Section 7: Programming in Emergencies


Examples of HRBA programming in practice

Case Study:

Syria refugee response

The following example describes the programme design for an on-going response in a refugee camp in Jordan housing over 120,000 refugees fleeing in the conflict in Syria.

Step 1: Changing basic conditions

  • Women’s groups were formed in the refugee camp, and women took responsibility for community mapping, identifying and prioritising needs and selecting samples from non-food items (NFI) suppliers.

  • Women lead the distribution of NFIs at local ‘street’ level (demonstrating an alternative to large-scale distributions from a central distribution point, which communities had identified as problematic in terms of security and a lack of dignity).

  • Women’s groups were trained on water quality testing in response to concerns about the poor quality of drinking water in the camp. The results will be raised with agencies responsible for water provision.

  • Women and young people were trained on basic first aid skills, to meet an immediate gap in the provision of primary health facilities in the camp.

Step 2: Critical self-awareness and collective community action

  • Community volunteers are trained in psychosocial support, and lead group sessions where people can share experiences and participate in expressive arts.

  • Women’s committees are involved in planning, implementing and monitoring the activities to be implemented in their local areas.

  • Capacity-building sessions will be provided for women and young people on human rights, women’s rights, and skills such as campaigning and managing groups.

  • Women’s groups will be supported to identify protection issues and develop community-based plans to address these issues at local levels.

Step 3: Solidarity and alliance building

  • Groups of women and young people in different blocks within the camp will be linked together to jointly raise common issues with camp authorities and share ideas and learning.

  • Groups of women and young people will be connected with refugee groups in project areas outside the camp to form federations, through exchange visits and virtual platforms.

  • Refugee groups and federations will be connected with existing Jordanian women and youth networks (e.g. those working on violence against women, legal rights, youth engagement).

Step 4: Advocacy to assert rights

  • Women and young people are consulted on key policy issues being addressed at national and international levels (including transformative justice models for Syria and addressing tensions between refugees and host communities).

  • Citizens’ reports to be developed highlighting community voices on these issues.

  • Joint advocacy led by women and youth groups from among refugees, with support from Jordanian women and youth activist networks.

Case Study:

Asia tsunami response, Sri Lanka

The example following describes how ActionAid’s emergency response supported a specific household following the 2004 tsunami. Sara (alias) had previously been raped during the Sri Lankan civil war, and conceived a child. As a result she was marginalised by her community and lived on the periphery of the village before the tsunami struck.

Step 1: Changing basic conditions

  • ActionAid supported Sara to access a local government grant for reconstruction of houses following the tsunami, and provided part funding to meet remaining costs.

  • ActionAid supported Sara’s child to enroll in a school provided by another NGO.

Step 2: Critical self-awareness and collective community action

  • Sara began participating in women’s group sessions within her community, including identifying issues affecting women in the emergency.

  • Livelihoods support is provided to help vulnerable women like Sara to earn an income.

Step 3: Solidarity and alliance building

  • Women’s groups in different villages affected by the tsunami linked together into local and national federations.

Step 4: Advocacy to assert rights

  • Women campaigned on violence against women, culminating in the presentation of a petition to the responsible ministry in national government.

  • Representatives from the women’s federation involved in drafting national legislation on violence against women.