The Access Negotiations Toolbox- Questionnaire by Oq3cUKRk


									The Access Negotiations Toolbox- Questionnaire


This work will seek to support ACBAR (a Coordination Body of over 100 active NGOs working in
Afghanistan) and other NGOs Coordination Bodies by developing a Access Negotiations Toolbox,
by collating from humanitarian NGOs their organisational access strategies, guidelines, protocols,
and communication messages and presenting them at one place as a shared resource. Hence
this Toolbox as a shared resource will build on existing practice and operational strategies of
NGOs, which they use at operational level, to negotiate access in conflict areas that provide them
with space to deliver independent and principled humanitarian assistance to communities caught
up in armed conflict.

The Access Negotiation Toolbox will be developed in English language, and translated into local
language. This will be posted on NGOs coordination bodies including ACBAR’s website (in
addition to Afghanaid's). It will act as a common and shared resource for NGOs who will be able
to use simple ‘pick up and go’ practical modules and materials provided in this toolbox when
planning to negotiate access with a range of stakeholders (Armed Opposition Groups,
Government Authorities, International Military Forces, etc.) to gain access to areas under armed
conflict with the purpose of providing independent humanitarian assistance.

Given the complex, dynamic and fluid operating environment of humanitarian NGOs in
Afghanistan, particularly the political and security dimension, the e-toolbox will need to consist of
a set of Access strategies and related tools which would meet the requirements and needs of
NGOs working in different regions of the country, involving different actors in Access negotiation
process, during and in post-Transition phase in the country. The contents of Access Toolbox will
be embedded in the humanitarian principles. The Toolbox will be a ‘live’ resource, so that
adjustments are made in it with the changing context to keep it relevant and of use by the
humanitarian NGOs community.

We are aware that the list of questions is extensive and that some of them might prove difficult to
answer at the moment, however, please try complete the following questions as fully as you can,
giving appropriate examples, case studies and methods you consider to be best practice. Shaun
Kirven, employed by Afghanaid to develop the Access Toolbox, may contact you for further
information. Please indicate below if this would be possible. Afghanaid will do its utmost to protect
your responses and ALL information will be treated confidentially unless otherwise stated.

Please return the completed questionnaires by April 30, 2012 to Shaun Kirven email: or in hard copy to Afghanaid offices, Kabul.

Note: Bilateral Interview:
If you would prefer this questionnaire could form the basis of a bilateral meeting/telephone /skype
call please contact Shaun Kirven at the above email or on +93 791960176.

Draft Questionnaire:

Name of Respondent
Title of Respondent
Contact details of Respondent                     Tel:
Preferred language of communication:

Available for further consultation .…..……………………………………………………………YES/NO

Name of Organisation:

Brief introduction to Organisation/Mandate/mission Working Areas:

Total Number of Staff:

Registered/ Not Registered:

Organisational Website (if applicable):

Information to be kept Confidential? ………………………………………………………...YES/NO

The following are a series of questions that will help give context to the Access Negotiations
Toolbox. The questions follow a process from the overall security management policies adopted
by the organisation through preparing for the start of negotiations towards arranging and carrying
out the same negotiations through follow-up and implementation of agreements made.

In responding to this questionnaire please feel free to attach any relevant documents,
SOPs, case studies, transcriptions of negotiations previously carried out and agreements

General Security:

    1. Overall Approach to Security Management

At the risk of generalising which of the following three security management concepts would say
was predominantly employed by your organisation? Please highlight.

a) Acceptance

b) Principled Action

c) Deterrence/Protection

d) Other (please state)

    2. What level of visibility has your organisation decided to employ? Please Highlight

a) High

b) Low

c) Other (please explain)


      3. Organisational Security

How are security protocols viewed in your organisation? Please highlight

a) Burdensome/over-restrictive b) Necessary/ adequate c) Lacking/ inadequate

Generally how are security incidents registered and communicated in your organisation?

      4. Political Analysis

Who in your organisation is in charge of developing a political analysis? Please Highlight

a) Country Director

b) Security Officers

c) External Security NGOs

d) Others (give examples)

How often does your organisation update this analysis?

a) Not often

b) Every time there is an incident

c) Regularly (at least once every six months)

Please give examples of analysis tools that work and tools that don’t.

      5. Threats

What do you and/or your organisation understand by the term threat?

Have you ever been threatened by any of the following actors? Please highlight.



Government of Afghanistan


Criminal Groups/Bandits

Other (please state)

Have you experienced any of the following threats? Please highlight.

a) Direct Threat



Prevention of access



Harassment of staff

Donor Restrictions/Policy

Other (please state)

b) Indirect Threat

Access denied due to armed conflict


Donor Restrictions/Policy

Negative perceptions of NGO community

Politicalisation of funding/development work

Collateral Damage


Other (please state)

c) Common crime

Banditry/ Robbery

Organised Crime such as Drug trafficking

Other (please state)

    6. Preventative Planning

What tools, if any, do you or your organisation use to understand the level of risk you face in
carrying out your mandate?

What do you understand by the term “dynamic nature of risk”?

Does your organisation have a security plan? Yes/No

Would you be willing to share that plan? Yes/No

Is the plan something that is openly developed with all staff or only a select few?

    7. Capacity to respond in emergencies

Do you have emergency plans in your organisation? Yes/No

How often are these updated (please highlight)?

a) Monthly

b) Quarterly

c) Bi-yearly

d) Yearly

Who is charge of ensuring a response in an emergency?

What protocols do you have to inform other staff of an emergency?

Do you have an early warning system in place? Yes/No

If so would you willing to share it? Yes/No

What risk mitigation plans do you have in place?

How do they impact on:

a) Civilian Population

b) Other NGOs

c) Donors

d) Others (please specify)

Negotiating Secure Access:
     1. Negotiations

What experience does your organisation have of the different level of negotiations? Please

High-level………………………………………………………………. None/some/considerable

Mid-level……………………………………………………………….. None/some/considerable

Frontline……………………………………………………………….. None/some/considerable

Please give examples where appropriate:

     2. Approach to Negotiations

The following questions refer to the methodology employed by your organisation to the
negotiating process. Again please answer as fully as possible and giving examples of the work
already done in each area.

What is the preferred status given to negotiations, talks or access discussions? Please highlight.

a) Formal

b) Informal

What is the preferred methodology in approaching negotiations, talks or discussions? Please

1 We are using the term Negotiation to include both formal and informal process that leads to access either of the affected
population to services or humanitarian organisations to the affected populations. “talks” would be another way of describing
this process and perhaps more appropriate.

c) Principled Approach

d) Positional Approach

e) Personal Relationship as entry point.

    3. Preferred organisational participation in the negotiations is (please highlight):

a) Individual informal relationship-based talks.

b) Team approach to discussions, either principled or positional

c) Collective (more than one organisation).

d) Other (please state)

If more than one approach has been used please give examples:

    4. How are the following components of the process developed:

a) Establishing objectives

b) Establishing levels of transparency (internal)

c) Establishing levels of transparency (external)

d) Effectiveness of negotiations

e) Sustainability of Access and Projects/Programming

f) Accountability to different actors –affected population, donors etc.

g) In your experience what happens when negotiations breakdown or agreements are not
adhered to?

    5. Legal Framework

What experience does your organisation have in using International Humanitarian Law,
International Human Rights Law and/or Customary International Humanitarian Law?

In your experience are these international treaties and legal frameworks useful when trying to
negotiate access? Yes/No

If yes, with which actors and why?

If no, why do you think that is the case?

What experience do you or your organisation have in using national legal frameworks to negotiate

Has the anti-terrorist legislation (national and international) had any impact on your space to
negotiate with certain actors? Yes/No

If yes, how?

    6. Codes of Conduct

Are you aware of AOG Codes of Conduct?

Has your organisation ever used these codes in negotiations with AOG? Yes/No

If yes what was the outcome?

    7. Humanitarian Principles

What do you understand by the following terms:

a) Humanity

b) Impartiality

c) Neutrality

d) Independence

How do you apply them to your work, especially when dealing with different armed actors?

    8. Actors

What tools do you or your organisation employ to understanding the following about the different
armed actors present in your areas of work?

a) Positions of armed actors

b) Objectives of armed actors

c) Interests of armed actors

d) Capacity of the armed actors to attain their objectives

e) Methods of population/ territorial control

f) Inter-relationship between the different actors in areas of work (State and non-state)

    9. Relationships

Please describe the process your organisation has developed to build a relationship with these

What capacity does you organisation have to influence the relationship between the actors?

Have you experience in approaching any particular actor directly?

Have you ever resorted to using an intermediary to build a working relationship with any actor?

If yes, please state why you chose an intermediary above approaching the actor directly.

    10. Communication- Internal

What does the communication look like around the initiation of a negotiation process? Is it
restricted or are all staff informed?

How do you keep staff updated on the progress of the negotiation?

What kind of handover procedures are in place in your organisation to ensure no knowledge is
lost due to staff leaving or a change in the negotiation team (should there be one)

What process exists in order for upper management to access staff concerns over political
developments in the country?

    11. Communication –External

Who is in charge of external communications in your organisation?

Do you usually communicate to donors and other actors when you are considering or in a
process of negotiations? Yes/No

If yes please give examples of those communications.

If no, why?

Have you any experience of using the media to influence negotiations? Yes/ No

If yes please give examples.

Why did you decide to use the media?

Was the strategy successful in terms of reaching your organisational objectives of negotiating in
the first place?

If no why was that decision made?

    12. What in addition to the previous topics do you think the toolkit should address?

    13. Any other comments you would like to make?


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