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close this bookDisaster Assessment (Department of Humanitarian Affairs/United Nations Disaster Relief Office - United Nations Development Programme , 1994, 54 p.)
close this folderPART 3 - The role of the UN in relation to assessments
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentUN agency representatives
View the documentKey elements of the resident coordinator's early disaster role
View the documentThe role of the resident coordinator as relief activity develops
View the documentReporting assessment information
View the documentFormulating and screening requests for international assistance

The role of the resident coordinator as relief activity develops

As relief operations get underway, the resident coordinator/representative will need to maintain an overview of assessments from the UN perspective and ensure that all relevant aspects and all affected areas are systematically covered.

A multi-sectoral approach to the assessment in which agencies and sectoral entities collaborate and agree on findings and response strategies is essential. Sectoral assessments which are undertaken independently and in isolation from each other are likely to duplicate effort and lead to gaps in coverage and information. The need will remain to try to piece together an overall situation assessment, reconcile different perspectives and determine inter-sectoral priorities.

The resident coordinator/representative must collaborate closely with the national Red Cross/Red Crescent Society, the LRCS and ICRC (where present) and NGOs in assessing all types of emergencies, especially those involving displaced persons.

Every effort should be given to developing consensus among the national and local authorities, the donor community and operational agencies concerning the situation, any assistance requirements and proposed interventions. Without agreement on needs and priorities, there will not be wholehearted cooperation - there may even be competition - in response. Where there are differences of opinion which cannot be reconciled, the resident coordinator/representative should specify them, with the underlying reasons where possible, to DHA.

The resident coordinator/representative must also help all concerned to include a development perspective in the planning of emergency and post-disaster assistance.

With regard to the phasing of the assessment, it is worth emphasizing that the first assessment will generally have to be conducted using in-country personnel. This involves, within the first few days, a review of scope and scale of the disaster and the areas in which assistance is required. The follow-up detailed assessment to define precise needs sector-by-sector and draw up a concerted inter-agency program can be supported by additional specialist personnel from the various agencies and/or multi-agency teams.

The resident coordinator/representative must also help all concerned to include a development perspective in the planning of emergency and post-disaster assistance.

Q. Who has the ultimate responsibility for seeking and defining the need for international assistance?

A.


The heads of the separate UN agencies?


The government of the affected country?


The resident coordinator?

Check the appropriate box.

ANSWER

The government of the affected country.