We would be hard pressed to find a topic more pervasive in global humanitarian speak than accountability to affected people (AAP), its unofficial motto ‘putting people at the centre’ the catch-cry of almost every humanitarian reform process, discussion and publication.
This practice paper provides a summary of the evaluations and reviews that have concluded that AAP is not having its intended impact. It goes on to provide possible explanations for this failure with a focus on the blockages between policy, practice and outcome, proposing that as a sector we are stuck in the weeds of AAP implementation without building in opportunities to consider the bigger picture of impact – and the changes in approach required. The paper concludes by proposing six ways to think about improved outcome-focused AAP. These are intended to support conversations and progress thinking that can support humanitarian leaders in finding a path out of the weeds.