Protection Mainstreaming

Protection mainstreaming is the process of incorporating protection principles and promoting meaningful access, safety and dignity in humanitarian aid. “Protection mainstreaming” relates to the approach we take in all our programmes. It does not mean changing WHAT we do but means we should think about HOW assistance is provided. This is essentially about safe, good quality programming. It is the responsibility of all humanitarian actors and should be applied to all projects.

This segment outlines the programme tools that HRD is currently favouring when mainstreaming protection in our activities and programmes. CRS ascribes to the Global Protection Cluster (GPC) definition of protection mainstreaming as…

the process of incorporating protection principles and promoting meaningful access, safety and dignity in humanitarian aid”.

“le processus consistant à incorporer les principes de protection et à promouvoir l’accès significatif, la sécurité et la dignité.”

Our Protection Mainstreaming Approach:

  1. Briefing Note – Agency Approach to Protection Mainstreaming [English] [Français] [Español] [اللغة العربية]
  2. Link Between Core Components through Safety, Dignity and Access [English]  [Français] [Español] [اللغة العربية]

Protection Mainstreaming Framework – Full Document [English] [Français] [Español] [اللغة العربية]

General intro to Protection Mainstreaming – Global Protection Cluster (GPC) video available at:

It will be good to take some time to review this short CRS presentation discussing Protection Mainstreaming in emergencies.These videos are also available in: [Français] [Español] [Arabic]

Project Design

1.0 Assessment Tools

  1. Guide to Protection Risk Analysis / [English]
  2. Protection Risk Analysis Summary Action Plan / [English]
  3. Global Protection Cluster (GPC) Sample Needs Assessment Questions per Sector / [English] [Français]
  4. IRC Needs Assessment Checklist  / [English] [Français]

1.1 Sample Assessments  Coming soon

1.2 Writing Proposals

Proposal samples can be found on Gateway and a member of the HRD Protection Team can facilitate identifying strong examples for your specific context.

  Project Implementation

2.0 Start-up

In a rapid onset disaster, please use this checklist as the essentials to be put in place in the early stages of an emergency response.

  1. Rapid Emergency Protection Mainstreaming Checklist / [English] [Français] [Español] [اللغة العربية]

2.1 Analysis

In practice this means that all programming is underpinned by an understanding of the protection context throughout the programme cycle in order to ensure safety, dignity and meaningful access for people and communities affected by crisis.

  1. Guide to Protection Risk Analysis / [English]
  2. GPC Sample Needs Assessment Questions per Sector /[English] [Français]
  3. IRC Needs Assessment Checklist / [English] [Français]
  4. SAD-SAD Visual / [English]
  5. ECHO Age and Gender Marker Guidance / [English] [Français]

2.2 Targeting & Diversity of Need

In practice, this means that the specific needs, vulnerabilities and capacities of people and communities affected by crisis are identified and assistance is targeted accordingly, taking particular account of different groups who may be marginalized or disadvantaged.

  1. Guidance Doc – IFRC Selection and Prioritization Criteria / [English] [Français]

2.3 Community Engagement

In practice this means that there is active and inclusive community engagement in all stages of the program cycle that builds on and strengthens existing community and state structures, resources, and capacities.

  1. Community Safety Mapping / [English] [Français]
  2. VSO Participatory Mapping / [English]

2.4 Information

In practice this means that people and communities affected by the crisis are informed of their rights and entitlements and have access to accurate and timely information.

  1. CDAC Information Needs Assessment Tool / [English] [Français]

2.5 Feedback & Complaints Mechanisms

In practice this means that people and communities are able to provide feedback and make complaints a safe, dignified and confidential manner, and receive an appropriate response when they do so.

  1. Closing the Loop – See page 2 for overview and guidance to key areas of consideration / [English] [Français]

2.6 Staff Conduct

In practice this means that staff and partners have appropriate knowledge and organizational support to conduct themselves and their work in a safe and appropriate way.

  1. Psychological First Aid Pocket Guide for Staff / [English] [Français]

2.7 Coordination & Advocacy

In practice this means that staff and partners advocate and work with relevant actors to enhance the protective environment, avoid duplication and prevent, mitigate and respond to protection risks.

  1. Voice & Accountability Tool (CAFOD) – A helpful to think through/develop an advocacy plan/strategy [English]

2.8 Mapping & Referral Coming Soon

In practice this means that staff and partners have the necessary knowledge, information and training to support communities in accessing existing services.

Sector/Activity Specific Tools

This segment houses specific tools for sector activities in shelter and market-based responses, as well as for distributions and on-boarding of new staff.

3.0 Distributions

Protection Mainstreaming Checklist for Safe Distributions /  [English]

3.1 Human Resources

Staff Onboarding/Orientation Checklist / [English]

3.2 Market-Based Response

Protection Mainstreaming Checklist for Cash-Based Programs / [English]

3.3 Shelter

Protection Mainstreaming Checklist for Shelter / [English] [Français]

3.4 WASH

Protection Mainstreaming Checklist for WASH / [English]

3.5 Livelihoods

Protection Mainstreaming Checklist for Livelihoods / [English]

3.6 Education

Protection Mainstreaming Checklist for Education / [English]

3.7 Health

Protection Mainstreaming Checklist for Health / [English]