What is Accountability to Affected Populations – AAP?

AAP represents all efforts to ensure that the views of refugees and host communities are taken on board by partners to influence the design and implementation of programming or other support. AAP facilitates programming across the humanitarian-development nexus by increasing the influence that affected persons have over decision making, thus empowering communities to shape and realize their long-term development. AAP overlaps with related concepts like “communication with communities,” “risk communications,” “client responsiveness,” and “community engagement.” AAP is sometimes confused with ‘accountability’ more broadly, but it is a separate concept.

Three concepts of AAP

Giving account: includes efforts to inform affected persons about what programs are doing, beneficiary rights and entitlements, and other relevant information (e.g. through information outreach campaigns).

Taking account: includes efforts to collect and understand beneficiary views, while ensuring that decisions are shaped by these views (e.g. proactive efforts to understand the perspectives and perceptions of beneficiaries, through satisfaction surveys, community meetings, and needs assessments).

Being held to account: includes efforts to enable beneficiaries to hold organizations accountable for the behaviors and performance of their staff and activities (e.g. mechanisms that beneficiaries can use to raise concerns and make requests, such as through complaints and feedback mechanisms).

What does U-Learn do on AAP?

The AAP component of U-Learn works towards a vision of affected populations (refugees and host communities) being increasingly able to meaningfully participate in the refugee response, leading to improved service provision.

To this end, U-Learn generates systematic insights into the views and needs of refugees and host communities, and analyses and facilitates improvement of existing AAP mechanisms.

U-Learn’s current work on AAP can broadly be divided into the 5 areas below:

Rumour tracking:

In collaboration with the CwC Task Force, U-Learn implemented the inter-agency Rumour Tracker to record and analyse trends of rumours in communities.  Creating monthly ‘Rumor Bulletins’ from the rumor tracking methodology. Countering rumours with accurate information as required through a range of channels such as local media, community leaders and word of mouth.

REF (Refugee Engagement Forum) Support:

Contributing to building a more powerful and effective REF by increasing voices of refugees at national level, in collaboration with the REF Taskforce and CRRF Secretariat. Strengthening connections between REF and Refugee Welfare Committee (RWC) structures at both Regional and National levels.

Providing AAP training to partners:

In collaboration with UN Partners, designing training needs assessments and developing training manuals/ content. Offering training to partners on AAP.

Providing Support to remote AAP activities:

Supporting the UNCHR based Feedback, Referral and Resolution Mechanism (FRRM) with increased call capacity. Providing Airtime Support to Refugee Welfare Committee (RWC) structures in refugee settlements. Support to UNHCR to send Bulk SMS to refugee communities in multiple languages. The messages inform refugees about changes to services, provide information about hotlines and support systems, and give advice for vulnerable individuals.

Providing technical support:

Providing technical advice and support to various partners on AAP. Piloting an AAP Helpdesk function so that partners can access information on AAP