Ideas for improving the quality of the humanitarian response in Chad
Olivia Collins, Florence Gibert, Julie Patinet and Bonaventure Sokpoh
The humanitarian situation in Eastern Chad raises a number of important questions concerning issues such as humanitarian space, coordination and adapting aid to a number of co-existing situations. Some innovative approaches are currently being explored to improve the quality of the humanitarian response in relation to the environment, water and sanitation and food security/economic dynamics.
Humanitarian agencies in Chad  are currently faced with a number of challenges:
- permanent instability;
- the coexistence of different types of situation requiring different forms of humanitarian intervention (refugees, IDPs, resident populations);
- running projects which promote self-reliance and support income-generating activities is particularly difficult with certain population groups and in certain regions;
- coordination of humanitarian action.
In order to strengthen the capacity to conduct in-depth and continuous analysis of the context and improve the quality of aid response, Groupe URD is setting up the “Observatory of Aid Practices in Chad” (l’Observatoire des Pratiques de l’Aide au Tchad – OPAT), an innovative collective learning programme. The first phase of OPAT is the “Programme to Support Collective Learning and Improve the Quality of the Humanitarian Response in Eastern Chad”, which will last 8 months, from March to October 2009.
The observatory has identified a certain number of critical points in the provision of aid in Eastern Chad.
 Since 2003, the conflicts in Darfur and the Central African Republic have led to the presence of around 260000 Sudanese and 60000 Central African Republic refugees in Chad. Since 2005, internal ethnic conflict and attacks by Sudanese groups near the border in Eastern Chad have caused displacement within the Chadian population. Close to 170 000 people are currently living in IDP sites. Since 2007, some IDPs have returned to their villages in certain zones such as Koukou, Kerfi and Am Timan.