People-Centered Humanitarian Action

The Global Cluster for Early Recovery (GCER) recognizes that the structural discriminations that affect the population, based on gender, age and other diversity characteristics, are important underlying factors of crises. In particular, gender inequalities are a critical barrier to recovery and development. Gender discriminations are a universal reality in all societies and constitute a driver of crisis, a key factor in individual vulnerability and impact on the capacity of individuals and communities to recover from emergencies. This is why particular attention should be paid to the gender roles, relations and power dynamics in families and communities as these largely shape individuals’ protection and assistance needs and as it directly influences their ability to access assistance and to rebuild their lives.   

Gender, age and diversity need to be taken into account to reduce vulnerability, build resilience, and enhance the quality and effectiveness of the response. The Global Cluster for Early Recovery has adopted a people-centered approach, based on the recognition that core matters such as Accountability to Affected Populations (AAP), gender, age and diversity should no longer be dealt with in isolation of one another A people-centered approach recognizes that a person’s gender, age and other diversity characteristics have a significant impact on the way they experience emergencies and access assistance. Through the meaningful participation of affected populations and consideration of their combined characteristics at all stages of humanitarian actions, a people-centered approach ensures that individuals’ experiences of crises inform all stages of programme design and implementation. It tailors relief to diverse needs, preventing and minimizing unintended negative consequences that may increase vulnerability collectively. It strengthens meaningful access of all to humanitarian assistance. Finally, through this approach, people’s capacity and strategies to survive with dignity, as they become integral to the design of the humanitarian response, reduces economic and psychological dependency on aid.

Accountability to Affected Populations is fundamental to early recovery. Qualitative, bottom-up, people-centred action constitutes the foundation for generating self-sustaining, nationally owned and resilient processes for post-crisis early recovery and is expected to be at the heart of every humanitarian response. Both at standard setting and at field operational level, a more integrated and inclusive approach is called for.  The Global Cluster for Early Recovery has created a Technical Working Group on AAP in Early Recovery. The purpose of the TWG was for GCER members to contribute to strengthening AAP in early recovery, following the IASC Principals recommendations and the review of IASC commitments and evaluations on AAP. 

IASC Gender&Age Marker

The IASC Gender with Age Marker (GAM) looks at the extent to which essential programming actions address gender- and age-related differences in humanitarian response. It was developed in response to requests to strengthen the original IASC Gender Marker by including age and, most significantly, by adding a monitoring component. In addition to measuring programme effectiveness, it is a valuable teaching and self-monitoring tool, allowing organizations to learn by doing in developing programs that respond to all aspects of diversity.
Read more on the revise IASC Gender&Age Marker here.

Other resources

Click here to download key messages on People Centred Approach in Spanish
Post your questions on People Centred Approach on our discussion forum ! 
Learn more on Early Recovery and People Centred Approach : check Module 1 of our e-learning

Country illustrations

Yemen : ToR Cluster Gender Focal Point
Pakistan Gender priority in Communities Restoration Cluster