Defined roles and responsibilities within OCHA and among international development and humanitarian partners to support Member States and regional organizations in response preparedness
The earthquake in Haiti, the floods in Pakistan, and the earthquake and tsunami in Japan are just some of the disasters that demonstrated the correlation between lack of preparedness and humanitarian need, and the need to place improved preparedness at the top of the humanitarian agenda. Being prepared for emergencies not only saves lives, but safeguards livelihoods. OCHA plays an important leadership role in supporting national and international preparedness, and encouraging a stronger collective response to emergencies. Crucial to this response are the partnerships that OCHA has helped the humanitarian community establish with Governments and development actors.
Preparedness begins with local and national actors. The responsibility for supporting those actors extends to humanitarian and development organizations. Recognizing this, in 2011 the OCHA-chaired IASC developed a set of transformative actions for 2011-2012. The IASC identified “building national capacity for preparedness” as a priority, arguing for stronger inter-agency involvement and advocacy at the country level to secure more resources and improve coordination. OCHA will continue on this path in 2012 and 2013, working with IASC partners to develop and refine best practice and common approaches for preparedness-and-response capacity, working towards an agreed framework for humanitarian and development partners.
OCHA recently developed a Minimum Preparedness Package (MPP) of support actions tailored to the needs of disaster-prone countries. Introduced in 2012, the MPP is a framework that includes a checklist of preparedness actions and end states, to provide a more coherent approach to preparedness and support to national disaster management authorities, RCs, HCs and HCTs. End states at country level include an understanding of roles and responsibilities, inclusive coordination structures, the ability to issues appeals at short notice, and to produce key IM and reporting products based on sectoral inputs to support coordination, analysis and decision-making. OCHA and its inter-agency partners will work to ensure that adequate preparedness is in place, tested through simulation exercises, for improved response outcomes.