A recent evaluation revealed that humanitarian institutions lack policies and procedures that protect their members and beneficiaries of their services from harm while providing humanitarian aid.
According to the findings of an evaluation conducted by Seyaj in collaboration with the Youth Empowerment Foundation to assess the needs of humanitarian civil society organizations in Marib Governorate for safeguarding policies and procedures in the workplace, 93.3% of local humanitarian work institutions lack safeguarding policies and procedures to prevent harm during the provision of humanitarian assistance, whether by humanitarian workers or beneficiaries. They also lack mechanisms to respond to survivors of sexual assault, exploitation, and harassment (SEAH).
According to the evaluation, 84.4% of the organizations’ leaders, employees, and volunteers had never received any training or awareness on these policies, and 75.6% of the organizations did not have mechanisms in place to receive reports and investigate violations, whether by organization employees or beneficiaries of humanitarian aid.
While 95.6% of respondents emphasized the need to develop and implement safeguarding policies and procedures, only 6.7% of the total participating institutions conducted a safeguarding risk analysis. All respondents, 100% of the leaders of participating institutions, confirmed the need for their institutions to develop safeguarding policies and procedures.
These findings suggest that humanitarian workers, beneficiaries, and local institutions are prone to SEAH and its repercussions, particularly for vulnerable groups such as women, girls, and children. In such a conservative environment, a lack of awareness denies a large segment of girls the opportunity to work in the humanitarian field, which compounds their suffering since a significant number of women and girls work to support their families after losing a breadwinner in armed conflicts.
The assessment questionnaire was completed by 45 senior executives and executive managers from local organizations in Marib Governorate, 31% of whom are women. The evaluation is the result of a collaboration between Seyaj and the Resource and Support Centre for Safeguarding in the Middle East and North Africa (RSH), and it falls under the institutional capacity building program for local and national organizations specializing in protecting and developing the rights of children and women in order to improve preventive and comprehensive child protection.
- Safeguarding is defined as preventing harm to people and their surroundings when providing humanitarian and development assistance. For more information on safeguarding, please click here.