When starting a new programme, War Child makes a careful selection of countries and regions. Analyses of the environment and specific organisation-related criteria determine the choice.
Selection of new regions and countries
First, War Child makes an analysis of conflict areas to obtain a picture of the impact of a conflict on the population. For this analysis we use a number of well-known indices (for example the Human Development Index and the Human Security Index of the United Nations). On the basis of these indices type, status and duration of the conflict, the phase of development in the country or region concerned, the humanitarian aspects of the affected area, such as number of casualties are charted. This analysis produces a list of countries where the conflict has considerable impact and where a great need for aid is felt. The following organisation-related criteria ultimately determine War Child’s choice for a country or region:
- The extent to which preconditions such as a minimum of food, shelter and water are met;
- The security situation;
- The possibility to work together with local partner organisations to guarantee sustainability;
- The necessary investments to start a programme;
- The availability of potentially suitable staff;
The objective of the programme (the feasibility and relevance of the objectives are weighed against the strategic and organisational priorities of War Child);
- The presence of other aid organisations and the possibilities of co-operation;
- The presence of War Child Canada or War Child UK and the possibilities of co-operation.
Choice of countries in 2007
Starting up a programme in a new region and especially in a new country is an expensive affair. We have to invest in office space, in putting together and training a team of field officers, in building a network with other organisations and in forming relations with the local population. War Child wants to handle the available finances with the utmost efficiency and has focused mainly in 2007, as in 2006, on expanding existing programmes. In several countries, like The Democratic Republic of Congo, Colombia, Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory and Uganda, War Child greatly expanded her programmes.
In 2007, War Child continued to support activities in Sri Lanka through sister organisation War Child Canada, albeit on a small scale. There are plans to expand this support in 2008. Although the situation in Kosovo remains tense, War Child phased out the collaboration with partner World Child Kosova gradually over three years, according to the strategy and has ended collaboration in December 2007. Research was done into possibly new project countries in 2007. Based on the criteria a shortlist of ten countries has been composed. We will look at Lebanon and Burundi specifically during exploring missions.