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Guide to closing humanitarian projects_Page_01.jpg

How should humanitarian organizations end projects in affected areas?

Humanitarian assistance are usually time-limited interventions and will be ended, turned-over, or transitioned. Processes on project closure are primarily governed by organizations. However, there have been documentations of harms caused by project closure due to poor planning, lack of transparency, and rushed leaving of organizations that cause feelings of abandonment, increased uncertainty, economic and social upheaval, and abrupt loss of services.

Guide to closing humanitarian projects_Page_01.jpg

A research was conducted to understand how people living in communities where projects are closed perceive and experience project closure, including what they consider to be the characteristics of successful project closure. It covered communities that received humanitarian aid in response to crises such as typhoons, volcanic eruptions, and armed conflict. The findings from interviews and group discussions with community members in the study areas revealed common elements valued by participants: transparency of plans and processes, collaboration with local leaders, participation of community members, sustainability, continuity and monitoring, fairness and preservation of relationships, and preparedness.

Building on the research findings, the guidance note contains information, recommendations, reflections, and activities directed to humanitarian organizations and community members who already have or might experience humanitarian project closure. It can also serve as a reference for government and duty-bearers in working with non-government organizations and communities.

The guidance note is to be finalized for sharing with the public and fellow organizations. Feel free to comment and share your thoughts.

You can access the full document here:

The research team includes the Center for Disaster Preparedness Foundation, Inc. (CDPFI), and an interdisciplinary team from McGill University, McMaster University, George Mason University, and Laval University who are members of the Humanitarian Health Ethics. To align with the local context, there was collaboration with local non-governmental organizations, namely: Cooperation for Local Development Solutions Inc. (CLODEVS), Leyte Center for Development Inc. (LCDE), Ranaw Disaster Response and Rehabilitation Assistance Center Inc. (RDRRAC), Ecosystems Work for Essential Benefits Inc. (ECOWEB), Tri-Peoples' Oganization Against Disasters Inc. (TRIPOD), and University of Philippines Visayas Foundation Inc. (UPVFI). They constituted an advisory board that guided the design and development of the research, and conducted the data collection process.

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