Creating evidence of what works to improve accountability
Guidance for Response Monitoring in Sudden Onset Crises
Environmental response monitoring how to guidance for sudden onset emergencies
Monitoring needs to relate to baseline information from earlier environmental assessments and analyses conducted during preparedness and/or initial stages of the emergency. Environmental impacts are monitored against the established baseline.
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 (e.g. changes to livelihood practices due to environmental issues) is an important source of information for monitoring environmental impacts.
If a Rapid Environmental Assessment (REA) [LINK to REA resource] has been conducted, REA updates can provide information useful to monitor progress toward objectives and changes in impact on the environment.
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 throughout the sudden-onset disaster:
Direct environmental consequences of the natural or technological hazard that caused the emergency.
Environmental consequences of relief operations.
The impact of unmet basic needs of affected people on the local environment.
When it comes to response monitoring, clear indicators must be defined that relate to the type of emergency response and environmental context.
Tracking environmental indicators is directly linked to Information and Data Sharing since environmental monitoring requires good data collection practices.
See here and here for various examples of environmental indicators by the UN Statistics Division.
Organizations working with an overarching Response Monitoring Framework (RMF) should 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.
Organizations which are involved in humanitarian action as part of a cluster 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 on https://ir.hpc.tools/.
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.
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.