Objective 2.4

A more systematic coordination of the common humanitarian programme cycle, including needs assessment and analysis, joint planning, fund-raising, resource allocation, and monitoring and evaluation.

Well-coordinated programme cycle management is the operational core of OCHA’s work at the country level. When crises occur in regions where OCHA operates, the organization establishes a coordination system in which joint plans and appeals are based on comprehensive coordinated needs assessments; resource allocation is linked to joint plans and priorities; and the humanitarian situation and response are monitored with respect to targets expressed in the joint plan. Humanitarian information management mirrors these stages and evaluations feed into the cycle.

In 2012, actors made a strengthened commitment to engage in programme cycle coordination as a result of the Transformative Agenda. An example of this commitment is the establishment of the Programme Cycle Steering Group to oversee and guide the inter-agency work relating to the humanitarian programme cycle (HPC). OCHA simultaneously established the Programme Support Branch to highlight the links among the cycle elements, and to enable a more holistic approach to the guidance, tools and technical support that benefit humanitarian actors’ work. The reorganization brings together the sections working on the different elements of the cycle and the coordination mechanisms that underpin it.

In 2013, OCHA will focus on ensuring coherence in applying the HPC in an emergency. OCHA will ensure that the different elements are linked and strengthen capacity at the field level to implement the cycle, including appropriate systems that support it. On the normative side, this will entail continued support to the inter-agency work by the Programme Cycle Steering Group to agree and field test the ideal application of the programme cycle. Work will continue on mainstreaming the use of the IASC Gender Marker, which integrates gender concerns throughout the programme cycle. In addition, certain elements of the cycle will need to be strengthened. The Multi-Cluster Initial Rapid Assessment (MIRA) approach is being rolled out, thus supporting the humanitarian community to produce information on which to base joint planning in the early stages of an emergency. In 2012, at least four MIRAs have been conducted in the Philippines, Chad, Pakistan and Yemen, and about seven countries are conducting MIRA preparedness work. While this roll-out will continue in 2013, similarly focused efforts are needed to strengthen the evidence base in protracted emergency situations through harmonized assessments and results analysis. OCHA will support these in all countries that develop CAPs for 2014 as a necessary basis for the common humanitarian strategies. Following feedback from partner organizations and donors, the work to simplify and streamline the consolidated appeal process and related guidance has started and is reflected in the 2013 CAP guidance and resulting CAPs. These efforts, in conjunction with particular innovations in selected countries, will continue over the next period to add value at the field level while providing the most appropriate information on which donors can base their funding decisions.

In the past years, efforts have been made to develop a solid prioritization methodology of the CAPs to meaningfully inform donors’ funding decisions and guide pooled-fund allocations, but with mixed results. A new prioritization method will be introduced for the 2013 CAPs. Efforts to ensure project prioritization of pooled funds in line with CAP priorities will be underscored in the review of CHF guidelines. To better understand donors’ funding decisions, OCHA will pursue a survey with the Good Humanitarian Donorship Group as to why donors do not fully fund the top-priority projects in those CAPs that are considered as well prioritized.

The Gender Marker is fully integrated into the CAP, and it is now an element of the Global ERF Guidelines that were adopted in late 2012. Therefore, gender-sensitive programming is now homogeneously implemented across all funds. The use of the Gender Marker has shown good results, with more countries and clusters regularly incorporating it into their project design. The coding of the Gender Marker at the 2b level—projects specifically targeting gender equality—is currently at 7 per cent, which is below the 15 per cent target. Efforts will focus on the reasons for this and refine targets as appropriate. The Gender Marker, now in its third year, will be fully implemented in 2013.

Similarly, field-level monitoring efforts continue, and technical work to develop an inter-agency framework for strategic-level monitoring is taking place under the oversight of the Programme Cycle Steering Group. Scheduled for roll-out in 2013, the framework will inform assessments, guide the humanitarian community on the progress and direction of the response, and strengthen the accountability of the humanitarian response. Monitoring and reporting frameworks for country-based pooled funds rolled out in 2013 will focus on the project level, but they will also inform the larger monitoring efforts of the Programme Cycle Steering Group. Continued efforts are needed to provide an integrated information management system that adequately supports each phase while ensuring an improved flow of information throughout the cycle. This includes making all relevant information on the HPC easily accessible to partners through a web-based portal.

Together with the focus on normative progress and inter-agency agreement around the HPC elements, there needs to be a concurrent strengthening of staff capacity through training and technical support to implement each element of the cycle in a holistic manner. Refining and streamlining existing trainings will be a priority, forming the basis for a targeted approach to enhance regional and country capacity.

Well-coordinated programme cycle management is the operational core of OCHA’s work at the country level. When crises occur in regions where OCHA operates, the organization establishes a coordination system in which joint plans and appeals are based on comprehensive coordinated needs assessments; resource allocation is linked to joint plans and priorities; and the humanitarian situation and response are monitored with respect to targets expressed in the joint plan. Humanitarian information management mirrors these stages and evaluations feed into the cycle.

In 2012, actors made a strengthened commitment to engage in programme cycle coordination as a result of the Transformative Agenda. An example of this commitment is the establishment of the Programme Cycle Steering Group to oversee and guide the inter-agency work relating to the humanitarian programme cycle (HPC). OCHA simultaneously established the Programme Support Branch to highlight the links among the cycle elements, and to enable a more holistic approach to the guidance, tools and technical support that benefit humanitarian actors’ work. The reorganization brings together the sections working on the different elements of the cycle and the coordination mechanisms that underpin it.

In 2013, OCHA will focus on ensuring coherence in applying the HPC in an emergency. OCHA will ensure that the different elements are linked and strengthen capacity at the field level to implement the cycle, including appropriate systems that support it. On the normative side, this will entail continued support to the inter-agency work by the Programme Cycle Steering Group to agree and field test the ideal application of the programme cycle. Work will continue on mainstreaming the use of the IASC Gender Marker, which integrates gender concerns throughout the programme cycle. In addition, certain elements of the cycle will need to be strengthened. The Multi-Cluster Initial Rapid Assessment (MIRA) approach is being rolled out, thus supporting the humanitarian community to produce information on which to base joint planning in the early stages of an emergency. In 2012, at least four MIRAs have been conducted in the Philippines, Chad, Pakistan and Yemen, and about seven countries are conducting MIRA preparedness work. While this roll-out will continue in 2013, similarly focused efforts are needed to strengthen the evidence base in protracted emergency situations through harmonized assessments and results analysis. OCHA will support these in all countries that develop CAPs for 2014 as a necessary basis for the common humanitarian strategies. Following feedback from partner organizations and donors, the work to simplify and streamline the consolidated appeal process and related guidance has started and is reflected in the 2013 CAP guidance and resulting CAPs. These efforts, in conjunction with particular innovations in selected countries, will continue over the next period to add value at the field level while providing the most appropriate information on which donors can base their funding decisions.

In the past years, efforts have been made to develop a solid prioritization methodology of the CAPs to meaningfully inform donors’ funding decisions and guide pooled-fund allocations, but with mixed results. A new prioritization method will be introduced for the 2013 CAPs. Efforts to ensure project prioritization of pooled funds in line with CAP priorities will be underscored in the review of CHF guidelines. To better understand donors’ funding decisions, OCHA will pursue a survey with the Good Humanitarian Donorship Group as to why donors do not fully fund the top-priority projects in those CAPs that are considered as well prioritized.

The Gender Marker is fully integrated into the CAP, and it is now an element of the Global ERF Guidelines that were adopted in late 2012. Therefore, gender-sensitive programming is now homogeneously implemented across all funds. The use of the Gender Marker has shown good results, with more countries and clusters regularly incorporating it into their project design. The coding of the Gender Marker at the 2b level—projects specifically targeting gender equality—is currently at 7 per cent, which is below the 15 per cent target. Efforts will focus on the reasons for this and refine targets as appropriate. The Gender Marker, now in its third year, will be fully implemented in 2013.

Similarly, field-level monitoring efforts continue, and technical work to develop an inter-agency framework for strategic-level monitoring is taking place under the oversight of the Programme Cycle Steering Group. Scheduled for roll-out in 2013, the framework will inform assessments, guide the humanitarian community on the progress and direction of the response, and strengthen the accountability of the humanitarian response. Monitoring and reporting frameworks for country-based pooled funds rolled out in 2013 will focus on the project level, but they will also inform the larger monitoring efforts of the Programme Cycle Steering Group. Continued efforts are needed to provide an integrated information management system that adequately supports each phase while ensuring an improved flow of information throughout the cycle. This includes making all relevant information on the HPC easily accessible to partners through a web-based portal.

Together with the focus on normative progress and inter-agency agreement around the HPC elements, there needs to be a concurrent strengthening of staff capacity through training and technical support to implement each element of the cycle in a holistic manner. Refining and streamlining existing trainings will be a priority, forming the basis for a targeted approach to enhance regional and country capacity.

Result 1: Better-coordinated assessment and prioritization clearly reflected in the development and funding of strategic humanitarian plans.
Indicator 1. Number and proportion of appeals informed by needs identified through a coordinated assessment process.
BASELINE 2011

Coordinated assessment processes are not well established in most countries. Few appeals are systematically informed by coordinated assessments.

TARGET 2012

75 per cent of appeals (flash and CAPs) informed by coordinated assessments.

EXPANDED: New agreements on needs assessments, prioritization and monitoring requirements are integrated into CAP guidance by end August.

TARGET 2013

100 per cent of appeals (flash and CAPS) informed by coordinated assessments.

Indicator 2. Multi-sectoral information on humanitarian needs is systematically analysed and tracked in humanitarian operations (Multi-Cluster Initial Rapid Assessment/MIRA and Humanitarian Dashboard).
BASELINE 2011

All 2012 CAPs on target to have inter-sectoral Humanitarian Dashboard pages. Five country offices have sectoral pages. The MIRA is not yet operationalized.

TARGET 2012

The MIRA and Dashboard (as relevant for each context) are used to support data consolidation and analysis in 50 per cent of all emergency settings.

ACCELERATED: Data preparedness for operational baseline data (CODs) availability to support multi-sectoral analysis; currently 72 per cent completed for OCHA-prioritized countries (GFM), with a projection of 90 per cent completed by June.

TARGET 2013

The MIRA and Dashboard (as relevant for each context) are used to support data consolidation and analysis in 100 per cent of all emergency settings.

Result 2: RC/HCs and Humanitarian Country Teams receive, act on and publish information on the performance of the humanitarian system in delivering planned results (reformulated).
Indicator 1. Information provided by cluster coordinators per an agreed data-collection plan is compiled into real-time situation and performance monitoring at output and outcome levels.
BASELINE 2011

Real-time monitoring and reporting is irregular and infrequent at outcome level, but about 75 per cent of country offices receive and compile comprehensive cluster information on outputs (but still infrequently—most of those only publish output information twice a year in the CAP and CAP midyear review documents). Some of the IASC-agreed standard indicators are being introduced into the 2012 CAPs. More widespread use of these would promise monitoring on the basis of comparability among crises, which may lead to more strategic and focused response plans and appeals.

TARGET 2012

50 per cent of crises publish comprehensive real-time monitoring information on outputs and outcomes (subject to cluster leads’ provision of information).

NEW: Initial monitoring and reporting framework developed for Level 3 emergencies by July; full monitoring framework by September.
NEW: Real-Time Evaluation (RTE) guidance revised by April; long-term RTE procurement agreements secured for faster deployment by December.

TARGET 2013

75 per cent of crises publish comprehensive real-time monitoring information on outputs and outcomes via a publication platform to be determined by the IASC Technical Group on Monitoring. . 

Indicator 2. Each project selected for a CAP and/or funded by an OCHA-managed pooled fund is coded using the Gender Marker to ensure that projects address gender equality, and that donors are permitted to make funding choices based on the project's Gender Marker code.
BASELINE 2011

Gender Marker rolled out in nine CAPs and five pooled funds. A total of 7.2 per cent of CAP projects coded as 2b.

TARGET 2012

Gender Marker used in all CAPs in 2012. Analysis of coding measures; up to 10 per cent of CAP projects coded as 2b.

TARGET 2013

Full use of Gender Marker in all CAPs and all pooled funds. Increase to 12 per cent the number of CAP projects coding 2b - significantly addressing gender equality (long-term aim to reach 15 per cent by 2015). Monitoring use of Gender Marker throughout project implementation incorporated into system-wide monitoring schemes.

Indicator 3. OCHA country offices in pilot countries produce an annual multi-sectoral strategic review and/or impact study of collective humanitarian action in that crisis, focusing on impact and evaluating the quality of the humanitarian strategy.
BASELINE 2011

No such review, impact studies or evaluations. OCHA country offices have very limited capacities to commission and manage heavy inter-agency evaluation processes. At the global level, OCHA has conducted some broad-based consultations for a methodology for assessing the joint impact of humanitarian interventions at the level of affected people. The results of these consultations can help to inform the development of some pilot impact studies.

TARGET 2012

One pilot inter-cluster crisis-wide review or impact study in a CAP country with a country-based pooled fund. 

TARGET 2013

Two additional inter-cluster or crisis-wide reviews or impact studies in CAP countries with a country-based pooled fund.

Indicator 4. OCHA-managed pooled funds use standard monitoring frameworks that are consistent with the wider CAP monitoring framework. (ADDED FOR 2013)
BASELINE 2012

Monitoring and reporting framework for CHFs finalized, and implementation plan defined in consultation with OCHA country offices, relevant OCHA sections and stakeholders. ERF monitoring and reporting framework developed. Grant-management databases for ERFs and CHFs developed. CERF PAF review, initiated in 2011, leads to necessary adjustments and improvements, including on CERF reporting and monitoring framework.

TARGET 2013 Performance and Accountability Framework (PAF) for country-based pooled funds developed. ERF database and monitoring framework operationalized. ERF grant-management database and monitoring framework implemented. Identified improvements from the CERF PAF review are fully implemented.
Result 3: Unified guidance and information management for the inter-connected programme cycle elements are developed, disseminated and used in the field, with all necessary support from OCHA HQs (reformulated).
Indicator 1. Improved standardization and guidance on needs assessment, strategic appeals and financing.
BASELINE 2011

Despite inter-agency agreement on the programme cycle concept, endorsement of key guidance is still lacking and roll-out mechanisms are incomplete.

TARGET 2012

ACCELERATED: Multi-Cluster Initial Rapid Assessment (MIRA) manual is disseminated from April.
ACCELERATED: Ten cluster members are trained in undertaking MIRA by April; another 30 in a field-level simulation by June. Seven targeted support missions on needs assessment provided to six countries by May.

ACCELERATED: Procedures adopted for initial rapid strategy development within the first 72 hours of an emergency. 
NEW: Guidance on use of CERF and pooled funds in Level 3 emergency is completed in March.

NEW: Policy on Commitment on Accountability to Affected People is developed by December, identifying OCHA roles and responsibilities, ensuring consultation and communication with affected people in all components of programme cycle.

TARGET 2013

Normative guidance on coordination and the HPC developed and disseminated to the field: HPC reference module for field practitioners has been completed and disseminated through OCHA country offices by end of Q2.

Promotion of Accountability to Affected Peoples in two work streams: a) ensuring girls, boys, women, men and vulnerable groups are meaningfully engaged in all programme cycle stages, and b) that compliance to existing accountability commitments are more rigorously demanded and enforced. In 2013, OCHA will ensure meaningful participation of affected people’s representatives in the assessment design and conduct.

Indicator 2. OCHA creates/adapts and applies an inter-connected IM system that carries a train of humanitarian data for each crisis through the stages of the programme cycle: needs, joint planning, monitoring, and resource allocation and tracking.
BASELINE 2011

Some elements of such a system exist and need to be revamped, adapted and connected (3W, CERF grant-management system, FTS, OPS). Other elements are yet to be developed (field pooled-fund grant-management databases, needs database, adding project-monitoring module to OPS). CERF has implemented the first two phases of its new grant-management system.

TARGET 2012

Needs-assessment database developed. OPS project-monitoring module developed. Database for ERF monitoring and reporting developed. Common standards for sharing data along the HPL agreed, with early adoption of needs-assessment standards (the MIRA being especially valuable in supporting CERF). BETA platform developed and provided online; technical inter-operability in place for the various systems representing elements of the programme cycle. CERF will have fully implemented a comprehensive grant-management system, including an enhanced CERF grant database with improved reporting capabilities.

ACCELERATED: One cluster (as pilot) integrating common language (HXL) to facilitate automatic information sharing into their processes.

NEW: Development of common approach for information gathering from clusters is in development (Common Request Format); to be agreed with agencies by June and field tested in one country by September.

ACCELERATED: Review of refined HIC approach by May.
ACCELERATED: Humanitarian Response site is piloted in two countries by June and in 10 countries by December.

ACCELERATED: CAP project-monitoring system is developed and rolled out.

TARGET 2013

Linking systems and databases and moving consistent data on needs, response and results through the stages of the programme cycle.  Implement the ERF standard database and monitoring framework. Grant-management databases for ERFs and CHFs developed. Development of standards for data sharing across programme cycle components, with an agreed governance structure in place and functioning.

Indicator 3. A web-based knowledge repository of IASC and cluster guidance, tools, training materials and a good-practice catalogue has been developed and is regularly maintained. (ADDED FOR 2013)
BASELINE 2012

Websites containing reference on coordination, clusters and the programme cycle elements are currently dispersed across many unrelated sites requiring consolidation.

The website (humanitarianresponse.info) is due to be launched in Q4. Coordination and PSB materials are being prepared. The website is an opportunity to bring together reference and other information for all the components of the programme cycle in a logical fashion, and which the field can easily access.

TARGET 2013

Normative guidance, tools and good practice on coordination, clusters and the humanitarian programme cycle are easily accessible by OCHA and inter-agency partners at global and field level. Coordination and PSB modules are established and maintained on OCHANet and humanitarianresponse.info.

Result 4: The RC/HC, cluster coordinators and partners rely on fully predictable and systematic OCHA coordination of, and support for, each element of the common humanitarian programme cycle, reinforcing their inter-connections.
Indicator 1. OCHA builds the capacity of its humanitarian affairs officers (HAOs) and information management officers (IMOs) in the field to coordinate and support the elements of the programme cycle, as part of the OCHA Learning Strategy.
BASELINE 2011

Workplans for pooled-fund managers in place, as are guidelines on the role of OCHA country and regional offices in developing, reviewing and managing CERF grant requests. Many HAOs managing pooled funds have had commensurate training. Workplans are not yet developed for HAOs who focus on coordination of needs assessments, or on joint planning and monitoring (though some have received training). Some IMOs have been trained on informational support to programme-cycle elements.

TARGET 2012

Generic workplans reflecting each element of PCM, to guide HAOs focusing on PCM, completed and disseminated to country offices. 50 per cent of HAOs and IMOs involved in PCM receive necessary training and coaching. 

NEW: HC/HCTs trained and mentored on strategic framework in nine countries, commencing in May.  Package of programme cycle guidance (needs assessment, strategies, monitoring) streamlined and rolled out to HCTs by August. Review of 2011 and 2012 appeals to rate their strategic qualities will be finalized; results analysed and lessons learned applied in 2013 CAP development. HCTs supported in use of new monitoring framework.

NEW: Two product development “sprints” with field participation, as a means of accelerating the conceptualization, design and development of information management tools to support the programme cycle (Humanitarian Response, CRF).

ACCELERATED: Two joint ISS/ACE trainings by June to improve information management knowledge and skills in support of humanitarian programme cycle, including needs assessment. A third by December.

TARGET 2013 90 per cent (cumulatively) of HAOs and IMOs involved in PCM receive necessary training and coaching. 
Indicator 2. OCHA heads of office draw on integrated guidance through headquarters’ cell for thematic operational support.
BASELINE 2011

No such coherent integrated thematic support offered from OCHA headquarters

TARGET 2012 Headquarters cell supports telecons and appropriate follow-up for 50 per cent of OCHA priority country offices with major crises.
TARGET 2013

Headquarters cell supports telecons and appropriate follow-up for 100 per cent of OCHA country offices with major crises.

Indicator 3. Cluster coordinators and cluster member organizations fully use “enhanced geographical fields” on OPS to achieve more efficient joint plans.
BASELINE 2011 OCHA HAOs and IMOs are supporting cluster coordinators and members to pilot the use of the enhanced geographical fields in developing the 2012 CAPs.
TARGET 2013

Clusters in 75 per cent of CAPs demonstrate that their planned projects will cover the needs optimally (demonstrating a one-to-one relationship with assessed needs, eliminating overlaps and minimizing gaps, and usable as a framework for monitoring).

TARGET 2013

All clusters in all CAPs demonstrate that their planned projects will cover the needs optimally.