Accountable Humanitarian Coordination Leaders
All HCs are supported by HCTs or HCT-type bodies, which are inclusive, effective and strategic decision-making forums.
The HC Pool, established and managed by OCHA on behalf of the IASC, was expanded. At the end of 2011, it included 39 members from 14 different UN agencies and NGOs.
- OCHA designed theHC Mentoring Programme to provide tailored and real-time support to incoming HCs. It was piloted successfully in 2011 and will be expanded in 2012 based on the positive feedback received.
In 2010, the humanitarian community faced significant criticism for its response to the Haiti earthquake and Pakistan floods. Much of the criticism focused on the perceived delays in establishing humanitarian leadership to oversee the response to respective crises.
Therefore, OCHA took significant steps in 2011 to strengthen the selection process for HCs and to provide more support for individuals chosen as HCs.This included persuading UN agencies and NGOs to nominate their best candidates for HC positions, as well as developing more responsive operational support mechanisms and more intensive capacity-building for humanitarian leaders.
Humanitarian partners have been perceived as being reluctant to put forward their best candidates for HC posts, concerned about the impact of losing key individuals. However, in 2011 this position appeared to soften. Partners realized that appointing strong HCs is an investment for the entire humanitarian system. As a result, the range, profile and caliber of candidates in the HC Pool improved. This enabled the rapid deployment of highlyqualified and respected candidates to high-profile crisis areas (e.g. Libya) and the deployment of candidates from outside the UN system to countries such asChad.
The HC appointment process was also tightened. The new HC Panel enables IASC members to consult and agree on candidates. The Inter-Agency Advisory Panel, which had little previous role in the process, now puts forward candidates. After consultations between the UNDG Chair and the ERC, the UNDG Chair makes a final recommendation to the Secretary-General.
OCHA’s HC Mentoring Programme, the first of its kind, offers comprehensive training and on-the-job support to HCs. OCHA has also arranged orientation and briefing sessions for HCs and RCs, while providing additional guidance on effective leadership in emergencies and the use of legal frameworks in humanitarian action.
At their request, HCs now have the Director of OCHA’s Coordination and Response Division (CRD) as their immediate point of contact within OCHA regarding operational matters. A CRD-created dedicated HC Support Unit will ensure monthly telephone conversations between the CRD Director and HCs, and monitor follow-up.
OCHA has also acknowledged the need to clarify and improve the role of HCTs, which are sometimes criticized as acting more as information-sharing forums than strategic, decision-making bodies. OCHA management carried out extensive field missions to look at HCTs at work and make recommendations.
Building on lessons learned from the Cluster 2 Evaluation (C2E), OCHA stepped up coordination with national authorities and inter-cluster coordination. By the end of 2011, there were several good-practice examples, including the cholera response Haiti, which successfully brought together national authorities and the health and WASH clusters.
OCHA also reviewed its performance, with technical staff visiting several key country offices, including Haiti, Afghanistan and Somalia, to assess coordination challenges and see where OCHA could work more effectively, particularly in inter-cluster coordination.
- Objective 1.1 - Member States and Regional Organizations
- Objective 1.2 - Operational Partners
- Objective 1.3 - Preparedness
- Objective 1.4 - Analysis and System-Wide Learning
- Objective 2.1 - Accountable Humanitarian Coordination Leaders
- Objective 2.2 - Scaling Up and Drawing Down Operations
- Objective 2.3 - Tools and Services
- Objective 2.4 - The Humanitarian Programme Cycle
- Objective 3.1 - Funding and Financial Management
- Objective 3.2 - Surge and Staffing Solutions
- Objective 3.3 - Organizational Learning for Results