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This video is part of a longer series on the rationale and guiding principles that make up the ICRC Framework on accountability to affected people. You can access that framework here: icrc.org/en/publication/accountability-affected-people-institutional-framework
[Full video script]*
*Translations of these videos and the script in Spanish, French and Arabic will be posted shortly.
2. BUILDING A MULTIDISCIPLINARY RESPONSE
True or false: during a crisis, we tend to focus on what needs we can respond to, ASAP.
It’s something we tend to do as healthcare workers, water and habitat engineers, or protection delegates…
Because as aid workers, we are wired to do something, ASAP.
But jumping ahead like this can reinforce unequal relationships and make it look like we are always the ones providing solutions, to people who are always helpless and in need.
But, why do we feel pressured to provide our services, as fast as possible?
Perhaps we’re scared that if we spend too much time talking to people about their needs, they’ll come up with a long shopping list of things we can’t do.
At the same time, talking to people about how they are experiencing the crisis can make our response more relevant.
We can understand where different needs come from, and how these are linked to longer term threats. We can get a sense of how people are already responding to the crisis, locally.
Having these conversations can also help us to map power dynamics in a community.
These dynamics are the product of elements like politics, the economy, culture, or social norms.
They impact different people in different ways, creating unique and evolving vulnerabilities.
Starting a broader discussion on people’s problems, rather than what needs we can respond to, gives us plenty of useful information.
By getting the bigger picture, we can better combine our different programs and build a multidisciplinary response. This can make people and communities more resilient to risks, shocks and stresses.
If people do come to us with needs that we cannot address, we can always refer them to other actors. And then, follow up to make sure that our referral lead to concrete action.
A multidisciplinary response looks at problems and our response from the perspective of the people we serve.
Because, true or false? Their perspective is the only one that really matters.
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