- Strengthened the cluster approach to increase predictable and accountable humanitarian action, especially in the aftermath of the Koshi floods, advocating appropriate hazard and risk analysis and early recovery projects.
- Advocated humanitarian issues including disaster preparedness and risk reduction through earthquake simulations, contingency planning and district disaster preparedness workshops.
- Focused international attention on food security crisis, including high death rates from diarrhea and acute malnutrition, the negative impact of climate change and the risks of an earthquake, and the continuing problems of instability.
The Nepal Country Office was in a transitional phase in 2009, preparing to scale-down to a HSU in 2010. Therefore, OCHA had a major coordinating role to play, focusing strongly on partnerships and enhancing the capacity of national structures.
OCHA raised awareness of the centrality of clusters with national and district authorities and revised contingency plans using the cluster approach. This enabled a more coherent response to epidemics, floods and landslides, to which Nepal is vulnerable. A priority for the future is to secure more Government involvement, with clusters co-chaired by Government focal points.
DRR and preparedness figured prominently in 2009. OCHA worked closely with the Government, notably the Ministry of Home Affairs, the lead ministry for emergency preparedness and response. OCHA was the lead partner in the multi-agency DDR Consortium and developed a flagship programme on emergency response. OCHA facilitated three major earthquake exercises with INSARAG and other organizations, working with Government partners, especially at the district level where 24 disaster preparedness workshops and seven contingency planning workshops were conducted. This resulted in a more effective response during the following flood season, with improved Government-led coordination mechanisms at the district level.
In the post-conflict period, OCHA’s Information Unit (IMU) provided technical capacity and support to humanitarian partners, monitoring violations of the Basic Operating Guidelines (humanitarian principles and operational space), mapping hazards, vulnerability and risk, security incidents and trends. The IMU’s output covered political and development concerns as well as humanitarian issues.
For example, OCHA produced monthly operational space, security incident and blockade maps and provided regular analysis of key trends. Maps were produced in support of emergency response, including the 2009 floods and the Acute Watery Diarrhoea outbreak.
OCHA led the development and use of the Multi-Sectoral Initial Rapid Assessment. This involved consultation with all partners and the Government, and was endorsed by the HCT and the Government. Work continued on revising the Needs Analysis Framework (NAF), to be completed in 2010. The HCT held monthly meetings with heads of agencies and NGO representatives. The HC Compact with the ERC has been formulated in consultation with the RC/HC. It is aligned closely with the RC/HC’s own strategic humanitarian objectives and the principle tenets of OCHA Nepal’s work plan. The Nepal ERF, aimed at channeling funds to NGOs, was formally established in June 2009, but did not receive additional funding. Cluster leads and partners received necessary guidelines and resources to mainstream gender in CAP project design. All new projects included in the MYR 2009 and Appeal 2010 went through a gender analysis. OCHA has clearly communicated to cluster leads and partners contributing information to provide sex- and age-disaggregated data. OCHA Nepal supported PSEA training for the UNCT and HCT.
OCHA drafted an exit strategy for Nepal that contributed to an Early Recovery Initiative (ERI) project in line with the Secretary-General’s June 2009 report on peacebuilding in the immediate aftermath of conflict. The ERI is a strategy for merging OCHA and the RCO in 2010, providing added coordination, early warning mechanisms and analytical capacity to the United Nations at central and regional levels.
As of July 2010, the OCHA Nepal Country Office will be downsized to an HSU and fully merged with the RC/HC office transitional structure. The HSU will report through OCHA ROAP. Biratnagar and Nepalgunj sub-offices will maintain a humanitarian profile, although not funded by OCHA, and will report to the Office of the Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator (ORHC).
An IMU will be established in the ORHC, maintaining many of the services and capacities of the current OCHA IMU, notably the provision of materials on humanitarian, peacebuilding and development issues.
Needs analysis framework
OCHA Nepal published a national NAF, based on the IASC-endorsed global template, to serve as an analytical basis for the HAP. The NAF was updated at the end of 2009 to inform the 2010 Humanitarian Transition Appeal. A revised NAF will be published in 2010.
The NAF provides information and data on various sectors of humanitarian action, as well as important background information on disaster risk, governance, and the economic and environmental contexts. The NAF focuses humanitarian action on marginalized and vulnerable communities based on systematic needs and vulnerability assessments at the local level. It also identifies areas where appropriate action is needed to focus on transferring skills and capacity to local partners and development actors to address long-term issues effectively and comprehensively.