An agenda for change
Around the world, humanitarian disasters are becoming larger and more frequent, affecting more people and proving increasingly difficult to manage.
For example, 328 natural disasters were recorded in 2009. In 2010, that figure rose to 373 natural disasters, more than one per day. Nearly 297,000 people were killed.In 2011, OCHA coordinated humanitarian relief for 56 million affected people, nearly double the number three years ago. The financial costs incurred in dealing with these disasters are also rising. There was a time when a billion-dollar appeal was unimaginable. Today, it has become more common. The humanitarian appeal for Sudan in 2011 is $1.1 billion. The Somalia appeal also stands at just over $1 billion. For the Horn of Africa crisis as a whole, humanitarian organizations have asked for $2.4 billion. Last year, the Haiti and Pakistan crises also topped the billion-dollar mark.
Two years into its four-year plan, OCHA’s Strategic Framework for 2010-2013 remains at the centre of OCHA’s work. Our three main goals of broadening partnerships, strengthening the effectiveness of coordinated humanitarian action, and becoming a more robustly managed and accountable organization continue to shape how we do our work and how we budget our resources. The goals have helped OCHA to clarify and pursue an agenda for transforming the international humanitarian response system, adapted to the realities of the twenty-first century.
Looking ahead – the two-year plan
OCHA’s 2010-2013 Strategic Framework has been reviewed drawing on lessons learned from the response to the Haiti and Pakistan crises of 2010, and incorporating the Under-Secretary-General’s emphasis on strengthening OCHA’s field effectiveness. We have brought our own priorities in line with the reform agenda adopted by the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) Principals in 2011.
The 2012 and 2013 plan and budget are about making OCHA’s field-level efforts as solid and effective as possible. This is the first time OCHA has presented a two-year plan and budget. The new time frame allows us to look ahead over a longer horizon, to mobilize resources more flexibly and to monitor our performance more rigorously over the medium term. A two-year framework also helps OCHA align itself more closely with the UN biennium programme and budget.
To complement its two-year budget, OCHA launched standardized two-year performance frameworks for regional and country offices as part of its commitment to improve the communication of results and the alignment between budgets and results. Evaluation findings were used to focus OCHA on performance areas that were repeatedly identified as problematic. The performance frameworks communicate commonly agreed OCHA results and indicators.
Country strategies, together with performance frameworks, will underpin OCHA’s field activities over the next two years. OCHA is using the strategies and performance frameworks for budgeting, planning, resource mobilization and management accountability. The commonly agreed results and indicators will be at the core of funding proposals and all donor reporting. Over the biennium, OCHA will work to steadily improve reporting on performance, and to use this information to strengthen programmatic and budgetary decisions in OCHA, and to strengthen its accountability to stakeholders.
Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters
The organizations of the IASC are working together to strengthen the international humanitarian response system by focusing on actions to deliver improvements in five key areas: leadership, coordination, accountability, building global capacity for preparedness, and advocacy and communications.