'Experience has shown that coordinating needs assessments is an important element in saving lives and restoring people's livelihoods'
Coordinated Assessments are those planned and carried out in partnership by humanitarian actors, in order to document the impact of a particular crisis and to identify the needs of affected populations.
Credible and accurate assessment results form the basis for needs-based strategic planning and system-wide monitoring. Along with emergency preparedness, the timeliness and quality of assessments help to determine the effectiveness of the humanitarian response.
Coordinated assessments can have long-lasting and positive effects not only on the quality of interagency coordination, but also on donor funding levels and relationships with governments, local NGOs and disaster-affected populations. They are also a cornerstone of humanitarian accountability.
A Shared Commitment to Coordinated Assessments
The Inter Agency Steering Committee (IASC) promotes the coordination of needs assessments to enhance the quality of humanitarian response. Its Members endeavour to prepare, lead and implement coordinated assessments, as described in the IASC Operational Guidance for Coordinated Assessments in Humanitarian Crises. The Guidance makes the following recommendations:
- The Humanitarian/Resident Coordinator establishes coordination mechanisms for cross-cluster/sector needs assessment and analysis.
- Country-level cluster/sector leads ensure effective and coherent sectoral needs assessment.
- Operational agencies have the primary responsibility for undertaking assessments. They do so in a coordinated manner and adhere to the definitions, principles, methodologies and approaches set out in the Operational Guidance.
- Plans for implementation of coordinated assessments are part of preparedness and contingency planning work.
- Coordinated assessments are part of ongoing processes guiding operational decision-making, and complement monitoring of the overall humanitarian situation and the performance of the humanitarian response.
Coordination mechanisms applied to needs assessments differ depending on the phase and nature of a crisis. A Multi Cluster Initial Rapid Assessment (MIRA) is recommended during the first two weeks following a disaster, followed by joint or harmonized intra-cluster/sector in-depth assessments.
|Humanitarian Indicators Registry by Cluster 2013|
|Multi-Cluster/Sector Initial Rapid Assessment|
|Operational Guidance for Coordinated Assessments in Humanitarian Crises|
|Somalia Rapid Assessments Tools|
|Somalia Rapid Household Questionnaire|
|Somalia Rapid Key Informant Questionnaire|
|Global Coordinated Assessments Website|