Acting on feedback after the earthquake
After the Haitian earthquake in January 2010, governments from around the world committed significant amounts of money to support the country’s relief and recovery efforts. Despite the growing emphasis on transparency and accountability, the Haiti relief program faced many challenges in this area. The aim of this first pilot project implemented by Ground Truth was to test our methodology in the context of three different programs designed to relocate people still in camps and help integrate them into neighborhoods across Port au Prince. Our partners on the ground were Concern Worldwide, OXFAM GB, and J/P HRO.
The focus was practical: collecting, analyzing and, where possible, responding to the feedback of affected people in the Boliman, Petionville and Duval neighborhoods. The starting point was to work with line managers in our partner agencies to develop a list of questions based on the ‘theories of change’ driving their programs and grounded in the experience of the people they set out to help. Our light-touch approach means asking very few questions, so we put a lot of effort into coming up with clear questions likely to elicit ‘actionable’ feedback. Just five questions were asked per survey. These related to the relevance of the programs in meeting priority needs, protection/integration, trust in the implementing agencies, the sustainability of the programs, and affected populations’ own sense of ‘agency’ – their willingness to play their part.
One of the particularities of the Ground Truth approach is to ask questions frequently. In Haiti, our goal was every three months. We asked the same questions in each round so that our operational agency partners could use the time series data to manage their programs. In Haiti we worked on data collection with the Fonds de Parrainage National (FPN), a Haitian social science research organization. Their enumerators used a survey form loaded on smart phones and asked questions face-to-face. We also tried collecting data using an Interactive Voice Response system (IVR), although results were mixed. More successful was having enumerators calling people direct.
In all, there were 4 rounds of data collection between June 2013 and April 2014. The goal was to provide a regular stream of data from stakeholders over a period long enough for aid providers to respond and for affected populations to see that their feedback was being taken into account