Browse by Theme: Social Accountability

After disasters many international agencies, including CARE, undertake a whole range of projects to help affected people recover, including the construction of houses. These may be described as all sorts of things, including temporary shelter, transitional shelter, durable shelter, semi-permanent shelter, core houses or permanent houses. Which description is used often seems almost arbitrary, decided by a mixture of assumptions about people’s recovery, donor mandates and priorities, government policy and the level of expertise available in agencies. The description rarely matches reality.

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CARE has been working in India for over 65 years, and over that time a large part of its work has been responding to and supporting recovery from disasters. Many of these humanitarian projects have involved emergency shelter and housing reconstruction. Indeed, since 2000, CARE has built over 8,000 houses for some of the most vulnerable people who have lost their homes in disasters. A number of other agencies have undertaken similar construction programmes over the years. So what has the long-term effect of these projects been? Is the approach right, and given both the scale of typical disasters in India and the increasing quality and reach of government response, is the approach still relevant and appropriate?

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Bangladesh has been quite successful in working towards the Millennium Development Goals, even receiving a Millennium Development Goal Award in 2010 for its notable progress toward reducing child mortality (MDG 4). But how far did this progress reach? Does the way we measure progress fail to account for the experience of millions of the country’s poorest people?

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When it comes to monitoring impact, the SDGs have got it wrong. National Statistics Offices have a central role, but official data in developing countries is often incomplete, inadequate and unreliable. It cannot tell the full story, especially in countries where paper-based systems struggle to reach the very people the SDGs are meant to help.

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The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are the first time a global compact on overcoming poverty has been created in the digital age. Harnessing the promise of technology will be key to transforming poverty and power in the next 15 years, but we must make sure the most marginalised are not left behind.

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“What gets measured gets noticed,” said Hilary Clinton. True enough, which is why officials are meeting at the UN this week to thrash out how the proposed new Sustainable Development Goals will be resourced and implemented. The UN Secretary General has called for a Data Revolution. At CARE, we want a citizen-led revolution from the local level upwards to track progress against the new goals. How could this work in practice?

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Violence against women and girls is one of the worst global epidemics. Studies show that gender-based violence (GBV) accounts for as much death and ill-health in women aged 15-44 years as cancer does. It is a greater cause of ill-health than malaria and traffic accidents combined. One in three women will be raped, beaten, coerced into sex or otherwise abused in her lifetime. The shocking truth is that violence against women and girls takes place in all countries, in homes, workplaces, schools and communities.

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