From early warning to reinforcing resilience:
Lessons learned from the 2011-2012 Sahel response
By UN-OCHA Evaluation Section
Guiding principles for coherent resilience approaches:
Resilience is a multi-level and multi-stakeholder endeavor. This resilience has to encompassindividuals, households, and communities. A resilient international aid system (able to engage strategically, with flexibility and in a sustained manner) and well prepared national institutions (equipped, trained and able to plan ahead) are critically needed. This will create an environment enabling prevention and reduction of structural vulnerabilities, anticipation of risks, timely and effective delivery of humanitarian aid and linkages between emergency response and recovery.
Context matters: “one size fits all” approach to be avoided. The region is very diverse and only customized solutions can work. However, sharing of information and experiences within the region and with areas with similar characteristics (Horn of Africa) will increase understanding of response options.
Pro-resilience strategies of governments and regional institutions must be supported by development agencies and donors. The 3N initiative in Niger, the recently prepared rural strategy in Chad, the intersector Emel project in Mauritania, Senegal’s resilience approach, the ECOWAS emergency stock project and AGIR-Sahel are important initiatives that help frame the international response. They show that governments are addressing the growing vulnerabilities in a landscape of frequent shocks.
Proactive interaction between humanitarian aid and development. There are growing efforts to ensure that planning goes beyond the short term funding framework. The AGIR-Sahel initiative, the UN Sahel Resilience plan and donor, agency and organization specific strategies are milestones in that direction. Development donors should be encouraged to engage more strategically with humanitarian
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