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Backlash in GBV humanitarian response to Typhoon Haiyan?

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Backlash in GBV humanitarian response to Typhoon Haiyan?

  1. 1. Backlash in Humanitarian Response to Typhoon Haiyan Refugees International Marcy Hersh June 9, 2014
  2. 2. Refugees International Assessment February 2014 • Investigated rollout of Transformative Agenda and Humanitarian Program Cycle in an L3 emergency • Interviewed key stakeholders including Philippines government representatives, UN staff, I- NGOs, local NGOs, and IDPs
  3. 3. Philippines Context • The Philippines is “good on gender” • Humanitarians waiting for “proof” • Challenges to responding in natural disasters • Call to Action-induced “arms race”
  4. 4. The Philippines is “Good on Gender” • 2013 Global Gender Gap Report ranks Philippines 5th on gender equality indicators • Many female baranguay captains and female police officers • Widely shared belief that GBV would not be problematic in post-Typhoon response
  5. 5. Waiting for “Proof” • Widespread lack of awareness of IASC GBV Guidelines by humanitarians in numerous sectors • Some sectors refused to mainstream GBV without “proof” of GBV • “How bad is the situation, really?” • Mitigating factor: gender advisors within clusters
  6. 6. Challenges to responding in natural disasters • Nuances of humanitarian response to GBV in natural disasters vs. conflicts • Everyone is a “survivor” • Philippines presents geographical challenges • Movement of displaced people is fluid • Lack of model for responding in non-camp settings, i.e.: – Dozens of baranguays spread across vast area
  7. 7. Call to Action-induced “arms race” • High visibility of typhoon response • Call to Action created great attention on GBV • Led to organizations and agencies competing to deploy high-level staff and operationalize quickly • Interagency relationships and politics weren’t collaborative
  8. 8. Backlash on Gender and GBV
  9. 9. Contributing Factors to Backlash • Assumption that GBV = CRSV • Transformative Agenda and HPC Tools • Numerous Protection/Gender/GBV Experts
  10. 10. GBV Outside of CRSV • Ongoing sense by humanitarian community that GBV = conflict-related sexual violence • Trafficking, incest, domestic violence, SEA, and other forms of GBV were problematic in the Philippines even before the typhoon • Sense that most trafficking incidents happened before GBV actors arrived at field sites
  11. 11. Transformative Agenda and HPC Tools • Provided new terrain, even for seasoned humanitarians • Strong emphasis on IM-heavy tools • HCT removal of gender and GBV questions from MIRA and failure to adhere to MIRA instructions led to gender-blind MIRA I • Fight for inclusion in MIRA II, while perhaps unavoidable, set the stage for tenuous relationships
  12. 12. Numerous Protection/Gender/GBV Experts • Tendency to lump advisors and into homogenous group • Any humanitarian’s personality clashes with one protection/gender/GBV expert was conflated with antagonism towards entire group • Demonstrates need for GBV AoR and GenCap Project to collaborate more closely since perceived as same
  13. 13. Refugees International’s Policy Recommendations • The IASC Working Group must undertake a strategic review and revision of the TA tools • The GBV AoR should advocate in each L3 emergency for all GBV-related questions to be included in each MIRA. • GBV AoR’s lead agencies, UNFPA and UNICEF, must ensure the deployment of full-time, dedicated information management specialists • The ERC should hold the RC/HC to account for GBV mainstreaming • UNCTs in disaster-prone countries must develop strong risk profiling with robust inclusion of GBV vulnerability,
  14. 14. Questions for Discussion 1. Is this a correct list of factors contributing to GBV backlash? What rings true? What is incorrect? What is missing? 2. What can the GBV AoR (or the larger GBV community) do to increase knowledge base for humanitarian response in natural disasters? 3. Particularly in light of PSVI this week, what can the GBV community do to increase understanding that GBV ≠ CRSV 4. Many of the challenges stemmed from personality clashes or a lack of relationship building between agencies. Are there any best practices/supportive networks that GBV coordinators should ensure they participate in? ICC? HCT? 5. Would it be helpful to develop stronger linkages between the gender and GBV communities for common positioning? How can we do that?

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