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Accountability is a process of taking into account the views of, and being held accountable by, different stakeholders, and primarily the people affected by authority or power. Accountability is particularly necessary for organisations that assist or act on behalf of people affected by or prone to disasters, conflict, poverty or other crises. Such organisations exercise significant power in their work to save lives and reduce suffering. In contrast, crisis-affected people have no formal control, and often little influence, over these organisations. As a result, it is difficult for those people to hold organisations to account for actions taken on their behalf. Being accountable to crisis-affected people helps organisations to develop quality programmes that meet those people’s needs, and reduces the possibility of mistakes, abuse and corruption. Accountability processes that are managed effectively make the organisations perform better. In this context, the HAP Standard helps organisations to assess, improve and recognise the quality and accountability of their work, and benefits both the organisations and the people affected by crises.
The HAP Standard helps organisations that assist or act on behalf of people affected by or prone to disasters, conflict, poverty or other crises to design, implement, assess, improve and recognise accountable programmes. It describes how to establish a commitment to accountability and the processes that will deliver quality programmes for the people who experience them first hand. The HAP Standard is intended to be used either on its own or with other tools, frameworks and standards. It can apply to all types of local, national and international organisations that assist or act on behalf of people affected by or prone to disasters, conflict, poverty or other crises, including HAP members and non-members, multi-mandate organisations (see section 2.2.1), and organisations that deliver direct assistance and those that work with partners (see section 2.2.2).