Illustrative Results

Protecting people living in conflicts and disasters

Imagine people hiding in a school during an outbreak of violence in their community: perhaps people from one ethnic group are being targeted with violence. What is needed to ensure they are safe? Humanitarians must act quickly and identify opportunities to prevent possible attacks on these people or get them to safety.

InterAction’s multiyear Results-Based Protection Program helps humanitarians working in conflicts and disasters around the world strengthen people's safety from violence and other threats. Here is the tricky thing: true success in protection is when violence, coercion, and deliberate deprivation do not happen or are stopped. But how do you learn from what is not happening? How do you know if your efforts reduce people’s exposure to violence and abuse?

So far, we know a few things:

  • Any attempt to support people requires different actors coming together, with shared purpose and varied specialties and experience, to take up different pieces of the solution.
  • Humanitarians need to know the details of what, when, where, why, and how people experience risk.
  • We need to listen to the views of those most affected and learn what they are doing to protect themselves.
  • And this approach must be practical enough to use during a crisis.

InterAction’s multiyear 
Results-Based Protection Program helps humanitarians working in conflicts and disasters around the world strengthen people's safety from violence and other threats.

Humanitarians need to work with community leaders, the people themselves, and actors like UN peacekeepers, other humanitarian organizations, and governments to identify a solution. This might mean negotiating with rebel groups, conducting evacuations to a safe location, setting up additional shelters, conducting patrols, communicating safety messages, and/or working with international border guards to strengthen reception and registration for refugees.

How do we know if this collective action works? Together with six international NGOs, InterAction convenes a Learning and Steering Group that gives strategic direction to the Results-Based Protection Program. We collect and distill the experience of humanitarian practitioners and experts in order to test, document, develop, and promote methods that can yield measurable results in the lives of people during crisis.

What comes out of this? Over time, the Results-Based Protection Program wants to catalyze a fundamental shift to make people in crises safer. Better methods will support how we assess protection risks, what we might do to reduce those risks, and how we design our programs and policy decisions to address them. Through its relationships with other international actors, InterAction also ensures that the work of the Results-Based Protection Program shapes policy and humanitarian responses globally. 

Photo: Najibullah Musafer