WHAT WE DO
MICROAID's effort to help victims of disasters begins at the point when other larger aid organizations are phasing out and refocusing their efforts elsewhere. MICROAID steps in after the emergency response and relief issues of a disaster have been addressed but the long-term recovery is still going on.
Months or years after a disastrous event, a MICROAID project manager from the U.S. visits the region and, coordinating with local government and non-governmental agencies (NGOs), evaluates specific individuals' and families' ongoing needs. The project manager interviews survivors; verifies information; examines base-line studies; measures, assesses, and assures availability of local resources; establishes the methods to evaluate the project’s success; and creates a project portfolio for review by MICROAID’s board of directors. Once a MICROAID project portfolio is approved by the Board, the project manager assists with fundraising and returns to the field to help those in need.
In the field, a typical MICROAID project lasts from a few weeks to many months. It may include distributing funds for a specific purpose, rebuilding small homes, purchasing supplies or tools of livelihood, or assisting with renovation, relocation, or mitigation efforts. By personally identifying victims’ needs and offering hands-on assistance using tools and equipment manufactured locally or purchased in the local market, MICROAID enables beneficiaries to identify and obtain what is most urgently needed, make purchases near the disaster site for timely delivery, and support the local economy.
Although the assistance process is uncomplicated and direct, it is vital to gather the feedback that permits MICROAID to improve its efforts. A MICROAID representative visits those who have received assistance six to eighteen months after the receipt of a donation to verify the continued and appropriate use of the resources, and to assess the individual’s or family’s progress. The representative may be from a collaborating NGO, an in-country national, or a MICROAID employee. These assessments are used to improve the activities of MICROAID and to report back to donors, volunteers, assisting NGOs, in-country organizations, and MICROAID staff.
Follow-up reports are posted on the MICROAID website for review by supporters. These reports allow us to track our success in the field and help channel future resources.