Creating evidence of what works to improve accountability
Guidance for Response Monitoring in Protracted Crises
Environmental response monitoring how to guidance for protracted emergencies
Response monitoring in protracted crises constitutes an ongoing, long-term activity. Due to the long time horizon of response operations, it is important to record environmental impacts to track changes in the environment and provide documentation against claims of environmental degradation caused by assistance operations. Environmental monitoring needs to relate to baseline information from earlier environmental assessments and analyses conducted during preparedness and/or initial stages of the emergency.
For later stage evaluations it is imperative to implement good monitoring practices, otherwise it will be difficult to do a thorough evaluation due to a lack of data and information.
Monitoring is essential to determine whether an activity should be discontinued or adapted due to its environmental impact.
The perspective of local communities on perceived environmental changes (for example, changes to livelihood practices due to environmental issues) is an important source of information for monitoring environmental impacts.
Due to the cyclical approach in protracted crises response planning, there is a valuable possibility of raising environmental awareness in the long run. In case environmental considerations were not able be included in the first year of the response cycle, closely monitoring the impact of humanitarian response and subsequently feeding the results into an overarching response monitoring framework (RMF) helps to include environment into response planning within the upcoming planning cycle.
Monitoring environmental impacts can be difficult in certain instances as some environmental indicators can be affected by seasonality and timing. Requesting technical expertise and engaging local environmental actors for assistance can help to determine if measurements are appropriate. Three key sources of environmental impacts require monitoring:
Underlying conflict drivers and the direct environmental consequences of the crisis.
Environmental consequences of relief operations.
The impact of unmet basic needs of affected people on the local environment.
Advocate for the inclusion of environmental indicators into the RMF at higher level, such as the Humanitarian Country Team (HCT).
Make use of existing reference indicators within the humanitarian indicator registry that include environmental considerations – for example the shelter cluster indicator: “the percentage of energy/fuel interventions that take into account the environment”.
Including environmental indicators into the RMF is directly linked to Information and Data Sharing since environmental monitoring requires good data collection practices.
Actors being part of a cluster taking part in the humanitarian response should report their activities against the key indicators of the RMF and highlight environmental considerations in relation to the reference indicators which can be found in the Indicators Registry at https://ir.hpc.tools/.
A situation analysis following a crisis typically looks at key crisis drivers, affected areas, the number and type of affected people, the ways in which people are affected, the most urgent needs and available capacities.
Assessing the environmental consequences of an emergency and prioritizing the response actions based on the needs, forms the foundation of a coherent, efficient and sustainable humanitarian response.
Response and Recovery Planning
Environment is included into response plans in order to improve programme quality and accountability to disaster-affected people.
Environmental mainstreaming is dependent on successful resource mobilization, where environmental concerns must be integrated in funding proposals in order to secure funding.
Successful integration of environment into the implementation of humanitarian response requires that environment be included into preparedness and planning phases, but also effective coordination with national actors.