Work in progress: how the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and its partners see and do engagement with crisis-affected populations

Work in progress: how the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and its partners see and do engagement with crisis-affected populations

This mapping aims to take stock of how engagement with crisis-affected populations has been understood, implemented, and thought of by the organisations funded by Norway between 2010 and 2014. The focus is on the organisations that receive most of Norway’s humanitarian- and natural disaster-related funding. It is based on a review of selected documents from the organisations and the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), a limited number of interviews, and a short online survey. The report aims to support Norad and the MFA in determining next steps as they further develop their roles in engaging crisis-affected populations.
The team found that the reviewed organisations agree that a common terminology on engagement with crisis-affected populations is being developed, with the inter-organisational mechanism serving a key role in this task. Additionally, respondents felt engagement with crisis-affected populations is an important consideration for humanitarian actors and that it can improve programmes and projects, play a part in ensuring the security of implementing agencies, and ensure access to beneficiaries. Engagement with these populations is consistently noted in strategy documents, and it is being practiced when it is possible and feasible; however, these practices are not systematically applied or documented. Respondents also agreed that standard operating procedures on how to engage with crisis-affected populations should exist but have not yet been codified, although some examples of tools do exist.
The team's findings also showed that the Norwegian government has played a role in high-level policy discussions on engagement with crisis-affected populations. We also found that the Norwegian government does not currently include engagement with crisis-affected populations as a key condition in all contracts with implementing agencies, in the agenda of meetings with implementing agencies, or as a formal criterion for selecting implementing agencies.