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Enhancing the protection of population exposed to war: interview with Katherine Kramer, Geneva Call’s new « impact monitoring » adviser

While mechanisms have been established in the past to monitor Geneva Call’s actions, the organization is taking a new step change to also include accountability and learning in these processes. Katherine Kramer is the new Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability and Learning Adviser at Geneva Call.

Katherine, can you tell us more about this change?

For the first time Geneva Call has decided to dedicate a full-time staff member – within the operations department – to create a Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability and Learning (MEAL) unit. By establishing this unit, as part of its 2017-2019 Strategy, Geneva Call is reinforcing its current systems, responding to the growing needs of the organization and adopting global sector trends towards greater accountability and learning amongst humanitarian organizations.

Why is it important to do that move for the organization and its beneficiaries?

Reviewing Geneva Call’s current planning and monitoring tools, it has become clear that while they enable the collection of data that respond to donor requirements, they have not met the management needs of staff. This is especially problematic as we are opening local offices in the field to get closer to our beneficiaries.  There is also a lot that Geneva Call could improve in terms of learning from its experience and being accountable to its beneficiaries, donors and other stakeholders.

What does it involve in the way the organization works?

A more concerted effort will be made to ensure that all activities are leading to the desired impact, and the best activities to achieve this are chosen with the limited resources available.  Of course, we will need to consult partners and target audiences to best determine this.

How can we measure impact in an organization that does ‘prevention work’?

Monitoring changes in policy, dissemination of the same, and practices can indicate some level of success in terms of prevention work.

Of course, Geneva Call’s interventions do not happen in a vacuum. Armed non-State actors are extremely responsive to their environment, of which Geneva Call is a part.  Geneva Call therefore needs to carefully monitor developments in the contexts in which it works, while closely monitoring and consulting with stakeholders to determine the impact of its specific actions within the context.


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