Ensuring community-led responses
Experience shows that communities are best placed to respond quickly when disasters strike and are the experts on what they need to survive and recover. By listening to people we can make sure that our responses are appropriate and meet the needs people have expressed
People are at their most vulnerable during emergencies. Promoting their dignity as human beings can help preserve self-esteem and enable people to regain a sense of control over their own lives. Women led community groups are requested to make decisions on who should be diginity
Committing to long-term response
While providing immediate relief is essential, we recognise the importance of supporting people to rebuild their lives through sustainable initiatives that promote lasting change. We link our emergency response to our longer term development work, helping change the power dynamics that keep people in poverty and at the same time increasing their resilience to future disasters.
Accountability and transparency
We view accountability and transparency as an integral part of the critical process of empowerment that seeks to enable crisis affected communities. ARVI is part of the Humanitarian Accountability Partnerships that defines the standards for emergency response. We also follow the Sphere standards that provide benchmarks to improve the quality of humanitarian assistance and the accountability of humanitarian actors to their constituents, donors and affected populations. For instance, we set up transparency boards wherever feasible.
As soon as disaster strikes, we ensure that the ARVI team, our allied organisations in the area and our band of volunteers reach the site for evaluation and immediate relief. We reach out to the most vulnerable and excluded who are usually the last to receive relief. We ensure that single women, children, destitute, the aged, diseased are the first to receive relief and rehabilitation. We carry out our emergency preparedness and response in three phases:
Preparedness is critical to ensuring a timely and efficient emergency response. At ARVI, we focus on building preparedness at a range of different levels; from the household and community level, as well as within our teams and that of allied organisations. As affected people are usually the first responders in any emergency, we try to ensure that communities, partners and ARVI teams develop necessary skills, resources, information, systems and structures to effectively prepare for disasters, to reduce their impact and respond more efficiently.
We respond to emergencies as soon as it strikes. As a part of our first level of intervention, in coordination with local authorities, we focus on providing immediate support in the form of food, shelter, medical aid, hygiene and other non-food items for the survivors, such as sanitation kits for women. We also organise health camps, safe spaces for children and women, and provide psychosocial care to the survivors wherever required. Women’s participation and leadership roles in the disaster response is an extremely important part of this strategy
Soon after the immediate phase of emergency response, we begin our medium and long-term rehabilitation and resilience building process. In this phase, we help in rebuilding of homes, livelihood rehabilitation, food security, psycho-social counselling to affected people and aiding the restoration work of key infrastructures like schools and hospitals. This is done by a combination of sustained advocacy and mobilising community action.