Effective Private Sector -NGO Collaborations Limits the Damage Caused by Humanitarian Crises: PwCIF – SEEDS Report

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New Delhi, August 4, 2020: A participatory model in disaster relief work, involving the private sector, NGO partners and local communities could not only help empower local communities but build resilience as they restore their lives after any humanitarian crisis, says a recent report by PwC India Foundation (PwCIF) in collaboration with Sustainable Environment and Ecological Development Society (SEEDS). This community-led model treats the affected people as partners, understands their urgent needs, leverages each other’s skillsets to drive efficiency and accountability.

The report shares deep insights and practical guidance for the private sector – NGO interventions during national disasters. The learning outcomes from the PwCIF – SEEDS collaboration during three humanitarian emergencies – Kerala floods (2018), Jammu and Kashmir floods (2015 and 2016) and Nepal earthquake (2015) have been used as a basis for these recommendations:

  • Having an inclusive approach while designing relief programmes – From inception to delivery, the needs of the key stakeholders are identified, and they are included to be a part of the rebuilding process
  • Using experts to assess – Social sector experts need to be onboarded to ensure no one is left behind in the rebuilding process. Their sound advice based on climatic and geographical considerations can ensure a more sustainable solution
  • Coming together for efficiency – Private sector and NGO partners must leverage their resource and distinctive areas of strength to draw up responsible collaborations that are necessary to create the desired  impact
  • Supporting the Government – Government authorities, especially local bodies like village councils, school management committees, village councillors, are critical stakeholders in any rebuilding process and their presence needs to be optimised from the planning stage itself
  • Being open to feedback and flexible to change – When working with displaced and vulnerable communities post a natural disaster, being flexible and open to feedback from them goes a long way in winning their trust and delivering the desired results
  • Focus on sustainability and resilience – Channelising efforts to build resilience through skills training, awareness sessions and outreach programmes is important to create a lasting impact on the communities.

Jaivir Singh, Vice President, PwC India Foundation says, “A collaborative disaster response model is the key to rebuilding lives after any humanitarian crisis. It becomes more relevant now, with the world facing a public health emergency which has impacted the livelihoods of millions of migrant workers. In times like these, private sector players and civil society organisations should move beyond the traditional methods of disaster response and look at a more participative model of delivery. At PwC, we’re happy to partner with organisations like SEEDS and leverage our individual strengths to empower local communities.” 

Manu Gupta, Co-Founder, SEEDS says, “Humanitarian action at the foremost needs to follow the principle of quality and accountability towards the affected community, who we serve. This report gives a snapshot of the work that we have done together with PwC India Foundation, a relationship which has grown based on the common understanding of this core principle. While we continue to build on this understanding in diverse disaster contexts, I hope the lessons shared resonate and inspire others in the sector to nurture more such collaborative efforts.”