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close this bookRefugee Emergencies. A Community-Based Approach (UNHCR, 1996, 142 p.)
close this folderPart Four. Organizing Services
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View the documentField Level Management and Administration


Key points

· While operations and the provision of services may be undertaken by other bodies, UNHCR should have overriding responsibility for setting up clear policy guidelines and agreed standards, and ensuring their implementation.

· Community welfare programmes generally require a decentralized structure, allowing community workers to work regularly among the same refugees, getting to know and be known by them.

· An active community welfare service is likely to be the major referral unit, helping direct people with needs to available resources and identifying areas of need to which services may be directed.

· As part of the emergency response team, there must be at least one person with the time, training and experience to address the social aspects of a refugee emergency.

· In selecting an implementing agency, ensure that it has staff who have a good knowledge of the language and social and cultural practices of the refugees.

· The most effective way to provide community services in large refugee influxes is through refugee workers.

· Continuity of personnel whether from among the refugees or outside, is especially important for effective community welfare services, because of the fundamental part played in these services by human contact and trust.

· Community services should not be seen in isolation, but as a baseline support system and a bridge between the other various services and the beneficiaries.