6. CARE’s policy commitments

CARE’s organisational commitment to participation can be found in both the mission statement and the Programme Principles. The last part of the mission statement speaks of the organisational commitment to participation in stating that CARE’s pursuit of our mission will be ‘guided by the aspirations of local communities‘.

CARE’s Programme Principle Two is to work in partnership with others. This commitment to partnership must extend to working together with women and men affected by disasters, as well as local groups such as NGOs and more informal community-based organisations in humanitarian efforts.

CARE subscribes to the Sphere Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Disaster Response. Common Standard 1 directly addresses participation:
The disaster-affected population actively participates in the assessment, design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the assistance programme.
Key indicators

  • Women and men of all ages from the disaster-affected and wider local populations, including vulnerable groups, receive information about the assistance programme, and are given the opportunity to comment to the assistance agency during all stages of the project cycle (see guidance note 1 in Sphere handbook)
  • Written assistance programme objectives and plans should reflect the needs, concerns and values of disaster-affected people, particularly those belonging to vulnerable groups, and contribute to their protection (see guidance notes 1 and 2 in handbook)
  • Programming is designed to maximise the use of local skills and capacities (see guidance notes 3 and 4 in handbook)
    Source: Adapted from The Sphere Project, 2004.

Participation has been identified as one of CARE’s core commitments to humanitarian accountability under CARE’s Humanitarian Accountability Framework (for more details refer to Chapter 32 Quality and accountability). All programmes are required to reach the benchmark as described in section 6.3.1.

6.3.1 Benchmark 4: Participation

CARE has established systems that enable stakeholders to routinely input into our decision-making processes, including enabling stakeholders’ input into broader humanitarian policies and strategies, in addition to engagement on operational issues.

Who is mainly accountable in CARE?
National Directors, Secretary General, Country Directors, Programme Directors, Emergency Coordinators, Quality & Accountability Focal Points, Monitoring & Evaluation staff, CI Emergency Response Director.

What are the key references for this benchmark?
Sphere Common Standards 1, 2, 4, 5 and 6; HAP Benchmark 3; RCRC code Principle 6 and 7; CARE’s Programming Principles 1 and 3.


  1. CARE proactively identifies and works with representatives of the poorest and most marginalised people.
  2. Beneficiaries, or their representatives, participate in assessments, implementation, monitoring and evaluation, and in decision-making to determine project activities throughout the lifecycle of the project.
  3. Beneficiaries and local communities are made aware of assessment, monitoring and evaluation findings.
  4. There is involvement of local government and partners in assessments, implementation, monitoring and evaluation.
  5. Disaster response is built on local capacities, and emergency projects are designed to increase disaster response capacity.

CARE Emergency Toolkit links:
Chapter 30 ParticipationChapter 4 AssessmentChapter 9 Monitoring and evaluation

Supporting tools:
Annex 30.1 ALNAP Participation in emergencies handbookAnnex 30.4 IASC Gender handbook for humanitarian action