Best Practices

Best Practices 2012

This section provides excerpts from high quality 2012 consolidated appeals. It offers examples of how to draft a good quality appeal document. 

The page structure follows the order of the consolidated appeal guidelines issued for the 2012 CAPs. It will be revised with each year of appeals. For best practices of Flash Appeals please contact Mr. Luke McCallin, Flash Appeal Coordinator, at

For any questions or further details on best practices, please contact Ms Ysabel Fougery, Policy focal point, at


Best Practices 2011

Executive Summary

The following documents excel in their situation descriptions. They are also concise and to the point. They provide well-stated strategies and plans, detailed descriptions of total funding requirements and consequences of underfunding. Some countries also provide a 'teaser', which serves as a concise and visually attractive brochure, outlining the key elements of the appeal. 

2011 in Review

Change in the context

Those two documents contain an excellent overview of the previous year's context. They include many specific factors and indicators, such as relevant political, economical and climatic issues. The root causes are clearly underlined and the evolution described in detail.

Humanitarian Achievement and Lessons Learned

This best practice was chosen for the clear and complete overview of the strategic objectives and achievements done by the clusters. It includes small tables for the strategic objectives containing mid-year indicators, targets and achievements, as well as a short analysis of the challenges.

Humanitarian funding analysis (Funding Review)

Here are two examples of comprehensive funding analysis. They include evolution over the past four years, pooled funds, CERF descriptions, details of funding received and the percentage covered.

Needs Analysis

This chapter identifies the priority needs. It should also analyse cross-cutting issues, such as gender, environment, HIV and human rights, and show the interrelations of needs across cluster/sector.

General overview and cross-sectoral analysis of needs

This best practice was chosen for its excellent overall identification of context and displacement factors, and for good representation of interrelations of needs.

Classification of the severity of needs

Priority needs should be clearly defined and include assessed indicators in separate tables per clusters. This appeal also mentions thresholds in the same tables.

Overall presentation of needs analysis

This appeal includes a clear and complete methodology, a small FEWS NET map, a picture in the text, a quality seasonal calendar and a graph containing critical events.

2011 Common Humanitarian Action Plan (CHAP)


These documents contain excellent planning of the scenarios with identified core elements, the potential triggers and the humanitarian applications. Yemen also contains two additional columns on affected people and the impact on humanitarian operations.

Strategic Objectives (SO)

The strategic objectives are thoroughly indicated and delimitated as SMART. In both of these cases they are also followed by an extra chapter on the Gender Marker.

Strategic Monitoring Plan

These documents contain a clear strategic monitoring plan including indicators, monitoring methods and methodology, as well as logical frameworks containing sectoral objectives, key indicators and response plan objectives per clusters.

Criteria for Selection and prioritization of Projects

The following documents include a good description of the selection and prioritization process. Both list the specific criteria for each process. Point to note: more than 90 per cent of the projects are often selected as top priority. This defeats the purpose of the prioritization.

Cluster/sector response plan

These documents are selected best practices for their comprehensive needs analysis. They include a risk analysis and a quick overview of the interrelations of needs in every cluster. They also have excellent cluster response plans in a table containing cluster objectives, outcomes, outputs and indicators with corresponding targets. They contain a monitoring plan, tables or maps of proposed coverage and are completed by maps and graphics.

Roles and responsibilities

Clear HCT description. It should show the structure, membership and modes of operation of every Humanitarian Country Team and its partners. The Yemen appeal also contains a useful organization chart.


Coherence/repetitiveness of Appeal Document

Specific Tips

Project summaries

Projects should:

  1. Include contact details
  2. Have acronyms spelled out
  3. Not repeat the basic information provided in volume one

Information on NGOs and/or UN Agencies

An exceptionally detailed list of all the agencies and the major NGOs involved. Include the contact person, addresses and objectives.

Basic "who does what where"

Coverage tables:

List of Needs Assessment

For Cover photos (Pictures):

Maps and Graphs

  • All maps and graphs should be easy to read in colour and black and white.
  • Please be especially cognizant of grey scales. When printed, they are often not clear.
  • Pattern variations can be used as an alternative to grey scales, e.g. stripes and dots.
  • Be sure the type is not too crowded or small, especially in keys that explain maps.



Example of how to make a document read better

This best practice has been chosen for its easy-to-read text, which is light, is laid out with appropriate spacing and includes bullet points, quotations and creative graphs:

Exemple of quotation

Exemple of creative graphs

Clear picture of coordination

Example of CAP Production schedule

Projects for cluster coordination

General: Coherence/repetitiveness of Appeal Document