Project • Ongoing

Monitoring the hurricane response in the Caribbean

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In September 2017, the H2H Network was approached by the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) to support the humanitarian response to Hurricanes Irma and Maria in the Caribbean. As part of the network, Ground Truth Solutions was specifically tasked to collect and measure the views of affected communities on the response and recovery efforts in Dominica and in Antigua and Barbuda.

The first surveys were conducted in November 2017. Since then, two additional rounds of quantitative data collection were carried out in Dominica and in Antigua and Barbuda. These rounds targeted internally displaced Dominicans and Barbudans as well as Barbudans temporarily residing in Antigua. We will conduct a third round of interviews and focus group discussions in both countries and with Dominicans displaced in St. Lucia. Two more rounds of surveys will be conducted in Dominica, as well as a survey looking at the perceptions of cash assistance. 


Our findings suggest that affected people in Dominica perceive a lack of information about where and how to access available support and low awareness of how to make complaints regarding the support they receive. Few survey respondents feel safe in their current accommodation, most attributing this to the structural damage to their homes. Tied to this, responses remain mixed on the effectiveness of the response. Those who indicate that their priority needs continue to be unmet say that food, building materials, help with rebuilding homes, and financial support are the most pressing needs.

In Antigua and Barbuda, respondents’ outlook on their quality of life has worsened between rounds. Over half of participants say that their most important needs continue to be unmet – food and water being the most frequently mentioned needs. Overall, there has been an increase in negative scoring across most of the survey questions, particularly among those residing in collective shelters. Most noticeably, there has been an increase in the percentage of shelter residents who report a lack of respect from aid workers – from 19 percent in round one to 60 percent in round two. Most respondents also continue to be dissatisfied with the extent to which community consultations have contributed to the design of support programmes.

Our surveys have been providing humanitarian organisations and government actors with a regular flow of feedback on the effectiveness of the response and the evolving needs and concerns of the affected communities. In collaboration with the other H2H Network members and external humanitarian actors, we have been working to share the results of the surveys with the communities using multiple channels, such as SMS and community meetings.

Our activities in the Caribbean will conclude in May 2018.