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EMERGENCY RESPONSE COORDINATION

 
 
Coordination and Response Division
 
 
   
Consolidated Appeals Process Section  
 
   
Surge Capacity and Contingency Planning Section  
 
Emergency Services Branch
 
 
Internal Displacement Division
 

 

Coordination and Response Division


COORDINATION AND RESPONSE DIVISION
Planned Staffing Regular Budget Extra-budgetary Projects Total
Professional
22
25
-
47
General Service
4
16
-
20
Total
26
41
-
67
Staff costs (US$)
3,767,664
7,225,712
-
10,993,376
Non-staff costs (US$)
934,200
1,439,643
-
2,373,843
Total costs (US$)
4,701,864
8,665,355
-
13,367,219
Total requested (US$)
 
 
 
8,665,355

NEW YORK
Planned Staffing Regular Budget Extra-budgetary Projects Total
Professional
12
9
-
21
General Service
4
2
-
6
Total
16
11
-
27
Staff costs (US$)
2,186,676
1,934,890
-
4,121,566
Non-staff costs (US$)
130,200
305,100
-
435,300
Total costs (US$)
2,316,876
2,239,990
-
4,556,866
Total requested (US$)
 
 
 
2,239,990

GENEVA
Planned Staffing Regular Budget Extra-budgetary Projects Total
Professional
10
16
-
26
General Service
-
14
-
14
Total
10
30
-
40
Staff costs (US$)
1,580,988
5,290,822
-
6,871,810
Non-staff costs (US$)
804,000
1,134,543
-
1,938,543
Total costs (US$)
2,384,988
6,425,365
-
8,810,353
Total requested (US$)
 
 
 
6,425,365

The Coordination and Response Division (CRD) has three major responsibilities: provide direct support to the ERC in his role as principal Advisor to the Secretary-General on humanitarian issues and coordinator of international humanitarian response; provide guidance to UN Coordinators in the field on all matters pertaining to complex emergencies and natural disasters; and manage and support the field, e.g. surge capacity, emergency cash grants, and the Consolidated Appeals Process (CAP).

2005 was the initial year in realizing the principal aim of the merger of the Humanitarian Emergency Branch and the Response Coordination Branch, which is to strengthen humanitarian coordination and response and enhance headquarters support to the field for both complex emergencies and natural disasters. In its first year of operation, the unified Division faced the challenge of organizing responses to an unprecedented succession of major natural disasters (the Indian Ocean Earthquake-Tsunami of December 2004, the destructive 2005 Atlantic hurricane season, the UN’s response to Hurricane Katrina in the United States and the South Asia Earthquake of 8 October) on the one hand – and major complex (Sudan/ Darfur, DRC, Nepal and Colombia) and “forgotten/ neglected” (Niger, Malawi, northern Uganda, Zimbabwe) emergencies – on the other hand. These events required a full mobilization of CRD’s capacities and resources and proved the value of having an integrated OCHA response division. The newly established Field Support Section, while not a part of CRD but a close partner, provided enhanced HQ-Field interface on a wide variety of administrative issues.

Addressing these large-scale emergencies in 2005 stretched OCHA’s response capacities. The experience of 2005 highlights the critical need for OCHA to forge new partnerships for providing support in the medium and longer-term phases of response. This is particularly evident in the Tsunami crisis, where the absence of UN transitional resources and arrangements has required the continuing presence of OCHA beyond 2005.

In 2006, the Division will broaden and strengthen linkages with other OCHA branches, UN Secretariat Departments, UN partners, NGOs, and the Red Cross. In particular, efforts will be made to establish predictable arrangements in addressing post-crisis and transitional contexts, both for complex emergencies and natural disasters.

There is currently a need for a wider UN vision and strategy for engagement in natural disaster management. One of CRD’s priorities in 2006 is to strengthen partnerships with natural disaster partners and promote linkages and contacts between OCHA’s field presences, RC/HC systems and regional organizations.

A number of new initiatives relating to both complex emergencies and natural disasters at field and headquarters level are expected to have a significant impact on CRD’s activities in 2006.

As OCHA’s primary interface with Secretariat Departments, CRD will intensify its participation in the planning of Department of Peace Keeping Operations (DPKO) and Department of Political Affairs (DPA) missions, including extended assignments of desk officers for start-up, mid-term and end of mission assessments. It is also expected that the proposed establishment of a Peace Building Support Office in the Secretariat, to support the Peacebuilding Commission in its substantive functions, will likely increase the demand on CRD desks.

The Humanitarian Response Review (HRR) calls for the strengthening of the ERC and HC functions to enhance coordination between humanitarian organizations and other institutions and actors that influence humanitarian situations. This includes enhancing the ERC’s work within the Secretariat and with the Security Council, as well as the quality of his and the HC’s interaction with the IASC and the donor community to help build a broader and more inclusive operational humanitarian community. CRD will continue to advise the ERC on countries/issues requiring Security Council attention, prepare OCHA briefings to the Security Council and the HLWG, bring key humanitarian concerns to the attention of IASC members and support OCHA’s contributions to Executive Committees, including ECHA, ECPS and the Policy Committee.

The expansion of humanitarian emergencies in size and scope has intensified the competition for humanitarian material/resources. In the context of the HRR, CRD and its Surge Capacity Section will work with other partners to develop a more systematic, predictable and responsive humanitarian staffing facility in support of the HC/RC and UN Country Teams. CRD will also contribute to the overall OCHA efforts to train and better equip Resident/Humanitarian Coordinators.

This initiative will go hand in hand with continued work to strengthen the CAP, including earlier and more complete funding for Appeals. CRD will also support the implementation of the upgraded CERF through closer monitoring of country situations, a more comprehensive analysis of neglected emergencies, assisting the UNCTs to identify time-critical needs, and verifying the validity of CERF requests against country strategies and policies.

Security of staff continues to preoccupy managers and staff in the humanitarian sphere. The addition of an Assistant OCHA Security Focal Point within CRD has improved OCHA’s ability to provide security support and analysis by having a full-time professional staff member dedicated to security issues. He provides 24/7 liaison with the UN Department of Safety and Security and supports the field on security issues. These include a focus on ensuring that all OCHA staff and facilities are MOSS/MORSS compliant as well as deploying to the field to assist field operators in enhancing their security arrangements.

In 2006, CRD will: cooperate with relevant Branches of OCHA to improve support to field offices in the areas of administration, personnel management, planning, programming, policy development and advocacy; improve the quality of information analysis including assessments, preparedness, and financial tracking; and support new initiatives towards achieving greater predictability of humanitarian financing, capacity and response in the context of the HRR, the Humanitarian Reform process, including the upgraded Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF), the Hyogo Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, and Integrated Missions and Transition.

2005 saw considerable progress in filling all vacancies within CRD. As the year closed, CRD is within striking distance of having a 100 percent vacancy fill rate.

Activities:

Strengthen Support to Field:

  • Provide support and advice on country strategies and operations, including development of work plans and cost plans, entry and exit strategies for OCHA presence, good practices and lessons learned, resource mobilization for OCHA, training and facilitation of CAPs, and deployment of surge capacity for contingency planning and response coordination.
  • Provide administrative support, in collaboration with AO/FSS – human resource management, including recruitment (ensuring gender and geographical balance) staff development, training, and PAS.


Improve Disaster Response Preparedness and Coordination:

  • Together with ESB, RDRAs and other partners, work on development of a unified database of contacts in the field and at HQ through the OCHA Online /Central Registry; strengthen the readiness level for disaster seasons; develop Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for disaster response and coordination; and improve information management through situation reports and better application of virtual OSOCC.
  • Work with PDSB, ESB and others to develop an OCHA policy position on drought.
  • Promote the use of the UNCT self assessment tool endorsed by IASC WG TFND in priority countries and engage more actively in the ‘new’ DMTP through the establishment of focal points under each geographic region; develop a more comprehensive Early Warning strategy and clarity of roles between CRD, field and Early Warning in New York.
  • Strengthen partnerships with natural disaster stakeholders, including liaison with ISDR, participation in IASC SWG on Early Warning, planning with UNDP/BCPR/ISDR and development partners for the transition phase, and support for the implementation of IRP’s work plan.


Improve Advocacy on Neglected Crises, Humanitarian Issues of Concern, including Natural Disasters:

  • Support field-based initiatives to raise profile of humanitarian needs.
  • Support OCHA briefings to the Security Council (SC) on neglected crises.
  • Continue to provide support for the SG’s Special Envoys/Representatives/Coordinators in their advocacy efforts.
  • Support advocacy initiatives related to specific themes (triple threat, HIV/AIDS, SGBV, gender mainstreaming).
  • Engage actively with universities, “think-tanks” and institutions to influence international dialogue on disaster and complex emergency response.

Strengthen Management/Performance at HQ:

  • Develop and update Country Profiles/Briefing Packages to include both complex emergency and natural disaster information. Ensure profiles are available on intranet.
  • Facilitate and improve communication at all levels of the organization – HC/Director/Deputy Director CRD; Chief of Section – Head of Office.
  • Streamline relationship between the field, desks, and CAP Section to ensure timely support and, whenever necessary, fast publication and distribution of Appeals.


Ensure Full Representation of Humanitarian Policy/Principles in Secretariat and Security Council Decision-Making Processes:

  • Increase CRD involvement in all phases of DPKO planning.
  • Prioritize CRD participation in inter-departmental assessment missions.
  • Maintain a proper consultative process with humanitarian partners in developing humanitarian positions for various SC/SG Reports.
  • Continue to monitor, and seek to influence, deliberations of the Security Council.

Indicators:

  • Number and percent of OCHA offices fully staffed and carrying out relevant parts of OCHA’s mandate and core activities.
  • Percent of field offices producing regular situation analyses and updated Contingency Plans.
  • Length of deployment time for field staff.
  • Turn-over rate of field staff.
  • Timely opening and closing of OCHA field offices.
  • Number of SC briefings on humanitarian issues.
  • Number of meetings/events between senior officials and Member States/donors on humanitarian issues.
  • Number of OCHA field offices, which in the views of key constituents (NGOs, Red Cross, UN agencies, donors, host government) add value to work of implementing agencies.
  • Number of transitional mechanisms/partnerships developed to coordinate response in transitional phase.
  • Number of inter-agency networks and strategies on natural disasters.
  • Extent to which inter-agency task forces/working groups in NY and GVA addressing new emergencies add value to field operations, as assessed by HC and field staff.
  • Number of OCHA field offices that are fully funded.
  • Number and percent of CAPs with contributions above the 68 percent average since 1992.

 


Consolidated Appeals Process Section


CAP SECTION
Planned Staffing Regular Budget Extra-budgetary Projects Total
Professional
-
5
-
5
General Service
-
6
-
6
Total
-
11
-
11
Staff costs (US$)
-
1,898,645
-
1,898,645
Non-staff costs (US$)
-
199,671
-
199,671
Total costs (US$)
-
2,098,316
-
2,098,316
Total requested (US$)
 
 
 
2,098,316

 

United Nations General Assembly Resolution 46/182 called on the Secretary-General to issue, in consultation with the affected State, Consolidated Appeals covering all concerned organisations of the UN system and its partners. The Consolidated Appeals Process (CAP) Section, which is part of the Coordination and Response Division, manages the CAP on a day-to-day basis.

Governments, donors, and members of the Inter-Agency Standing Committee use the CAP, which is an inclusive and coordinated programme cycle to: analyse context and build scenarios; assess needs and define priorities; plan and implement a coordinated response; appeal for funds; and monitor and evaluate. The CAP also provides a platform for advocacy, for example to call attention to the unmet needs of people struck by crisis or disaster. Since 1992 the United Nations has issued over 240 appeals and raised some US$ 30 billion in voluntary contributions. On average, Consolidated Appeals (or Flash Appeals which are used when emergencies first arise) have been 68 percent funded.

Activities:

  • Strengthen the CAP as a tool for planning, programming, and coordination, for example by: furthering the use of the Needs Analysis Framework (NAF); developing guidelines for strategic monitoring; and encouraging the main NGOs to partake in all aspects of the process.
  • Maintain a comprehensive training programme to ensure that OCHA staff are effective in facilitating the CAP in the field and at headquarters.
  • Manage the launch of Consolidated Appeals, Flash Appeals, Mid-year Reviews, and Revisions presented to donors.
  • Improve the timeliness, accuracy, and scope of the Financial Tracking Service (FTS), and provide training to HCs and OCHA staff on the FTS.
  • Support HCs to ensure quality during each part of the CAP cycle.


Indicators:

  • Number and percent of 20 biggest aid agencies participating in all aspects of the CAP – in particular needs analysis and programme monitoring.
  • Timely preparation and launch of the Consolidated Appeals, Flash Appeals, Revisions,
    and Mid-year Reviews.
  • Number of hits on FTS on-line, especially custom queries to FTS database answered successfully by automated system.
  • Number and percent of workshop participants rating OCHA staff conducting the workshops as effective.
  • Number of countries successfully implementing the NAF.
  • Number of countries successfully implementing the strategic monitoring tool.

 


Surge Capacity and Contingency Planning Section


SURGE CAPACITY AND CONTINGENCY PLANNING SECTION
Planned Staffing Regular Budget Extra-budgetary Projects Total
Professional
-
3
-
3
General Service
-
2
-
2
Total
-
5
-
5
Staff costs (US$)
-
857,195
-
857,195
Non-staff costs (US$)
-
181,930
-
181,930
Total costs (US$)
-
1,039,125
-
1,039,125
Total requested (US$)
 
 
 
1,039,125

OCHA has strengthened its surge capacity in order to have a dedicated and readily available capacity to respond to sudden onset emergencies and requests for support to UN country teams.

The main task of the Surge Capacity and Contingency Planning Section is to offer OCHA support and response capability to UN HC/RCs and UNCTs at the sudden onset of a new crisis or the intensification of an existing crisis beyond the scope of the existing in-country mechanisms. Surge capacity will be deployed to provide expert humanitarian coordination support for UN RC/HCs, undertake needs assessments, review capacity and capabilities of the UN to respond to the emergency, support the development of Flash Appeals and to participate in and provide experienced OCHA leadership for UNDAC teams.

The Surge Capacity and Contingency Planning Section is being equipped with the necessary resources to be immediately operational with off-the-shelf telecommunications and computer support modules as well as ready access to petty cash. Where possible and where needed, deployment may be of more than one person to enable OCHA to “customize” its support functions to the RC/HC and UNCT.

Activities:

  • Provide rapid deployment to emergency situations to fill unexpected gaps in key field coordination positions.
  • Provide support to RC/HCs and UNCTs in emerging crises - including setting up OCHA support offices or presence and strengthening or establishing humanitarian coordination systems.
  • Develop or update existing contingency plans.
  • Fill critical vacancies in case of exceptional absences in existing OCHA offices and HQ.
  • Develop a fully functional emergency response roster.
  • Develop a preliminary integrated system to encompass all critical elements of OCHA’s tools and services to be deployed in emergencies.
  • Provide back-up contingency planning support to the Contingency Planning cell in CRD.

Indicators:

  • Upon request from HC/RC and UNCT or SMT, surge response is provided within 48 hours.
  • Number and percent of support offices and appropriate coordination mechanisms established in line with “cluster approach” and when appropriate, OSOCC and INSARAG systems, within 48 hours of surge capacity arriving.
  • Critical OCHA staff gaps are filled within 24 hours and up to a period of 60 days until such time as new staff can be hired.
  • Access to and deployment from the roster satisfies the 24 hour window.