Objective 2.4


  • As part of the Transformative Agenda (ITA), and as chair of the Programme Cycle Steering Group, OCHA played a key role in establishing inter-agency agreements on elements of the Humanitarian Programme Cycle (HPC) and developing the associated guidance. Detailed guidance on each element is expected to be completed in early 2013. OCHA initiated the development of an HPC training package to support the field-level implementation of this guidance.
  • Ensuring appropriate information management for the HPC is a priority. In 2012, the Programme Services Branch (PSB) and the Information Services Branch collaborated on areas to strengthen Information Management (IM) capacities and systems within OCHA and the IASC. The two branches have initiated a process to map and review existing systems and processes that support the HPC. Allocating the required resources to make the required changes will remain a priority in 2013.
  • OCHA created PSB in 2012 to strengthen its support for implementing the HPC at the field level through a more coherent and holistic approach to normative guidance, training and technical support. Strengthened collaboration between sections focusing on different HPC elements has resulted in more effective HQ support, including by establishing new processes to diagnose the overall status of the HPC country by country, and to provide coordinated and focused technical support to strengthen the cycle.

Year In Review

A well-coordinated and managed HPC is the basis of OCHA’s work at the country level. In 2012, through the ITA, the humanitarian community committed to strengthening the application of the HPC in Level 3 emergencies and non-L3 emergencies. To develop the normative guidance relating to the HPC, OCHA chaired the Programme Cycle Steering Group. This completed the overall HPC guidance in November 2012 and is overseeing the work to develop individual reference modules for each element of the cycle by early 2013. Progress has been accompanied by two validation missions to Chad and South Sudan, with field implementation continuing to be the focus in 2013.

The creation of PSB has consolidated much of OCHA’s work on the different elements of the programme cycle into one branch. This allows for a more coherent and seamless approach to helping the field implement the HPC. The new branch brought together the key elements of the cycle already existing in different parts of the organization – preparedness, needs assessment and analysis, strategic planning and monitoring, resource mobilization, and the coordination mechanisms that underpin the cycle. Since PSB’s creation, attention has focused on reinforcing links between the different elements of the cycle, as well as strengthening interaction and coordination with relevant OCHA branches. This has had a positive effect in creating new processes to collaboratively diagnose the status of the HPC at country level, and to better focus and coordinate OCHA’s support around the HPC.

The individual elements of the cycle were also strengthened in 2012. The adaption and implementation of the MIRA approach and other relevant elements of the coordinated assessment package has taken place in Yemen, Pakistan, Chad and South Sudan. Trainings, workshops and orientations were conducted in 14 countries and regional offices, reaching more than 500 international and national actors. In 2013, attention will focus on developing guidance to support harmonized needs assessments and analysis to strengthen the evidence base for strategic planning. Similarly, re-focused approaches in Afghanistan and other country operations have led to a simplified consolidated appeal process, with a strengthened strategic planning component separate from resource mobilization. Preliminary results from a review of the strategic qualities[1] of 2011 and 2012 CAPs have fed into the revised CAP guidance for 2013. A similar review of 2013 CAPs will inform the next revision. Under the leadership of the Programme Cycle Steering Group, a strategic-level monitoring framework is in the final stages of development and is expected to be field tested in early 2013.

To translate these developments into field realities, OCHA needs to reinforce its support to OCHA field offices and partners to implement the HPC. In addition to providing appropriate HQ technical support, both remotely and through coordinated missions, OCHA and IASC staff must be trained on managing the cycle and on implementing its individual elements. The development of an HPC training package, which was initiated in the second half of 2012, will need to be finalized and rolled out to target audiences in the field. 

Effective IM is central to the interconnectedness of the HPC. 2012 saw advances in some of these key areas. First, launched in 2012, the humanitarianresponse.info web platform enables the sharing of operational information among humanitarian actors. Ten OCHA country offices launched HR.info sites, with a further 10 planned in 2013. Secondly, the development and piloting of the Common Request Format (CRF) is streamlining field-level information gathering and management by simplifying the requesting and sharing of information with clusters. Once fully implemented, the CRF will link with the Humanitarian Dashboard, the situation report and operational presence. Finally, to strengthen and ensure the appropriateness of the IM tools that underpin the HPC, a review of existing IM systems is in progress. The mapping and final recommendations are yet to be completed, but a fundamental principle is to define data standards that OCHA should apply more consistently across the different HPC systems. Reviewing and adapting the existing tools to current realities will require continued focus and resources in 2013.

The fourth annual Pooled Fund Management Workshop, held in 2012, brought together OCHA headquarters and field representatives involved in country-based pooled funds (CHF and ERF), including fund managers and UNDP as the CHF administrative agents. Outcomes included the finalization of the Global ERF Guidelines, which was endorsed and implemented as normative standards of ERF management for OCHA country offices in the fourth quarter. The workshop initiated the development of the Global CHF Guidelines and the implementation of country-specific plans within the CHF Monitoring and Reporting (M&R) framework. All CHF teams recognized the need to hire specialized M&R staff. By the end of the year, all CHFs but one had M&R dedicated staff within the Humanitarian Financing Units. The Global ERF Evaluation was concluded and culminated in 15 recommendations. Four were considered critical for OCHA, including the issue of the mechanisms being “fit for purpose”. The evaluation will feed into the revision of the Global ERF Guidelines for improvement in the management of the funds. The Syria ERF was created during this period to address critical humanitarian needs arising from the conflict. For systematic and high-quality reporting to stakeholders, standard products and tools were developed including a dedicated pooled funds page on the Financial Tracking Service (FTS), public information products (funding updates and info graphics) and the issuance of ERF and CHF annual reports.

The Gender Marker is now fully integrated into the CAP and Global ERF Guidelines, with gender-sensitive programming implemented across all funds. OCHA supported the implementation of the Gender Marker in 16 CAPs and five pooled funds during the 2013 CAP season, both through GenCAP advisory support (10 countries) and remote support (six countries). To strengthen implementation and address remaining concerns in 2013, the Gender Marker and gender-equality programming should be clearly standardized within the CAP guidelines, needs assessment, CHAP and cluster response plans, while the CAP timeline should include a dedicated window for Gender Marker project review.

[1] All CAPs were assessed along four criteria: (1) depth of situational and needs analysis, (2) quality and logic of planning processes according to SMART, (3) coherence between strategy and cluster/sector response plans, and (4) monitoring frameworks and reporting tools of the response plan.


Progress against Performance Framework
RESULT 1 Better-coordinated assessment and prioritization clearly reflected in the development and funding of strategic humanitarian plans.
1. Number and proportion of appeals informed by needs identified through a coordinated assessment process.

Coordinated assessment processes are not well established in most countries. Few appeals are systematically informed by coordinated assessments.


75 per cent of appeals (flash and CAPs) informed by coordinated assessments. 100 per cent of new emergencies demonstrate joint assessments, planning and fundraising.

EXPANDED: New agreements on needs assessment, prioritization and monitoring requirements are integrated into CAP guidance by end August.

a) Elements of a coordinated assessment approach are being implemented across all emergencies. However, the extent of each varies considerably. A number of countries have an established assessment coordination forum, including Sudan, Kenya, Pakistan and Yemen. The review of secondary data and production of preliminary scenario definitions has taken place in several countries, including the Philippines, Guatemala and Mali, and a Humanitarian Dashboard is produced in 23 countries. The adaption and implementation of the MIRA approach has reached an advanced level of sophistication in Yemen, Pakistan, Chad and South Sudan.


b) OCHA developed and disseminated guidance on coordinated needs analysis in August 2012 for the 2013 CAPs, and published the CAPs in November and December. All 2013 CAPs are informed by needs identified through a coordinated assessment process.  CAPs now include assessment registries and the Humanitarian Dashboard. Interviews with OCHA field offices indicate that an analysis of assessment information is a part of every CAP planning process. A task for 2013 will be to codify the necessary minimum requirements for each CAP regarding needs assessments. 


100 per cent of appeals (flash and CAPs) informed by coordinated assessments.

2. Percentage of CAPs prioritized in a way that is useful for donors and pooled funds.

Only one CAP is sufficiently rigorous in its prioritization of projects (in that less than 50 per cent of the appeal by dollar amount is awarded the top-priority rating).


Twenty per cent of CAPs are sufficiently rigorous (awarding less than 50 per cent of the appeal by dollar amount the top-priority rating. The prioritization is applied with a strong conceptual and practical basis and is updated as needed throughout the year).  


a) OCHA conceived a better prioritization method and disseminated it in the 2012 CAP guidelines. In these guidelines, the IASC recommended that organizations aggregate projects as much as feasible, e.g. one project per organization, per cluster, as a rule of thumb to avoid burdensome earmarking and heavy information management caused by many small projects. 

b) This aggregation interfered with a meaningful prioritization of projects, because the more a project is aggregated, the more likely it is to encompass actions of different priority. Partly for this reason, most HCTs gave well over 75 per cent of their CAP projects (by dollar amount) the top-priority rating. This is of limited use as a guide to donors. 
c) For 2013, the new guidance advised that each cluster should specify a limited list of top-priority caseloads, locations and activities. The confluences of these three—the top-priority actions for the top-priority people in the top-priority locations—forms the cluster’s top priorities. Projects in line with those receive the top-priority rating (even if they also do some other things). Signalling which projects address these top priorities is useful as a guide to donors and can be recorded on OPS. 
d) Normally, for each cluster the top-priority actions will include those that mitigate or avert direct, imminent and serious physical harm or threats.
e) In the ensuing 2013 CAPs, however, only few clusters followed the new method. By this new method, three (21 per cent) out of the 14 CAPs for 2013 published in 2012  were sufficiently rigorous per the standard cited above. The Mali HCT did a prioritization exercise in March 2013, which yielded a desirably rigorous result, making the total four out of 14 (29 per cent).
f) For 2013 and 2014, after analysis of the results yielded by the improved methodology, it will be better explained in guidance and training materials and accompanied by best practices, so that HCTs that did not use it can see the advantages of proceeding this way.

50 per cent of CAPs are sufficiently rigorous.

3. Multi-sectoral information on humanitarian needs is systematically analysed and tracked in humanitarian operations (MIRA and Humanitarian Dashboard).

All 2012 CAPs are on target to have inter-sectoral Humanitarian Dashboard pages. Five country offices have sectoral pages. The MIRA is not yet operationalized.


ACCELERATED: Data preparedness for operational baseline data (CODs) availability to support multi-sectoral analysis; currently 72 per cent completed for OCHA-prioritized countries (per the Global Focus Model), with a projection of 90 per cent completed by June.


The MIRA and Dashboard (as relevant for each context) are used to support data consolidation and analysis in 50 per cent of all emergency settings.


a) Humanitarian Dashboards are being maintained and updated at least twice a year for all CAP countries (plus in Pakistan and Syria). Some countries have implemented an inter-agency process around the dashboard production, but the dashboard’s intended purpose to inform and improve sector and cross-sectoral analysis is still limited. As a consequence, analysis across dashboards tends to be weak and there is a risk of it turning into a simple OCHA-owned factsheet. The MIRA has not been systematically used in all new emergencies due to access constraints impeding humanitarian actors’ ability to undertake assessments.


b) There are examples of where the OCHA country office used the MIRA in response to a sudden-onset emergency. These examples include the Philippines, Guatemala (with UNDAC) and Pakistan. 


c) Globally, OCHA has 83 per cent of CODs available for the 32 prioritized countries (highest risk GFM 25, plus seven countries of high concern) through the online COD registry managed by the Information Services Branch, up from 23 per cent at end of 2012. The focus is now on increasing quality in these critical datasets. This is a remarkable achievement by IMOs in country offices.


The MIRA and Dashboard (as relevant for each context) support data consolidation and analysis in 100 per cent of all emergency settings.

4. OCHA-managed pooled-fund grants follow the CAP priority ratings.

Mapping of existing prioritization practices has been conducted. The current state of pooled fund actions vis-à-vis CAP project prioritization is difficult to assess, because most CAPs award 90 per cent of their projects the top-priority rating. Therefore, pooled funds inevitably mostly support the top-priority projects. In the one CAP that has rigorous prioritization, the Common Humanitarian Fund (CHF) directed only 36 per cent of its 2011 grants to projects in the highest-priority category.


An enhanced tool for prioritization developed with CAP, CERF, FCS and other relevant sections, and in full consultation with external partners. Contingent on achievement of Indicator 2, 75 per cent of CHF grants and CERF grants should go to projects rated top priority in the CAP.


a) Each fund has a methodology for prioritization with criteria tailored to the specifics of the funds, objectives and country context. Every ERF and CHF uses coordination structures in country (clusters/sectors, field offices) to ensure up-to-date needs analysis and prioritization. If the timing of the CERF allocations allow, the prioritization exercise used for CHF is normally referred to the prioritization of CERF projects. When possible, UN projects prioritized with the CHF allocation process are reoriented towards the CERF.


b) In 2012, 90 per cent of all CERF underfunded emergency (UFE) grants went to CAP projects with the highest priority ranking. An analysis of 2012 CAPs shows that in 2012, 83 per cent of all appealed CAP funding were from projects in the highest-priority category and only two CAPs out of 20 had less than 50 per cent of funds linked to the highest-priority projects. One additional CAP was close to the 50 per cent target with 51 per cent of appealed funds in the highest category. This represents an improvement over 2011, where only one CAP had less than 50 per cent of its appealed funds linked to the highest priority activities


c) Throughout 2012, CERF has worked towards strengthening prioritization of CERF funds. As part of this, a new mandatory element was introduced to the CERF UFE process in 2012. This new step requires RC/HCs, in consultation with their country teams and other country-level partners, to prepare and submit an initial one to two page prioritization strategy to the CERF secretariat before developing full CERF submissions. This allows CERF to examine and provide feedback to the prioritization strategy in the early stages of the process before activities have been selected and projects proposals developed. It also gives CERF an opportunity to provide timely advice to RC/HCs on the overall direction and content of a submission. The approach has also been piloted for selected Rapid Response (RR) submissions on a case-by-case basis. As opposed to the UFE process, which is planned and scheduled in advance, the RR process is typically ad hoc, unpredictable and time critical, which means that it may not allow for inclusion of the additional prioritization step. 


d) In 2012, some 83 per cent of all CHF funding was allocated to the highest-prioritized projects in the CAP. Prioritization in the context of the CHF is based on a consultative process led by cluster coordinators on the basis of the allocation strategy endorsed by the Humanitarian Coordinator for each allocation. Those consultations take stock of the strategic planning exercise done through the CAP. Within the CHF Guidelines review, the opportunity to standardize prioritization tools will be explored and discussed with fund managers.


e) CERF plans to finalize a draft prioritization guidance document towards the end of the first quarter of 2013. This document will consolidate existing prioritization guidance and tools, and it will build on good practices from CERF, CAPs and country-based pooled funds.


Agreed standard prioritization tool implemented in all CHF countries. Ninety per cent of CHF and CERF grants go to projects rated as top priority in the CAP.

5. Improved standardization and guidance on needs assessment, strategic appeals and financing. (NEW)

Despite inter-agency agreement on the programme cycle concept, endorsement of key guidance is still lacking and mechanisms for roll-out are incomplete.


ACCELERATED: MIRA manual is disseminated from April. 


ACCELERATED: Ten cluster members are trained in MIRA by April and another 30 in a field-level simulation by June. Seven targeted support missions on needs assessment provided to six countries by May.


ACCELERATED: Procedures adopted for initial rapid strategy development within the first 72 hours of an emergency.  


NEW: Guidance on use of CERF and pooled funds in Level 3 is completed in March.


NEW: Policy on Commitment on Accountability to Affected Peoples (CAAP) is developed by December, identifying OCHA roles and responsibilities, ensuring consultation and communication with affected peoples in all components of programme cycle.


a) OCHA has facilitated a lessons-learned exercise to review progress on the implementation of the Coordinated Assessments Operational Guidance and MIRA, and is revising the MIRA based on this input. In addition, OCHA is working on guidance to support the harmonization of assessments. Trainings and orientations have been conducted in more than 11 countries and regional offices, and more than 500 international and national actors have been reached. More than 60 cluster members have been trained to undertake a MIRA in two trainings in Cairo and Dakar. 


b) OCHA has worked with the IASC as part of the Programme Cycle Steering Group to codify the development of a strategic statement in the first 72 hours of an emergency. The detailed reference module on strategic planning is expected to be finalized in early 2013. 


c) Guidance on use of CERF and country-based pooled funds in Level 3 was completed in March. The Emergency Response Funds (ERF) Global Guidelines were signed into effect on 9 October 2012 to streamline their operation and management, and their implementation has commenced. The guidelines help OCHA to promote greater transparency and accountability, ensure that ERFs effectively deliver their global and country-specific mandates and improve risk management practices. 


d) In 2012, OCHA created an OCHA Accountability to Affected People (AAP) Working Group, which brought together different parts of OCHA to discuss AAP concepts and strategies. OCHA also conducted internal and external consultations to ascertain the levels of awareness, interest and knowledge on AAP issues; increased OCHA’s profile in AAP by being an active member in the IASC Taskforce on AAP; provided practical support to country offices by commenting on AAP plans, actively supporting Protection from Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (PSEA) efforts and development of better communications with communities; conducted briefings for staff at HQ and field; facilitated OCHA’s first AAP workshop to help identify strategic and practical AAP actions for different sections; and held discussions on AAP with heads of offices to gain support for field-based AAP activities in 2013.


NEW: Finalization and dissemination of HPC reference modules on each element of the programme cycle, as part of the work of the Programme Cycle Steering Group.


NEW: Finalization and dissemination of guidance on OCHA’s role and responsibilities around the HPC.


NEW: Finalization of e-guidance for strengthening complementarity and harmonization between CERF and country-based pooled funds (CBPF).


NEW: Review and update its guidance for field staff on CERF rapid response and underfunded application processes.

RESULT 2 The RC/HC, cluster coordinators and partners rely on fully predictable and systematic OCHA coordination of, and support for, each element of the common humanitarian programme cycle, reinforcing their inter-connections.
1. OCHA builds the capacity of its humanitarian affairs officers and information management officers (IMOs) in the field to coordinate and support the elements of the programme cycle.

Workplans for pooled-fund managers in place, as are guidelines on the role of OCHA country and regional offices in the development, review and management of CERF grant requests. Many HAOs managing pooled funds have had commensurate training. Workplans are not yet developed for HAOs who focus on coordinating needs assessments, or on joint planning and monitoring (some have received training). Some IMOs have been trained on informational support to programme-cycle elements.


Generic workplans reflecting each element of PCM to guide HAOs focusing on PCM, completed and disseminated to country offices. Fifty per cent of HAOs and IMOs involved in PCM receive necessary training and coaching.


NEW: HC/HCTs trained and mentored on strategic framework in nine countries, commencing in May. Package of programme cycle guidance (needs assessment, strategies, monitoring) streamlined and rolled out to HCTs by August. Review of 2011 and 2012 appeals to rate their strategic qualities will be finalized; results analyzed and lessons learned applied in 2013 CAP development. HCTs supported in use of new monitoring framework.


NEW: Two product development “sprints” with field participation, as a means of accelerating the conceptualization, design and development of information management tools to support the programme cycle (Humanitarian Response, CRF).


ACCELERATED: Two joint ISS/ACE trainings by June to improve information management knowledge and skills in support of HPC, including needs assessment. A third by December.


a) To guide staff on the work to support the implementation of the HPC, a draft paper on OCHA’s roles and responsibilities around the HPC was prepared. The paper is expected to be finalized and shared with relevant staff in early 2013.


b) The HPC guidance was finalized in November 2012 as part of the Transformative Agenda by the Programme Cycle Steering Group. More detailed reference modules on each element of the cycle will be finalized in early 2013. The HPC paper has been disseminated to the field, and forms the basis on which OCHA is developing its training package on the HPC for OCHA and eventually inter-agency audiences, planned for roll out by mid-2013. The training will offer heads of offices and deputy heads of offices (initially) a holistic training on the HPC as a whole, with elements on needs assessment and analysis, strategic planning and monitoring, and coordination mechanisms. The package is expected to be rolled out to at least two OCHA regional offices by the end of 2013.


c) A review of the strategic qualities of the 2011 and 2012 CAP was undertaken, with the results fed into the 2013 CAP guidelines. A further review of the 2013 CAPs will be undertaken during 2013 to inform a finalized analysis, in turn feeding into the next revision of the guidelines. 


d) Training on the different elements of the HPC was also conducted in 2012, including the application for and the management of pooled funds. The CERF secretariat undertook six regional trainings (Panama, Dakar, Nairobi, Johannesburg, Cairo and Bangkok) in which 56 OCHA staff (out of 222 participants) from regional and country offices participated. The Panama and Johannesburg training combined CERF and Flash Appeal training. During the fourth annual Global Pooled Fund Management Workshop, the CAP section held a session on Programme Cycle Management. To strengthen the links between IM and needs assessment, three joint trainings were conducted in Kenya, Panama and Bangkok, reaching a total of 96 OCHA staff.


e) Two successful week-long development sessions conducted related to Common Request Format (CRF) and Humanitarian Response (HR). The CRF development sprint produced a prototype that was formalized in 2012 to streamline information gathering and sharing with cluster lead agencies and OCHA in field operations. OCHA developed a clickable demo by Q2, with a web-enabled version that underwent technical testing in Colombia, Q4 2012. The HR development sprint produced the first version (Alpha) of the Humanitarian Response site, which is undergoing field testing for wider roll out in the final quarters of 2012.


f) Humanitarian Response (HR.info) was initiated in February 2012, with 10 sites operational by the end of the year. This platform for sharing information between clusters and providing IM tools to OCHA field offices had a soft launch in September 2012. It includes the global site, HR.info, which is fully “mobile responsive” and available in English, French and Russian. Six OCHA field offices joined the development, some of which participated in two development sprints focused on the accelerated development of HR.info and CRF.


Ninety per cent (cumulatively) of HAOs and IMOs involved in the HPC receive necessary training and coaching.  

2. OCHA heads of office draw on integrated guidance through headquarters cell for thematic operational support.

No such coherent integrated thematic support offered from OCHA headquarters.


Headquarters cell supports telephone conferences and appropriate follow-up for 50 per cent of OCHA priority country offices with major crises.


Two interlinked processes have been established to strengthen HQ support to the field around the HPC:


1) Institutionalized meetings with OCHA heads of RO and COs (as well as RC/HCs) visiting Geneva addressing issues around the HPC as a whole. In 2012, six meetings were held. 


2) Regular diagnoses of the status of the HPC in country between technical sections and operational support sections at HQ to plan, coordinate and undertake joint missions to provide technical support and training. 


Headquarters cell supports telephone conferences and appropriate follow up for 100 per cent of OCHA country offices with major crises.

3. Cluster coordinators and cluster member organizations fully utilize “enhanced geographical fields” on OPS to achieve more efficient joint plans.

OCHA HAOs and IMOs are supporting cluster coordinators and members to pilot the use of the enhanced geographical fields in developing the 2012 CAPs.


Clusters in 75 per cent of CAPs demonstrate that their planned projects will cover the needs optimally (demonstrating a one-to-one relationship with assessed needs, eliminating overlaps and minimizing gaps, and usable as a framework for monitoring).


The target was met: in most of the 2013 CAPs, clusters and cluster members mapped their planned actions in enough detail with OPS’ enhanced geographical fields to allow coordinated implementation planning, and efficiency gains from eliminating overlaps in advance. The exceptions are significant, however, such as the Health Cluster in Mali. OCHA will follow up to encourage them to record the missing information in the first half of 2013.


All clusters in all CAPs demonstrate that their planned projects will cover the needs optimally.

4. OCHA creates/adapts and applies an inter-connected IM system that carries a train of humanitarian data for each crisis through the stages of the programme cycle: needs assessment, joint planning, resource allocation and tracking, and monitoring.

Some elements of such a system exist and need to be revamped, adapted and connected (3W, CERF grant-management system, FTS, OPS). Other elements are yet to be developed (field pooled-fund grant-management databases, needs database, adding project monitoring module to OPS). CERF has implemented the first two phases of its new grant-management system.


a) Needs assessment database developed.


b) OPS project monitoring module developed.


c) Database for ERF monitoring and reporting developed.


d) Common standards for sharing data along the HPC agreed, with early adoption of needs assessment standards (the MIRA being especially valuable in supporting CERF). BETA platform developed and provided online; technical inter-operability in place for the various systems representing elements of the programme cycle.


e) CERF will have fully implemented a comprehensive grant-management system, including an enhanced CERF grant database with improved reporting capabilities.


ACCELERATED: One cluster (as pilot) integrating common language (HXL) to facilitating automatic information sharing into their processes.


NEW: Development of common approach for information gathering from clusters is in development (Common Request Format) to be agreed with agencies by June and field tested in one country by September.


ACCELERATED: Review of refined HIC approach by May.


ACCELERATED: Humanitarian Response site is piloted in two countries by June and in 10 countries by December.


ACCELERATED: CAP project monitoring system is developed and rolled out.


(a) OCHA submitted a project proposal to USAID to develop the Kobo Toolkit project, in collaboration with Harvard Humanitarian Initiative and the International Rescue Committee. The data collection and analysis tool will help the humanitarian community to rapidly collect, compile, analyse and share accurate and comparable data in emergency settings. Work on the project is estimated to start in early 2013. 


(b) OCHA piloted an enhancement of the Online Planning/Projects System, in which the OPS database recorded strategic and cluster objectives, and then allowed participating organizations to link their draft projects to specific cluster objectives, which in turn link to strategic objectives. This “log frame” treatment situated coordinated project planning in the planning hierarchy from strategic to detailed, and in the future will allow better strategic management.


(c) The ICT Committee approved the project proposal to develop a project cycle management tool (Arigatool) for country-based pooled funds on 7 September 2012. The business and high-level requirements were completed in Q3 of 2012, as well as an initial scoping of software providers that could develop the system. As part of this scoping exercise, the possibility to embed this project within the broader UMOJA initiative, closely with CERF, is being explored. While Arigatool is developed, OCHA started developing an interim tracking solution using SharePoint to systematize the data exchange between fund managers of ERFs, the Somalia CHF and the ASB PFU in Geneva. The tool will track key steps of the project cycle, such as the clearance of MoUs, disbursements, financial reporting, auditing and closure of projects. It is expected to be launched in mid-February 2013, while FCS will continue to engage with the UMOJA team, CERF and ISS to develop Arigatool in 2013.


(d) To improve the open sharing of information among humanitarian actors, ISB developed the concept and coding for the Humanitarian Exchange Language (HXL) in 2012. A prototype system was developed and demonstrates a mechanism for operational data flow from implementing partners through open-data publishing to real-time decision support data display. HXL was developed with voluntary specialists’ support through four hackathons around the world. The Common Request Format concept was formalized in 2012 to streamline information gathering and sharing with cluster lead agencies and OCHA in field operations, with a field pilot planned in South Sudan Q1 2013. HR.info was initiated in February 2012, in all with 10 sites operational by the end of the year. Six OCHA field offices joined ISB in development, some of which participated in two development sprints focused on the accelerated development of HR.info and CRF.


(e) Work on the CERF Grant Management System (GMS) continued in the second half of 2012, and deliverables have included implementation of advanced reporting facilities, timeliness statistics, data migration scripts (for migration of grants data from the existing to the new CERF database), integration between the GMS and FTS, links to the CERF website and improvements to the work-flow system and the database interface. Performance issues related primarily to the backend (AgilePoint and SharePoint) have meant that CERF postponed full roll-out until early 2013. However, development of system components continued throughout the period. 

(a) ISB initiated a Humanitarian Information Centre (HIC) review to evaluate the feasibility and costs of re-establishing HIC operations in crisis environments. A detailed report outlining OCHA’s ability to implement a HIC under current conditions. The plan for an updated HIC approach is due to be completed in Q1 2013.

Linking systems and databases and moving consistent data on needs, response and results through the stages of the programme cycle.  Implement the ERF standard database and monitoring framework. Grant-management databases for ERFs and CHFs developed. Development of standards for data sharing across programme cycle components, with an agreed governance structure in place and functioning.

RESULT 3 OCHA country offices better support RC/HCs to report on the performance of the humanitarian system in delivering planned results.
1. Information provided by cluster coordinators per an agreed data collection plan is compiled into real-time situation and performance monitoring at output and outcome levels.

Real-time monitoring and reporting is irregular and infrequent at outcome level, but about 75 per cent of country offices receive and compile comprehensive cluster information on outputs (but still infrequently—most of those only publish output information twice a year, in the CAP and CAP mid-year review documents). Some of the IASC-agreed standard indicators are being introduced into the 2012 CAPs. More widespread use of these would promise monitoring on the basis of comparability among crises, which may lead to more strategic and focused response plans and appeals.


Fifty per cent of crises publish comprehensive real-time monitoring information on outputs and outcomes (subject to cluster leads’ provision of information).


NEW: Initial monitoring and reporting framework developed for Level 3 emergencies by July; full monitoring framework by September.


NEW: Real Time Evaluation (RTE) guidance revised by April; long-term RTE procurement agreements secured for faster deployment by December.


a) In the 16 new CAPS for 2013 published in 2012 (following the revamped CAP guidelines for 2013), nearly all contained monitoring information on outputs by most clusters. About half also exhibited outcome-level monitoring.


b) As part of the Transformative Agenda, the Programme Cycle Steering Group has overseen the development of a strategic-level monitoring framework for Level 3 and non-Level 3 emergencies, due to be finalized and field tested in early 2013. 


c) The original work on the Pillar 3 strategic systems concept had included provisions for an automatic Real-Time Evaluation (RTE) to be undertaken during the first three months of all “L3” system-wide response. However, in August 2012 the IASC Principals decided to replace the formal requirement for RTEs with Real-Time Operational Reviews (RTORs). RTORs will be partly based on the RTE concept, but will place greater emphasis on the validity of the strategic response plan and how the system is performing against agreed targets. RTORs will be conducted in all L3 responses. At the HC/HCT’s request, HQ support can be provided to the RTOR. The development of the RTOR concept and a joint evaluation in the programme cycle is being led by the Programme Cycle Steering Group. 


d) To ensure timely and predictable capacity for conducting inter-agency and internal evaluations, OCHA is establishing long-term agreements with evaluation companies. The bid evaluations and contract request were submitted to the UN Procurement Department in January, and agreements are expected to be in place by Q2 2013.  


Seventy-five per cent of crises publish comprehensive, real-time monitoring information on outputs and outcomes. 

2. Each project selected for a CAP and/or funded by an OCHA-managed pooled fund is coded using the Gender Marker to ensure that projects address gender equality, and that donors are permitted to make funding choices based on the project's Gender Marker code.

Gender Marker rolled out in nine CAPs and five pooled funds. A total of 7.2 per cent of CAP projects coded as 2b.


Gender Marker used in all CAPs in 2012. Analysis of coding measures; up to 10 per cent of CAP projects coded as 2b. 


a) The Gender Marker was successfully applied in 16 CAPs and five pooled funds during the 2013 CAP season. GenCap advisers provided direct support in 10 countries during the 2013 CAP season and provided remote support to the remaining six countries. The Gender Marker and gender-equality programming need to be clearly standardized within the CAP guidelines, needs assessments, CHAPs and cluster response plans. The CAP timeline should include a dedicated window for Gender Marker project review. These steps would address many key concerns that have been consistently raised in the years since the launching of the Gender Marker.


b) Increasing awareness of the importance of sex- and age-disaggregated data (SADD) More collection of and reference to SADD is apparent in 2013 CAP project sheets. However, more practical guidance is needed in terms of why SADD should be collected, and how SADD should and could be used. A practical component on the role of SADD in identifying and understanding the different needs of women, men, boys and girls needs to be included in the gender-equality programming training package, and should be clearly linked to application of the Gender Marker.


c) While global data suggests minimal change in gender mainstreaming performance overall, country- and cluster-specific data for 2013 provides more detailed insight in analysing global performance related to gender mainstreaming. The top six country performances exceeded the global average of 2a/2b projects. Project teams in Sudan and the Republic of South Sudan performed particularly well, with their percentage of 2a/2b projects exceeding the global average (45 per cent) by more than 25 per cent.


2013 Performance by Country

Code 2a

Code 2b








Republic of South Sudan





Occupied Palestinian Territory



























The Gender Marker is used in all CHF projects, as they are included in the CAP. It was introduced in the standardized ERF project proposal and project appraisal templates in April 2012, therefore ensuring the homogenous implementation of the Gender Marker across all funds. The standardized ERF Global Guidelines contain a section on the Gender Marker.


The new CERF grants database captures Gender Markers in CERF proposals linked to CAP projects. The CERF Grant Management System will extract Gender Marker information from FTS/OPS for CERF-funded CAP projects and thereby facilitate automatic tracking, analysis and reporting on such data. In addition, OCHA will meet with the global GenCap focal point in early 2013 to discuss how to improve gender considerations (hereunder gender marking) in pooled fund allocations, especially for those projects that have not undergone a formal gender rating through the CAP process.  


Full use of Gender Marker in all CAPs and all pooled funds. Increase to 12 per cent the number of CAP project coding 2b, significantly addressing gender equality (long-term aim to reach 15 per cent by 2015). Monitoring use of Gender Marker throughout project implementation incorporated into system-wide monitoring schemes.

3. OCHA-managed pooled funds use standard monitoring frameworks that are consistent with the wider CAP monitoring framework.

Consultations with relevant stakeholders conducted. Initial framework concept developed for country-based pooled funds. In 2010, CERF developed and implemented a Performance and Accountability Framework (PAF) that defines accountability and performance mechanisms for CERF, including reporting and monitoring requirements.   


Monitoring and reporting framework for CHFs finalized, and implementation plan defined in consultation with OCHA country offices, relevant OCHA sections and stakeholders. ERF monitoring and reporting framework developed. Grant-management databases for ERFs and CHFs developed. CERF PAF review, initiated in 2011, leads to necessary adjustments and improvements, including on CERF reporting and monitoring framework.


a) In December 2012, CERF introduced further improvements to the reporting format of the annual narrative reporting by RC/HCs. The improvements are based on lessons learned from the 2012 reporting process and will provide CERF with higher-quality narrative reports from RC/HCs and recipient agencies. The new format will be used for all reports submitted in March 2013 covering 2012 CERF grants. CERF has worked closely with UN agencies’ evaluation sections in 2012 to explore ways of tapping into existing agency evaluation activities. As a result, one agency initiated a review in 2012 of their use of CERF funds, which will be concluded in January 2013. Two agencies indicated that they will launch similar evaluations in 2013 (FAO conducted the first CERF evaluation in 2010). In 2012, one agency piloted the inclusion of CERF-specific questions in one of its regular internal evaluations. CERF will continue to engage with agencies on these issues in 2013 to build on the momentum achieved in 2012. To ensure that CERF monitoring and reporting processes build on, support and benefit from system-wide monitoring initiatives, CERF will continue to engage with the work on monitoring frameworks undertaken as part of the IASC Transformative Agenda, and roll out CHF and ERF monitoring and reporting frameworks. An external expert was recruited in December to review the CERF PAF, which was developed in 2010. The review will be concluded in the first quarter of 2013 and recommendations acted upon during 2013. 


b) The CHF global monitoring and reporting framework, endorsed in March 2012, has been progressively implemented at the field level. All CHFs have adapted the framework to the specific context of the humanitarian operation in each country. Cluster lead agencies have been consulted throughout this process so as to find a common understanding of the most appropriate way implement the framework. The five CHFs have taken different steps to establish the structures necessary to deliver on the implementation strategies that were presented in July 2012. The actions taken since then have been concerned with three activities: 1) recruitment of staff to support implementation, 2) stock-taking exercises of existing monitoring and evaluation methodologies and tools, and 3) development of operational guidelines and specific monitoring tools. OCHA has recruited specialized monitoring and reporting staff for the CHF teams in DRC, Somalia, South Sudan and Sudan. There are plans to increase staffing in CAR. The recruitment of these positions has been a top priority given OCHA’s central position in developing the framework with clusters. Additional recruitments have been initiated in cases where field monitoring is conducted by UNVs (South Sudan).The Global CHF monitoring and reporting framework will be evaluated as part of the Global CHF Evaluation, which will be initiated in Q4 2013. 


c) The development of the ERF monitoring and reporting framework initiated in Q3 of 2012 through an online consultation (survey) to assess the current practice, and to profile the monitoring and reporting capacities that need to be implemented. The results were completed by Q4 of 2012, and an outline of the structure of the ERF monitoring framework and a workplan for its development and implementation have been established. The ERF monitoring and reporting framework will be rolled out in Q2 of 2013. 


Develop a PAF for country-based pooled funds. Operationalize ERF database and monitoring framework. ERF grant-management database and monitoring framework implemented. Identified improvements from the CERF PAF review are fully implemented.

4. OCHA country offices in pilot countries produce an annual multi-sectoral strategic review and/or impact study of collective humanitarian action in that crisis, focusing on impact and evaluating the quality of the humanitarian strategy.

No such review, impact studies or evaluations. OCHA country offices have limited capacities to commission and manage heavy inter-agency evaluation processes. At the global level, OCHA has conducted broad-based consultations for a methodology for assessing the joint impact of humanitarian interventions at the level of affected people. The results can inform the development of some pilot impact studies.


One pilot inter-cluster crisis-wide review or impact study in a CAP country with a country-based pooled fund. 


No progress in 2012, but with the strategic-level monitoring framework being finalized and rolled out in 2013, it is hoped this will be an area of focus in 2013. 


Two additional inter-cluster or crisis-wide reviews or impact studies in CAP countries with a country-based pooled fund.