OCHA in 2007
Activities and Extra-Budgetary Funding Requirements
In support of OCHA's mission to mobilize and coordinate effective and principled humanitarian action in line with resolution 46/182, executive management's main role and mission is to provide leadership to, and strategic direction for, OCHA and also serve as the main communications link between OCHA and the Executive Office of the Secretary-General and other UN departments, agencies, funds and programmes. The USG/ERC will provide leadership to the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR), the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) and the Executive Committee for Humanitarian Affairs (ECHA).
OCHA's USG/ERC, ASG and Directors work in concert with OCHA's senior management team (SMT) to ensure implementation of the USG/ERC's strategic vision and the corporate strategic plan. The SMT is also an advisory body to the USG/ERC, providing guidance on critical coordination, policy, advocacy, information management, and internal management issues. Within this overarching framework, the SMT is guided by OCHA's strategic framework for 2007-09 and will support the USG/ERC in translating OCHA's strategic vision into reality.
The strategic framework outlines an ambitious agenda for the coming three years. The first of OCHA's two goals are externally-oriented, reflecting OCHA's role in servicing, motivating and leading the broader humanitarian community. The first goal is to consolidate humanitarian reform to ensure a more adequate and relevant humanitarian response. The second goal is to establish and affirm OCHA as a recognized leader in humanitarian advocacy and policy. The third goal is more internally-oriented, recognizing that internal reform must go hand-in-hand with external reform, and focuses on creating a more effective and efficient organization.
OCHA's executive management will achieve these goals by providing:
Proactive leadership on humanitarian reform: OCHA's leadership will provide strategic stewardship internally but also externally on all issues related to humanitarian reform. This will be done in close collaboration with the relevant partners through such mechanisms as the IASC/ ECHA and other new fora. A key objective for 2007 will be to consolidate the achievements made regarding the Central Emergency Response Fund by ensuring the Fund delivers on its potential and develops into a critical and timely humanitarian funding tool. Senior management will work with senior officials in the agency and donor community to promote the appropriate application, added-value and funding of this mechanism. Regarding the newly introduced cluster system, this approach will be fully tested in a set of pilot countries, and applied more systematically in new emergencies. OCHA will work through the IASC to ensure that the approach is continuously fine tuned and adapted in line with field experiences. A second pillar of humanitarian reform involves strengthening the Humanitarian Coordination (HC) system. OCHA senior management is committed to providing strong support for the leadership role of the HC, ensuring systematic training for, and broadening the pool of Humanitarian Coordinators. Greater engagement and coordination with NGOs is another critical element of humanitarian reform. The initiative of the Global Humanitarian Platform intends to strengthen the partnership between the UN and the NGOs, and the Red Cross/Crescent movement for cooperation in humanitarian action. OCHA senior management also seeks to play a proactive role to ensure that humanitarian reform efforts and experiences are synchronized with the overall UN reform efforts of the Secretary-General.
Recognized leadership role in humanitarian advocacy and policy: This second goal reflects a critical core role of OCHA as embodied by UN resolution 46/182. Recognizing gains made in previous years in overall leadership, advocacy and policy, OCHA senior management will focus on a few essential areas. A key element is the need for improved analysis of global and country humanitarian trends and issues in order to build the foundation for better informed early action, needs assessment, decision-making and humanitarian financing. Under the leadership of the SMT, a number of studies will be conducted in-house, and are meant to translate into a much stronger, evidenced-based decision-making platform supported by appropriate information technology. The USG/ERC and senior managers will also provide leadership on key humanitarian principles and issues, including more equitable and principled funding; more attention to under-funded and neglected emergencies and vulnerable groups; and more predictability in the way the broader humanitarian community responds to the plights of millions of men, women and children affected by disasters and complex emergencies. Such advocacy will be undertaken through broadened outreach to media world-wide, including managers speaking out on behalf of the humanitarian community, in-depth interviews, special features on key concerns, and by increasing dialogue with traditional and non-traditional partners, including the private sector. OCHA senior management is also committed to ensuring follow-up to the Kobe World Conference on Disaster Reduction. Additionally, it will ensure that OCHA headquarters and field managers promote the incorporation of disaster risk reduction into their own work as well as into the work of partners. In this regard, senior management has decided to strengthen the early warning, preparedness, capacity building and contingency planning capacity of OCHA.
Turning OCHA into a more effective and efficient organization: OCHA's role in recent years has expanded, and so has its field presence, staffing and financing. Yet, the humanitarian reform agenda has not been matched by a full internal realignment to ensure capacity for its full support above and beyond OCHA's regular work. The recent realignment between and within the New York and Geneva offices is designed to provide better synergies and develop this capacity. Senior management is committed to ensuring full implementation of the 2006 self-evaluation, the 2006 comprehensive enterprise risk management exercise and a series of audits and evaluations. Key recommendations made by these reviews have been incorporated into an internal "road map" which allocates a lead implementation role to each relevant senior manager. The SMT will be guided by a risk management framework and will focus its work on a number of vital internal risk areas. The SMT will ensure the strengthening of OCHA's administrative and management capacity, including a more effective human resource planning and management system, enhanced organizational structures and improved internal communications. Special attention will be given to stronger administrative capacity in the field offices. Beyond strengthening administration and management, the establishment of a strategic planning and reporting service with an embedded risk management function, will also pave the way for a more accountable and results-oriented SMT. With the support of this service, the SMT will use the newly introduced mid-year and end-of year reviews to systematically monitor, assess and adjust performance and priorities, and use the results from these exercises to inform its strategies and funding for the coming year. SMT also plans to use a set of corporate performance indicators to exercise its broader oversight role. The adoption and implementation of a corporate performance plan will be one of the key SMT outputs for 2007. A more systematic discussion and use of audit and evaluation findings and recommendations will be another element of an improved accountability mechanism, involving also a newly strengthened mid-level management forum. In terms of funding, the SMT will strive for more predictability and adequacy and will seek to achieve this through a strengthened external relations branch in Geneva. In OCHA 2007 the Regional Offices are featured as a more central part of OCHA's management. These offices will be assuming central tasks that contribute to the overall delivery of the OCHA objectives in 2007-2009.
In early 2007 the Inter-Agency Internal Displacement Division (IDD) will be transformed into a Displacement and Protection Support Section (DPSS) reporting to the Director, OCHA Geneva. This strategic change builds on efforts made to strengthen and make more predictable the inter-agency collaborative response to internal displacement begun in 2005-2006. DPSS will aim to enhance OCHA's ability to meet its strategic goals, while strengthening inter-agency collaboration and response, in line with humanitarian reform objectives.
DPSS will focus on: supporting the mandate of the ERC to monitor and strengthen the inter-agency response to internal displacement; supporting the implementation of OCHA's Policy Instruction on protection at international and field levels; and strengthening OCHA's capacity to incorporate protection into core functions and coordination response. Additionally, DPSS will focus on augmenting and maintaining inter-agency capacity to respond to protection crises, particularly situations of internal displacement, through management of the ProCap initiative. This initiative is scheduled to remain under OCHA auspices until March 2008.
DPSS will continue to provide field-level support to Humanitarian Coordinators and OCHA field offices in fulfillment of OCHA's General Assembly and IASC-mandated responsibilities on internal displacement and protection coordination in complex emergencies and natural disasters.
The Internal Displacement Division has a three-pronged strategy: 1) to advocate systemic level changes in the way agencies respond to internal displacement 2) to provide field-level technical advice, support and advocacy on protection and displacement issues; and 3) to build an inter-agency protection standby capacity. DPSS aims to follow through on many initiatives started under IDD's auspices, while continuing to provide technical support to the field on cross-cutting protection issues and internal displacement concerns from a more integral position in OCHA.
Against this background, DPSS's key objectives for 2007 are as follows:
Fully deployed, functioning and funded cluster system (in new emergencies and countries selected by IASC): DPSS will provide technical advice and support on cross-cutting displacement and protection issues to HCs and field teams. Field-level lessons learned exercises/reviews on protection and displacement issues will be facilitated.
Strengthened in-country coordination: The Section will develop new displacement and protection components for HC/RC and EFCT/ UNDAC training/induction modules along with accompanying guidance for the OCHA policy instruction on protection, which will be developed and systematically disseminated in the field and at HQs. Short-term emergency protection and displacement experts will be deployed from DPSS to field offices.
Strengthened tools and services: Senior Protection advisors will be deployed to the field (through management of the ProCap Project). ProCap standby partners and UN agencies will be trained on protection field craft and IASC protection policies and the deployment of protection-trained standby personnel will be coordinated and facilitated through the launch and maintenance of ProCap Online. The number and diversity of protection profiles in partners' standby rosters will be increased. Displacement and protection concerns also will be fully integrated in workplans for HQ Cluster Working Groups for Early Recovery, Shelter and Camp Coordination Camp Management (CCCM).
Shared policy positions in pursuit of a common humanitarian understanding and messaging: An inter-agency multi-year road-map outlining a strategy to improve protection responses will be agreed through the IASC, and the Handbook on Housing and Property Restitution for Refugees and Displaced Persons (Pinheiro Principles) will be finalised and disseminated.
Improved coordination and monitoring of IDP issues: Remaining gaps in the inter-agency response to internal displacement will be identified and solutions proposed; an inter-agency IDP profiling tool will be adopted and rolled out; partnership modalities between CRD, OCHA field offices and the Norwegian Refugee Council's (NRC) Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) to ensure improved IDP information sharing will be clarified and advocacy on forgotten or ignored IDP situations by the ERC, RSG, IASC or ECHA will be undertaken.
Key Indicators for 2007
Recent large-scale disasters, such as the Indian Ocean Tsunami in December 2004, Hurricane Katrina in August 2005 and the South Asia earthquake in October 2005 underline the need to strengthen disaster preparedness activities. For OCHA to better monitor evolving trends in high-risk countries, improve disaster response capacities, and follow up on preparedness gaps we must better understand the causes of disaster risk. Being prepared in an emergency can significantly reduce loss of life, alleviate human suffering and contribute to developing more resilient communities. OCHA has been making efforts to work with the United Nations Country Teams (UNCT), the wider humanitarian community, and governments in disaster-prone countries to identify potential disaster risks and improve overall preparedness levels.
OCHA's work in the area of disaster preparedness, particularly at headquarters, has lacked dedicated capacity. At the regional level some preliminary preparedness work has been carried out, although it has been uneven in terms of scope and quality. During the Global Management Retreat in June 2006, the need for stronger OCHA involvement in the area of disaster preparedness was recognized and managers agreed to devote more attention and resources to this critical area of concern.
Furthermore, in the context of the Hyogo Framework for Action, OCHA is accountable for disaster preparedness in support of governments.
For these reasons, a dedicated Emergency Preparedness Section (EPS) has been created. EPS will play a catalytic role for sudden-onset and slow-onset disaster preparedness within and outside OCHA, providing necessary tools, guidance, policy and the overall promotion of disaster preparedness, including through Early Warning and Contingency Planning, particularly with respect to natural disasters. In carrying out its work, EPS will work in close coordination with CRD as well as with OCHA's branches and Regional Offices, RC/HCs and UN Country Teams.
Working with the Coordination and Response Division (CRD), the EPS will focus on high-risk low-capacity regions, assisting OCHA to identify where and when there is a risk of sudden-onset and slow-onset disasters, ensuring that key risk factors are monitored, sharing timely and meaningful information on trends in risk, mapping out and testing response capacity and following up on preparedness gaps, including by mainstreaming preparedness within OCHA.
OCHA is responsible for the follow-up on the implementation of Priority 5 of the Hyogo Framework for Action (Strengthened Disaster Preparedness for Response at all Levels). As such, OCHA will work to develop synergies among UN Agencies and other actors, assuming a greater role in supporting International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR) activities and its global, regional and thematic platforms, and international/ regional organisations and UN Country Teams as well as reporting to the GA and ECOSOC. OCHA will also work with, and strongly support, the IASC Sub-Working Group on Preparedness and Contingency Planning in the area of natural disasters.
The EPS will focus on supporting disaster preparedness work in a coherent and systematic manner at all levels, in particular through OCHA's Regional Offices and Regional Disaster Response Advisors (RDRAs). The Section will work closely with all OCHA branches, in particular those charged with emergency response, the Early Warning and Contingency Planning Section (EWCP) and CRD Desk Officers. The EPS will assess OCHA's preparedness activities and propose ways to improve them using where appropriate, existing information, analysis and tools. A program of action to facilitate the internal coordination and monitoring of activities will be developed. Through its participation in the Capacity for Disaster Reduction Initiative (CADRI) initiative, EPS will support capacity building in disaster preparedness by supporting training related activities.
Against this background, EPS's key objectives in 2007 will be as follows:
Enhanced organisational structures: EPS will enhance work among Regional Offices by ensuring consistent policy and procedures related to disaster preparedness and emergency response planning. Lessons learnt exercises will be conducted periodically between Regional Offices to share experiences in Early Warning. EPS will support monitoring activities at regional level with the concerned Desk Officers and ROs. EPS will also support the improvement of Contingency Planning guidelines, leading to more effective contingency planning and emergency simulations at field and regional level.
Improved, and publicly profiled, analysis of global and country humanitarian trends and issues: EPS will maximise the use of existing in-house preparedness tools and assist in improving their quality through needs assessment and feedback analysis of the end-users community. EPS will support Desk Officers and ROs to maintain up-to-date thematic, geographic and cyclical Disaster Risk Profiles. The section will also ensure that the underlying disaster risk factors are monitored by OCHA, and will share timely and meaningful information on risk and response factors with partners.
More coherent and sharpened advocacy on humanitarian issues and principles: The Section will collect, analyse and disseminate information related to disaster preparedness and disaster risk reduction. Disaster Risk Profiles and trends will be made available for advocacy. EPS will document the issues and processes that are essential to understand and work in the context of disaster risk reduction and its advocacy.
Greater incorporation of risk reduction objectives into humanitarian strategies:Preparedness work will be based on disaster risk - the probability of a hazard occurring crossed with the extent of population vulnerability. This work will draw on existing analysis and tools where possible. The Section will also improve organisational learning by compiling lessons learned and best practices and translating this information into recommendations that will allow the integration of disaster risk reduction objectives into OCHA's activities and strategic planning. In contributing to the training of staff, it will disseminate innovative approaches and mainstream disaster preparedness issues. The Section aims also to raise donors' awareness and gain support for disaster preparedness projects. To these ends, EPS will work closely with existing tools and initiatives, including the UNDP Global Risk Identification Programme (GRIP), the World Bank Global Natural Disaster Hotspots project and the CRED/EM-DAT International Disaster Database.
Increased and strengthened partnerships for humanitarian action: The Section will allow OCHA to engage in constructive and continued dialogues with its partners at the headquarters level, and to participate in the overall promotion of priority five of the Hyogo Framework for Action. This partnership will seek to achieve harmonized strategies and enhanced planning for preparedness activities and joint action plans. EPS will also strongly support the work of the IASC Sub-Working Group on Preparedness and Contingency Planning, particularly in the area of natural disasters.
Key Indicators for 2007