The MERS offer the reader guidance on what good programming looks like and what to consider when you are planning your activities. You can read each section separately or in sequence. Each section has cross-references to other chapters or sections that may also be relevant, because many of the Standards or actions are linked. Use the figure “A Quick Look Inside the Standards” to guide you. This book will be most useful to field practitioners and humanitarians implementing programs immediately after a crisis. Donors, governments, private-sector actors, proposal writers, and operational staff may also find it a helpful reference point when designing or reviewing project activities. There will always be a tension between universal standards and the ability to apply them in the moment. Each context is different, and local conditions may make it impossible to meet these standards. This book offers the reader an understanding of the results that implementers should be working towards.
The MERS third edition revision was a deeply collaborative yearlong process involving over 90 organizations. Two write-shop events, and consultations in Geneva, Dakar, Panama City, New Delhi, Beirut, and London, involved more than 175 people in the drafting and reviewing process. A steering committee gave oversight and guidance, ensuring that the perspectives of multiple stakeholders were included and that the final document would be comprehensive, yet accessible.