In OCHA, "surge" means the swift deployment of experienced coordination experts and other specialized humanitarian personnel.
Surge capacity is used when there are unforeseen emergencies and disasters, when a crisis deteriorates, or when a force majeure affects an office.
OCHA mobilizes surge staff from regional offices and from surge mechanisms managed by OCHA's Surge Capacity Section (SCS) at the Emergency Services Branch in Geneva. These mechanisms are the Emergency Response Roster, the Associates Surge Pool and the Stand-By Partnership Programme.
SCS also houses the ProCap GenCap (Gender Capacity Project) secretariat from where Protection Officers and Gender Advisors are deployed to the field for new and protracted emergencies.
SCS handles surge management and coordination within OCHA. This involves working closely with other parts of the organization during either an OCHA corporate emergency or a Level 3 emergency (the highest level emergency as defined by the Inter-Agency Standing Committee), supporting the set-up of new country offices where OCHA does not have a presence, and supporting the closure of country offices when OCHA offices are phasing out. Surge capacity also means being involved in the staff planning for OCHA country offices worldwide, working closely with human resources colleagues to avoid staffing gaps and ensuring operational stability and continuity.