Key Inter-Agency Tools for Accountability and Inclusion

Published Date


Accountability and Inclusion involve making sure that affected communities - especially individuals who are most at risk - are at the centre of, and driving, humanitarian action. The tools below provide resources and information to help you improve your response, by better tailoring it to the needs of the communities that you work with, in addition to best practices and standards expected within the IASC community. The tools are broken down by: Accountability to Affected Populations, Protection from of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, Persons with Disabilities, Gender and Age, and Mental Health and Psychosocial Support, as well as resources that draw linkages between these areas.

IASC Results Group 2 on Accountability and Inclusion builds on the work of the former IASC Task Teams on Accountability to Affected Populations and Protection from Sexual Exploitation and Abuse and Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in Humanitarian Action, with many of the tools below developed by these groups, in addition to resources developed by the IASC Reference Groups on Gender and Humanitarian Action and Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Emergency Settings and IASC members and partners.

See also the RG2 webpage for more resources relating specifically to the below in the Covid-19 response.


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Accountability to Affected Populations

The IASC Commitments on Accountability to Affected People and Protection from Sexual Exploitation and Abuse were made by the IASC at their meeting in November 2017. They cover four areas: Leadership; Participation and Partnership; Information, Feedback and Action; and Results.

Menu of AAP Questions for Needs Assessments. These questions will help HCTs understand how affected people wish to receive information, provide feedback and participate in decisions about the overall response. They enable HCTs to develop a picture of how affected people feel about the response and subsequently adapt the response and/or take appropriate action. They were developed by REACH and the IASC AAP PSEA Task Team.

The IFRC Feedback Starter Kit provides step-by-step guidance and templates to planning, choosing, setting up and managing a feedback and complaints system. For example, it includes a simple excel spreadsheet to collect, analyse and visualize feedback data.


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Protection from Sexual Exploitation and Abuse

IASC Global Standard Operating Procedures on Inter-Agency Cooperation in Community-Based Complaint Mechanisms (CBCM). These Global SOPs, endorsed in 2016, provide technical guidance on how agencies can coordinate complaint referrals while operating an inter-agency CBCM. The SOPs cover how to receive, assess, refer, and follow-up on complaints between agencies in line with diverse confidentiality and data protection policies.

The IASC Best Practice Guide for Inter-Agency Community-Based Complaints Mechanisms provides operational guidance on how to set up and run an inter-agency community-based complaint mechanism to handle reports of sexual abuse and exploitation by aid workers. It compiles lessons learned, examples, and case studies.

Generic Terms of Reference for In-Country PSEA Coordinators for use by HCTs and HCTs for recruiting dedicated inter-agency PSEA Coordinators. This is part of IOM's initiative to support the recruitment of PSEA Coordinators.

No Excuse for Abuse Video - Interaction/Translators without borders have teamed up to create a video highlighting the six core principles of preventing sexual exploitation and abuse (PSEA)

FAQs on inter-agency PSEA IOM's lessons learned from PSEA implementation in-country stems from IOM's experience in rolling out the 2016 IASC PSEA toolkit as tasked by the IASC Principals, and ongoing dedicated support to collective in-country PSEA programs.The FAQs capture the recurring challenges brought to the Global IOM inter-agency PSEA Project Team by in-country practitioners. The FAQs will be used for the 2020 update of the Best Practice Guide on inter-agency Community-Based Compliant Mechanisms (CBCMs)

Compilation of best practices from roll-out of IASC PSEA Toolkit -These country examples have been compiled by IOM's Global PSEA team while providing support to collective in-country PSEA programs. The country examples will be used for the 2020 update of the Best Practice Guide on inter-agency Community-Based Complaint Mechanisms (CBCMs).

The PSEA Task Force website contains information and resources for staff, focal points, and managers to support your obligations and responsibilities to prevent PSEA and Abuse.


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Persons with Disabilities

The IASC Guidelines on the Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in Humanitarian Action set out essential actions that humanitarian actors must take in order to effectively identify and respond to the needs and rights of persons with disabilities who are most at risk of being left behind in humanitarian settings.

In order to make humanitarian programming more responsive to the needs of people with disabilities affected by crisis, seven UN entities have designed Guidance on strengthening disability inclusion in Humanitarian Needs Assessments and Response Plans. 


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Gender and Age

The IASC Gender with Age Marker (GAM) is a tool which provides an automatic and objective calculation of the quality of humanitarian programming from a Gender and Age perspective. It examines levels of accountability, protection, and addresses the concept of "leaving no one behind". The accompanying Monitoring Information highlights the results of the GAM, which can be used for project monitoring any time after the project has been underway for at least three months.


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Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS)

Watch this space for forthcoming key documents. In the meantime, see the important work of the IASC Reference Group on MHPSS for useful resources.


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Diagram of Linkages between Accountability to Affected Persons and Protection from Sexual Exploitation and Abuse. A Venn diagram comparing AAP to PSEA processes, identifying linkages.

Suggested Actions to Strengthen Accountability to Affected Persons and Protection for Intercluster Coordination. This document provides suggested actions for intercluster coordination groups in field operations to fulfil commitments on Accountability to Affected Populations (AAP) and to ensure that Protection is central to humanitarian response.

Guidance note on Protection and Accountability to Affected Persons in the Humanitarian Programme Cycle. This preliminary guidance note was developed in 2015 by the IASC Emergency Directors Group, to provide practical guidance to Humanitarian Coordinators and Humanitarian Country Teams, to ensure that accountability to affected populations and protection are embedded throughout the Humanitarian Programme Cycle.