Objective 1.2 – Operational Partners

A growing number of actors are involved in humanitarian action, each with differing degrees of knowledge about existing humanitarian coordination systems and tools. To coordinate humanitarian action in increasingly chaotic environments and enhance effectiveness on the ground, OCHA must engage with an expanding number of key stakeholders involved in humanitarian preparedness and response.

OCHA’s operational partnerships serve to bridge a plurality of policy and operational agendas, focus advocacy efforts, and overcome constraints to humanitarian action. OCHA sustains existing relations with partners, such as Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) organizations, and engages strategically with actors within the United Nations Secretariat, such as the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO), the Department of Political Affairs and the Department of Safety and Security. To improve service delivery and influence humanitarian outcomes, OCHA also works with other relevant actors, including militaries operating in the humanitarian context, development banks and the private sector.

In 2011, OCHA will support more effective strategic partnerships between United Nations peacekeeping and political missions and United Nations Country Teams, both in the field and at headquarters. OCHA will be a member of field-level mechanisms that support integrated United Nations field presences, and ensure attention to humanitarian concerns. OCHA will raise awareness throughout the United Nations system and among critical partners, including States, donors and operational partners so that integration arrangements uphold humanitarian principles, protect humanitarian space and facilitate effective humanitarian coordination.

OCHA will reach out to peacekeeping and national and international military forces to better inform them of humanitarian operations. In partnership with IASC agencies, OCHA will provide targeted civil-military support packages to country and regional offices and national militaries, which will include tailored guidelines, staff training and forward planning exercises. OCHA will broaden its engagement with DPKO, with a focus on pre-deployment training for civilian and military actors. It will also deepen its engagement with peacekeeping forces through peacekeeping training centres in Asia and the Pacific and Latin America.

OCHA will establish more consistent and focused collaboration on humanitarian issues with international organizations, including the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the Organisation for the Economic Cooperation and Development. It will work more collaboratively with academic institutions and think-tanks to help develop a common policy agenda for humanitarian action. With the shift from shock-triggered to vulnerability-driven responses and the impact of emerging global trends, OCHA partnerships will prove crucial for strengthening preparedness and ensuring more comprehensive approaches for addressing vulnerability.

Regarding the private sector, OCHA will bolster its existing partnerships with entities directly involved in humanitarian response, such as DHL on airport logistics and Ericsson on emergency telecoms. It will explore new opportunities, notably in communication and information technology. Public-private partnerships for humanitarian action will be established as long-term, trust-based relation­ships, with clear agreements on roles and responsibilities rather than through ad hoc arrangements made during the relief operation phase.

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