Objective 1.3

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.

Result 1: Governments and Humanitarian Country Teams better prepared to respond to new emergencies and make appropriate use of international response mechanisms.
Indicator 1. OCHA delivers a Minimum Preparedness Package at country and regional level.
BASELINE 2011

The OCHA MPP was agreed among all OCHA regional offices and a number of country offices at the Emergency Preparedness Forum. The MPP will focus OCHA’s preparedness support on activities that are consistent with its mandate and competence. The MPP is already being integrated into the OCHA ROs, but more needs to be done to support OCHA COs in interpreting the MPP, particularly in situations of prolonged crisis where the emphasis is on response. The further development and roll-out of MPPs will be coordinated by EPS/ESB and will require OCHA’s Policy Instruction on Preparedness to be updated. Implementation will require a whole-of-OCHA approach. Customizing the MPP is essential to its effective delivery, which requires basic information on the country’s multi-hazard profile, potential impacts, vulnerability of population, Governments’ capacity and limitations (SWOT analysis), and the HCT’s state of preparedness to provide assistance when needed. ASB will provide ROs and COs technical advice and guidance in specific technical areas (e.g Civil-Military Coordination, Industrial & Environmental hazards) of emergency preparedness  The UNDAC Disaster Response Preparedness missions need to integrate the MPP approach to access national capacity for response. The MPPs need to be approved by SMT approval and subsequent internal and external dissemination.

TARGET 2012

a) OCHA regional offices meet region-specific targets for delivering MPP (see RO Performance Frameworks for each office).

b) OCHA country offices integrate the MPP as part of their preparedness-support planning by Q2 2012.

TARGET 2013 100 per cent of OCHA regional and country offices are familiar with the MPP, and 50 per cent have integrated related activities into their Performance Frameworks.
Indicator 2. National Governments, civil society and regional bodies are better able to access and use international humanitarian response services and tools before, during and after crises.
BASELINE 2011

A key element in the IASC Principals transformative actions for 2011-2012 has been securing the involvement of national authorities and civil society in international humanitarian response systems, particularly in crisis situations. OCHA regional and country offices are engaging with Member States, civil-society actors and regional organizations to encourage them to use international humanitarian response services and tools.

TARGET 2012

a) OCHA regional offices meet region-specific targets for delivering training and orientation to national Governments, civil society and regional bodies on international tools and services in preparedness/response (see RO Performance Frameworks for each office).

b) OCHA country offices integrate training and orientation to national Governments and civil society on international tools and services in preparedness/response as part of their preparedness support planning by Q2 2012.

TARGET 2013

a) OCHA regional and country offices have the capacity and are effectively supported by relevant Headquarters entities to meet region-specific targets to deliver training and orientation to national Governments, civil society and regional bodies on international tools and services in preparedness/response.

b) OCHA’s “Guide for Governments” produced and disseminated in three regions.

Result 2: Member States begin to receive more predictable IASC support to develop national preparedness and response capacity.
Indicator 1. Aligned approaches and coordinated support for preparedness among relevant international development and humanitarian partners
BASELINE 2011

In 2011, OCHA collaborated with a wide range of humanitarian and development partners on how best to strengthen international coordination on building country preparedness capacity. OCHA supported the IASC SWG in developing best practice and common approaches in Ghana, Uganda and Nepal. For a successful common approach, there needs to be predictable funding, with stronger links between CCAs, UNDAFs, CHAPS and CAPs in working on preparedness.

TARGET 2012

OCHA supports the IASC to develop best practice and common approaches to strengthen national preparedness capacity in two additional countries.

TARGET 2013

Agreed IASC common framework for engaging development and humanitarian partners in supporting national preparedness and response capacity.

Funding and financing mechanisms for preparedness are mapped and analyzed

Indicator 2. Improved inter-agency support to contingency planning and simulations with Humanitarian Country Teams and Member States
BASELINE 2011

In 2011, OCHA continued to work with the IASC SWG, country teams and Member States on improving preparedness/contingency planning, while also supporting simulation exercises. OCHA will look to enhance this approach in 2012, refining and testing preparedness and contingency planning across agencies, and ensuring simulation exercises are used at global and country levels.

In 2011 OCHA continued working closely with IASC SWG at the global level to improve guidance on inter-agency preparedness/contingency planning, and supporting the training of facilitators for simulation exercises. At the regional and country level, OCHA has continued to facilitate preparedness/contingency planning and simulation exercises with country teams and Member States. Further work will be carried out in 2012-13 to refine and test inter-agency preparedness/contingency planning approaches and simulation exercises, as well as increasing the understanding and use of these tools at the country level.

TARGET 2012

Inter-agency guidance and support on preparedness/contingency planning and simulations are further improved and tested in selected priority countries.

TARGET 2013

IASC and OCHA preparedness/contingency planning and simulation exercises are consistently used to support the development of preparedness capacity in all priority countries of regional offices and in countries where OCHA has a country office.

Inter-agency Emergency Response Planning (ERP) approach is agreed and IASC guidance developed.

Result 3: OCHA’s internal preparedness strengthened.
Indicator 1. OCHA better prepared to deliver emergency tools/services
BASELINE 2011

In 2011, OCHA collaborated with a wide range of humanitarian and development partners on how best to strengthen international coordination on building country preparedness capacity. OCHA supported the IASC SWG in developing best practice and common approaches in Ghana, Uganda and Nepal. For a successful common approach, there needs to be predictable funding, with stronger links between CCAs, UNDAFs, CHAPS and CAPs in working on preparedness.

TARGET 2012

OCHA supports the IASC to develop best practice and common approaches to strengthen national preparedness capacity in two additional countries.

TARGET 2013

Agreed common framework for engaging development and humanitarian partners in supporting national preparedness and response capacity.

Indicator 2. Improved inter-agency support to contingency planning and simulations with Humanitarian Country Teams and Member States
BASELINE 2011

Recent evaluations show OCHA’s need to speed up in establishing a presence in new emergencies. OCHA has given much attention to increasing the quality and predictability of its staffing arrangements in emergency scenarios (see Strategic Objectives 3.2). However, there are obvious deficiencies that have to be addressed, particularly in terms of start-up issues. OCHA has to ensure that staff deployed have the right equipment to perform their functions; can quickly establish in-country logistics and administrative support; can develop and cost work plans; and recruit local staff. Internal preparedness is a core component of OCHA’s policy instruction on preparedness and its proposed MPP. However, more needs to be done to ensure a clear demarcation of roles within OCHA to ensure an all-round readiness to respond.

TARGET 2012

A clear concept of OCHA readiness articulated, with roles and responsibilities incorporated into the workplans of respective units by Q4 2012

TARGET 2013

a) All regional offices and 25 per cent of all OCHA field staff have received training on how to facilitate and support the implementation of an effective programme cycle as part of emergency preparedness.

b) Heads of regional and country offices are able to provide advice to HCs and HCTs on the use of OCHA emergency tools and services (i.e. IARRM, UNDAC, Civ-Mil, environmental experts and surge capacity).