The STAIT mission was requested by the Inter-Agency Standing Committee Emergency Directors’ Group and the Humanitarian Coordinator (HC), to look at the issues of access, protection and decentralization of the humanitarian response from Bangui to field locations. The mission took place in November, 2015 and was led by the STAIT with representatives from the Danish Refugee Council (DRC), International Medical Corps (IMC), OCHA, and UNHCR. The team carried out several groups sessions with the Humanitarian Country Team (HCT), the Inter-Cluster Coordination Group (ICCG), individual clusters, international and national NGOs, and had individual bilateral consultations with representatives and country directors of humanitarian agencies, international and national NGOs, and donors to fully understand the issues that the team considered important to address.
The mission concluded with a retreat with the HCT which clarified the most serious issues, and developed an action plan to address the issues. The HCT prioritized the following actions and steps:
- Prioritise protection at the highest levels of leadership and decision-making in the response structure with support from a Protection Capacity Advisor (ProCap).
- Establish an effective mechanism to prevent sexual exploitation and abuse (PSEA) by humanitarian workers.
- Establish an effective mechanism for a collective approach on Accountability to Affected People (AAP).
- Engage strategically with communities and armed groups to expand humanitarian access.
- Deploy a humanitarian liaison officer with the peacekeeping mission to coordinate and delineate peacekeeping operations with the humanitarian operation.
- Develop a decentralization plan to bring the humanitarian operation closer to the people affected by the crisis.
The HC submitted the Update report to the Emergency Relief Coordinator (ERC) in May 2016, illustrating progress against the HCT Action Plan. The report emphasizes the implementation of protection mainstreaming through the programme cycle and clusters and confirmed the commitment to finalise a draft HCT protection strategy. The HCT had also prioritised PSEA and had requested all humanitarian actors to sign a joint code of conduct. The HCT had also created an inter-agency pilot mechanism to respond to SEA allegations and had established a network of PSEA focal points. Regarding access, a civil-military coordination group had been put in place between humanitarian actors and MINUSCA, and daily communication between the humanitarian operation and MINUSCA had been established to coordinate on, and advocate for humanitarian access. The HCT had also established coordination hubs to help bring the humanitarian operation closer to affected people.