WASH ISSUE N°5 MARCH 2011
ACF AND THE HUMANITARIANREFORM (Souleymane Sow, RapidResponse Team ACF – France)
Five years! This is the time elapsed sincethe roll-out of the UN-led humanitarianreform as the new software forhumanitarian crisis prepardness andresponse. It is moulded around (i)improving humanitarian leadershipthrough the reform HumanitarianCoordinators system, (ii) bettercoordination of humanitarian actions viathe cluster approach, (iii) faster, morepredictable and equitable humanitarianfunding, and (iv) more effectivepartnerships among humanitarianactors based on the principles adoptedby the Global Humanitarian Platform.Aimed at addressing gaps in intra andinter sector coordination, being theinterface with end-beneficiaries and themechanism via which aid reaches them,the cluster approach acts as theoperational branch of the reform.Five years! This is also the time ACF hasbeen on-board this reform. As we moveforward, it is appropriate, from time totime, to look back and inventory ourinvolvement (not to say our timeinvestment) in this reform. Hence:
A posintionning paper vis-à-vis thereform was issued in January 2007, thenrevised and published in Jnauray 2010
A working group on the reformestablished in September 2010 in ACFFrance. This group (still active) whichincludes Technical, Logistic andOperations directors meet about 3-4times per year to examine the evolutionof the reform and advise on strategicactions to be taken by ACF
ACF France (which is now a memberof the strategic advisory group-SAG) andACF UK took active membership in theGlobal WASH Cluster since the onset in2006, leading on several projects andinitiatives such as (i) the Global WASHCluster Startegy 2011-2013, (ii) thelearning project, (iii) the human Right towater and sanitation in emergenciesproject. Furthermore ACf France activelysupported (taking a membership in thesterring group) several other projectssuch as (i) the WASH cluster coordinatorhandbook, the hygiene promotionproject and the stockpile project
ACF-spain is an active member of theregional Latin America and carabianWASH cluster since its inception
The translation of ACF WASH book inSpanish benefited support from regionalcluster funds
3 ACF France HQ staff benefited theWASH Cluster Coordinator training in2008 and 2010
Concerned ACF France HQ staff benefited in training from OCHA Genevaon the overall finance pilar of thereform
ACF took membership in thehumanitarian country team (HCT) inHaiti. As a mater of note, the HCT is
chaired by the humanitarian coordinatorand includes country directors of UNagencies, IOM, the Red Cross movementand NGO family.
In the perspective of the roll-out of the Global WASH cluster strategy 2011-2013, discussions are underway aboutextending in time and expanding inpositions and number of WASH clusteragencies involved, the RRT project and amore regional approach.Likewise, initiatives are ongoing aboutestablishing 6 NGos hosted regionalcluster advisors based in the 6 UNregions to both strengthen regionalclusters and support countriesemergency prepardness and response.ACF France is offering to host theposition to be based in Dakar whichcovers the West and Central Africacountries.In the light of the above, ACF has beenplaying a pro-active, increasing,objective and acknowledged role in thehumanitarian reform process in generaland in the cluster approach in particular.While this new busness model/softwarehas been used in about 40 countriessince 2006, it is yet at developing stageas many grey areas and challengesremain on how it operates in certaincontexts (Ivory Coast today).Notwithstanding, the variousevaluations conducted since 2006 seemto point out that this model, in its spiritand concept, is beter than what we hadbefore.