The report considers the success and the shortcomings of the Nepal earthquake response in meeting the particular needs of vulnerable and marginalised groups. It focuses in particular on two components of the response that, based on consultations with communities and other actors, appear to have exacerbated the challenges faced by vulnerable and marginalised groups in accessing assistance: the identification and selection of beneficiaries (targeting); and the conduct of distributions, specifically, the lack of representation of vulnerable groups in decision-making bodies, and the often prohibitive distance that vulnerable individuals had to walk to distribution sites.
In conclusion, the report uses the experience of the earthquake response to highlight the fact that unless the particular needs and vulnerabilities of the most marginalised groups are addressed as part of a relief effort, then humanitarian crises – and humanitarian responses – can exacerbate and entrench social disadvantage, leaving already vulnerable people even further behind.
The report is based on focus group discussions with community members in five earthquake-affected districts, supplemented by interviews with village and community representatives, government authorities, UN and NGO staff at national and district level, and civil society representatives. Altogether over 200 people were consulted during the course of the research. The report was written by Rebecca Barber, Humanitarian Policy Adviser of Save the Children Australia. It is the result of a collaborative effort that has benefited enormously from the interest, support and expertise of a large number of Save the Children staff in Nepal.
The report provides recommendations aimed at ensuring an equitable and inclusive reconstruction process in Nepal, and at ensuring that preparedness work undertaken in Nepal now enables a more inclusive and equitable disaster response in the future.
Ahead of the World Humanitarian Summit, it also calls upon donors and humanitarian agencies to make commitments towards more inclusive humanitarian action targeting vulnerable and marginalised groups. In particular, it calls upon donors and humanitarian agencies to use the opportunity of the World Humanitarian Summit to:
- Recommit to ensuring that every humanitarian response is based on an assessment and analysis of the needs and vulnerabilities of different groups, and is targeted to meet the needs and strengthen the capacities of the most vulnerable;
- Commit to concrete initiatives aimed at more effectively involving affected communities, including vulnerable and marginalised groups, in humanitarian action;
- commit to institutionalising the inclusion of national and local organisations in international humanitarian coordination structures.
(Source: 29 March 2016 ADRRN group email)