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Guidance for Complaint and Feedback Mechanism for Mixed Migration Contexts Launched

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The Migration Emergency Response Fund (MERF)'s new guidance to assist humanitarian actors in the field for mixed migration contexts is now available.

Since MERF's inception in 2017, nearly £3.5 million has been awarded to Start Network members to respond to the humanitarian needs of migrants and refugees throughout North and West Africa, as well as Europe. The MERF has enabled Start Network members and their local partners to reach migrants in a variety of mixed migration contexts, from assisting stalled migrants in Morocco, to rapid onset displacement of Nigerian refugees in Niger, to anticipation the spread of COVID-19 in camps in Cameroon.

Keeping in line with the core humanitarian standards of community participation and creating mechanisms for communities to feedback on humanitarian programming, Start Network members are expected to create channels for complaints and feedback of their humanitarian programming.

However, in the context of mixed migration, many people receiving humanitarian assistance can be at various stages of migrating, sometimes actively on the move. A recurring challenge for humanitarian actors is reaching migrants and refugees on the move who are typically irregular, invisible, diverse and dynamic. Unlike more sedentary populations (such as those living in refugee camps or in their original settlements), people on the move may come and go within days or hours after an interaction with a humanitarian organisation providing assistance to them. It is therefore difficult to know how effective or appropriate the assistance was and if any adaptations are required whilst the programme is still operational, or if a formal complaint against the humanitarian organisation needs to be filed and addressed.

This guidance, developed by humanitarian consultant Clea Kahn, aims to give humanitarian actors a guidance for developing their accountability mechanisms in the context of mixed migration, with a focus on complaints and feedback mechanisms. Excellent guidance already exists on how to implement feedback and complaint mechanisms in humanitarian contexts, and this is not intended to replace or duplicate those. It should be read as a supplement, to provide additional reflection for humanitarian actors working in migration contexts.

Read Accountability, Feedback & Complaints Mechanisms in Humanitarian Responses to Migration

For more information about the guidance, please contact:


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  • by Michaela Larson