Complaint mechanism launched in Baidoa

Finn Church Aid (FCA) launched a Complaint Response Mechanism (CRM) in Baidoa, the capital city of the Bay region and South West State of Somalia. The FCA Management Team approved the ‘FCA Complaints Policy’ last January. Based on the policy, Complaints Response Mechanisms will be established gradually in all country programmes. Various stakeholders for the current peace project participated in the launching event in Baidoa.

“FCA welcomes complaints for two main reasons. It is the right of our key stakeholders, the people and communities we work with, our partners, and our staff members, to complaint if they think that FCA or an FCA staff member has violated our commitments in quality and accountability. Complaints can give us an early indication that something is not going as planned, helping us to improve programme quality or intervene in a timely manner”, says Organizational Development Manager Aarno Lahtinen from FCA. The Peace Initiative in Bay and Bakool is a CRM pilot project.

“The pilot group for the CRM is focused on beneficiaries and stakeholders for the EU funded project, for the remaining five months of the project. FCA and CRD staff informed the beneficiaries on how complaints can be raised through the CRM, and who can raise them”, Project Manager Ali Ibrahim clarifies the process.

There are different methods for submitting a complaint: complaining face-to-face to FCA or Partner staff, complaining via phone to FCA or Partner staff, or complaining via email to FCA or Partner staff. Primary email address for receiving complaints is:  FCA CRM Focal Point is responsible for checking the email bi-weekly.

CRM is an ongoing process. First steps were taken in February when workshops on complaints handling were carried out in two field offices, the Somalia Country Office and the Latin America Country Office. Both offices launched their context specific CRMs in August/September. Lessons from these two offices piloting the system will be used to improve FCA’s CRM procedures before proceeding with other offices in 2016.

“Complaints can be for example about programme decisions and quality, breach of the Code of Conduct or questions related to protection and security of people and communities we work with. Complaints related to fraud, corruption, and sexual or other form of abuse will have a high priority and will be handled urgently by the FCA Head Office”, Aarno Lahtinen says.

Text: Hilkka Hyrkkö
Photo: Abdullahi Mohamed