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After extensive consultation with protection specialists and with many agency staff throughout the ALNAP network, the ALNAP Guidance Booklet for Humanitarian Protection – Pilot Version was published in 2003 and then tested in the field by practitioners throughout 2004. It has been ALNAP’s most popular publication to date suggesting that the need for guidance on protection is as great as ever. ALNAP is grateful to all those agencies who participated in the pilots and the lessons learned have been incorporated into this new first edition.

This new road-tested guide is now better equipped to help practitioners get to grips with both the concepts that underpin protection and the operational elements involved. Sections 1-3 will help people understand the context of people’s protection needs and also provides an important framework for understanding protection in terms of responsibility and action. Sections 4-8 offer a practical schema designed to help agency staff think through the practicalities of protection focused programming in four clear steps: assessment; programme design; implementation, monitoring and evaluation.

It is well understood that this guide is not a panacea and that people’s protection in war and disaster will continue to be a very difficult undertaking. But all of us in ALNAP share the hope that this guide will have significant value in helping to ensure the safety and dignity of those people who need it most.