About the Process

Major humanitarian crises and disasters require many aid agencies on the ground. To operate effectively, the agencies’ independence is critical. However, they also need to coordinate efforts to avoid gaps and duplication, focus on urgent needs, strategically address the crisis and work towards longer-term recovery. A common strategic approach is essential for an efficient response that builds on each organization’s strengths.

The Consolidated Appeal Process (CAP) helps to achieve this. It brings aid organizations together to jointly plan, coordinate, implement and monitor their response to natural disasters and complex emergencies. It also allows them to appeal for funds cohesively, not competitively. This means people in need can be supported in a timely, predictable and accountable way.

The CAP focuses on close cooperation among donors, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, the International Organization for Migration (IOM), United Nations agencies and host governments. A consolidated appeal document presents a snapshot of the situation and response plans. If the situation or people’s needs change, any part of an appeal can be revised at any time. More>> Our Stakeholders

A consolidated appeal comprises a common humanitarian action plan and concrete projects necessary to implement that plan. It serves as an ongoing frame of reference and detailed workplan for large-scale, sustained humanitarian action; efficient and effective life saving; and protection and promotion of livelihoods. An appeal helps bring relief to as many people as possible, as fast as possible.

Related Documents
General Assembly Resolution 46/182
CAP 2012 Guidelines
Role of the Humanitarian Coordinator in Consolidated Appeal Processes
Role of Cluster Coordinators in Consolidated Appeal Processes

Who benefits from the CAP?

People affected by disasters and emergencies benefit from the CAP. They depend on timely, predictable and effective assistance and protection. The process also improves the efficiency of humanitarian agencies: by working together, they have a greater collective impact. Publishing their projects in a CAP document also allows them to attract donors’ interest to their specific projects and to the common appeal on a global level.

Donors rely on appeals for a one-stop overview of humanitarian action, a catalogue of projects to be funded, and a unified approach that ensures their funds are spent strategically, efficiently and with greater accountability.

Who manages the CAP?

The Emergency Relief Coordinator (ERC) is responsible for the CAP at headquarters in New York. Humanitarian Country Teams conduct the field process under the Humanitarian Coordinator’s leadership. Cluster/sector lead agencies play a central part in the CAP. They are responsible for working in partnership with all organizations within their sector to assess needs, jointly agree priorities, and to develop a strategic plan that includes all projects representative of the affected country’s operational capacity.

To support these agencies, the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) established a CAP Sub-Working Group. Each month the group brings together IASC members and standing invitees to improve practices such as resource mobilization, needs analysis and prioritization, and training and workshops in the field. OCHA has a dedicated CAP team that works daily with NGOs, the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, IOM, United Nations agencies and governments.

In sum, the CAP is how aid agencies join forces to provide people in need with the best available protection and assistance, on time.

The Common Humanitarian Action Plan (CHAP)

The CHAP is the core of a consolidated appeal and outlines humanitarian action in a crisis. A CHAP includes:

  • Analysis of the context in which humanitarian action takes place
  • Planning scenarios
  • Analysis of humanitarian needs and a statement of priorities
  • Detailed response plans, including a clear division of labour among participating organizations
  • The link to longer-term objectives and goals
  • A framework for monitoring the strategy and revising it if necessary

Appeal projects

The proposed projects in an appeal serve as an itemized map of planned actions and funding needs. Taken together, they signal the overall amount that donors should collectively provide to support humanitarian action in a specific crisis. Donors may use the appeal as a catalogue to select projects to fund, or they may contribute flexibly to an agency or a pooled fund for the appeal.

Appeals are open to any suitable projects by aid organizations, such as NGOs, United Nations agencies or the National Red Cross or Red Crescent Society of the country of operation. The projects must be based on needs and strategic priorities that are feasible, jointly assessed and reasonably budgeted. An appeal must include as many relevant proposals as possible in order to state the overall funding needs — an essential advocacy point.

Cluster/sector coordinators are responsible for gathering project proposals when the appeal is in development. They also lead the peer-review process of vetting proposals for suitability. As the situation evolves, projects can be modified at any time via a new online system. Giving Gender Marker scores to each project in consolidated appeals is mandatory as of 2012.

Appeal Launches

Towards the end of each calendar year, the United Nations Secretary-General launches consolidated appeals globally (new appeals are developed as needed throughout the year). Mid-year reviews are presented to donors each July. When a new disaster is foreseen or occurs, humanitarian and other partners develop a Flash Appeal within a few days to address people’s most urgent needs in the short term. This can be followed by a consolidated appeal if the crisis persists.

How funding is contributed and tracked

Since 1992, more than 100 donor countries have provided more than US$42 billion for 330 appeals. The appeals have helped people in more than 50 countries and regions. Donors fund agencies directly in response to projects in appeals — there is no “funding through the appeal”.

In the appeals, projects specify who does what where. However, flexible funding that is not tied to a single project is preferred. For faster and more balanced funding, a pooled fund is sometimes created. Counting NGO and United Nations projects comprehensively enables the appeal to serve as a barometer of funding for appeals.

The Financial Tracking Service (FTS) is a continually updated online database (http://fts.unocha.org). It shows worldwide humanitarian funding needs, and financial and in-kind contributions for appeals and elsewhere. FTS is managed by the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).