To speed up crisis response, the United Kingdom plans to create a prequalification mechanism for relief groups and help top-performing U.K. NGOs accredit and respond swiftly to humanitarian emergencies.
The prequalification process will involve “compliance with a series of eligibility and suitability criteria, and demonstration of past results,” British Secretary of State for International Development Andrew Mitchell revealed July 14 during a parliamentary debate.
“Together, these will determine if the organisation in question has the correct policy approach and experience to provide the most effective and value-for-money response,” Mitchell said. “Funding decisions for prequalified NGOs will be based on need and will depend on the nature of the emergency.”
The plan was prompted by the Department of International Development’s humanitarian emergency response review earlier this year. It is expected to foster closer collaboration between the U.K. aid agency and prequalified NGOs, charities and NGO consortia in responding to humanitarian crises within the first 72 hours.
The DfID head also disclosed the agency’s plan to increase “policy dialogue with NGOs and other civil society groups, including diaspora groups.” Moreover, the agency will “actively support efforts by NGOs themselves to resolve the problems posed by their multiplicity in humanitarian emergencies, particularly NGO co-ordination and accreditation,” Mitchell said.
DfID’s efforts to improve humanitarian aid are not isolated. Around the world, major relief agencies such as the EU’s humanitarian aid & civil protection arm ECHO are retooling their operations to respond faster to crises, beef up collaboration and link relief with long-term development efforts. Such moves come in the wake of bottlenecks and delays seen in the delivery of aid to countries struck by major disasters in recent years, most notably Haiti and Japan.
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