An Industry Consensus on Minimum Standards for Economic Recovery Programs in Crisis Environments
Who is the MERS Steering Committee?
The MERS Steering Committee is an integral part of promoting the MERS initiative. Their objective is to provide exceptional strategic and technical advice and direction to help advance global adoption and use of the MERS and to the long-term sustainability of the MERS initiative.
The MERS Steering Committee members are leaders in the field on economic recovery in private businesses, public agencies, nonprofit organizations, international/multilateral agencies, think-tanks, and universities. The committee is comprised of no more than 15 members. Additionally, committee members commit to a two-year term.
The goal of the standards is to improve the impact of economic recovery programming by building consensus on good practices.
Addressed in the standards are strategies designed to promote enterprises, employment, cash flow, and asset management among livelihoods in areas affected by conflict or disaster. In putting forth these standards, The SEEP Network, the sponsoring organization of MERS, aims to improve the capabilities and accountability of humanitarian and economic practitioners.
The published standards are intended to serve as a guide for three groups in particular:
- Practitioners experienced in emergency situations, but less familiar with economic recovery initiatives
- Practitioners experienced in economic development but unaccustomed to crisis environments
- Practitioners and programs working in multiple sectors in crisis environments, such as health, education, infrastructure, or HIV/AIDS
Benefits of the standards:
- Promote program quality and accountability
- Ensure consistency across programs
- Educate staff, partners, and grantees
- Negotiate with funders
- Learn basic requirements for operating with other sectors
The Standards at a Glance
The Minimum Economic Recovery Standards Handbook are presented in six categories. The first two sections, Core Standards and Assessments and Analysis Standards, set out the basic considerations essential to the other technical standards and all activities supporting economic recovery. The Core Standards are the minimum requirements to ensure quality and accountability, and provide the processes and procedures required to implement good practice. The Assessments and Analysis Standards deal with market systems, household economies, and broader economic constraints and opportunities - the pre-conditions to economic recovery. Each subsequent set of standards in SEEP's Minimum Economic Recovery Standards Handbook assumes knowledge, use and comprehension of these chapters.