Translate with Google Translate

Effective humanitarian feedback mechanisms

ALNAP and CDA Collaborative Learning Projects have just finalised a research project on feedback mechanisms in a variety of humanitarian emergency settings. The aim was to document what works and why when using beneficiary feedback mechanisms; to capture learning from field staff; and to include beneficiaries’ voices into these on-going discussions. This research would not be possible without the dedication, openness and staggering support received from host organisations. 

We have now released the resources listed in the column opposite. These were launched in a discussion session at our 29th Annual Meeting in Addis Ababa.

  • Below you can watch the main presentation for this session.
  • You can also find the presentations of other panelists in this session on the 29th Annual Meeting page.




What are feedback mechanisms? Why is it important that they are effective?


A feedback mechanism is a set of procedures and tools formally established and used to allow humanitarian aid recipients (and in some cases other crisis-affected populations) to provide information on their experience of a humanitarian agency or of the wider humanitarian system. Feedback mechanisms can function as part of broader monitoring practices and can generate information for decision-making purposes. Feedback mechanisms collect information for a variety of purposes, including taking corrective action in improving some elements of the humanitarian response, and strengthening accountability towards affected populations.


For one thing, they can help close the gaps between accountability rhetoric and practice. Currently, however, there is a need for evidence on what works, and doesn't in different contexts. 


A feedback mechanism is seen as effective if, at minimum, it supports the collection, acknowledgement, analysis and response to the feedback received, thus forming a closed feedback loop (see figure above). Where the feedback loop is left open, the mechanism is not fully effective.



Websites we like

Time to Listen blog
from CDA Collaborative Learning Projects

Client Satisfaction Saves Lives
from NGO Performance

Listening to Those Who Matter Most, the Beneficiaries
from Stanford Social Innovation Review


Important resources

  • Share this page:
  • Email
  • Print

Before you download this file, please answer two questions to help us monitor usage

1) What do you think you'll use this document for?

  • Other:

1) What is your email address?

2) What is the name of your organisation?

Please answer both questions above Submit

Starting your download...

Pilot version: You are downloading the pilot version of this guide; we welcome any feedback you have. Please email

Close this overlay