Groupe URD, Learning and innovating to improve crisis response:
Created in 1993, Groupe URD is an independent institute which specializes in the analysis of practices and the development of policy for the humanitarian and post-crisis sectors. Groupe URD conducts a number of inter-related activities which stimulate collective learning within the humanitarian sector. Its role is to help organizations to improve the quality of their programmes through evaluations, research and training, and by providing them with methodological support. In order to work close to field realities and to share lessons, Groupe URD has established several observatories of aid practices - formerly in Haiti, Chad and Afghanistan.
As an internationally recognized think tank, it provides strategic advice to operational and policy-oriented organizations (United Nations agencies, donors, Red Cross institutions, NGOs, etc.).
Groupe URD works on themes that are specific to each operational sector (Food security, Water and sanitation, Protection, Urbanism, etc.) as well as on cross-cutting issues such as aid quality, the environment, disaster risk reduction and prevention, and LRRD.
How does Groupe URD support Early Recovery:
GCER commissioned Groupe URD to develop a method for measuring progress in terms of resilience and early recovery in order to improve the integration and operationalizing of the ER concept in the collective response to humanitarian crises. In the framework of this project entitled “Strengthening multi-stakeholder Early Recovery Capacity”, Groupe URD selected Bangladesh, Chad, Niger and Nepal as relevant contexts for organizing Awareness and Exchange workshops, as well as working seminars aiming at developing an ER evaluation tool.
The strong focus on accountability in the humanitarian sector (towards the affected population and donors) calls for a better demonstration of the impact of any type of intervention. However, to this date, there is no clear evidence about the added value of ER approaches, i.e. as far as it is properly integrated in humanitarian and development responses. This is one of the obstacles for the proper operationalization of ER interventions.
Since mid 2014, Groupe URD has been developing a method to measure progress in terms of resilience and / or Early Recovery after a shock. Currently being tested in Bangladesh and Niger, this work will lead to the development of an approach and a measurement tool that can be adapted to specific intervention contexts.
As a result, Groupe URD’s approach aims to help operators better understand the processes of change at work in such a complex phenomenon as Early Recovery, which is a multi-stakeholder, multi-dimensional, multi-level, multi-sectoral phenomenon.
Measuring Early Recovery consists in assessing the resilience processes towards reconstruction and development. Besides, as any proper measurement tool must be well-adapted to the context, it is better field-tested and validated collectively by all actors engaged in Early Recovery / resilience strengthening programs.
The proposed method consists in monitoring the evolution of a multifactorial process, partly determined by the inherent capabilities of affected populations and societies, as well as the strategies of different stakeholders (UN agencies, donors, NGOs, governments, etc.).
Groupe URD favours a collaborative, adaptable and “contextualized” approach, which strives to establish a shared methodology, and a list of potential indicators, in order to monitor ER processes whilst evaluating the (likely) effects of operations.
Inspired by the Theory of Change (ToC), the ER measurement tool will provide a follow-up on key indicators, which either favour (positive) or hamper (negative factors) the early recovery process of affected populations after the occurrence of a shock/stress.