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IRC's Client Voice and Choice initiative and Ground Truth Solutions pilot case study X: standardisation

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The IRC's Client Voice and Choice initiative and Ground Truth Solutions are an approach to better understand and strengthen how humanitarian assistance incorporates the preferences, aspirations, and expectations of the people at the focus of aid. This document details the methodology and findings of the case study examining themes around standardisation in the client feedback cycle.

This is a reflective case study on the subject of standardisation in feedback mechanisms, written as a dialogue between the International Rescue Committee (IRC) Client Voice and Choice (CVC) initiative and Ground Truth Solutions at Keystone Accountability.

The insights and questions are drawn from the collective experience of implementing a series Ground Truth Solutions approach pilots on the client feedback cycle in Greece, Kenya, South Sudan, and southern Syria (via the Jordan cross-border program). Reports on the case study pilots provide illustration of some of the themes discussed below.

During the piloting process, one of the most discussed topics was whether it is possible to standardize an approach to client responsiveness. Would something like the Ground Truth methodology work everywhere? How can the IRC—when committed to becoming more client responsive across the agency—introduce a set of practices that are relevant for and taken up by all country programs? This case study examines these and related questions through a dialogue between the IRC and Ground Truth.


The IRC–Ground Truth partnership has enriched the understanding of staff at both organisations regarding how to institutionalize client responsiveness in agencies. Yet, significant obstacles remain to responsiveness beyond the introduction of feedback mechanisms, standardized or otherwise. These obstacles include:

  • How to improve communication flows within humanitarian organisations so that client perspectives reach the people who make response decisions
  • How to improve the rigor and transparency of decision-making processes
  • How to motivate and incentivize humanitarian organisation staff to want to be client responsive

These questions are discussed in the IRC’s briefing paper, Making the Case and Making the Difference: Strategies to Promote Client-Responsive Humanitarian Aid, released as part of the July 2016 suite of client responsiveness learning products.

Available documents & links