Objective 1.2

Relationships strengthened with a wider group of operational partners and other relevant actors to advance humanitarian action

The number of actors involved in humanitarian action is growing constantly. Each actor brings different levels of knowledge about existing coordination systems and tools. Working in complex, sometimes chaotic, environments, OCHA must engage properly and broaden its partnership with these new stakeholders, tapping into all possible resources and diversity of expertise and capacity, while ensuring response and preparedness efforts are mutually reinforcing and complementary.

In 2012-2013, OCHA will focus on strengthening strategic coherence between humanitarian, development, peacebuilding, and peace and security efforts, as appropriate to the context. It will do this by working through existing coordination mechanisms in the field, such as Senior Policy Groups, and at HQ, in the Integration Steering Group, and Integrated Task Forces. OCHA will tackle the challenges related to UN integration policy and humanitarian space, principally by facilitating dialogue and joint analysis among humanitarian actors and peace and security partners, such as DPA and DPKO.

With increased diversity and presence of NGOs, charitable organizations and other non-governmental national and international humanitarian actors providing assistance, OCHA will develop and further strengthen relationships and partnerships to help promote an effective, coordinated and principled response. OCHA will use its network of regional and liaison offices, with dedicated HQ support, to identify potential partners and build and consolidate ties with relevant organizations. Similarly, OCHA country offices will be supported to work more effectively with operational partners and engage them in the overall humanitarian effort. Particular emphasis will be placed on partnerships with key humanitarian actors who are new or less familiar with the international humanitarian system (e.g. key partners from Arab and Muslim countries and national NGOs) to promote trust, coordination, and information exchange at regional and field levels.

OCHA’s private sector outreach to date has confirmed that humanitarian agencies lack understanding of private sector potential, and how to unlock it. Conversely, private sector partners are frustrated at not being appropriately engaged in efforts to find solutions to humanitarian problems.A recent internal review identified a series of risks and challenges that OCHA must address in order to refocus and sustain its private sector outreach. Subsequently, OCHA articulated its vision for private-sector partnerships. Identified priorities for future engagement include developing and supporting a limited number of transformational partnerships where business innovation can bring solutions and resources to systemic challenges (in the areas of Humanitarian Leadership Development, Advocacy, Aid Effectiveness, Information Management, Risk Mitigation and Business Continuity, as well as Preparedness), and  initiating partnerships with existing private-sector platforms and forums to facilitate and enhance the channeling of private sector resources to humanitarian action.To execute these priorities, and ensure organizational coherence, OCHA is establishing, in 2012, a dedicated Private Sector Section.

Result 1: Greater coherence between humanitarian, peace and security, and development action.
Indicator 1. OCHA effectively contributes to integrated strategic-planning processes, and represents humanitarian interests and concerns to DPA and DPKO.

In 2011, OCHA was heavily engaged in several mission-planning processes, including for Libya and the Republic of South Sudan. However, OCHA’s participation in the field-level integrated coordination mechanisms is not uniform. Moreover, there continues to be strong scepticism from parts of the non-UN humanitarian community towards the principles of integration. This is partly due to a lack of clarity on the scope of integration arrangements available and misperceptions of their impact on humanitarian activities.


(a) Increased engagement by non-UN humanitarian actors in integration discussions and forums, including the Integration Steering Group.
(b) Decisions related to integrated mission planning reflect humanitarian positions and concerns.


(a) Humanitarian actors’ increased support for in-country integration arrangements being proposed.
(b) Integration-planning guidance includes provisions to protect humanitarian space.

Indicator 2. A more coherent and consistent approach by the humanitarian community in its interaction with military forces and the use of MCDA.

The current approach to civil-military coordination by IASC humanitarian organizations suffers from a lack of consistency, coherence and adequate resources at the regional and country levels.  This failure comes against a background of international missions and governments deploying military forces in complex emergencies to support humanitarian operations, but often with an underlying political and strategic aim. Operational partners and other actors need to receive better knowledge and understanding of the UN humanitarian Civil-Military Coordination (UN-CMCoord) concept, principles and functions, and be persuaded to interact more effectively with military forces.


(a) Humanitarian organizations’ increased compliance with agreed principles and guidelines for humanitarian operations in areas with international military presence.
(b) An IASC WG focus on coherent and consistent civil-military interaction at the cluster level.


(a) Humanitarian organizations’ full compliance with agreed principles and guidelines during humanitarian operations in areas with international military presence.
(b) IASC TF aligned to address broader policy discussions on civil-military issues.
(c) Agreed IASC position on civil-military interaction by clusters. Field reports/HQ sit reps, no report of breaches.

Indicator 3. OCHA effectively contributes to convening Member States and humanitarian and development actors around building resilience (Added for 2013)


Building resilience has become central to humanitarian response in several protracted humanitarian crises. However, separate planning frameworks and different implementation time lines are among the obstacles to have impact on individuals and communities resilience and ability to recover from crises.


(a) The IASC/ECHA/UNDG have a common understanding of how humanitarian and development actors can contribute to building resilience through planning and programming.

(b) Coordinated humanitarian and development planning to enhance resilience conducted in a selected number of countries.

Result 2: a wider group of operational partners, civil society and the private sector contributes capacity, experience and resources to humanitarian action.
Indicator 1. OCHA’s institutional relationship with NGOs and other humanitarian actorsis enhanced (in support of Strategic Objective 2.4)

OCHA engages with NGOs at HQ and field levels. However, this is usually carried out in an ad-hoc manner and is inconsistent across the organization. A number of gaps exist in relationship-building with relevant partners, especially, but not exclusively, with new NGO partners, charitable organizations, Red Cross/Crescent Societies and national NGOs. Currently there is no overall strategy for OCHA’s engagement with NGOs that brings together and joins up the NGO outreach-and-support role that OCHA performs across the organization and links it with the operational aspect. OCHA is now placing increased emphasis on shoring up these relationships and links at field, regional and HQ levels.  Part of this involves outreach to NGOs that do not fully participate in the international humanitarian system, but who are increasingly present during an emergency (e.g. with NGOs from Arab and Muslim countries) to promote a more effective and coordinated response. .


(a) Capacity-building activities for NGOs are organized, including in the Gulf Cooperation Council countries and with Government departments.

(b) Engagement of NGOs in multilateral coordinated humanitarian action in at least three major emergencies.

(c) A 30 per cent increase from 2012 baseline of Gulf-based NGOs engaged in OCHA-organized events. They contribute to a dedicated website for information sharing in Arabic.


(a) Develop and implement a strategy for OCHA’s engagement with NGOs (and other humanitarian actors) that improves coherence within the organization, addresses gaps in relationship-building and identifies strategic opportunities to develop partnerships with the aim of an improved operational response.

(b) NGOs (and other humanitarian actors, e.g. charitable organizations, Red Cross/Red Crescent), particularly those with less familiarity with the international humanitarian system (e.g. NGOs from Arab and Muslim countries), have an improved understanding of the international humanitarian system and OCHA’s role through capacity-building and outreach activities.

(c) OCHA produces information, audio-visual and web resources targeting NGOs, with an emphasis on context-appropriate materials, especially user-friendly information that explains the international humanitarian system, added value of coordination, and the tools and services available to NGOs.

Indicator 2. Increased private-sector operational, policy and material support for humanitarian action

OCHA currently has a  number of agreements providing pro bono goods/services or commitment to cooperation with various private-sector organizations. While some may still be valid, OCHA’s overall efforts require revision to align with evolving priorities and OCHA’s broader partnerships agenda.

OCHA has also disseminated guidance to the private sector on how to provide assistance during major emergencies; activated operational support mechanisms from all existing private-sector partners; and launched a public-service announcement for the Horn of Africa crisis. Private-sector contributions to the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) in 2011 totalled $228,000.


(a) Private-sector vision and strategy developed.

(b) A portfolio-mapping exercise initiated to review existing relationships against criteria (maintain/deepen/exit); and a plan initiated outlining OCHA’s engagement in platforms and forums, including at regional level.

(c) A 5 per cent increase in contributions to CERF over the average of the previous years (2006-2011). Two new major private-sector donors (i.e. $10,000 and above) to CERF.

(d)  A number of new private-sector and creative community partnerships (including Droga5, Parkwood Entertainment, Ridley Scott & Associated and Warner Music/Shift The Beat) forged through the 2012 World Humanitarian Day campaign and other public advocacy initiatives. Letters of understanding and contracts developed to enable productive working relationships with the music, advertising and film industries. Outreach to new non-traditional audience bases via these private-sector collaborations.


(a) Portfolio review completed, private-sector partnerships rationalized, strategy endorsed by SMT and implementation initiated.

(b) Establishment of a limited number of transformational partnerships (e.g. WEF, Deloitte) to address existing systemic challenges in the areas of humanitarian leadership and talent management, advocacy and IM for emergency preparedness and response.

(c) A 5 per cent increase in contributions to CERF over the average of the previous years (i.e. 2006-2012, except for 2010). Two new major private-sector donors (i.e. $10,000 and above) to CERF.

(d) Additional private-sector and creative community partnerships developed through the 2013 World Humanitarian Day campaign and other public advocacy efforts. Additional letters of understanding and pro-bono agreements developed to enable more predictable, mutually beneficial and sustainable working relationships with the media, arts and entertainment community.

(e) Disseminate regular guidance to private sector on how to provide assistance during major emergencies.