Transparency is the foundation of accountability and a pre-requisite to a functioning Complaint and Feedback Mechanisms (CFMs). Lacha Community and Economic Development (LCED) adheres to the principle of Accountability to Affected Populations (AAP) that includes among others “Communication with Communities”. LCED implements this through an agreed and appropriate Complaint and Feedback Mechanism. This approach strengthens humanitarian partners to be accountable to the communities they serve, by providing a channel for community members to easily ask questions, suggestions and concerns about aid activities, and have agreed protocols for action to be taken in response, as well provide feedback on project activities.
Thanks to the support of the WASH Cluster, through numerous AAP capacity building sessions, LCED was able to successfully establish a CFM at community level in Yei County, Central Equatoria State of South Sudan. Such mechanism was manned by locally identified Village Representation Committees (including representatives of different vulnerable groups within the community) who, supported by local authorities, would register or address any complaints or feedback raised about project activities. The LCED project team briefed the communities about the planned project activities, services to expect, targeting criteria and what is expected of the community and the implementing partners, so that they would later be in position to provide feedback on.
Through a gender-sensitive CFM in the recently completed WASH Project (SSHF SA1 2019), LCED was able to identify and address gaps in the beneficiary selection and community participation to different activities, through community meetings and monitoring visits. Therefore, we were able to respond to our stakeholders including the local authorities, in case of any unintended concerns related to our project activities, we were able improve them to better meet the needs of communities today and in the future.
As a humanitarian organization, we also feel that with evidence- based data collected through CFMs that forms part of our reporting and resource mobilization, we can confidently speak on behalf of communities and adjust our interventions accordingly to better meet the needs of the population. Moreover, our belief is that we are not perfect and always willing to adjust and improve our interventions. We also exhibit our commitment, dedication and responsiveness to the needs of those we serve and we work to prevent further conflict stemming from unanswered questions, which can easily damage the reputation of the organization.