Consolidated Appeals Process Strengthening Project
The Consolidated Appeals Process (CAP) is a field-based coordination mechanism used by aid organisations to plan, coordinate, fund, implement and monitor their activities. As a planning mechanism, it has contributed significantly to developing a more coherent and strategic approach to humanitarian action. The CAP provides a framework for aid agencies to analyse the context in which humanitarian action takes place, consider scenarios, assess needs, agree on priorities, set goals, draw up a Common Humanitarian Action Plan (CHAP) to address them, monitor the strategy, and revise it as necessary.
As a coordination mechanism, it has fostered closer cooperation between host governments, donors, aid agencies and beneficiaries, resulting in a more effective system-wide response to complex emergencies and natural disasters. The section, which is part of the Coordination and Response Division, manages the CAP day to day, and develops and implements long-term improvements.
- Strengthen the CAP as a tool for strategic planning, programming and coordination, for example by developing guidelines for Flash Appeals
- Support development, dissemination and implementation of policy and guidelines for more effective humanitarian action
- Implement a comprehensive training programme to ensure that OCHA staff are effective in leading the CAP in the field and at headquarters
- Manage the development and launch of consolidated appeals and mid-year reviews
- Improve the timeliness, accuracy and scope of the Financial Tracking Service (FTS)
- Provide FTS training to key donors, HCs and OCHA staff, and NGOs
- Support the donor-led Good Humanitarian Donorship CAP pilot (in the DRC and Burundi)
The CAP section led the IASC Sub-working Group in the preparation and monitoring of CAP policy. In the CAP training programme, the section organised CAP best-practice workshops for OCHA, UN Agency staff and NGOs. Throughout 2005, in order to strengthen the appeal process in the field, the section facilitated 18 inter-agency field workshops with over 1,000 participants from 175 NGOs, 23 UN Agencies, and 19 donor governments for the preparation of Consolidated Appeals for 2006.
In 2005, the section oversaw the preparation and launch of nine flash appeals for breaking emergencies or natural disasters, mid-year reviews for all 15 of the 2005 Consolidated Appeals and 16 Consolidated Appeals for 2006. The section organised the global launch of the appeals in New York, and launched a new website (www.humanitarianappeal.net) to present appeal documents and CAP professional tools.
Throughout 2005, the section led the development and field pilots of the Needs Analysis Framework (NAF), much in demand from donors keen to see more reliable humanitarian needs assessments. Use of the NAF is expected to expand from five pilot countries in 2005 to a target of 75 percent of CAP countries through 2006.
In 2005, the Financial Tracking Service (FTS) launched a major upgrade of its website to give more user-friendly access to its ever-expanding worldwide database. For 2005, FTS recorded 8,500 funding items (up from 6,200 in 2004) to over 100 destination countries and 620 implementing organisations from 370 donor countries and organisations. Staff provided FTS training sessions to field office and headquarters staff from OCHA, UN Agencies, NGOs, donors and the media.
As part of UN transparency and accountability initiatives, FTS also developed and launched (in pro bono collaboration with PriceWaterhouseCoopers) an expenditure tracking website for the tsunami Flash Appeal, the first of its kind.
The mounting profile of the CAP as an advocacy tool was reflected in the fact that, again in 2005, the summary document of the consolidated appeals (Humanitarian Appeal 2006) bore the Secretary-General’s signature. Flash appeals for the Indian Ocean tsunami and the South Asia earthquake crystallised high-profile humanitarian funding needs. FTS analyses of flash appeal underfunding were instrumental in obtaining the General Assembly’s approval of the new Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF).
The CAP section supported the Good Humanitarian Donorship initiative, which aims to measure and improve donor performance in providing aid impartially and on time.
A common definition of humanitarian aid for statistical purposes was agreed with donor countries and coordinated with OECD, which will eventually allow the UN and OECD aid databases to publish more recognisably consistent global data.
New guidelines for flash appeals were developed and used on 10 occasions such as the Indian Ocean tsunami and the South Asia earthquake. It took a median 11.1 days to launch flash appeals issued in 2005 and, as the year progressed, a significant reduction of this time was achieved culminating in three days to issue the Flash Appeal for Pakistan. Speed can have an impact on quality, a fear addressed by the new flexibility allowing the revision of any part of any appeal at any time.
During the Programme Kick-Off meeting in January 2006, donors praised the 2006 Consolidated Appeals, prepared in 2005. They highlighted, in particular, the strengthened focus on humanitarian aspects and improvements in needs analysis and prioritisation
The training workshops for leading the CAP in the field and using FTS, plus guidance provided by the section, were found to be effective by both HCs and the staff involved, according to participant evaluations, facilitators’ reports and workshop reports by the OCHA field offices.
All Consolidated Appeals and mid-year reviews were prepared and published within the prescribed time frame (in time for long-scheduled, high-level launch conferences) and according to the section’s work plan.
For the first time, all 2006 appeals (developed in 2005) included NGO project proposals from a total of 145 NGOs as well as from 26 UN Agencies. The FTS was significantly improved, with the help of donors, humanitarian organisations and private sector partners.Website hits showed a healthy increase in its use, from a monthly average of 57,000 hits between January and June 2004 to 145,000 for the month of March 2005 and 932,000 for December 2005.