Advocacy and Public Information Section

The primary function of the Advocacy and Public Information Section (APIS) is to assist OCHA’s senior management team, Humanitarian Coordinators and OCHA staff worldwide in advocating for effective and principled humanitarian action, including media outreach, crisis communication and advocacy strategies.

APIS draws attention to emergencies and natural disasters by alerting the media to their impact on communities. Often in partnership with operational agencies, NGOs, civil society and academic institutions, APIS works to raise awareness of broader humanitarian issues.

APIS and OCHA continue to face three interrelated challenges:

    1. encouraging greater adherence to humanitarian principles, including the safety and security of humanitarian
      workers and civilian populations;
    2. enhancing adequate and appropriate media coverage for all emergencies (natural disasters and conflicts,
      emerging crises and complex emergencies); and
    3. promoting adequate donor funding for less covered and ? often forgotten emergencies.

In 2008, APIS will focus on supporting the implementation of humanitarian reform, particularly in relation to the ongoing rollout of the cluster approach, so that humanitarian teams on the ground can be more effective advocates for the voiceless.

Key Objectives, Outputs and Indicators

More strategic advocacy of humanitarian principles and issues
Outputs Indicators
Common OCHA-wide advocacy strategies developed for priority humanitarian issues. OCHA’s advocacy responsibilities in relation to the cluster system and humanitarian financing institutionalized. Modalities to ensure more complementary key messaging between OCHA and its NGO partners clarified. Support to OCHA’s senior management team, other senior officials, visiting field staff and the Office of the Spokesperson of the Secretary-General provided in order to gain more extensive outreach for priority messaging. Number of advocacy strategies undertaken. Guidance note and/or standard operating procedures on OCHA’s cluster advocacy finalized. Number of joint advocacy and public information initiatives undertaken with NGO partners on priority humanitarian issues. Number of interviews and briefings given by OCHA staff. Number of press releases and talking points produced. Number of op-eds published. Number of speeches delivered.

Protection agenda advanced at country, regional and international levels
Outputs Indicators
OCHA advocacy on protection issues supported at country, regional and international levels. Number of protection advocacy strategies developed. Number of public information and strategic communication trainings completed for OCHA staff.

Strengthened OCHA emergency response capacity
Outputs Indicators
Ttrigger mechanisms and modalities for surge deployment of advocacy and public information support to regional and field offices clarified. Number of deployments of advocacy and public information staff on surge missions based on established criteria.