Objective 2.4 – The Humanitarian Programme Cycle


Demonstrating aid effectiveness is critical in the current climate of increasing beneficiary caseloads and tightening budgets. A better-coordinated inter-agency approach to the common humanitarian programme cycle – embedded in
a well-functioning cluster system — is a prerequisite to effectively targeting and resourcing assistance.

For some time, OCHA has been working with partners to strengthen needs assessments and monitoring, and tie these more closely to common planning. OCHA has advanced the development of cross-sector needs assessments and
has developed a conceptual framework for consolidating assessments and other core humanitarian information for decision makers. Key humanitarian indicators have been agreed by the Inter-Agency Standing Committee Needs
Assessment Task Force and now form part of the needs analysis for each Consolidated Appeal Process (CAP).

Progress will continue in 2011, including the development of a common methodology for joint multi-cluster assessments in the early stages of a crisis and an agreed data-consolidation tool (the Humanitarian Dashboard). A pool of qualified OCHA and cluster staff will be trained and available for rapid deployment to support assessments in the field. OCHA will also further develop its country and regional staff to better integrate programme cycle management functions into their inter-cluster coordination role.

Following the revision of the CAP guidelines in 2010, OCHA will continue supporting RC/HCs and humanitarian partners to better prioritize actions within and outside inter-agency appeals. Top-priority projects in CAPs should comprise no more than half of the appeal’s total funding request so that the most essential projects are conspicuous to donors. While nearly all OCHA offices will support in-country prioritization based on clear criteria, OCHA will pilot enhancements in at least two countries during the fourth quarter of 2011, for the 2012 CAPs.

Among the criteria applied in prioritization will be the degree to which gender perspectives are integrated into programme design. This will be assessed using the gender marker tool, an IASC developed mechanism that helps rate gender issues in programme development and CAP project submissions. The tool was piloted in 11 countries and lessons will be applied as it is rolled out in all CAP countries in 2011. It will also be utilized in related CERF and CHF funding allocations.

There has been significant progress in system-wide monitoring. In most major crises, clusters are monitoring and reporting on cluster outputs against the targets expressed in CAPs. In 2011, monitoring and reporting for CAPs will be synchronized with the monitoring of pooled fund grants managed by OCHA. CAP monitoring will also expand to better track strategic humanitarian indicators, complementing the previously established monitoring of cluster outputs.

View Key Outputs and Indicators (PDF, 72kb)