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close this bookCounting and Identification of Beneficiary Populations in Emergency Operations (ODI, 1997, 110 p.)
close this folder1. Introduction
View the document1.1 Objectives
View the document1.2 Terminology
View the document1.3 Target audience
View the document1.4 Structure

1.1 Objectives

This Review aims to set out ‘good practice’ in the counting and identification of individuals requiring humanitarian assistance.

The author does not seek to address the issue of general needs and resources assessment in any depth. Guidance is based on the assumption that certain needs have been identified. The Review deals with the task of establishing the most appropriate means of determining how many people may be in need, and identifying who they are. Full, formal registration of a beneficiary population has, over recent years increasingly been considered to yield the most reliable set of quantitative and qualitative data on which to base planning and delivery of the different types of protection and assistance which make up a humanitarian assistance programme. However, in light of the rapid onset of many of today’s ‘emergencies’, the size, expense and often controversial nature of registration exercises, this Review argues that, given such constraints, total population registration is but one option for the establishment of reliable figures for the effective delivery of assistance. As the title suggests, this is therefore not just, nor even principally, a guide to registration.

RRN Good Practice Reviews2 (GPR’s) are not manuals. They are intended as general guides. The advice they contain aims to be relevant, practical, and easily accessible to field personnel in emergency operations. This GPR outlines the considerations that should lead to good, (or perhaps ‘better’), practice in ascertaining both the number and the composition of an affected population. While specific and detailed guidance may be given, the emphasis is on recommended principles and methods which may challenge received wisdom in this important area of humanitarian work.