Part II
HEADQUARTERS CORE ACTIVITIES AND PROJECTS

POLICY DEVELOPMENT
Policy Development and Studies Branch

 

  Requirements 3,080,800  
  EXPENDITURE    
  Staff Costs 1,602,416  
  Consultant Fees and Travel 112,740  
  Travel 239,695  
  Operating Expenses  
  Contractual Services 28,425  
  Supplies, Materials, Furniture and Equipment  
  Fellowships, Grants and Contributions 37,000  
  Programme Support Costs 221,690  
  Total Expenditure (US$) 2,241,966  
Income for Core Activities is recorded in total under the Trust Fund for the Strengthening of OCHA

The Policy Development and Studies Branch’s (PDSB) main role and mission is to: provide policy guidance and clarity on humanitarian issues; support effective humanitarian action by being relevant and operationally practical; and support OCHA’s role in the broader humanitarian community.

In 2006, PDSB focused its work on: supporting the development and implementation of humanitarian reform initiatives and providing leadership on the evaluation of humanitarian response; the protection of civilians in armed conflict; and gender equality programming. In addition, PDSB addressed the interpretation of International Humanitarian Law, civil–military relations, negotiations with non-state groups and disaster management and risk reduction in the context of the Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA).

Objectives

Activities and Accomplishments

PDSB supported OCHA’s work in promoting key humanitarian policy issues through the inter governmental organs of the United Nations – specifically the General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council. In response to concern about the prevalence of gender-based violence in humanitarian emergencies, and as part of the General Assembly resolution on strengthening the United Nations’ coordination of emergency humanitarian assistance, PDSB worked with IASC and Secretariat partners to gain Member States’ recognition of gender-based violence as a humanitarian concern. PDSB led the development of the Secretary-General’s report on disasters and the process of re-introducing disasters onto the IASC agenda, and worked in coordination with military organizations worldwide to promote humanitarian principles and standards in civil–military relations. PDSB led an assessment team to consider the potential economic, humanitarian and social impacts on the population of the Democratic Republic of the Congo of implementing the measures referred to in
Security Council Resolution 1698.

Following the establishment of the Humanitarian Reform Support Unit (HRSU) in 2006, PDSB continued to support reform efforts by providing the Unit with policy advice in the drafting of the IASC Guidance Note on Using the Cluster Approach and in managing the IASC interim self-assessment on implementation. PDSB also collaborated with HRSU in reviewing the composition of IASC-CTs, which later became the Global Humanitarian Platform initiative.

PDSB provided recommendations from evaluations and lesson learning reviews conducted during the year. These addressed themes including the cluster approach, partnerships with non-state actors, the strengthening of the HC system and humanitarian financing. Evaluation findings on the implementation of humanitarian reform in new emergencies, such as in Lebanon and Pakistan, provided valuable early learning on the effectiveness of the reform agenda, and suggested ways it could be improved.

In line with humanitarian reform, particularly the need for greater predictability and more systematic action on issues of humanitarian concern, PDSB initiated measures to strengthen effectiveness on addressing HIV – which was designated as a cross-cutting issue in the humanitarian reform process. OCHA is supporting the integration of HIV into humanitarian action through the development of policy guidance and training tools for OCHA and the broader humanitarian community. Work is currently underway at the inter-agency level to upgrade existing guidance and institutional arrangements in relation to HIV (taking account of existing structures including the central role of UNAIDS). PDSB is also working to improve attention to the needs of older people in crisis settings, including the development of appropriate guidance, to enhance existing programming in this area.

PDSB contributed to the development of a number of policy guidelines in 2006, and distributed and promoted existing instruments for policy implementation. PDSB also undertook the design and implementation of OCHA’s Policy and Guidance Management System, a key initiative aimed at strengthening and intensifying the skill levels, professionalism and predictability of OCHA’s staff performance. The System was launched by the ERC in April 2006. New publications to which PDSB contributed included: United Nations Manual for Humanitarian Negotiations with Armed Groups; IASC Gender Handbook; Civil–Military Coordination Handbook; other generic and country-specific policy guidelines on civil–military relations; and a Pre-Deployment Briefing Package for Force Commanders. A Civil–Military Coordination Handbook and a sexual exploitation and abuse field training manual and film were developed in 2006 and are expected to be published in 2007. PDSB, in collaboration with all relevant partners, developed an IASC work programme to advance policy and related guidance on risk reduction in the context of disasters associated with natural hazards.

To improve accountability and effectiveness, PDSB was involved in nine evaluations, including the inter-agency evaluation conducted by the Tsunami Evaluation Coalition (TEC) and a lesson learning review on the United Nations’ response to the Lebanon crisis. It also led the revitalization and streamlining of OCHA’s strategic planning process. A new CAP strategic monitoring tool was tested in the occupied Palestinian territory, and based on the lessons learned from this experience the tool will be redefined in 2007.

In 2006, PDSB contributed to the development of the Secretary-General’s note of guidance on integrated missions, and revised the Integrated Missions Planning Process which was endorsed by the Secretary-General during the year. PDSB staff also provided support to the Peacebuilding Support Office and was a member of the transitional team created to support the establishment of that office. Building on OCHA’s experience in establishing the CERF, PDSB’s main support focused on the development of terms of reference that would lead to the establishment of the Peacebuilding Fund. PDSB, with the United Nations Development Group Working Group on Transition, worked on finalizing the Guidance Note on Transitional Strategies.

A staff member of PDSB was deployed to Juba, Southern Sudan, to provide public information support to the RC/ HC, including: supporting the USG/ERC’s mission to areas affected by the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA); establishing an inter-agency public information and communications group; and developing a communications strategy for OCHA Juba (to be taken forward by a permanent public information officer in 2007)

Performance Evaluation

 

Protection of Civilians Project

 

  Requirements 753,369  
  Income from Voluntary Contributions 557,675  
  EXPENDITURE    
  Staff Costs 336,961  
  Consultant Fees and Travel 57,564  
  Travel 55,273  
  Operating Expenses 1,395  
  Contractual Services 30,172  
  Supplies, Materials, Furniture and Equipment 2,440  
  Fellowships, Grants and Contributions -  
  Programme Support Costs 62,895  
  Total Expenditure (US$) 546,700  
Income for Core Activities is recorded in total under the Trust Fund for the Strengthening of OCHA

OCHA is entrusted by the Secretary-General to lead and coordinate activities that advance the protection of civilians in armed conflict agenda. The Protection of Civilians (POC) Project is a core element of PDSB’s efforts to support the humanitarian policy agenda, and foster strategic and operational coherence within the Secretariat and the IASC and among Member States. The principal focus of the Project is to enhance the policy framework for the protection of civilians through the provision of strategic coordination, advocacy and information management support at both headquarters and field levels.

In 2006, the project aimed to actively engage with the Security Council, Member States and regional organizations to strengthen the framework for the protection of civilians in armed conflict, to strengthen response at the field level, and to ensure strategic coherence and greater collaboration at headquarters.

Objectives

Activities and Accomplishments

The adoption of a third Security Council resolution in April 2006 on the protection of civilians in armed conflict complemented the two existing resolutions strengthening the overall framework. Efforts in 2006 focused on supporting and providing guidance for peacekeeping operations. The POC Project initiated discussions with DPKO on developing practical guidance and tools to assist peacekeepers in the interpretation of protection mandates. The POC Project also continued with a series of round table consultations with Security Council, Member States, United Nations departments and agencies, INGOs and academic institutions to examine the implementation of the protection elements of peacekeeping mandates.

A round table meeting convened in May examined the implementation of the protection mandate of the United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI). As an outcome to this meeting, a follow-up workshop was organized in Côte d’Ivoire in October, bringing together over 80 participants from government, UNOCI, United Nations agencies, NGOs and civil society to agree upon a protection framework and plan of action for the country.

In mid 2006 efforts were made to revitalize the Member State Support Group for the Protection of Civilians in Armed conflict and develop a more strategic approach to advancing elements of the protection agenda. Particular focus was placed on working with regional organizations. The POC Project supported the seventh high-level meeting between the Secretary-General and heads of regional organizations, establishing a broad network of 23 regional institutions and a smaller, more focused group of eight regional organizations. Plans were also initiated for the first in a series of sub-regional meetings for regional organizations on the protection of civilians.

Increasing emphasis was placed on the provision of stronger field support when it is most needed. During the conflict in Lebanon a senior policy adviser was deployed by PDSB to support the HC and to work, in particular, with protection actors to formulate a stronger field response. The POC Project also established an advisory group of academics and researchers to provide ad hoc advice on a range of humanitarian policy issues at the height of the crisis. Policy support was provided on a bilateral basis to a number of OCHA field offices, including those in Afghanistan, Somalia and Côte d’Ivoire.

The POC Project supported inter-agency efforts to address the problem of sexual exploitation and abuse by humanitarian workers and peacekeepers. A field training manual on sexual exploitation and abuse and a film on the standards of conduct for United Nations staff and related personnel were developed. The Project also worked with Member States to engender support for a draft assistance and support strategy for victims of sexual exploitation and abuse. At the end of 2006, PDSB worked with DPKO, UNICEF and UNDP to convene a high-level conference on eliminating sexual exploitation and abuse by United Nations and NGO personnel.

In supporting the Protection Cluster Working Group, training support for HCs and RCs was provided, in addition to informal briefings to incoming members of the Security Council. The POC Project promoted the protection agenda through regular thematic briefings to the Security Council and incorporation of protection issues into situation-specific reports and briefings.

Performance Evaluation

Evaluation and Studies Section

 

  Requirements 406,800  
  Income from Voluntary Contributions 60,623  
  EXPENDITURE    
  Staff Costs -  
  Consultant Fees and Travel 227,980  
  Travel 15,323  
  Operating Expenses 1,136  
  Contractual Services 13,693  
  Supplies, Materials, Furniture and Equipment -  
  Fellowships, Grants and Contributions 10,000  
  Programme Support Costs 34,857  
  Total Expenditure (US$) 302,989  
Income for Core Activities is recorded in total under the Trust Fund for the Strengthening of OCHA

The goal of the Evaluation and Studies Section (ESS) is to promote greater accountability, learning and improved effectiveness of humanitarian action. The ESS oversees a range of evaluative activities, documents lessons and undertakes lesson learning reviews (LLRs), promotes institutional learning and knowledge sharing, and focuses on the achievement of results and the use of results information (for example, by contributing to OCHA’s results-based management framework). The work of the ESS covers both inter-agency and OCHA-specific evaluations, LLRs and desk reviews.

As in previous years, ESS’s initial workplan for 2006 was modified to accommodate specific requests by management and to address new emergencies such as the Lebanon crisis. Key issues faced by the ESS included: ensuring management follow-up to evaluation recommendations; finding better ways to communicate evaluation results; providing better impact assessment; and finding high-quality consultants.

Objectives

Activities and Accomplishments

In 2006, ESS was involved in a total of eleven evaluation activities (nine of these directly managed or conducted by ESS), including: the completion, synthesis and dissemination of a system-wide evaluation of the international response to the tsunami (the TEC, or the Tsunami Evaluation Coalition), as part of which OCHA led the inter-agency evaluation of the international coordination of the response; an evaluation of the Human Security Trust Fund; an inter-agency real-time review of the application of the cluster approach in Pakistan; and participation in an inter-agency evaluation of the
United Nations’ response to the 2006 drought in the Horn of Africa. OCHA-specific evaluation activities included external reviews of ReliefWeb and Humanitarian Response Funds in several countries, and an internal assessment of the impact of select OCHA training and capacity-building programmes (Emergency Field Coordination Training and Civil–Military training). An in-depth internal LLR was also undertaken to learn from OCHA’s responses to the South Asia earthquake and the Lebanon crisis. About half of all evaluation activities were undertaken on an inter-agency or joint basis, a slightly
lower proportion than last year.

A significant number of inter-agency evaluation activities were centered around the TEC which was chaired by OCHA, culminating in an official launch of its Synthesis Report during the 2006 Economic and Social Council session in Geneva. The TEC itself was a major achievement– an initiative that brought together over 40 United Nations agencies, NGOs, donors and academics with the shared objective of providing accountability on one of the largest humanitarian response efforts ever. While the TEC findings were critical and pointed to a system that did not build on local capacities, did not coordinate but rather competed for resources, and did not provide for a smooth transition from relief to recovery, there was general agreement that these findings were not unique to the tsunami response, but a confirmation of systemic weaknesses. Like the Humanitarian Response Review undertaken in 2005, it is expected that the outcomes of the TEC will influence humanitarian reform for years to come.

In recognition of the need for more timely evaluative feedback on humanitarian operations, ESS worked with key partners on developing a common approach to inter-agency real-time evaluations. The resulting note was endorsed by the Active Learning Network for Accountability and Performance in Humanitarian Action’s (ALNAP) membership and the approach is expected to be piloted for one year from mid 2007.

In 2006 the ESS instituted a monitoring and evaluation help desk for field offices. It also undertook a mission to the occupied Palestinian territory to pilot the IASC strategic monitoring and evaluation tool for the CAP, which resulted in the recognition that strategic monitoring and evaluation must be aligned with the Needs Analysis Framework. The Section was closely involved in other activities during 2006, including: revitalizing OCHA’s strategic planning process; leading an inter-branch taskforce to develop the strategic plan for 2007–09; developing a performance indicator menu; and drafting a
planning guide to streamline planning, monitoring and reporting (and also to provide better guidance to OCHA for setting up monitoring and evaluation systems). A planning clinic for OCHA managers was conducted in June which was received positively: participants welcomed the new planning guidance tool and the fact that it was simpler than the old one and included templates for reporting. Due to competing priorities no other training events were held.

Performance Evaluation

 

 

Gender Equality Project

 

  Requirements 328,715  
  Income from Voluntary Contributions 425,000  
  EXPENDITURE    
  Staff Costs 260,682  
  Consultant Fees and Travel 10,100  
  Travel 19,536  
  Operating Expenses 1,203  
  Contractual Services 1,546  
  Supplies, Materials, Furniture and Equipment -  
  Fellowships, Grants and Contributions 40,000  
  Programme Support Costs 43,299  
  Total Expenditure (US$) 376,366  
Income for Core Activities is recorded in total under the Trust Fund for the Strengthening of OCHA

The primary responsibility of OCHA’s Gender Advisory Team (GAT) is to mainstream gender concerns into OCHA’s core mandate and support the implementation of OCHA’s Policy on Gender Equality and its accompanying Plan of Action. Facilitating gender mainstreaming throughout the IASC is one of the GAT’s major activities. As demonstrated by the conclusions of the real-time evaluations of the responses to the tsunami, the South Asia earthquake and the Darfur crisis, gender analysis and gender mainstreaming are often forgotten, especially in the early stages of an emergency – underscoring the importance of the GAT’s work to OCHA’s mandate.

Objectives

• Implement OCHA’s Policy on Gender Equality and its accompanying Plan of Action, and increase attention to gender equality programming (including gender-based violence programming) in field workplans and CAPs.

• Raise the awareness of OCHA staff about gender equality issues.

• Coordinate inter-agency work on gender equality programming under the IASC.

Activities and Accomplishments

To make humanitarian assistance more effective, it was recognized that there is a need for a common inter-agency understanding of, and coherent approach to, gender equality programming. Two initiatives were started in 2006, representing a broadening of the planned capacity-building of OCHA staff on gender equality issues.

Firstly, OCHA worked with its partners in the IASC to develop a five-point strategy (the 5 Ways Proposal), to strengthen gender mainstreaming in humanitarian action, including the development of the field-friendly IASC Gender Handbook for Humanitarian Action, Women, Girls, Boys and Men; Different Needs – Equal Opportunities (finalized in 2006, to be published in early 2007). The handbook provides humanitarian field practitioners with guidance on gender equality programming in humanitarian settings, as well as specific activities for the different sectors of humanitarian response and tools to measure their implementation. This is the first set of guidelines that has been prepared by all of the clusters. Secondly, an implementation agreement was made with the Norwegian Refugee Council to establish and administer a roster of senior-level gender advisers to advise the HCs and humanitarian CTs, and support gender networks in the first three to six months of humanitarian emergencies. The roster members will be ready for deployment in mid 2007.

In 2006, OCHA took part in the establishment of Stop Rape Now: United Nations Action against Sexual Violence in Conflict. The initiative advocated for better protection from sexual violence of people affected by humanitarian crises, and the provision of comprehensive support for survivors of sexual violence. At the country level, it worked to strengthen coordination of the different United Nations agencies’ efforts in this area. It also ensured the identification of gaps and good practices and the streamlining of data collection and reporting of cases of gender-based violence in emergencies to produce an evidence base of comparable data that will inform prevention efforts.

The GAT worked with the IASC Sub-Working Group on Gender and its gender-based violence group to roll out the IASC’s Gender-Based Violence Guidelines in 2006. Preliminary efforts to mainstream gender into UNDAC and OCHA’s induction training were undertaken. The proposed expert group meeting on human rights, protection and gender did not take place, however considerable advancement of the inter-relatedness of these three areas was made with their inclusion in the new IASC Gender Handbook.

The Senior Gender Adviser conducted capacity-building sessions on gender equality with OCHA staff in the Advocacy and Information Management and Emergency Services Branches, and while on missions to East Africa. Gender equality issues were routinely included in ProCap trainings.

Performance Evaluation