A key pillar of the OCHA mandate is to coordinate effective and principled humanitarian action in partnership with national and international actors.

OCHA plays a key role in operational coordination in crisis situations. This includes: risk analysis and monitoring, assessing situations and needs; agreeing on common priorities; developing common strategies to address issues such as negotiating access, mobilizing funding and other resources; clarifying consistent public messaging; and monitoring progress.

OCHA supports the leadership of the Humanitarian Coordinator to ensure effective coordination, including strengthening the cluster approach, data and information management, and reporting.
OCHA also serves as the secretariat for critical inter-agency coordination mechanisms such as the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC), rapid-response tools, such as the United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination system, and the International Search and Rescue Advisory Group. OCHA promotes efficient interaction between civilian and military actors in humanitarian operations, bridges gaps in environmental emergency management, and maps global emergency relief stockpiles on behalf of the whole humanitarian community.

As part of emergency preparedness, OCHA provides tools such as contingency planning, hazard mapping and early warning reports to support national governments, regional bodies and other agencies on implementing and testing measures that help save lives in an emergency.

Coordination services in the Philippines

In the Philippines, the OCHA country office supports the Humanitarian Coordinator and the Humanitarian Country Team (HCT) and sub-national coordination forums in rolling out the IASC Emergency Response Preparedness approach, developing common awareness of the humanitarian situation through core information products and facilitate the Humanitarian Programme Cycle to deliver humanitarian assistance to disaster affected communities during emergencies.

The Government of the Philippines institutionalized the cluster coordination architecture in 2007. In October 2014, the Government of the Philippines released the National Disaster Response Plan (NDRP) for Hydro-Meteorological Hazards. OCHA supports the Department of Social Welfare and Development and the Office of Civil Defense with inter-cluster coordination while HCT members act as co-lead agencies for respective Government response clusters.

OCHA in support of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council is also working towards institutionalizing Humanitarian Civil-Military Coordination (CMCoord) within the established coordination system. A CMCoord Facilitator’s Training Guide and a series of capacity building activities have been implemented.