Objective 1.1

Partnerships with a wider group of Member States and regional organizations in support of humanitarian action

Partnerships are voluntary and collaborative relationships between various parties, both public and non-public, in which all participants agree to work together to achieve a common purpose or undertake a specific task, and to share risks, responsibilities, resources and benefits. In late 2011, the GA encouraged the UN to develop “transformational” and “innovative” partnership models, which include “the appropriate set of stakeholders from all relevant sectors and utilize the core competencies of each partner to catalyse wide-scale changes in behaviour, achieving greater scale and impact because the benefits accrue broadly, not just to participants in the partnership.”  Our partnership and inclusivity agenda is therefore about better fulfilling the OCHA’s  mandate to mobilize timely and effective relief and protection for all in need, by connecting, convening and supporting all actors who have the capacity, resources and desire to contribute to different aspects of humanitarian action, from preparedness through to resilience and recovery.

Over the past two years, OCHA has strengthened its engagement with Member States and regional organizations at the headquarters, regional and country levels. OCHA has established new strategic partnerships for operational support in emergencies, and heightened dialogue and political influence on humanitarian agenda, policy concerns and specific crises. It has also secured a broader range of in-kind and financial support for multilateral humanitarian action through the Consolidated Appeals Process, Central Emergency Response Fund, country-based pooled funds and for OCHA itself. These efforts aim to ensure stronger engagement with Member States and regional organizations to enable the effective and coordinated delivery of humanitarian assistance in emergencies.

In 2013 the objective of OCHA’s partnership efforts is to build a more inclusive and effective humanitarian preparedness and response system, so that the appropriate combination of local, national, regional and multilateral response capacities is deployed, making maximum use of available expertise and experience, from private to public, local to international. Only by working to create a more inclusive system, which values diversity and innovation, can the multilateral system continue to provide added value in a resource-tight environment characterized by growing humanitarian need and an increasing array of actors with both the will and the interest to play a central role, particularly from the Global South.

Under the banner of a more coherent, focused and targeted corporate partnership vision, OCHA will build a more inclusive and participatory system for humanitarian action that is firmly grounded in a diverse partner support base. OCHA will continue to strengthen and formalize its engagement with governments and regional organizations. It will share best practice in disaster management, and develop and validate procedures and guidance, while also seeking out innovative solutions to current humanitarian challenges and input and insights to shape multilateral response from new actors. OCHA will also work to increase the membership of flagship multilateral response mechanisms, such as UNDAC and INSARAG. These partnerships are critical to ensure that strengthened national authority capacity enables national and regional ownership of humanitarian assistance programmes, and ensures the predictable, appropriate and needs based deployment of foreign Military and Civil Defence Assets by Member States and regional organizations. 

Through outreach activities, such as the Dialogue for Humanitarian Partnership, Member State briefings, annual partnership/consultative meetings, participation in MS and regional IGOs organized meetings and conferences and Humanitarian Partnerships missions, OCHA aims to encourage Member State and Regional Organisations contributions to the development of inclusive humanitarian policies. OCHA will promote the adoption of humanitarian civil-military coordination (UN-CMCoord) guidelines and concepts by Member States and regional organizations into existing military doctrine, policies and SOPs necessary to guide the appropriate use of MCDA  in support of humanitarian operations.

OCHA will increase its engagement with regional political organizations that have developed or are developing operational capacity for humanitarian response. It will provide strategic support and technical engagement on international humanitarian coordination mechanisms and tools, such as UNDAC, INSARAG, UN-CMCoord, contingency planning, early warning mechanisms, joint needs assessments preparedness and response, humanitarian financing, and policies.

Through its network of regional and liaison offices, OCHA will strengthen its engagement with Member States, regional and intergovernmental organizations to ensure that regional and international disaster response systems are optimally aligned, giving both the requesting states and the provider of relief, a clearer understanding of the assistance that is available locally and internationally, and ensuring synergies are developed in disaster management efforts, reciprocity in information sharing and incorporation of diverse perspectives into relevant policies and decisions, tools, and mechanisms. Through this network, OCHA will also ensure that core humanitarian principles and priorities are reflected in regional organisations’ and Member States’ decisions and policy development. OCHA will also prioritize broadening humanitarian dialogue to develop increased mutual understanding of diverse approaches to humanitarian action.

Finally, OCHA will broaden funding sources for multilateral humanitarian action to ensure more priority needs are met in a timely and efficient manner, promoting global burden-sharing for humanitarian action.

Result 1: International, regional and national actors are prepared and able to deploy effective and well-coordinated humanitarian response capacity within agreed frameworks.
Indicator 1. Member States, regional and intergovernmental organizations are better positioned to contribute to improved operational and policy cooperation in humanitarian preparedness and response.

OCHA supports Member States and regional organizations’ awareness and use of multilateral humanitarian coordination tools through capacity-building (e.g. on CERF, UNDAC and civil-military relations), joint contingency planning and joint assessment missions. OCHA has formalized cooperation through agreements with EU (ECHO agreement) and AU.


ASEAN: Finalization of the Strategic Plan on Disaster Management and agreement on standard operating procedures between OCHA and ASEAN for preparedness and response.

AU: Implementation of the plan of action, which includes elements on coordination, early warning and preparedness, and the protection of civilians. Support to the development of a humanitarian policy framework. Through the Ten Year Capacity Building Programme of the UN for the AUC, OCHA also extends capacity building to the Regional Economic Communities (ECOWAS, IGAD, SADC, etc).

EU: The disaster response legislation and the revision of the 1996 Regulation on humanitarian aid reflect humanitarian principles and OCHA’s role.

OIC: initiate implementation of the plan of action.


Priority partners are identified, their capacity mapped, and priority areas for information and technical exchange and OCHA technical and policy support identified (or updated).

For 50 per cent of priority partners, action plans are prepared identifying OCHA deliverables aimed at ensuring partners’ capacity for disaster response is aligned with international practices.

For 25 per cent of priority partners, action plans agreed with partners and implementation initiated. In all cases, outcomes identified and progress towards these is monitored on 6-monthly basis.

All priority regional organizations benefit from capacity transfer activities on priority issues such as humanitarian financing, emergency preparedness and response, humanitarian policy, and civil military coordination, upon request

Result 2: Priority partners commit to shared humanitarian operating standards and policy priorities for needs-driven, equitable and principled response
Indicator 1. Broader range of Member States and regional organizations share humanitarian policy priorities.

Through the Dialogue on Humanitarian Partnership, OCHA engagement in the intergovernmental humanitarian negotiations process, the annual Humanitarian Partnership Mission and regional partnership meetings, OCHA aims to increase systematic support on humanitarian policies and principles from a wider range of Member States. For example, in 2011 the US, EU, CANZ and G77 supported referencing cluster coordination mechanisms as an important coordination tool in the GA resolution on Strengthening Coordination.

TARGET 2012 Member States support the humanitarian system’s policy priorities, as identified by the IASC, ECOSOC members and Member States - in the UN intergovernmental body discussions and decisions.

The multilateral system’s policy priorities reflect a broader range of input from a more diverse stakeholder base- as evidenced by discussions and resolutions in inter-governmental and regional forums.

Indicator 2. Regional and inter-governmental organizations’ engagement in humanitarian action is informed by agreed humanitarian norms, policies and principles.

Regional and intergovernmental organizations’ decisions on humanitarian issues/crises increasingly reflect international humanitarian norms, policies and principles (e.g. EU Council, NATO Council and LAS decisions on Libya, Afghanistan and Pakistan).

TARGET 2012 Regional organizations’ decisions during crisis response take into account humanitarian priorities and principles (in addition to above AU, OIC, GCC).

20 per cent of priority partners who are developing or updating humanitarian policy frameworks are supported by OCHA.

Action plans include the following types of measurable indicators for all priority partners:

  • Humanitarian policy reflecting humanitarian norms and principles

  • Policies regarding specific topics are developed and adopted (i.e: gender, protection of civilians, idp convention.)  

  • New civil military policies of priority partners aligned to UN-CMCoord and humanitarian guidelines

  • Development and deployment of emergency rosters and teams supported

Indicator 3. Deployment of foreign Military and Civil Defense Assets (MCDA) to support humanitarian relief operations is needs based, more predictable, appropriate and effective

Multiple instances of inappropriate deployment and use of foreign MCDA by Member States and regional organizations.


Agreement in principle at the Annual MCDA Consultative Group meeting 2012, Member States and regional organizations to consult with the ERC/OCHA prior to deployment of foreign MCDA in support of humanitarian emergencies.


Member States and regional organizations to systematically consult with the ERC/OCHA prior to deploying MCDA in support of humanitarian relief operations, in accordance with internationally agreed guidelines.

More systematic involvement by OCHA in planning efforts and civil military consultations to influence decision-making prior to the deployment of a force.

Result 3: Humanitarian tools and services (Pooled Funds, UNDAC/INSARAG, common humanitarian action plans etc) reflect more diverse experience and attract more diverse political, technical and material support for humanitarian action
Indicator 1. Increased partner engagement for effective operational  humanitarian response and preparedness systems

34 Member States in UNDAC system, 26 International External Classified USAR teams; differing “levels” of partnership providing logistical support services to UN agencies and UNDAC teams, especially in sudden-onset disasters.


(a) 36 Member States in UNDAC system.

(b) 30 International External Classified USAR teams.

(c) Developing formal arrangements with the Asia Pacific Humanitarian Partnership and the Americas Support Team for logistical support.


(a) 38 Member States in UNDAC system.

(b) 33 International External Classified USAR teams.

(c) Development of new logistical support partnerships based on a strategy and implementation of existing agreements.

Indicator 2. Regional and national tools and services support and are supported by the multi-lateral system

Growing number of national and regional networks, pooled funds, emergency response teams are being created, some unknown and many with no linkages

TARGET 2012 Initiate mapping of existing priority national and regional networks.
TARGET 2013 OCHA action plans include concrete targets for ensuring international, national and regional networks, pooled funds, ERTs, and other tools are interoperable with those of the international humanitarian response system.
Indicator 3. Number and range of Member States funding coordinated humanitarian action (through CAPs, CERF and country-based pooled funds)

12 new/returning donors for CERF. 14 donors for CHFs and 25 donors for ERFs. 60 Member States giving through CAP/flash appeals.


5 new/returning donors for CERF. 15 donors for CHFs and 15 for ERFs. At least 3 new donors for CBPF. 70 Member States giving through CAP/flash appeals.

TARGET 2013 5 new/returning donors for CERF. 16 donors for CHFs and 16 for ERFs. At least 3 new donors for CBPF. 70 Member States giving through CAP/flash appeals.