Shaping the future: Our strategy for research and innovation in humanitarian response.

A global organisation that finds solutions to complex humanitarian problems through research and innovation..
Our purpose is clear: we work in partnership with a global community of humanitarian actors, researchers and innovators to improve the quality of humanitarian action and deliver better outcomes for people affected by crises.
We empower the humanitarian community. Find out how we can support you...

What is the humanitarian need?

Few feedback systems help staff coordinate with partners to manage the workflow associated with collecting, managing and responding to feedback received from communities affected by crisis. This is particularly true for informal feedback gathered face-to-face, which can offer the most insightful information available to humanitarian actors.
This prevents actors from learning what they are doing well, identifying gaps and leveraging mechanisms to coordinate across multiple actors. Good practice will always involve multiple channels offering options to give feedback. However, there is no system that brings these together as a coherent referral mechanism, including efficient handling of feedback.

What is the innovative solution?

This solution will focus on how we can innovatively collect report and analyse the data we receive – not just from specific country locations but also through regional reporting across multiple humanitarian projects and countries. This project will be applicable across other humanitarian and development programming, leading to the potential for global reporting on community feedback. Having a system that works as a referral mechanism right from the point of collection will not only support staff to automate a workflow allowing for faster action, but effectively close the feedback loop with communities. Crucially, more can be done with data once collected – moving beyond individual feedback to finding trends and altering our response based on the feedback, to altering national/regional/global strategy and feeding learning into the sector. Furthermore, this system has the potential to be cross-organisational with feedback being collected and referred between agencies working in the same environment.

What are the expected outcomes?

This innovation will allow humanitarian responses to be more accountable and responsive, ultimately improving real life outcomes for communities in crisis. Improving data reporting and analytics will enable staff to be more informed, take swifter action when required and use evidence to influence the programme where valuable. Where funding streams allow the reallocation of resources in crisis contexts, this can be done quickly and accurately to meet urgent needs evidenced with readily available feedback. It allows granular quantitative and qualitative details about service delivery to be accessed from a database while the project is still ongoing – auto-generating some of the simpler measures, avoiding communication delay, and saving staff time by negating the need for write-ups. It will improve Oxfam and our partners’ ability to plan, monitor, evaluate, be accountable and learn from our programming as we are more responsive to the needs of the community.

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Latest Updates

The future is bright for digital accountability: success with improved feedback mechanisms

24 Sept 2019

As the HIF funded Responsive Listening project comes to an end Oxfam share its successes. Developing technology is easy, it's how you use it that matters!


Now a strategic priority for Oxfam!

Jun 2019

Following the success of this project so far, we learn that it has been selected as a strategic scaling priority for Oxfam globally. This means the team can start planning to roll the tool out to even more of Oxfam's country programmes.


Understanding Community Needs: taking a human-centred design approach to reporting misconduct

13 May 2019

Oxfam is working with Sonder Collective to build capacity in incorporating human-centred design principles into a research initiative dedicated to better understanding misconduct reporting. In this blog, they discuss their priorities for the research.


Listening to Gaza’s farmers: keeping Oxfam accountable to communities

18 Dec 2018

The voices of farmers in the Gaza strip are heard, and their complaints taken seriously through Oxfam's mobile case management system for submitting feedback


Safeguarding: Communities trust in our ability to listen, react and respond is key

31 Oct 2018

Oxfam are exploring the intersection between feedback mechanisms and reporting misconduct, by considering these mechanisms as the entry point of reporting for affected populations


Early stage prototyping: consent and data minimisation for those affected by humanitarian crisis

24 May 2018

Oxfam and IF are exploring ideas about how and when to record personal data, get meaningful consent, and minimise the collection and use of information about vulnerable people affected by humanitarian crises


Using technology for feedback and complaints in the Gaza Strip

15 May 2018

Oxfam share their experience in implementing the use of technology for the collection, management of and response to feedback received from the people they support


Across borders: consolidating feedback data

01 Dec 2017

Oxfam introduce us to DataHub, a system which will bring together different data sources making it easier to analyse data, report on it and spot trends at a programme or project level.


How to meaningfully categorise feedback

18 Aug 2017

Through the scale up of the Your Word Counts project, Oxfam will be addressing the accountability culture in their programme teams.


Related Resources

Report Accountability & Participation, Information Management, Communication & Technology

Responsive Listening through Improved Feedback Mechanisms: End-of-project evaluation

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