POLICY DEVELOPMENT

Policy Development and Studies Projects

Assessment and Classification of Emergencies Project

The Assessment and Classification of Emergencies (ACE) Project was launched in October 2007 as the first step towards implementing OCHA’s strategic priority to develop ‘a common approach to needs assessments and impact
evaluation’. The project will improve the basis on which relief actors identify needs and make decisions on the prioritization and allocation of resources, by supporting, harmonizing and improving the comparability of inter-agency assessment and analysis activities. This is an ambitious, long-term project, and its emphasis in 2008 will be on: mapping major needs assessment and humanitarian classification efforts; identifying commonly agreed indicators and definitions; and piloting the use of these indicators in two countries to help determine the severity of the humanitarian situation.

Several agencies have already made substantial investments in emergency assessment capacities, methods and tools
to meet their internal sectoral programming needs. A key challenge will be to reach agreement on how best to link these initiatives into one accepted broader, multi-sectoral framework. Furthermore, experience has shown that common approaches must be flexible enough to allow adaptation to the country context. For this reason, efforts to pilot a common classification system will need to be closely monitored and evaluated before the approach is more widely replicated. To address these issues, OCHA will launch a dedicated consultative process with key stakeholders, including donors, the Red Cross Movement, NGOs and United Nations Agencies, as well as an advisory group of experts.

As this work is closely linked to the goals of using common standards and best practices in information management
and supporting the capacities of Humanitarian Coordinators to provide strategic analysis and decision making, ACE
will collaborate with other OCHA entities – particularly the Advocacy and Information Management Branch, the Coordination and Response Division, the Consolidated Appeals Process Section and the Humanitarian Reform
Support Unit – to build on efforts already underway.

Key Objectives, Outputs and Indicators

A common approach to needs assessments and impact evaluation
Outputs Indicators
Inter-agency process established for development of indicators, definitions and approaches to facilitate multi-sectoral assessment and classification, including creation of a steering group (donors, United Nations Agencies, NGOs and other interested stakeholders) and a technical advisory group. IASC endorsement of the way forward for a common approach (indicators and classification tools). Number of clusters/sectors that apply agreed indicators.

Strengthened information management based on common standards and best practices
Outputs Indicators
Potential common indicators and definitions identified. Gaps and duplication in needs assessment practice analysed. Mapping of ongoing initiatives completed.

Gender Advisory Team

The Gender Advisory Team’s (GAT) main function is to facilitate the coherence of actions to mainstream gender equality programming into all aspects of humanitarian response – both within OCHA and among its inter-agency partners. In close consultation with the Protection of Civilians Section and the Coordination and Response Division, GAT also supports activities and initiatives aimed at improving broad response to sexual and other forms of gender-based violence as well as the humanitarian community’s response to sexual exploitation and abuse by United Nations and associated actors.

Through an inter-agency monitoring and evaluation framework, GAT will capture lessons learned on cross-cutting gender equality programming, especially in the context of the cluster approach and the humanitarian coordination system. GAT will work closely with other OCHA and United Nations entities to ensure close coordination on gender-related concerns in the protection of civilians.

GAT functions as the secretariat for the IASC Gender Standby Capacity (GenCap), a pool of senior gender experts deployed in humanitarian emergencies to support IASC Country Teams in mainstreaming gender equality and gender-based violence programming into all aspects of humanitarian response. The advisers are also piloting an inter-agency monitoring and evaluation framework. GAT supports the IASC GenCap Steering Committee and its monitoring and evaluation efforts, organizes the gender advisers’ training workshop, and provides substantive support to gender advisers while deployed on mission. The Norwegian Refugee Council administers the recruitment of the expert pool.

The prevention of gender-based violence, along with the provision of assistance to survivors and the establishment of procedures and mechanisms for bringing perpetrators to justice, is a key protection priority for OCHA and the humanitarian community. In 2008, GAT will work with POCS on translating into practice the related recommendations made in the Report of the Secretary-General to the Security Council on the Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict, and it will continue to support advocacy efforts that draw attention to the widespread use of sexual violence as a method of warfare.

Another priority is the development of linkages with United Nations partners and academic institutions to address gaps in research on the root causes and prevention of, and response to, gender-based violence in humanitarian settings. GAT will work with POCS and other relevant partners in the development and implementation of an appropriate research agenda.

In collaboration with the United Nations Department of Field Support, OCHA will continue to co-chair the Executive Committees on Humanitarian Affairs and on Peace and Security (ECHA/ECPS) United Nations and NGO Task Force on Protection from Sexual Exploitation and Abuse by United Nations and Associated Personnel. It will also seek to improve capacity building, compliance, reporting and accountability mechanisms in relation to sexual exploitation and abuse, and to finalize a United Nationswide policy on assistance to victims of sexual exploitation and abuse.

Key Objectives, Outputs and Indicators

Improved coordination structures at country, regional and international levels
Outputs Indicators
GenCap expanded in both number and skill set. GenCap advisers deployed to support the cluster approach, Humanitarian Coordinators and inter-agency country teams. Pilot phase of monitoring and evaluation framework finalized. Policy guidance and training on gender, gender-based violence and sexual exploitation and abuse provided to humanitarian actors. Number of GenCap advisers deployed to field operations. number of humanitarian operations in which gender equality programming is assessed. Improved gender equality programming confirmed by evaluations of humanitarian response in countries where staff have received training.

Protection agenda advanced at country, regional and international levels
Outputs Indicators
Global advocacy undertaken on gender-based violence, including improved prevention and response programmes and country-level coordination. Policies finalized on protection from sexual exploitation and abuse, compliance mechanisms and capacity building (including a United Nations-wide Victims Assistance Policy). Number of OCHA-led inter-agency support missions to improve country-level coordination of gender-based violence programming. Victims Assistance Policy adopted by General Assembly. Framework for implementation of Victims Assistance Policy produced and piloted.

Improved management practices for ‘one OCHA’
Outputs Indicators
Implementation of OCHA-wide Gender Action Plan. Percentage of activities outlined in the Gender Action Plan implemented.

Guidance Management Project

The Guidance Management Project (GMP) was established in June 2007 to support the implementation of the Policy and Guidance Management System, identified by the Emergency Relief Coordinator in November 2005 as one of OCHA’s key initiatives in strengthening the level of skill and professionalism of OCHA’s staff, and the consistency of their performance. The Project ensures a unified approach to developing policy and guidance within OCHA, in particular to improve OCHA’s response to the needs of staff in the field, through supporting the development, approval and review of policy instructions, standard operating procedures and guidelines, and quality control for all guidance materials produced and disseminated.

In 2008, GMP will promote OCHA’s strategic objectives by:

    1. ensuring that policy and guidance management issues are ? kept on the agenda of the senior management
      team for appropriate consideration and decision making;
    2. coordinating training on guidance for all staff and ensuring that policy guidance is integrated into all of
      OCHA’s trainings;
    3. monitoring compliance with approved processes for ? the production and use of guidance, and advising
      management of any gaps;
    4. commencing development of the corporate identity (capstone) document;
    5. supporting the development of a robust, user-friendly and client-oriented Intranet site for guidance;
    6. leading the development of a content management system (including reference system by number and subject) and integration of the system into a database; and
    7. establishing an archive of all existing guidance.

GMP will work closely with the Strategic Planning Unit to monitor any risks that may hinder OCHA in achieving its strategic plan and to determine how the development of guidance may help to reduce these risks. It will also work with the Evaluation and Studies Section and field managers to ensure that best practices and lessons learned are incorporated into OCHA’s policy guidance, and with the Staff Development and Learning Section to ensure that policy guidance is mainstreamed in all of OCHA’s training programmes.

Key Objectives, Outputs and Indicators

Strengthened information management based on common standards and best practices
Outputs Indicators
OCHA guidance material developed and accessible to all staff on redesigned intranet. Number and percentage of guidance items made accessible to staff on intranet. intranet user surveys completed and analysed.

Improved management practices for ‘one OCHA’
Outputs Indicators
OCHA corporate identity (capstone) document research begun and annotated outline developed. Regional and field office ownership of the GMP strengthened. Stakeholder role in the application and use of the policy guidance system enhanced. Inter-branch strategy (and possibly a working group) established for development of capstone document. Regional office focal points for guidance rollout and training in place. Number of regional workshops held.

Accountable and transparent human resources planning and management
Outputs Indicators
Induction and staff training modules reflecting corporate policies, standard operating procedures and guidelines on key humanitarian issues developed. Corporate policies, standard operating procedures and guidelines integrated into induction training modules. Workshops and training modules on policy guidance system developed for and available to all staff.

HIV/AIDS Project

OCHA supports inter-agency initiatives addressing HIV concerns in humanitarian settings by working closely with the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), cluster leads and other key stakeholders to develop tools, guidance and training materials for use at the field level in sudden-onset and protracted crises. The tools and mechanisms developed assist in giving effect to diagnostic and normative guidance on HIV in humanitarian action so that HIV concerns are systematically addressed in humanitarian planning and programming in the context of preparedness, response and early recovery activities. The Project will continue to support this incorporation of HIV concerns until they are systematically integrated by all relevant implementing agencies.

In 2008, OCHA will focus on helping inter-agency processes and actors, in particular UNAIDS, to facilitate timely and effective action on HIV in humanitarian settings and to bridge the gap between interventions tailored for crisis settings and those focused on longer-term structural approaches to HIV.

Key Objectives, Outputs and Indicators

Improved coordination structures at country, regional and international levels
Outputs Indicators
Guidance, training and support for the integration of HIV in humanitarian emergency programming and contingency planning provided, in coordination with other agencies (in particular UNAIDS). Percentage of countries with clusters addressing HIV as a cross-cutting issue. Number of contingency plans that address HIV issues.

A common approach to needs assessments and impact evaluation
Outputs Indicators
An HIV strategic planning tool to analyse humanitarian settings and identify priority interventions revised and applied with inter-agency support. Number of settings in which tool is tested. Percentage of countries with clusters in which tool is rolled out.

Competent management cadre effectively leading teams and accountable for results
Outputs Indicators
Induction and staff training package on HIV in workplace rolled out. Percentage of OCHA staff trained on HIV in the workplace.