CITIZEN WATCHDOG GROUP
Evaluation of International Organizations Working on Humanitarian
Relief effort in Haiti
Following the January 12th, 2010 Earthquake
Website: www.haitiaidwatchdog.org ;
Phone numbers Haiti 011 509 3 903-8596 ;
60 days after the earthquake, One million Haitians remain homeless and according to Medecin Sans Frontieres ( www.doctorswithoutborders.org) only 20% currently have access to some form of shelter. Sanitary conditions have slightly improved but will likely deteriorate in the coming weeks due to the heavy rains that will bring mudslides and floating debris. According to the Associated Press; March 27, 2010 the International Organization of Migration estimates 245,000 individuals are at high risk of flooding or mudslides in the makeshift camps where they now live.
Haitian and foreign officials initially proposed huge relocation camps, but that idea has lost momentum after weeks of fruitless wrangling with private landowners and due to fears they could become new, permanent slums. Only in the last few days — more than two months after the government proposed the camps — have the first 200 families to move to the first transitional site, an area called Santo 17 on the northeastern outskirts of Port –au- Prince.
“The most important thing in the short run is to coordinate what the NGOs do with the long-term plans that the Haitian government has. They can't be a self-sufficient country unless we both are transparent in this aid”
(APs President Clinton during his visit to Haiti on March 22, 2010._)
In order to monitor the relief/humanitarian initiatives in Haiti, the Citizens Watchdog Group (the Group), a community based Haitian civil society organization will monitor the efficiency and impact of the activities that are being implemented. Consequently, the Group undertakes to independently track the impact of the relief and humanitarian activities in Haiti, facilitate communication among partners, encourage the Haitian population to take ownership of the relief and reconstruction program by playing a more active role in the conception, planning and implementation of this crucial initiative, thereby ensuring that the Haitian people benefit from relief and reconstruction.
Accordingly, the Group is working with a network of Haitian and international frontline providers with a particular focus on medical care, food distribution, and the plight of vulnerable groups, including the hundreds of new amputees and women and children. The Citizens Watchdog Group believes that the core of the Humanitarian agenda is about saving lives and helping Haitians rebuild their country.
Using its knowledge of Haiti’s history, society, culture and demographic realities, the Group intends to
- Promote transparency during the reconstruction phase, using all channels of communication that have proven effective tools to keep the respective partners informed about the process
- Ensure that the Haitian people take ownership of the process of rebuilding their lives, shifting from victims to active change agents who know their needs best;
- Ensure that the people affected by the earthquake receive adequate assistance;
- Encourage the Haitian people to actively engage in the decision-making process of Haiti’s reconstruction.
After an evaluation of 9 Internal Displace Person sites in February 2010, the Citizen Watchdog Group (Watchdog Group) has conducted from march 15-19th a performance evaluation of an estimated 35 international organizations out of 59 organizations that have raised an estimated 1 billion dollars for Haiti’s relief and reconstruction efforts, in the aftermath of the 7.0 magnitude earthquake that wreaked havoc in the country’s capital on January 12th, 2010 (http://philanthropy.com/article/American-Charities-Raise-Close/64684/ - March 16, 2010).
The purpose of this evaluation is to promote transparency in the use of funds collected for assistance, and for the rebuilding initiative in Haiti. The Watchdog Group believes that access to information is necessary in order to guarantee a transparent process.
Consequently, the watchdog visited 35 websites of the organizations listed below. Out of 59 organizations that are implementing the relief and reconstruction efforts in Haiti1, The Report examines 35 websites and assesses whether these organizations listed have elaborated and published either an executive summary or a complete progress report of activities on their website for the period ranging from January 12 to March 12, 2010.
60% of these organizations did not present a 60 day progress report. 88% of these organizations did not present a financial expenditure report. The evaluation of the websites focused on the following areas:
- Zones of Intervention of the organizations
- Types of activities implemented by the organizations
- Targeted groups
- Estimated number of beneficiaries in a specific area
- Local partners
- Total amount of financial resources spent in country to date
- Number of local staff being employed
15 organizations/institutions which collected more than 10 million dollar were selected along with another sample group of 15 organizations that collected between $500,000 and 6 million dollar.
The results of the assessment conducted from March 20 through the 25th reveal the following
- When visiting 35 websites out of the 59 organizations listed below it is estimated that more than 60% did not issued a 60-day progress report. In return most of the organizations provide a short summary field updates, press release, blog or video.
- 90% of the organizations provided an estimated number of their beneficiaries and the type of activities the organization is currently implemented in Haiti.
- More than 88% do not present an expenditure report. No specific information is provided regarding expenses occurred in during the emergency relief effort.
- More than 70% do not provide key information regarding the locations of where the activities are taking place, the list of their local partners, and the targeted groups.
- 90 % provided a short summary analysis either through a video or in two to four paragraphs emphasizing the number of people already reached and calling for more donations.
Overall, most of the website visited provided a very short summary and update of the general humanitarian situation but did not supply any specific information on the areas of intervention, beneficiaries disaggregated by gender and age.
Source: philanthropy.com, February 2010
List of Organizations assessed by the Citizen Watchdog Group based on information posted on their websites
60 day Report is provided. Zones of Intervention: 3 areas of focus: Pétion-Ville, Carrefour, Léogâne, Additional zones of intervention: , Canapé Vert, Cité Soleil, Delmas, Tabarre, Port-au-Prince.Types of Activities: Distribution of food, essential items kits ,shelter , hygiene kits, water, latrines (264); pilot immunization campaign, potable water , garbage collection cleaning equipment and wheelbarrows, and;cash for work .Targeted Groups Women. Number of Benificiaries: Estimated at 300,000 people. Local partners:DINEPA,Department of Agriculture.
Expenditures report is not provided
- 2. Action against Anger.
60 days report presented. Latrines installed in Port au Prince. Cash for work will reach several families No expenditures report is provided.
No 60 days report. Zones of Intervention: Les Cayes, Petion Ville, champs de mars. Types of Activities: Food distribution, shelter, water and sanitation, cash for work. Targeted Groups: No specific information. Number of Beneficiaries: no specific information. Local partners: no specific information. Expenditures report is not provided
No 60 days report. Zones of Intervention:
Port-au-Prince, Carrefour, and the towns of Jacmel, Gressier, Petit Goave, Grand Goave, Croix des Bouquets, and Bainet. Types of Activities: Shelter, water sanitation, health, cash for work. Targeted Groups: No specific information. Number of Beneficiaries: Close to more 204,000 people. Local partners: Not mentioned. Expenditures report is not provided
No 60 days report provided. Zones of Intervention:Croix des Bouquets, Jacmel. Types of Activities: Food distribution, shelters, water and sanitation, recovery and rehabilitation, targeted groups not specified. Number of beneficiaries: Not specified. Local partners: Ministry of education, UNICEF. Expenditures report is not provided
No 60 days report. Zones of Intervention:Diquini Hospital.
Types of Activities: Health, rehabilitation, food distribution, shelter, water sanitation. Targeted groups
Not specified. Number of beneficiaries: Not specified.
Local partners: Not Specified. Expenditures report is not provided
7. World Vision REPORTS
No 60 days report. Zones of Intervention:
Port au Prince, Pétion ville. Types of Activities:
Food distribution, shelter, health, water and sanitation. Targeted groups Children. Number of beneficiaries:
Not specified. Local partners: Not Specified. Expenditures report is not provided
No 60 days report. Zones of Intervention: Not specified. Types of Activities: not specified. Targeted groups: not specified. Number of beneficiaries: Not specified. Local partners: Not Specified. Expenditures report is not provided
No 60 days report. Zones of Intervention: Not specified. Types of Activities: Not specified. Targeted groups; Not specified.
Number of beneficiaries: Not specified. Local partners: listed.
Expenditures report is not provided
No 60-days report. Information is very limited and not detailed.
No information is available on the number of hospitals that received medical supplies. No information on the impact of the activities. Expenditures report is not provided
- 11.Clinton Foundation
Detail Information is available by month. Much specific information on donors and beneficiaries. The supply deliveries report is very detailed; however, lack of information on which hospitals have received assistance, where the latrines are being distributed, and which local organizations received the stoves, and who received the command center? Expenditures report is not provided.
12. International Rescue Committee
No 60 day report. There is a video. Interventions: cash for work, health reunite children. Lots of pictures and story telling. Information on locations where program is being implemented is provided. No expenditures report is provided although the organization report 90% of funds are spent on programs and services
No 60-day report. Picture on website has no relation to Haiti.
Blog does not work. The Humana and the volunteers from Los Angeles are good initiatives. Expenditures report is not provided
- 14.Mercy Corps
Very informative website with detailed information. Need more information of where the cash for work is being implemented and the identity of local NGO partners, if any. Expenditures report is not provided
15. Unitarian Service
A report is provided with specific and detailed information. Expenditures report is not provided
16. Cross international
No information available on humanitarian efforts in Haiti country report focus on accomplishments made from 2001-2008.
No report but a letter of summary is presented on February 12, 2010. No information on the hospitals or clinics that benefit from such a large scale relief effort. Expenditures report is not provided
18.Feed the Children
No 60-day report. Limited information regarding the implementing activities, targeted group, local partner. Video lacking detailed information. Expenditures report is not provided
A 3 minutes video is presented.
- *20. AMERICAN RED CROSS
Issued a two month progress reports and also a video clip. Very detailed with statistics, photos, amount of funds received, its allocation, and number of people reached – Percentage spent in water delivering, food, shelter, health and family services, and livelihood. Areas of intervention are not mentioned. Expenditures report is not provided
21.BUSINESS CICVIC LEADERSHIP CENTER
Report shows amount raised and already spent – Table with the different corporate donations and the beneficiaries (international organizations) Figures of comparison of corporate response in different disasters including Haiti. Expenditures report is not provided
No 60 days report. Lack of specific information of where water and food were distributed. There is a video. Expenditures report is not provided
23. Child fund international
No report. No specific information provided. Request for donation. Centre d’education special as the local partner. Expenditures report is not provided
24. PARTNERS IN HEALTH.
No 60 days report. Several testimony and detail information is provided on the response phase, mid and long term activities . Expenditures report is not provided.
- 25. DOCTORS WITHOUT BORDERS
Progress reports with figures to date – also a video clip. Very detail information. Expenditures report is not provided
- *26.SAVE THE CHILDREN
Summary report with figures, photos, and areas of intervention is presented. No expenditures report is provided.
27. Habitat for Humanity
No 60 days report provided. Blog is available. Locations and targeted groups are not provided. Expenditures report is not provided
28. The American Jewish Jt Dist. Committee
Detail information is provided regarding current local partners, areas of activities . Expenditures report is not provided
29. Islamic Relief USA
No 60 days report is provided but detail information on activities with specific number of beneficiaries and specific area of interventions are shared with the public. Local partners are presented. Expenditures report is not provided
30. Action Against Hunger
No 60 days report, but updated information on activities on the ground is provided. No specific location of the activities is mentioned. Relief activities seem to be concentrated in Port au Prince. Multiple areas of interventions. Expenditures report is not provided
31. Catholic Medical Mission Board
60 days report is not provided. Activities are focus in 2 provinces. Areas of interventions are focus mainly in health. Expenditures report is not provided
32. Lutheran World Relief
(www.lwr.org) No detail information regarding beneficiaries . Relief activities are focus mainly in Port au prince. $750,000 committed. Local partner Viva Rio. Expenditures report is not provided
- *33.American Jewish World Service
Detail report on grantees relief activities working on the ground is provided. Video is available. Quick expenditures report is presented.
34.International Medical Corps
No 60 days report, but there is a testimony. Area of focus is health. Location of interventions not specified. Video provided.Expenditures report is not provided
- *35. Handicap International
Situation report is provided with detail information.
- * -Best report
- -Good report
The Watchdog Group believes that one of the key elements of transparency is access to information. The watchdog realizes the substantial effort made during the last 2 months with the support of the international organizations and call on the international community to work with the Government of Haiti, the Citizen Watchdog Group, the media – Haitian and international – and Haitian civil society at large to improve the transparency of relief and reconstruction efforts in Haiti trying to reach more than 300 spontaneous camp sites in which according to the CCCM cluster http://cccmhaiti.googlegroups.com, 19 sites are identified as priority and represent an estimated 180,000 people.
If funds are raised to benefit the relief and construction effort, it is imperative that local actors and stakeholders receive adequate information on the decision-making process, including input, outputs, benchmarks, impact, lessons learned and corrective measures to ensure maximum efficiency and return on investment.
“ Haiti needed a lot of assistance before the earthquake. The earthquake has compounded those needs”. Nicholas Reader, UN OCHA- (http://news.bbc.co.uk) February 12, 2010
The Citizen Watchdog Group calls on Haitian actors to contribute to the monitoring of the relief and reconstruction activities implemented in our name. Indeed, Haitian actors cannot and must not let the international community collect funds in the name of Haiti, identify the implementing partners and do their own monitoring of the impact of assistance. It is critical that, as purported beneficiaries, the Haitian community at large play an active role in each aspect of the relief and reconstruction process.
In addition of the recommendations made in its first report published in February 2010, the Watchdog Group issues the following recommendations to the international organizations working in Haiti:
- The international NGOs working on relief and reconstruction in Haiti must provide detailed information on;
- Fundraising initiatives
- Allocation of funds by activities and locations
- List all local partners and their accomplishments
- Number of beneficiaries targeted and reached
- Lessons learned and obstacles on the ground
- Corrective actions to address deficiencies in each area.
- Inform the general public of locations of operations and the type of services offered in a specific area (s) or in the sites with more than 5,000 people. It would be very helpful for the public to see in these large sites stickers, flags, banners and billboards of the international partners working in the following major sites;
Terrain de Accra, Champ de mars, St Louis de Gonzague, both terrain de golf, turgeau, Canape vert, Place St Pierre, Place de la Paix, Impasse Morond, Centre de Carrefour, Terrain de Amurtel, Ancien aéroport militaire…
Tent city in Delmas route de l’ aeroport
- The Watchdog Group encourages the international partners to organize periodic briefing sessions on progress made on key sectors, including health, water and food distribution. Progress reports should highlight how programs affect the lives of people.
If this information is provided to the Citizen Watchdog Group, and to the Haitian media as well as the civil society at large, whether through their websites, and/or press releases it would help the public understands better if development programs in Haiti are making progress or not. The watchdog group is also calling on Local partners organizations to be transparent on the ways they are implementing activities on the ground on behalf on international organizations partners.
3 months after the earthquake, it is time for the people of Haiti to be informed about which organizations are working where and doing what? What is the plan before the raining season start? It would be helpful if a map could be distributed to all civil society organizations and the press identifying which organizations that is working in a specific area.