No transparency, no trust Community perceptions of humanitarian aid

Publication language
Date published
01 Mar 2024
Case study
Accountability and Participation
Democratic Republic of Congo

People do not feel heard and want direct contact with humanitarian staff. Those affected by crisis in the DRC do not feel they can participate in decisions that dictate how humanitarian aid is designed or delivered. They doubt whether aid workers care about them and their needs, pointing to their lack of presence and direct engagement. Satisfaction with feedback handling and perceptions of fairness emerge as key factors influencing trust in humanitarian actors, highlighting the pivotal role of effective communication. See chapter 1 to learn more. • Complaints of discrimination and corruption fuel discontent. Around half of those we spoke to believe aid is unfairly distributed. People are frustrated with the response’s reliance on only a few powerful local authorities and intermediaries, and a lack of diversity in the people who are chosen to collaborate on decision making with humanitarians. See chapter 2 to learn more. • Cash meets emergency needs but falls short on offering path to selfreliance. People want unconditional cash and food assistance, and some people sell aid to get by. Those who receive cash or vouchers appear better off — at least in the short term — but they are not necessarily more equipped to plan for the future. See chapter 3 to learn more. • Lack of transparency impedes planning for the future. Despite wanting transparency, crisis-affected people do not know how aid is targeted, where money is being directed, or how long to expect aid to continue. This has made it difficult to make long-term plans. See chapter 4 to learn more. • People feel abandoned amid high levels of insecurity. Amid escalating violence, almost half say they experience threats or risks daily. But humanitarian staff have not consulted people on those risks. People feel unable to count on humanitarian actors to reduce the threats and risks. They do, however, feel safe accessing aid and reporting cases of abuse or ill-treatment by aid workers. See chapter 5 to learn more. • There are disparities in findings between provinces. These reflect the challenges emerging from ongoing hostilities and hard-to-reach areas. Respondents in North Kivu and Ituri feel less informed on certain matters, experience higher security risks, and have different information needs compared to those in South Kivu