Community Input Vital To Build Trust Of Humanitarian Actors, IFRC President Writes In Opinion Piece
New Humanitarian: To repair trust, we have to listen and then act
Francesco Rocca, president of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
“There is a troubling gap between the way humanitarian actors see themselves and the way they are perceived by the people they set out to help. We must close this divide if we are to rise to the challenge of humanitarian action in the 21st century. … When people don’t trust us, then our ability to help them — to do what we are supposed to do — is eroded. And, for people affected by crises, the result can be deadly if it means they forgo lifesaving services. … To build trust, we need to be representative of the communities we serve. … To build trust, we have to listen, and we have to act. We need to do better. We need to make sure that people are able to participate in the decisions that affect them. … As we put people’s feedback at the heart of our operations, and hopefully start shifting the power imbalances that continue to exist, not only will we gain the trust of the people we serve, but we will ensure that our work is relevant and impactful…” (12/6).