UNHCR Compact Guidance for Senior Managers: Accountability to Affected People

Publication language
Date published
17 Nov 2023
Plans, policy and strategy
Accountability to affected populations (AAP)

Accountability to affected people (AAP) is defined as an active commitment by
humanitarian actors and organisations to use power responsibly by taking account
of, giving account to, and being held to account by the people they seek to assist.1 It
entails being answerable for the relevance, quality and impact of all protection and
assistance services that persons of concern are entitled to throughout the operations
management cycle. For UNHCR, the term “affected people,” which is common in inter-
agency settings, translates in general terms to “persons of concern”.
Collectively and individually, the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) and its
member agencies, including UNHCR, have undertaken to advance AAP through the
2017 Commitments on Accountability to Affected People and Protection from Sexual
Abuse, which focuses on the key areas of: leadership; information, feedback and
action; participation and patnership; and, results.
The objective achieved through actions in each of these areas is a partnership with
the communities we work with for appropriate and better quality humanitarian
programming. Furthermore, after having coordinated the IASC Task Team on
Accountability to Affected People and Protection from Sexual Exploitation and
Abuse, UNHCR has been co-chairing the IASC Results Group 2 on Accountability
and Inclusion since its creation in 2019. UNHCR also supports the 2015 Core
Humanitarian Standard on Quality and Accountability, which sets out nine
commitments that organisations and individuals involved in humanitarian response
can use to improve the quality and effectiveness of the assistance they provide.
It is critically important to understand the diversity in persons of concern in order
to provide the best possible assistance and protection, without undermining their
existing capacities. In this regard, UNHCR situates AAP within the broader protection
work of the organization and is mindful of the need to consistently review and
improve accountability systems.