Virtual Environmental and Humanitarian Adviser Tool – (VEHA Tool) is a tool
to easily integrate environmental considerations in humanitarian response. Field Implementation guidances are useful for the design and execution of humanitarian activities in the field.
Monitoring health response and activities at the national and sub-national levels is necessary to ensure that different actors work efficiently and effectively in established coordination mechanisms, fulfill the core functions, support efficient delivery of relevant services and demonstrate accountability to affected people.
Monitoring also ensures that the architecture of coordination responds to changes in the context and in coordination needs. Monitoring activities will identify, among other aspects, if any environmental risks and threats, first identified in the MIRA or other initial assessment, have been exacerbated, intensified, or reduced throughout the lifecycle of the response.
Monitoring teams should be well trained in identifying links between programme activities and the environment, not all of which will be immediately visible. The humanitarian actors should identify ecosystems and specific natural resources, such as forests or groundwater, that might be at risk and that need to be protected throughout the life of the response. Impacts need to be monitored throughout the different phases of the response, starting from the identification phase in the survey and assessment.
Mounting evidence shows that advancements in gender equality could have a profoundly positive impact on social and environmental well-being. But if not managed properly, environmental projects can actually spur gender inequality. Without proactively identifying and addressing relevant gender issues, environmental projects have the potential to not only perpetuate disparities but may even widen the gap between men and women. In fact, evidence reveals that there is a correlation between environment and gender; when gender inequality is high, forest depletion, air pollution, and other measures of environmental degradation are also high. Women are active agents of conservation and restoration of natural resources, as their caregiving responsibilities and livelihood activities are often highly dependent on these resources. Additionally, there is growing evidence that community management of natural resources is improved by having management groups consisting of both men and women.
Loss of biodiversity and ecosystems
Natural resource depletion
Impact on mental health
Ice loss/snow melt
Increased intensity of storms/hurricanes
Monitoring and evaluation can help reduce negative environmental impacts and promote benefits:
1. Assess whether natural resources are being sustainably managed
2. Help assess impacts and degradation of flora, fauna, and ecosystems
3. Identify existing or potential pollution and health impacts
4. Assess increasing or decreasing resilience to environmental hazards
5. Inform and strengthen environmental practices
6. Assess environmental vulnerabilities and capacities
A monitoring and evaluation plan can help reduce environmental harm and promote environmental benefits.
1. Monitoring can help identify whether natural resources are being managed sustainably within the response, for the benefit and safety of the population and future generations
2. Monitoring activities throughout the lifecycle of the response should also help identify potential impacts and degradation of flora, fauna, and ecosystems. Environmental assessments, carried out on the onset of the humanitarian emergency will identify environmental concerns that may require immediate action or further investigation
3. Monitoring should help assess pollution and pollution prevention and potential health impacts – e.g. emissions to air, contaminants to soil and water, from all shelter activities including solid and organic waste management; sewerage; utilities
4. Monitoring can help assess whether the environment, as well as healthcare facilities and communities, are more or less resilient to previously identified environmental impacts or environmental hazards, and help identify what activities are contributing to any environmental, healthcare system, and community resilience
5. Monitoring and evaluation can help determine whether health practices are improving, staying the same, or getting worse over time
6. A Rapid Environmental Assessment can be used to help understand the environmental vulnerabilities and capacities of health facilities sites and the surrounding areas
A monitoring and evaluation plan should be informed by environmental assessments of sites and activities. An initial Rapid Environmental Assessment should be undertaken for each potential healthcare facility. Use M&E findings to help you:
1. Develop an effective and sustainable natural resource management plan
2. Assess and address impacts and degradation of flora, fauna, and ecosystems
3. Assess pollution and potential health impacts and identify actions that can be taken to stop or reduce them
4. Assess health facilities and community resilience to previously identified environmental hazards.
5. Inform and strengthen health environmental practices
6. A Rapid Environmental Assessment can be used to by non-specialists to quickly obtain relevant environmental information.
A monitoring and evaluation plan should be informed by environmental assessments of the existing healthcare sites and of health-related activities. An initial, rapid, environmental assessment should be undertaken as soon as a site is being considered for use, and certainly, before a site is finally selected.
1. Monitoring should help effective and sustainable management of natural resources within the response site and in the surrounding areas, for the benefit and safety of the displaced population, the host community, and future generations.
2. Monitoring activities throughout the lifecycle of the response should also address potential impacts and degradation of flora, fauna, and ecosystems. Environmental assessments, carried out on the onset of the humanitarian emergency will identify environmental concerns that may require immediate action or further investigation
3. Monitoring should assess pollution and pollution prevention and potential health impacts – e.g. emissions to air, contaminants to soil and water, from all health activities including solid and organic waste management; sewerage; utilities
4. Monitoring will often need to also assess whether healthcare facilities and communities are more or less resilient to previously identified environmental hazards.
5. Monitoring and evaluation findings should be used to inform and strengthen environmental practices.
6. A Rapid Environmental Assessment can be used by non-environmental specialists to quickly obtain relevant environmental information: REA provides a baseline of environmental conditions and issues, REA provides information useful to monitor progress towards objectives and changes in impact on the environment. REA updates can also point to environmental issues to be included in the follow-up to emergency interventions, and identify possible indicators for a formal M&E system.
Involving local communities in monitoring community health and health care provider has been demonstrated to improve services and improve environmental impacts
Access to natural resources essential for the delivery of basic health services and activities;
Soil degradation and erosion levels compared between pre and post (or during) response;
Environmental impact on reuse and recycling opportunities for waste created as a direct result of the response’s activities.