Session 3.1 In pairs Share your reaction to the case study. What did the partner do well? What could they have done better?
Session 3.1 In the same pairs Think of 2-3 key recommendations for the partner to ensure best practice in future emergency needs assessments.
Why do we do Assessments? Decide whether we should intervene or not Understand the priority need(s) Target the response Complement government interventions Design appropriate responses Access initial resources for the intervention
Why Assessments? “Organizations that provide relief without first assessing the disaster impact, the resulting needs, and the local response capacity will most likely offer assistance that is unnecessary or inappropriate and which supplants local efforts.” IFRC, June 2000
Conducting Good Assessments - Tips Be intentional about who you talk to Focus less on numbers, more on “how, who, why” Document your [sampling] choices Triangulate information Analyze findings on-site (same or next day) Collect ONLY information that you will use Uses: planning, communication, decision- making
Practical tips (con’t) Keep it to a defined period Combine assessments with other activities Communicate trends (before writing) Adapt to the evolving situation Vary your methods, keep it simple Reassess the situation and make adjustments, as necessary Adopt a phased approach
Resources CRS Emergency Assessment Manual Sphere Common Standard 2 (page 29) Sphere Technical Checklists (e.g. page 89) CRS Asia M&E Standards CRS Asia Emergency Assessment Guidance The Good Enough Guide to Impact Measurement and Accountability in Emergencies
Sphere Standard 2 Common standard 2: initial assessment Assessments provide an understanding of the disaster situation and a clear analysis of threats to life, dignity, health and livelihoods to determine, in consultation with the relevant authorities, whether an external response is required and, if so, the nature of the response.
Session 3.1 Key Messages: Emergency assessments should take place as soon as possible after a disaster strikes The aim is to confirm how urgent the needs are and whether a CRS/partners response is required. If so, field assessments should trigger the decision on what type of emergency response to start. The assessment information should provide information on where to conduct an initial response. The assessment findings can mobilize immediate funding for emergency interventions.
Session 3.2 Emergency Assessment Planning Based on the information in the scenario, plan an immediate emergency needs assessment and determine: WHY – objective of the assessment WHAT information to collect HOW – what methods WHO – key informants i.e. What are your immediate information needs, in the first few days of the crisis? You have TEN minutes Write your ideas on colored cards. (e.g. yellow)
Session 3.2 Emergency Assessment Planning Based on the information in the second scenario, plan a follow-up emergency needs assessment and determine: WHY – objective of the assessment WHAT information to collect HOW – what methods WHO – key informants i.e. What are your information needs in the first few weeks of the crisis? You have TEN minutes Write your ideas on colored cards. (e.g. pink)
Session 3.2 Emergency Assessment Planning Based on the information in the third scenario, plan a third emergency needs assessment and determine: WHY – objective of the assessment WHAT information to collect HOW – what methods WHO – key informants i.e. What are your information needs in the next 3-6 months of the crisis? You have TEN minutes Write your ideas on colored cards. (e.g. green)
Session 3.2 Emergency Assessment Planning Key Messages: Emergency assessment should be focused and time bound – one tool should be developed and used within a well defined period of time. Emergency assessments are iterative. Plan to reassess as your response and the context evolves Focus on collecting timely, reliable information that you will USE. Accuracy is often a challenge for collecting numbers / statistics. Use secondary sources and focus your primary data collection on qualitative information on how people are doing and their coping strategies.
Reflection: Is it ‘Good Enough’? Being ‘good enough’ means choosing a simple solution rather than an elaborate one. ‘Good enough’ does not mean second best: it means acknowledging that, in an emergency response, adopting a quick and simple approach to needs assessment, accountability, monitoring and impact measurement may be the only practical possibility. When the situation changes, you should aim to review your chosen solution and amend your approach accordingly.
Session 3.3 Bias and Triangulation Pair buzz What are the different biases and prejudices that may affect our post disaster needs assessment?
Session 3.3 Bias and Triangulation Pair buzz again “How can we minimize biases and prejudices?” Each pair takes a different bias / biases. “How can we minimize biases and prejudices?” Assign different bias to different pairs to ensure all situations are addressed.
Session 3.3 Bias and Triangulation Key Messages: Biases and prejudices can influence our understanding of a situation. Bias is natural, we are all biased by whom we are, there is little we can do to prevent it, the issue is how to mitigate it. Recognizing our biases and prejudices is the first step in overcoming them. Triangulation reduces the risk of bias in a needs assessment. Triangulation means the assessment is conducted by a diverse, multi-disciplinary team, using multiple tools and techniques, with individuals and groups of people who represent the diversity of the community. Good planning is essential. Planning means deciding: who should be on the assessment team; where you will go and who you will talk to; what information you require; what methods you will use to collect that information.
Session 3.4 Interviewing Skills You will now do a role play to develop your interviewing skills. Re-read the first part of the scenario (Aug 17th) and the plan for the first phase assessment (Exercise 3.2). Think about how to apply the Dos and Don’ts when interviewing beneficiaries. After 5 minutes preparation, 4 participants will come to the front and act out an interview, 2 as NGO workers, 2 as family members (1 man, 1 woman) affected by flood.
Session 3.4 Interviewing Skills Key messages To do a good interview one must: be prepared and use a checklist; introduce oneself to the community leaders; ask permission to conduct the interview; sit, behave and dress in a culturally appropriate manner; empathize with the interviewee; be polite; avoid raising expectations; avoid leading questions. Decide carefully who to interview, according to the information required, and taking into cultural considerations, for example interviewing women and men separately and in appropriate surroundings. Be capable of conducting structured and semi-structured interviews, and using closed and open ended questions.
Session 3.5 Transect Walk Key Messages: There are many tools and methods that can help us conduct assessments and, in particular, ensure they are participatory in nature. We need to be familiar with them to choose the appropriate tool at a given time in an emergency context, and to use them properly. A Transect Walk uses a mixture of observation and open ended interviews to collect information about the impact of the disaster.
Session 3.6 Participatory Assessment Tool Each group works on one PRA Tool and answers the following: Based on your experience, what can the tool be used for (what is the purpose)? What information did you gather with it? Who did you use the tool with? What did you learn, how might you use it differently next time? What difficulties or challenges did you face (or might you face) using the tool in an emergency context? Is it an appropriate tool for an emergency assessment? What are the Pros and Cons of using it in an emergency? Is it more useful in some contexts than others?
Session 3.6 More Data Collection Methods Key Messages: Participatory tools such as mapping, venn diagrams, calendars and ranking can be used and adapted according to your information collection requirements. Using the tools appropriately means reflecting on who to use the tool with; this requires a good understanding of possible groups within the community Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) and Group Interviews are different – and may be more or less appropriate at given times in an emergency context. Well structured FGDs should explore one topic of concern, not a range of issues.
Session 3.7: Who to Talk To Stakeholder Analysis Each group works on 3-4 stakeholders How should they should be involved in the assessment? How should they be involved in the project design process? Remember, think about gender and vulnerability.
Session 3.7 Who to Talk to Stakeholder Analysis Communities are never homogeneous. We need to understand the composition of various groups and sub groups within a community. Each group has particular interests (what they have to gain or lose) and influence (positive or negative) which need to be factored into assessment planning. A good stakeholder analysis is the basis of good gender and vulnerability analysis. Stakeholder analysis needs to be repeated at various steps in the project cycle (assessment planning, analysis, strategy review) to inform project decisions (what to do, where, targeting, coordination). [For CRS participants familiar with the Propack Stakeholder Analysis table]: The stakeholder analysis in this exercise is adapted for an emergency assessment. The Propack Stakeholder Analysis can be used once more information is available and during the project design stage.
Session 3.8 What Information to Collect Using SPHERE, develop a checklist to inform what information will be gathered in the 1st assessment. Refer back to the Scenario from Session 3.2 and Handout 3.2.2. The checklist can inform interviews, transect walk or other participatory methods used during the assessment – it is a list of information required, not a list of interview questions. You have 30 minutes.
Session 3.8 What Information to Collect Use Handout 3.8.1 Review your work using the yes/no reflection questions, and pick out questions that can be eliminated. Use red markers and draw red dots next to the questions to be eliminated.
Session 3.8 Emergency Assessment Tools Key Messages: A good understanding of the exact nature of the problem is necessary in order to define a program that meets people’s immediate and longer term needs. A good needs assessment is essential for good program design. Sphere provides checklists on food security, health, shelter and wat-san that can be used as a reference for conducting a needs assessment. The tool informs the interviews, transect walk or other participatory methods used during the assessment. The focus should be on the process, not on the tool. Do not reinvent the wheel but adapt tools to the local context and your information needs. Avoid using close-ended questionnaires in early assessments ; use open-ended questions, probing for a broad range of issues.
Session 3.11 Data Analysis Key messages Data collected in emergency assessments needs to be analyzed on a daily basis. Team leaders should plan for analysis when designing the tools and selecting data collection methods.
Session 3.12 Preparing your Assessment Team Groups 1 discuss and list steps (or ‘to do’ list) to prepare for deployment to lead an assessment. Group 2 specifies the skills necessary for the assessment team members – for 1 st phase assessment. Group 3 specifies the skills necessary for the assessment team members – for 3 rd phase assessment. Groups 4 draft the SOW for an assessment team leader. Include a schedule of activities.
Session 3.12 Preparing your Assessment Team Key Messages: Have tools, draft SOW, list of essential items etc ready at all times in case of disaster. The composition of the assessment team in each of the 3 phases is very important. Having a multi- sectoral team is less important than having team members with strong analytical, decision making and inter-personal communication skills. Technical knowledge is more important for the in depth assessments.