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Community engagement and accountability to affected people (CEA) ensures local actors and communities are equal partners in humanitarian response and that programmes and operations are driven by needs and realities on the ground. It is increasingly recognized as an essential priority pivotal to operational success, acceptance and trust and to building long-term community resilience.

Today CEA is a key value of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, as reflected in its programmatic approach and several commitments of the ICRC, IFRC and National Societies (including the Principles and Rules for Red Cross and Red Crescent Humanitarian Assistance and the IFRC General Assembly Beneficiary Communication decision GA/13/40). In addition, the Movement has committed to more systematic and better documented approaches to communicating, engaging with and being accountable to the vulnerable people we support through pledges made in the context of the Grand Bargain launched at the World Humanitarian Summit.

Across the humanitarian sector there is a gap between rhetoric and reality in both policy and operational reviews. Improving the CEA approach and performance is an operational imperative and an ethical responsibility.

This workshop will lay down the strategic orientations for a consolidated Movement-wide approach to CEA over the next two years and debate some of the critical questions raised in the 32nd International Conference, such as: How can we listen better, more attentively and more consistently? How can we become as proficient in engagement and accountability as we are at building water pumps and giving first aid?

This two-hour workshop is conceived as a talk show format that will be articulated around 3 thematic discussions moderated by a facilitator and a final segment for group work and restitution. For more detailed information on the workshop, please visit: www.ifrc.org/cod17-cea. You will also find the workshop agenda, key resources that will facilitate our discussions and great examples of community engagement work in the Movement.

Languages: English/French/Spanish/Arabic/Russian

Outline: From words to action: Community engagement & accountability in practice