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Following the successful proof of concept, Eclipse Experience is refining the methodology and developing the supporting toolkit, including an open-source Digital Tool and Online Hub, to make the methodology accessible to a wide range of stakeholders in the humanitarian sector at low cost.
To achieve this, we are partnering with Save the Children UK and Oxfam GB, and are looking for more humanitarian organisations to host additional pilots in a variety of contexts.
Partner organisations get:
- An opportunity to test and contribute to the development of the user-centred community engagement methodology to meaningfully engage crisis-affected people in the design of your next programme;
- Tailored support in adapting the methodology components to match the needs of your organisation;
- Hands-on training for field staff in user-centred community engagement and/or training of trainers to support the uptake of the methodology within your organisation beyond the pilot timeframe.
We are developing the User-centred Community Engagement methodology to enable more inclusive and user-centred programming across the humanitarian sector. Over the next two years, we will bring this vision to life by refining the UCCE methodology, building an open-source toolkit that includes a Digital Tool for the interactive surveys and a supporting Online Hub, and are building a strong evidence base on the use of UCCE in a variety of humanitarian contexts.
1. Refining the methodology
We learned a great deal from the two pilots we implemented with Save the Children and already have some understanding of how the methodology can be refined. However, further research is needed to ensure that the methodology is versatile enough to meet different organisations’ needs and that it can be adapted to a range of problems in the WASH and other sectors. To this end, we are integrating an operational user research component across all forthcoming pilots to monitor implementation and conduct expert interviews to further test and refine the methodology. This will help us ensure that the methodology meets the needs of field staff and community members alike, contributing to inclusive, rapid and well-informed decision-making on programme design in humanitarian emergency settings.
The proof of concept within the WASH sector is a good basis to develop the methodology in the sector. In addition, we are in active discussions with other organisations and sectors in which the methodology could bring value to programme design.
2. Developing an open-source Toolkit
We are building a Toolkit that supports the implementation of the methodology and is crucial to making it rapid, low-cost and simple to adopt. The Toolkit consists of an open-source Digital Tool and an Online Hub, and will support the scale-up of the UCCE methodology by enabling humanitarian agencies to use it independently in their operations and adopt it to their unique needs.
The Digital Tool that Eclipse and Save the Children used for the pilots in Bangladesh and Iraq was based on the third-party software, and while it was sufficient to achieve proof of concept, it is not feasible to support a low-cost, scalable methodology ready for rapid deployment. Therefore, the strategy for the UCCE scale-up and wider uptake is to build an open-source alternative that effectively and efficiently enables the use of the methodology for programme design.
The UCCE methodology will also be supported by the Online Hub. The hub will host a survey builder, as well as a library of evaluations, learnings, illustrations, user guides and other resources.
3. Building a strong evidence base
While the HIF-funded pilots enabled us to collect initial evidence on the effectiveness of the methodology, more evidence is needed to clearly demonstrate the added value that this methodology brings to the humanitarian sector. More specifically, we are looking to gather more evidence in the following areas:
How does the methodology affect communities’ perception of the aid they receive?
How does the methodology affect communities’ perception of their engagement in decision making/ ability to influence programme decisions?
How does the methodology affect the relationship between the communities and the humanitarian organisations?
Does the methodology lead to more efficient programme design?
Does the methodology lead to more effective programme outcomes?
We will also ensure that the evidence base is reflective of the diversity of humanitarian contexts and sectors. This means testing the methodology in a variety of contexts (e.g., rapid onset, slow onset, protracted crisis, fragile contexts, natural disaster response, refugee response, armed conflict response, urban setting, rural setting), in a variety of sectors (e.g., WASH, shelter, protection, education, livelihoods, health), and in a variety of geographic locations.