Whenever communities are faced with emergencies, their day-to-day lives are interfered with, in some case resulting in deaths, displacement and humanitarian crises. Displaced people often lack basic amenities. Disaster deprives them of shelter, food, clothing and good health. It denies education for school-going children. Their plight compels aid agencies to respond by sending donations to the needy people.
However, one issue that has often been discussed is the quality of aid service being given to needy people. The definition of aid quality is subjective and depends on beneficiaries and donors involved. And this complicates sustainable support for needy communities. As a result, all kinds of donations are thrown at needy people regardless of quality. They are eager to get assistance because they are desperate and donors, on the other hand, are trying to satisfy their basic requirements and also provide accountability to their funders.
Besides accounting to funders, aid agencies are required to abide by regulations in different countries of emergencies, and ensure that they act within policy framework in those countries. They must manage and account for all funds spent and also demonstrate impact caused by such funding to needy people. Aid agencies have to collaborate and work with different teams and stakeholders involved, such as affected communities, local leaders, government, funders and suppliers, who have their own idea of what service quality they want.
In most cases, emergencies take authorities by surprise and a big number of aid service providers respond instantly. This does not allow beneficiaries to define their needs even in cases where needs assessments are done. Being desperate, they often welcome whatever items are thrown at them.
In emergencies, needy communities do not have the liberty to decide which aid agency should support them. Therefore, determining the quality of aid depends on the aid provider and regulating government authority. Since people affected by disasters have no option, it is difficult to measure the quality of humanitarian assistance that they get. Host governments have to get tough on development partners and ensure that cases of poor quality hand-outs are eliminated.
SOURCE: Daily Monitor