Objective 1.4 – Analysis and System-Wide Learning

Increasingly interrelated global challenges are creating a more complex humanitarian operating environment. For OCHA to adapt to this changing world, it must understand the drivers and foresee the consequences of increased
humanitarian need and vulnerability. It must be able to identify the trends across time and compare the impact of events across regions. OCHA must also be able to use all of this information to help anticipate and forecast what will happen in the future so that it can mitigate risk and prepare for new crises. This analysis should inform its global policy agenda and its everyday work to influence and guide
humanitarian response.

OCHA has been working to strengthen its analytical capacity. Initiatives such as OCHA’s internal risk assessment model – the Global Focus Model – and the access monitoring and reporting framework provide analysis, but their use has often been limited to specific offices. The work of Objective 1.4 is largely to integrate this analysis and make it more
accessible so that it can broaden understanding and inform decision-making across the entire organization.

In late 2009, OCHA analysed the impact of emerging global challenges, including the confluence of climate change, the food and financial crises, water scarcity, energy security, population growth, migration and urbanization. As a result, there is increasing awareness of the need to shift from shock-driven humanitarian response to vulnerability and needs-based responses in slow-onset and traditional development contexts. More recent analytical efforts, interlinking humanitarian and development concerns and
implications, have helped galvanize coordinated preparedness and response efforts in Tajikistan, Kenya, Niger and Yemen.

In 2011, OCHA will further investigate tipping points from chronic to acute humanitarian vulnerability through a review of current humanitarian responses in slow-onset situations. Operationally, adequate tools that accurately measure tipping points need to be identified.

A global consultative network with OCHA staff and
external partners will be established to share knowledge on specific challenges, trends and upcoming humanitarian priorities. This network will contribute to setting a humanitarian policy agenda and informing OCHA’s programme planning.

In 2009 and 2010, OCHA piloted country strategies for its offices in transition. In 2011, each OCHA office will have a clear strategy that analyses the humanitarian situation and matches the size and composition of the OCHA office accordingly. The strategies aim for a better understanding of what changes in human resources and logistical requirements may be required over the strategy’s three-year time frame. The analytical basis for the country strategies will be strengthened to better inform senior-level decision-making.

OCHA will also build a foundation for its analysis
by developing a concept and plan for a centralized data repository. Data is critical for analysis and in many cases, the types of analysis that can be conducted is constrained by data availability. OCHA currently uses multiple datasets to inform its reporting and information management work but this data is often held by individual field offices limiting its potential to inform global trends. OCHA will undertake a data audit to see what data it has across all offices and where and how it is being stored. It will assess whether the right data is being collected and will look at what further data is required to support analytical priorities. In addition, data partnerships will be explored with humanitarian and development partners.

IRIN will continue to supply analysis to OCHA and the humanitarian community at large on countries or regions of concern and on themes such as food security, humanitarian policy, climate change and HIV/AIDS. Leveraging its network of field-based freelance journalists and specialist staff
reporters covering more than 70 countries, IRIN will ensure that at least 15 per cent of its coverage in 2011 will be broadly analytical.

In terms of system-wide learning, OCHA will continue to support relevant inter-agency evaluations, and help manage external evaluations on behalf of the IASC. These are likely to include real-time evaluations of new large-scale emergencies and impact-oriented evaluations. OCHA will also aim to ensure that the follow-up to key recommendations is undertaken by relevant parties and key stakeholders.

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