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Sphere confirms acceptance of SEEP's Minimum Economic Recovery Standards
Standards pave the way for improved economic recovery after crises
October 3rd, 2011 - Washington, D.C. and Geneva – The Sphere Project, an initiative that promotes quality and accountability in humanitarian response, has confirmed the SEEP Network’s Minimum Economic Recovery Standards (MERS) as an official companion standard to Sphere’s Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Humanitarian Response. Hundreds of relief agencies worldwide use Sphere standards to ensure quality responses to people affected by conflict or natural disasters.
Published in 2010, SEEP’s Standards represent a consensus across 63 development and relief agencies on what constitutes effective economic recovery, as well as what good practices can improve the impact of economic recovery programs. These standards are intended for both microenterprise development practitioners and humanitarian aid workers – two groups that cross paths often but take very different approaches to intervention. By working together under a set of best practices, both groups can give a distressed population the immediate necessities for survival while priming it for a speedy economic recovery.
“Until recent years it has been difficult to promote appropriately-timed economic recovery within humanitarian contexts, where programming which is considered life-saving takes precedence,” said Rosie Jackson of Save the Children UK, an organization that contributed to SEEP’s Standards. “If disseminated appropriately this guide may serve to support greater impact through more consistent approaches, greater awareness of issues and better join up with other sectors.”
“As Sphere standards focus on core areas of humanitarian response, like water, food, shelter and health, the companionship agreement with SEEP’s Standards aims at making sure that crucial linkages with economic recovery are considered from the outset in humanitarian responses to emergencies,” said Sphere Project manager John Damerell. “We expect this move to improve the quality of humanitarian assistance and enhance the accountability of humanitarian actors.”
Companionship agreements between humanitarian standards aim to promote complementarity rather than competition. Companion standards become formally related and cross-reference each other. They are meant to provide humanitarian professionals with a pool of harmonized sets of quality standards that are easy to use and refer to.
As part of this dissemination effort, a day-long training on the Standards will be held at the SEEP Annual Conference on November 3, 2011. The training will cover strategies and interventions designed to promote enterprises, employment, cash flow, and asset management in crisis environments.
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