidelines not mentioned in other contributions
To be continued…
What people have a right to expect…
The Sphere Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Disaster Response sets out what people affected by disasters have a right to expect from humanitarian assistance. The aim of the Sphere Project is to improve the quality of assistance provided to people affected by disasters, and to enhance the accountability of the humanitarian system in disaster response.
Sphere Handbook, 2004 revised edition, published by the Sphere Project, Geneva. Available online: www.sphereproject.org/handbook
Building the capacity to bounce back…
„The face of disasters is changing. Soaring urban populations, environmental degradation, poverty and disease are compounding seasonal hazards such as droughts and floods to create situations of chronic adversity. Old ways of coping are proving inadequate. But equally, people at risk are finding new ways to respond on their own initiative. Aid organizations must keep up. We need new approaches that boost people's resilience to the full spectrum of physical, social and economic adversities they face. By resilience, I mean people's ability to cope with crisis and bounce back stronger than before. If we fail to shift from short-term relief to longer-term support for communities in danger, we risk wasting our money and undermining the resilience we seek to enhance.“
International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, World Disasters Report 2004, Focus on community resilience. Available online: http://www.ifrc.org/publicat/wdr2004
Women in a natural disaster
Just victims - or actors?
“The image of the suffering woman and child during a disaster is a popular one in the media. Women are disproportionately affected by natural disasters, usually as a result of their gendered status in society. What the media does not show, however is that women are a vital part of disaster mitigation and response efforts, whether acting within their traditional gender roles, or transcending them.”
Gender and Natural Disaster. A PAHO GenSalud Fact Sheet, Available online: www.paho.org/English/DPM/GPP/GH/GenSalud.htm.
Ordinary people doing extraordinary things…
The People In Aid "Code of Good Practice in the management and support of aid personnel" is the result of years of international collaboration by dozens of agencies. The Code is a tool to help agencies offer better development aid and disaster relief to communities in need, and is an important part of their efforts to improve standards, accountability and transparency amid the challenges of disaster, conflict and poverty. As well as building on previous guidelines, the Code reflects the growing attention of aid groups on issues of health and safety, diversity and equality, and is relevant for agencies engaged in development and advocacy as well as emergency response. The Code comprises seven principles: health, safety and security; learning, training and development; recruitment and selection; consultation and communication; support, management and leadership; staff policies and practices; and human resources strategy.
The People In Aid Code, revised edition, September 2003. Available online: www.peopleinaid.org