Frequently asked questions

Published: Jun 7, 2017 Reading time: 6 minutes
© Photo: PIN Archive

Here you can read answers to some frequently asked questions that may have occurred to you in connection with the operation of People in Need's Humanitarian and Development Section.

How do we choose the countries and regions in which we work?

Each of our foreign missions has a story. The primary impulse is often a humanitarian disaster. That is how we established missions in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Pakistan or Haiti. Sometimes, however, a mission is set up thanks to the initiative of a particular person who simply wanted to help. That is the story of the missions in Ethiopia, Namibia or the Democratic Republic of Congo. As the largest Czech non-profit organization which provides aid in the world, we also work in countries that are a priority for the development cooperation of the Czech Republic, such as Mongolia, Cambodia and Moldova.

How do we plan individual projects?

The projects and programmes we implement abroad are not designed in Europe; they are formulated directly in the target areas. Based on a needs analysis and experience from previous projects and in cooperation with local people, representatives of local governments and local authorities and other partners, we look for ways to help in the best and most effective manner possible, so that we will be able use the potential and initiative of the local population as much as possible. The methodologies and approaches we use are, however, often tested in other countries either by us or by other organizations, and we draw on that experience to the maximum extent.

What disasters do we respond to?

If humanitarian disaster happens, first we consider whether our presence in the area would have an added value. That is, whether we can obtain the required funding, if we have good experience with the specific region, whet her any assistance is actually desired and if we have something to contribute. We almost always respond to large-scale disasters in poor countries (the tsunami in the Indian Ocean, the earthquake in Haiti, the floods in Pakistan), and as far as smaller disasters in regions where we are not present are concerned, we prefer to consider supporting the work of our partners. Either way, important  mission of People in Need is to help any people afflicted by a humanitarian disaster to get back on their own feet as soon as possible.

Why is the Section called "Humanitarian and Development"?

When people anywhere in the world are afflicted by natural disasters or armed conflicts, we do believe it is essential human nature to try to help them. In many countries, unfortunately, it is not enough to help people with humanitarian help - to provide them with basic necessities of life and then to recover what has been damaged. The fact is, that they are struggling with poverty, lack of education, poor health and other problems. Therefore we try to deal with their situation through so-called development cooperation, where we stress the sustainability of its results. Both approaches are closely linked though, so we try to look at our work from both sides and combine those approaches.

What are our foreign missions like?

Our foreign missions certainly differ in location and scale of help provided. Missions can be staffed with a single employee in a rented office or can comprise a network of offices with hundreds of people. At any rate, however, we strive to engage local people and partner organizations as much as possible. At this moment we are present in 20 countries, where we have 58 offices with 1200 emplyees. Additionally, for every employee of ours there is twelve local people engaged. Each established mission is able to manage the projects which are being implemented independently and therefore has its own internal processes, the necessary communications and IT equipment and adequate security.

Who do we work with and how is assistance coordinated?

The focus of coordination is primarily on the country and location where we are in. Therefore we try to cooperate as much as possible with local government, communities and people affected by a disaster. We do also coordinate with with other active NGOs in the area. Our workers actively participate in coordination meetings organized at the local level and we often take part in their organization. At the international level, we work together closely with six non-governmental organizations from Ireland (Concern Worldwide), Germany (Welthungerhilfe), Italy (Cesvi), France (ACTED), Switzerland (HELVETAS) and the Netherlands (Hivos), joined within Alliance2015. In the Czech Republic, we are one of the founding participants and an active member of the FoRS platform.

How do we check the quality of our work?

Every single project is based on detailed plans and analyses. It has defined indicators to be achieved and these are regularly traced, monitored and reported. In addition, some projects undergo independent internal or external evaluations.

PIN's Humanitarian and Development Section employs over five hundred people, so we have strict rules on quality monitoring, anti-fraud enviroment and risk management and each employee undertakes to abide by them - more HERE. Our section operations follows Strategic plan, which pinpoints specific areas of our work. Every established misson has its very own Strategic plan, and those help us to set our agenda and evaluate results. Additionally, every year the organization's activities go through a statutory audit, and a large part of the more sizeable projects is then subjected to detailed independent audits and inspections.

How do we check the efficiency of use of resources?

We implement each of our 180 annual projects based on detailed analyses and plans. In addition to budgets and timetables, any such intervention also has a so-called logical framework, which clearly defines the project's objective, expected outcomes, planned activities, risks and indicators of success. During project implementation we collect data on the implementation and evaluate its effectiveness. If any assumption is not met, we always look for a solution to achieve the objectives; and on the other hand, if an activity proves to be superfluous, we discontinue it. Some of our long-term and pilot finished projects have been evaluated externally and we use the recommendations in our further planning.

Do you have more questions? Do not hesitate to ask us via e-mail: Thank you.

Autor: Monika Ticháčková

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