Policy Development and Studies Branch

OCHA’s Policy Development and Studies Branch (PDSB) supports effective emergency response coordination and advocacy efforts by providing leadership on humanitarian policies, evaluations and best practices, and ensuring the integration of humanitarian principles, protection concerns, lessons learned and agreed policies into operational planning and relevant mandates. In doing so, PDSB supports the Under-Secretary-General/Emergency Relief Coordinator in his role as both the principal adviser to the Secretary- General on humanitarian issues and as the principal coordinator of global relief operations.

Working in close collaboration with other OCHA branches, Secretariat partners and the operational agencies of the
United Nations, as well as with the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, NGOs, think tanks and the academic
community, PDSB identifies emerging humanitarian trends and addresses them by supporting the development of
common policy positions among humanitarian agencies.PDSB also works with OCHA’s regional and field offices in
providing policy advice and identifying emerging policy issues at field and regional levels, converting them into
normative guidance and analytical tools for use by field practitioners in emergency response. (table)

PDSB is comprised of a branch chief and a deputy chief, and it has now been organized into five sections:

    1. Disaster and Vulnerability Policy Section
    2. Evaluation and Studies Section
    3. Intergovernmental Support Section
    4. Policy Planning and Analysis Section
    5. Protection of Civilians Section
    6. In addition, PDSB houses the Gender Advisory Team, the Guidance Management Project, the HIV/AIDS Project and the Assessment and Classification of Emergencies Project which facilitates inter-agency development of an agreed set of common definitions, indicators and methodologies for classification and assessment.