Putting People First – Community Engagement in Humanitarian Practice

Berlin, 06. January 2017

In May 2015 the first World Humanitarian Summit (WHS) in Istanbul called on the international community to put people back at the center of humanitarian action and to strengthen local actors as “first responders”. Through the “Grand Bargain” the UN, NGOs and donor governments agreed to promote joint standards for accountability to affected people, such as the Core Humanitarian Standard (CHS), and apply them with appropriate community engagement tools.
In the context of the WHS consortia project led by Johanniter and co-funded by the German Federal Foreign Office we were able, in 2016, to organize and evaluate two Community Engagement Trainings, one in Germany and one in Eastern DR Congo. Using the innovative People First Impact Method (P-FIM) we trained staff from local and international organisations as well as local authorities on an inter-agency basis to listen to affected people and engage them in the design and implementation of humanitarian action. Our report about this experiences is now available here.

Building on Existing Capacities

Training of P-FIM-Method in DR Congo in 2016.

P-FIM is a cost effective and efficient way to ensure that humanitarian response is timely, relevant and appropriate, where communities play their rightful role and the dignity and ability of people affected by a crisis is respected and integrated. It greatly strengthens local communities, local civil society and enables humanitarian actors to build on existing capacities and structures, instead of creating parallel ones.
„An eye-opening experience“ said local and international participants alike. In our report you can read that many of the participants managed to rapidly integrate the learning into their personal and professional lives. Our DRC team immediately reacted on the feedback received from the community and applied the learning from the ‘voice of the people’ to existing and new programmes.
We are especially delighted that VENRO, our umbrella organisation of 126 German development and humanitarian NGOs, was able to take up this impulse and organise two P-FIM Trainings of Trainers, facilitated by Gerry McCarthy, the co-founder of the P-FIM method; the first took place in November 2016 in Berlin, the second is planned for 26 to 30 of June 2017 in Bonn and a third P-FIM ToT may be planned for 2018.

On our "Publications/Download"-Site you can read our report in English or French. Please click here

Bündnispartner der Johanniter: Aktion Deutschland hilft, Gemeinsam für Afrika, VENRO und DZI

Your contact person Inez Kipfer-Didavi

Lützowstr. 94
10785 Berlin