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Balancing research and practice in an international NGO

REL Practice Paper 1 Ten Years of Change is a collaborative, long-term practitioner research initiative designed to take place in three countries – Colombia, Kenya and the UK. It is implemented by the Research, Evidence and Learning team at Christian Aid. The research began with the overarching question how are community members and supporters being influenced by, and influencing, processes of social change? Each country team adapted the question to make it relevant to their socio-political context, and designed research at several different levels, from local to national. This paper tells the story of the first three years of Ten Years of Change. It narrates our ideas and ambitions and how we clarified them; how we identified where, by whom and how the study would be implemented; and how we worked with colleagues in other countries to begin to translate our idea into practice. It then discusses the forces that shaped the parallel but distinct evolution of each of the three streams of the study, before reflecting on the challenges of trade-offs and power. It concludes by returning to some of our assumptions about practitioner research, reflecting on how they played out in practice, finally turning to considerations for the next stage of the study.  

LPRR: Humanitarian response strand learning paper

The Linking Preparedness, Response and Resilience, a DEPP funded, multi-agency project, supported seven local NGOs in Kenya and Myanmar to develop and pilot operational methodologies for supporting integrated community-led responses to humanitarian crises. The project was funded by the START network through UK aid and was led by Christian Aid. The approaches tested by the project were based on the research carried out by Kings College London (KCL), on the on-going action-research of carried out by Local to Global Protection (L2GP) and on the ideas, capacities and contexts of the LNGOs themselves. The pilots test the application of the recommendations made by communities as captured by the KCL research of how to improve humanitarian programming. This learning paper summarises the key findings to date from seven of these pilots in 3 local organisations from Marsabit County of Northern Kenya, two from NW Myanmar (Rakhine State) and two from SE Myanmar (Kayah and Kayin States). Given the small budgets for the pilots and the very short timeframes for their completion, they are the first step for the seven LNGOs to test and develop some of the components of the emerging ‘practice’ for facilitating locally-led emergency programming.

LPRR final evaluation report

The Linking Preparedness, Response and Resilience (LPRR) project, which is part of the DFID funded Disasters Emergencies Preparedness Programme (DEPP), was carried out from 2015 to the end of March 2018. The project was delivered by a consortium led by Christian Aid, which included Action Aid, Concern, Help Age, King’s College London, Muslim Aid, Oxfam, Safer World, and World Vision. The LPRR project brings together the expertise of response and resilience professionals (and frameworks) in order to support communities affected by emergencies and at the risk of violence. The consortium was present through a research component in eight countries, namely Bangladesh, Democratic Republic of Congo, Philippines, Colombia, Indonesia, with pilot projects in Kenya, Pakistan and Myanmar. The project was delivered through three distinct strands: conflict prevention, humanitarian response, and learning.

LPRR knowledge co-development paper

Co-production is a process through which partners draw upon their own learning to feed into a collective knowledge creation process. It fits well within international development, humanitarian and resilience-building processes, where the multi-partner nature of many current projects ensures there is a multiplicity of perspectives that can be drawn upon. It can also be democratic – where all forms of knowledge are valued – and so create ownership; work to find a balance between theory and practice and strengthen (and build) technical capacity and process Co-production was explicitly employed in the Linking Preparedness, Resilience and Response (LPRR) project, part of the DFID funded Disasters and Emergencies, Preparedness Programme (DEPP). It explored how humanitarian response can be strengthened to enable (and not undermine) long term community resilience building. Christian Aid (CA) led the project with seven consortium partners – World Vision, Action Aid, Help Age International, Concern, Oxfam and Muslim Aid. The project collaborated with King's College London (KCL) who led the research function. The purpose of this practice paper is three-fold: To explore the learning environment amongst consortium partners i.e. group learning and the tools and processes employed to facilitate this To detail the challenges and enablers of an implementing NGOs, Christian Aid and other consortium partners, co-producing knowledge with an academic institute, KCL; and To assess how the project helped to build capacity amongst relevant agencies – including in-country partners.

LPRR: Empowering communities to lead humanitarian response

The DFID DEPP funded LPRR consortium is led by Christian Aid and includes Action Aid, Concern Worldwide, Help Age, King’s College London, Muslim Aid, Oxfam, Saferworld and World Vision. It aims to increase preparedness and resilience capacity in conflict and response settings. As part of the project, King’s College London University designed and implemented a study in Bangladesh, Colombia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Indonesia, Kenya, Pakistan and the Philippines. It was one of the rare approaches which specifically asked 327 crises survivors and first responders from past humanitarian emergencies to draw upon their own experience and expertise to guide improved humanitarian response programming for long term resilience.

Humanitarian inclusion standards

The humanitarian inclusion standards for older people and people with disabilities were developed by the Age and Disability Capacity Programme (ADCAP), an initiative of the Age and Disability Consortium. These standards provide practitioners and organisations with clear actions that can be taken to protect, support and engage older people and people with disabilities and help us all realise these commitments. They provide guidance to identify and overcome barriers to participation and access in diverse contexts, and at all stages of the humanitarian programme cycle.

Humanitarian inclusion standards (Arabic)

The humanitarian inclusion standards for older people and people with disabilities were developed by the Age and Disability Capacity Programme (ADCAP), an initiative of the Age and Disability Consortium. These standards provide practitioners and organisations with clear actions that can be taken to protect, support and engage older people and people with disabilities and help us all realise these commitments. They provide guidance to identify and overcome barriers to participation and access in diverse contexts, and at all stages of the humanitarian programme cycle.

Humanitarian inclusion standards (French)

The humanitarian inclusion standards for older people and people with disabilities were developed by the Age and Disability Capacity Programme (ADCAP), an initiative of the Age and Disability Consortium. These standards provide practitioners and organisations with clear actions that can be taken to protect, support and engage older people and people with disabilities and help us all realise these commitments. They provide guidance to identify and overcome barriers to participation and access in diverse contexts, and at all stages of the humanitarian programme cycle.

Good practice guide

This good practice guide has been developed as part of the Age and Disability Capacity Programme (ADCAP), an initiative of the Age and Disability Consortium. This guide shares good practices and challenges that have emerged through the experience of the Age and Disability Capacity Programme (ADCAP) implementing partners, in embedding inclusion of older people and people with disabilities within their humanitarian policies and practices.

Conflict prevention strand of the LPRR

The Linking Preparedness, Resilience and Response project (LPRR) was a consortium initiative, running from 2015 to 2018, funded by DFID through Disasters and Emergencies Preparedness Programme (DEPP). It was implemented by the START Network, under the management of Christian Aid. The project developed an ‘Integrated Conflict Prevention and Resilience’ (ICPR), methodology drawing on best practice of conflict sensitivity and resilience strengthening. The methodology was tested in ten communities across two contexts; Northern Kenya and North-West Pakistan. The aim of this paper is to describe the process of implementing these pilots and to gather learning about what worked well and what did not, in order to inform the design and implementation of future humanitarian and development initiatives in conflict-affected contexts.

Kenya: a closer look at older age and disability in health programming

Christian Aid’s PPA programme looks at reaching the most vulnerable through health care interventions. Here we share some case studies from Kenya.

LPRR: briefing note

The Linking Preparedness Response and Resilience (LPRR) project is part of a growing portfolio of Start Network Engage projects funded by UK aid from the UK Government, through its Disaster and Emergencies Preparedness Programme (DEPP). LPRR, started in January 2015, will run until the end of December 2017. It seeks to increase preparedness and resilience capacity in conflict and response settings by improving resilience-building strategies in multi-hazard and multi-risk environments. Led by Christian Aid, LPRR joins together nine agencies (Action Aid, Christian Aid, Concern, Help Age, King’s College London, Muslim Aid, Oxfam, Saferworld and World Vision) to promote resilience in humanitarian responses to disasters and conflict contexts.

Kenya: guide to contribution analysis methods

Contribution analysis was used within a series of theory-based evaluations of Christian Aid’s governance portfolio in 2015, specifically in the Kenya country study.  The approach was used to try to understand and evidence to what extent Christian Aid’s and its partners’ governance approaches has contributed to better health outcomes.  This methodological guide was one of the deliverables of the evaluation and is aimed at Christian Aid staff who are interested in understanding alternative approaches to evaluating governance and other hard-to-measure areas of work.  The guide introduces the theory behind contribution analysis and the practical steps taken in applying the approach during the evaluation in Kenya.  Related resources Kenya: a closer look at older age and disability in health programming