6. CARE’s policy commitments

The CARE Humanitarian Mandate Statement says that ‘Responding to humanitarian emergencies is an essential part of CARE’s work to fight poverty and injustice and we recognize that emergencies are a cause and effect of both. CARE helps people cope with crises through disaster risk reduction, emergency relief, preparedness and post-crisis recovery’. As part of its objectives ‘[…] CARE also strives to address the underlying causes of people’s vulnerability.

CARE’s Program strategy 2020 – CARE’s approach to Increasing Resilience

In CARE International’s Program Strategy 2020, Increasing Resilience is a core component of CARE’s approach, and although broader than DRR alone, the capacity to deal with shocks and stresses should be considered throughout all off CARE’s work, including the Humanitarian Assistance outcome area. This means that all work should be based on a forward looking risk analysis, amongst others strengthening the capacity to absorb shocks and stresses, and reducing drivers of risk.

A guidance note on the Increasing Resilience element of CARE’s approach is currently being developed, and contains a paragraph on Increasing Resilience in Humanitarian Assistance.

CARE’s emergency strategy focuses on incorporating DRR as a cross-cutting approach into emergency programming. A CI DRR strategy was developed in 2012 (see Annex 34.1 CI DRR strategy). At the foundation of this strategy is the principle that CARE is committed to respond to disasters in a way that people are assisted effectively, and that risks of similar disasters are reduced significantly. The core values on mainstreaming DRR into relief and reconstruction are described below.

  1. Maintain and enhance quality: DRR-related programming in CARE International will consistently be of high quality. This means that standards will be maintained in all DRR-related actions. These standards are based on good practice within DRR, and on general standards with regard to quality programming (e.g. the CARE International Humanitarian Accountability Framework). Direct and indirect technical support and guidance materials to support programming staff in maintaining these standards will be made available. Capacity building of CI DRR programme stakeholders will be one of the pillars of building and maintaining high quality.
  2. Innovation and learning: innovation is used here as adding to the ‘Body of Knowledge’ of DRR and DRR-related subjects. This can be in technical content (e.g. linking DRR to specific sectors) and in process (e.g. mechanisms for learning and development of approaches). CARE is committed to innovation and will support learning initiatives. A knowledge management and learning plan will be developed so that lessons learnt are fed back into CI programming and beyond. This plan will describe how lessons learnt will be captured from programming, and will link to other knowledge management and learning plans (e.g. from PECCN).
  3. Building on partnerships: in line with CARE’s second programming principle of working in partnership. Potential partners for CI DRR programming are many: impact groups of CARE programmes, communities, Community Based Organisations, authorities (local, provincial, national), NGOs (local, national, international), multilateral organisations, donor organisations, research institutes and private sector. CI DRR programming will rely heavily on working in strategic and local partnerships with these stakeholders.
  4. Integration of DRR in a holistic approach toward risk and development: to maximise impact on societies, a more holistic approach towards risk and development is needed. Natural hazard events often occur in combination with man-made hazard events and conflict. CI DRR programming will work towards convergence of approaches that address risk whatever the cause. A holistic approach towards risk will be developed, working explicitly on risk reduction, and on integrating risk reduction in general programming to make development more resilient. This will be done through the integration of DRR into our programming approaches undertaken. Climate change adds a new dimension to risk. Approaches and activities used in DRR and climate change adaptation (CCA) are very similar. In CI DRR programming a convergent approach will be taken towards DRR and CCA to maximise impact of programming. CI DRR programming will reach out to specialists and units working with sectors (e.g. WASH, food security, shelter), cross-cutting issues (e.g. gender, climate change adaptation, environment, accountability) and other units within CI that deal with specific domains (e.g. CEG, agriculture, and natural resource management) to ensure integration of DRR in programming in other domains. The natural link that exists with the Emergency Preparedness Plan (EPP) initiative will also be strengthened. DRR is one of the approaches that link humanitarian relief and development work.
  5. Attention to gender and diversity: the vulnerable in society are disproportionately affected by disaster events. Women, children, the elderly, the disabled, ethnic or religious minority groups can be at high risk of shocks and accumulating stresses, and have difficulties in dealing with their consequences. At the same time, different groups have different experiences and capabilities to bring to the DRR work. As made clear in the CI gender policy, CARE International is committed to gender equality and women’s rights. The development of the CI DRR strategy will be in line with the policy and strategy on gender of CI, and vulnerable groups will be at the center of CI DRR programming.
  6. Contribute to external policies: building on the elements listed above lessons learnt will be gained that will benefit overall development and humanitarian programming. These insights will have to be shared through (policy) dialogue with key stakeholders (e.g. donor organizations, authorities, UN, implementing agencies, research institutes) so as to improve the overall global DRR approach and programming. This capacity will have to be built in CI DRR programming over the period of this strategy and maintained.