emergency response coordination

External Relations and Support Mobilization Branch

The External Relations and Support Mobilization Branch (ERSMB) was established in 2007, consolidating the Genevabased units for which engagement with external partners is a primary responsibility. The Branch strengthens OCHA’s partnerships with Europe-based humanitarian actors, including United Nations Agencies, the Red Cross and Red
Crescent movement, NGOs, Member States, the European Union and regional organizations, parliamentarians, the
private sector, the media and the general public. Central to the development of effective humanitarian partnerships,
ERSMB is a catalyst for mobilizing support and building sustainable partnerships for humanitarian action, through:

    1. liaising with Europe-based partners through information exchange on humanitarian situations;
    2. promoting equitable humanitarian financing and building strategic partnerships;
    3. mobilizing resources and support for both humanitarian operations and OCHA’s requirements;
    4. supporting the development of prioritized and strategic common humanitarian action plans for crises worldwide;
      and
    5. communicating key messages to raise the broader community’s awareness of the plight of populations
      affected by disasters.

The Branch’s external outreach activities ensure that OCHA acts as an effective facilitator in channelling the business community’s generosity, skills and interest to support humanitarian action. ERSMB encourages private sector partners to adhere to the principles of humanitarian coordination and to increase their support to emergency preparedness and response capacity through the provision of funding as well as in-kind expertise and services. Recent collaboration with the World Economic Forum (WEF) has assisted in developing a framework for engagement with a key group of corporations, NGOs and humanitarian agencies, culminating in the launch of the WEF–OCHA Guiding Principles for Private Sector Engagement in Humanitarian Action.

ERSMB, in close consultation with OCHA staff in New York and in line with OCHA’s Public Information and Advocacy
Strategy, provides the international media with regular and accurate information on OCHA’s activities, and supports the (table) Emergency Relief Coordinator, OCHA senior management, Resident Coordinators/Humanitarian Coordinators and
regional and field offices in advocating for effective and principled humanitarian action at the global, regional and
country levels.

The key challenges that ERSMB expects to face in 2008 are:

    1. guaranteeing sustainability and building support for its network;
    2. maintaining key stakeholder support for its outreach and resource mobilization activities; and
    3. sustaining joint efforts in humanitarian financing and related humanitarian reform elements through the
      Consolidated Appeals Process.

ERSMB will focus primarily on developing strategic alignments with key partners in support of effective planning, equitable humanitarian financing and resource mobilization. This will include:

    1. helping develop guidance and supporting advocacy on predictable, timely and needs-based humanitarian
      financing, including support for OCHA’s own requirements;
    2. promotion of the use of the Needs Analysis Framework for coordination of inter-agency needs assessments and
      integration of its evidence-based monitoring and analysis into global or crisis-specific initiatives;
    3. systematic production of information products on humanitarian trends and issues for sharing with Europebased
      United Nations and non-United Nations partners; and
    4. support to greater advocacy on disaster risk reduction and preparedness in humanitarian response and coordination, such as a joint media campaign with the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction and the World Meteorological Organization.

Consolidated Appeals Process Section

The Consolidated Appeals Process (CAP) Section supports OCHA’s field offices and desk officers in appeal development
and review (including CAP-like variants such as ‘transitional work plans’), editing, publishing and delivery of appeal documents.

The Section leads policy development on CAP and chairs the IASC CAP Sub-Working Group. It contributes to development of inter-agency tools such as the Needs Analysis Framework and strategic monitoring systems for humanitarian crises, and trains CAP facilitators from United Nations and external agencies to run CAP workshops in the field. It records humanitarian funding data item by item and maintains a database and website showing the sources and expenditure of worldwide humanitarian aid. It prepares frequent special funding analyses for OCHA senior management,
the CERF Secretariat, donors and other stakeholders, while also training OCHA’s field and headquarters staff in the use
of the Financial Tracking Service (FTS) for advocacy and coordination. The Section’s information management functions include maintaining a website on the CAP with appeal documents (including an archive), CAP guidelines, policy papers and best practices.

The key challenge that the CAP Section will address in 2008 is bringing CAPs and flash appeals up to date with current
best practices in the context of humanitarian reform and humanitarian finance initiatives. This will be done by:

    1. making CAPs more strategic and inclusive;
    2. guiding Humanitarian Coordinators (HCs) and cluster leads on their responsibilities in appeals;
    3. integrating new financing instruments, such as common humanitarian funds, with the CAP;
    4. aligning the CAP with global humanitarian financing efforts;
    5. further developing the capacity of FTS as a robust tool for humanitarian financial reporting;
    6. incorporating more NGO funding needs and strategic plans into CAPs;
    7. strengthening information management and monitoring and evaluation in CAPs for better evidence-based decision
      making;
    8. responding to increasingly frequent climate-related disasters by overhauling flash appeal practice;
    9. training OCHA regional offices on appeals and the humanitarian financing process;
    10. improving project vetting and prioritization in appeals addressing agency and donor concerns; and
    11. streamlining appeal publication with online tools.

Key Objectives, Outputs and Indicators

A predictable and needs-based humanitarian financing system
Outputs Indicators
Integration of humanitarian financing innovations with CAP to achieve faster and more equitable funding. CAPs become a comprehensive barometer of humanitarian response through increased inclusion of NGO
activities and funding needs.
Percentage of CERF and Common Humanitarian Fund (CHF ) funds counted in response to appeals. Number of allocations from CERF and CHF in response to appeal requirements and contributing to equitable support
across projects, sectors and appeals. Number and percentage of unfunded projects in appeals. Number and value of NGO projects in 2009 CA Ps.

Strengthened OCHA emergency response capacity
Outputs Indicators
Rapid publication of flash appeals supported by CA P Section (with assistance to field offices and relevant desks). Percentage of flash appeals published within 48 hours of receipt of satisfactory final field draft, with clearance from OCHA ’s Coordination and Response Division and senior management team.

A strategy enabling seamless transition and early recovery
Outputs Indicators
1994 IASC CA P Guidelines updated to incorporate latest agreed policy on transition, including the United Nations Development Group/Executive Committee on Humanitarian Affairs Guidance Note on Transitional Appeals and outcomes of the OCHA Transition Working Group. Updated CA P guidelines approved by IASC.

A common approach to needs assessments and impact evaluation
Outputs Indicators
Development of a strategic-level monitoring system for appeal situations, based on IASC -agreed key indicators, thresholds and methods. Guidelines for prioritization of projects promoted. Number of clusters/sectors that use IASC -agreed indicators in the CAP mid-year review. Proportion of appeals that present clear prioritization among projects.

Strengthened information management based on common standards and best practices
Outputs Indicators
FTS extended to become a field tool for: tracking and managing pooled funds; making pooled fund allocation decisions; uploading and revising projects; and recording monitoring and evaluation information. OCHA field offices that manage pooled funds access the FTS database to upload directly and record pooled fund allocations. Agencies directly upload appeal projects online and revise as needed throughout the year.

Donor and External Relations Section

The Donor and External Relations Section (DERS) is primarily responsible for securing maximum support and resources for the effective implementation of OCHA’s activities and extrabudgetary requirements. It is also the focal point for fundraising for the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF), both from governments and the private sector. DERS manages and strengthens relationships with humanitarian donors, including the OCHA Donor Support Group (ODSG) and the Humanitarian Liaison Working Group. The Section serves as the hub for building partnerships with Member States, regional organizations, parliamentarians, NGOs, philanthropic foundations and the private sector, and promotes support for the Consolidated Appeals Process (CAP) – in particular by drawing attention to underfunded country appeals.

As humanitarian funds from traditional sources are unlikely to increase substantially, significant efforts are now needed to sustain the financing momentum in order to help achieve the overall objectives of the reform of humanitarian response. For DERS, this will entail more systematic efforts among G77 members, OECD member countries and current members of the ODSG in order to broaden the donor base and bring about greater predictability and increased financial capacity. Donors will also be encouraged to provide a greater proportion of their funding early in the year. A range of initiatives for building partnerships in Asia, the Middle East and Latin America have recently been launched in line with the principles of

Good Humanitarian Donorship, but the challenge remains to sustain the attention of participating countries and to cultivate new relationships. DERS will intensify efforts to promote further the added value of OCHA’s tools and services and will aim to increase its number of partners in 2008.

The issue of humanitarian financing has become an increasingly important theme in the reform debate. There
is significant demand for identifying linkages between the various financing mechanisms and building a common
foundation for equitable and predictable humanitarian response. In this context, DERS will assume increased
responsibility for promoting and ensuring sufficient financial support.

Engaging with the private sector is also a key challenge for OCHA in 2008 and beyond. To date, corporate partnerships have been developed with Deutsche Post/DHL, the United Nations Foundation, Ericsson and Sony-Ericsson, and recently Veolia. In 2008, efforts will continue to strengthen existing alliances and identify new partners to increase OCHA’s emergency response capacity, and DERS will roll out policy guidance on private sector cooperation to all headquarters entities and regional offices. In addition, a marketing campaign to raise funds for the CERF from the private sector, including individuals, will be carried out. Finally, an improved framework and plan of outreach for effective partnerships within the United Nations will be promoted through working with Global Hand and the Global Compact.

Key Objectives, Outputs and Indicators

A predictable and needs-based humanitarian financing system
Outputs Indicators
Continued outreach to the donor community on the need to provide funding that is adequate and in line with agreed priorities, including support to the implementation of the Good Humanitarian Donorship work plan. CERF well resourced and financial engagement of the corporate
sector ensured in the long term.
Number and percentage of donors providing funding in line with priorities as indicated in appeals. Amount of humanitarian funding provided to the CERF .

Strengthened OCHA emergency response capacity
Outputs Indicators
Broadening and rebalancing of OCHA ’s financial resources, enabling rapid disbursements in the event of simultaneous emergencies. Strategic partnerships established with key private sector partners through the
provision of expertise and services.
Dormant accounts reviewed and proposals developed for their redeployment for emergency response. Procedures agreed for channelling of funds for response to sudden-onset emergencies and flash appeals. Number of partnerships established with private sector.

More strategic advocacy of humanitarian principles and issues
Outputs Indicators
Existing relationships nurtured and new ones developed with members of the G77, the private sector, NGOs, parliamentarians and regional organizations. Strategic approach to the functioning of the OCHA Donor
Support Group implemented. Good Humanitarian Donorship policies promoted and influenced as appropriate.
Increased membership of the OCHA Donor Support Group and number of G77 members targeted for strategic dialogue and advocacy of humanitarian principles and issues.

Application of better financial management tools
Outputs Indicators
Capacity for sound financial management and accountability increased. OCHA Contribution Tracking Database fully established and managed. Training provided to users and OCHA management. Phase II of the Database developed and prepared for application.

Geographical Coordination and Monitoring Section

The Geographical Coordination and Monitoring Section (GCMS) will work with the Coordination and Response Division (CRD) in monitoring and reporting on global humanitarian trends and priorities, including sudden-onset, evolving and ongoing humanitarian situations, with a particular focus on partners in Europe, by:

    1. helping develop appropriate information products and sharing timely analysis of humanitarian and coordination
      trends and priorities with OCHA and its humanitarian partners;
    2. facilitating the sharing of information on trends and policy within OCHA and among external stakeholders at
      headquarters and in the field; and
    3. tracking the policies and strategies of other humanitarian actors through Europe-based liaison in support of
      coordination and resource mobilization efforts.

The Section also liaises with key partners in Europe including the United Nations and its Agencies, Member States, donors, NGOs, regional philanthropic institutions and other relevant actors for coordination and mobilization of
support by:

    1. networking with relevant stakeholders (through a humanitarian liaison network) to ensure that humanitarian trends and analyses are shared and followed up on;
    2. acting as focal point for humanitarian situations among OCHA sections in Geneva and Europe-based partners
      working with CRD in New York; and
    3. supporting collaboration through information-sharing and briefings to ensure the transmission of agreed OCHA-wide
      messages on resource mobilization.

Outreach is undertaken by supporting partners with predictable messaging, analysis and briefings, and by communicating the strategic concerns of Europe-based constituencies to all relevant humanitarian actors – improving the quality of humanitarian priority setting. Central to its monitoring and liaison functions is GCMS’s acquisition, analysis and sharing of timely information, particularly in the context of the growing frequency of natural disasters. As the Geneva-based focal point for geographical issues and partner liaison, GCMS faces a number of challenges. While the consolidation of country desk functions in New York has facilitated a more coherent overall response by OCHA, this
calls for new approaches to meet demands and efficiently capitalize on OCHA’s strategic location within the European
humanitarian community. Organizationally, GCMS is a new section in a new branch that is operating in a rapidly
evolving and changing environment – one that requires a high degree of flexibility.

Key Objectives, Outputs and Indicators

Improved coordination structures at country, regional and international levels
Outputs Indicators
Coordination at the Geneva and Europe levels undertaken. Traditional and non-traditional partnerships strengthened. Humanitarian issues communicated and incorporated into humanitarian response mechanisms in Geneva as appropriate and as agreed by CRD , and shared with the
humanitarian liaison network partners.
Networks, systems and forums for information sharing and strategic dialogue established in Geneva. Positive feedback received from the humanitarian liaison network on adequacy of information about humanitarian trends and issues through systematic information-sharing.

Strengthened OCHA emergency response capacity
Outputs Indicators
Effective and strengthened emergency response action through information sharing and liaison with Europe-based partners ensured. Resource and support mobilization according to agreed protocol undertaken. Number of emergencies responded to according to agreed OCHA response protocol. Number of Member States briefings for major emergencies.

Action-oriented analysis of humanitarian trends and emerging policy issues
Outputs Indicators
Timely analytical humanitarian overviews focusing on trends and policy developments related to humanitarian situations and response produced – contributing to informed decision-making and recommending appropriate
action.
Frequency of dissemination of analytical overviews of humanitarian and coordination priorities.

More strategic advocacy of humanitarian principles and issues
Outputs Indicators
Partnership-building and system-wide advocacy related to humanitarian coordination issues supported through regular dialogue and briefings with the humanitarian liaison network on emergency situations and countries and regions of concern. A systematic process of identifying humanitarian issues and trends established. Establishment of the humanitarian liaison network. Number of humanitarian liaison network and IASC meetings addressed. Humanitarian liaison working group and All Member States meetings organized. Procedures and standards adhered to in information products.

OCHA Liaison Office in Brussels

The OCHA Liaison Office in Brussels was established in November 2007,working under the direction of the Chief of the External Relations and Support Mobilization Branch (ERSMB) and in close consultation with the Emergency Services Branch, the Coordination and Response Division and the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR). The Liaison Office’s primary activities focus on strengthening partnerships, monitoring humanitarian policy debates and promoting the adoption and use of United Nations principles and operational standards among European Union (EU) Member States.

The Office liaises with, and represents OCHA in, relevant European institutions, including the EU, NATO, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), the Council of Europe in Strasbourg and United Nations Agencies and NGOs based in Brussels. It supports senior management missions to participate in high-level events held by European institutions, NATO and other organizations. It organizes meetings, conferences, training sessions, inter-agency taskforces and other opportunities to achieve consensus on humanitarian issues for OCHA in Brussels.

The Liaison Office facilitates and promotes the application of United Nations civil–military procedures at NATO and within its parliamentary assembly. In addition, the Office keeps OCHA informed of issues of relevance at the Council of Europe in Strasbourg and within its parliamentary assembly. It facilitates knowledge exchange among Brussels based non-government and government organizations, and promotes discussion on humanitarian issues of concern and on OCHA reports, policy documents, coordination tools and programmes.

In 2008, the Office will focus on communication, promoting adherence to humanitarian principles, humanitarian reform and Good Humanitarian Donorship, and it will ensure that the relevant branches and sections in OCHA are aware of EU policies, legislation and programmes related to humanitarian affairs, and their potential impact on humanitarian coordination. The Liaison Office will also undertake consultations with EU and NATO institutions to support discussion on protection issues, early warning, disaster preparedness and risk reduction, common needs assessments and impact evaluation.

Key Objectives, Outputs and Indicators

Action-oriented analysis of humanitarian trends and emerging policy issues
Outputs Indicators
Impact of relevant EU legislation, policies and programmes on OCHA’s work assessed. Adherence to humanitarian principles, humanitarian reform and Good Humanitarian Donorship promoted. Number and quality of reports analysing EU legislation issued.

Greater incorporation of disaster risk reduction approaches and strengthened preparedness in humanitarian response
Outputs Indicators
Adoption and use of United Nations principles and operational standards by EU civil protection and NATO emergency planning offices promoted. Development of strategic frameworks for disaster risk reduction, early warning, emergency preparedness, common needs assessments and impact evaluation promoted on behalf of isdr, the Emergency Services Branch and the Emergency Preparedness Section. Increased consultations with EU and NATO institutions on civil–military protection issues. Use of United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination/Military and Civil Defence Assets including procedures and rules in EU civil protection, training and exercises. Number of requests for information from counterparts in Brussels successfully addressed.

Strengthened OCHA emergency response capacity
Outputs Indicators
OCHA liaison and cooperation with NATO re-established, and civil–military procedures at NATO and its parliamentary assembly applied. Negotiations and formal exchange of letters with the Council of the European Union (High Representative) finalized. Observer status at the Council of Europe in Strasbourg and its parliamentary assembly obtained. Crisis coordination mechanisms implemented.