|Coordinating Among International Organizations in Complex Emergencies (Draft 1st Edition) (Complex Emergency Training Initiative - Disaster Management Training Programme, 77 p.)|
11 Taken from the DHA Handbook on Complex Emergencies.
The best description of the work of the DHA representative in-country in a complex emergency (and therefor the overall work of his/her support staff) are the "Terms of Reference of the Humanitarian Coordinator". These terms of reference, approved by the Inter-Agency Standing Committee at the heads of agency level, also apply to the UN Resident Coordinator, when acting as the DHA representative.
These terms of reference include 22 tasks, divided into four main categories:
1) humanitarian assistance coordination mechanisms and agreements
2) assessing and addressing humanitarian needs
3) humanitarian advocacy
4) information dissemination
Humanitarian assistance coordination mechanisms and agreements
1. Convening and serving as the Chair for meetings of the Disaster Management Team (DMT) in-country to deal with matters relating to the complex emergency in question, and providing the necessary secretariat support to the DMT. For purposes of dealing with the complex emergency in question, the regular DMT will usually be expanded to include other relevant entities, such as NGOs involved in related relief efforts.
2. Reaching agreement on the basic division of responsibilities among the UN agencies, in accordance with their respective mandates and capacities, as well as working with the other relief entities to facilitate such agreements within the larger relief community.
3. Developing and maintaining a central registry of locally represented humanitarian assistance agencies and organizations, including information on their respective activities and expertise.
4. Ensuring that effective inter-agency coordination within specific sector areas is undertaken by the relevant agencies, and that coordination of the overall logistics needs of the relief operation is effectively undertaken.
5. Obtaining guidance from the Designated Official regarding the implementation of security procedures in support of humanitarian assistance activities, ensuring that this is effectively communicated to the concerned agencies in the field, and facilitating their coordinated implementation.
6. Acting as a focal point fort discussion within the relief community regarding policy issues of inter-agency concern (e.g. wage levels for local staff, difficulties with customs procedures and policies, government clearances for travel and passes, etc.) and as an interlocutor with the relevant parties (e.g., the host government) for resolution of such matters.
7. Facilitating the provision of key support services for the larger relief community, such as telecommunications, transportation (e.g., via vehicle or light aircraft operation), etc.
8. Ensuring consultation with government and national authorities on matters regarding the planning and implementation of humanitarian assistance
9. Facilitating communications, and ensuring overall coordination, between the UN and other humanitarian aid agencies on the one hand and the relevant components of bilateral military forces and/or those of UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations when such forces are present, including promoting resolution of matters of joint concern to the humanitarian aid agencies
Assessing and addressing humanitarian needs
10. Ensuring the overall coordination of inter-agency, multi-sectoral assessments of needs, including the identification of priority needs, and ensuring that such assessments are quickly initiated, adequately supported and effectively carried out.
11. Coordinating the preparation of an overall humanitarian assistance strategy and Plan of Action of UN agencies, including the establishing of priorities for assistance and agreed collaborative approaches, and coordinating revisions and modifications as required by changing conditions and needs. The preparation and revision of this Plan should be done in close collaboration with the other relevant humanitarian assistance entities, including reflecting their activities and future plans in the Plan.
12. Coordinating the preparation of inter-agency consolidated appeals for humanitarian assistance for the complex emergency in question, including working with the agencies both in-country and at the headquarters level to ensure that the actions described in the IASC Consolidated Appeal Guidelines (currently being finalized) are implemented.
13. Monitoring the provision of resources against such appeals, bringing donor attention to important outstanding gaps, and facilitating inter-agency resource mobilization efforts both in-country as well as at the headquarters level (e.g., via local donor meetings and briefings, convening donor conferences if appropriate, etc.).
14. Monitoring humanitarian needs and identifying specific gaps in the provision of humanitarian assistance. Working with UN and other entities to ensure that such gaps are addressed before they reach the crisis point.
15. Facilitating ongoing strategic planning for the relief effort, including the provision of early warning of major changes in needs or delivery capacities, and contingency planning for such eventualities.
16. Monitoring and facilitating UN humanitarian assistance to special population groups (e.g., internally displaced persons, demobilized soldiers, etc.) to ensure that it is provided in an adequate and timely manner, and coordinating such UN efforts (unless such coordination has been delegated by the Emergency Relief Coordinator to a specific agency).
17. Ensuring that the necessary support is provided to field staff assisting in local coordination of humanitarian assistance and in situation monitoring.
18. Ensuring that effective evaluations of the overall relief efforts, especially the coordination aspects, are undertaken, the lessons to be learned dearly identified, and appropriate follow-up actions taken.
19. Cooperating with entities responsible for planning and implementation of rehabilitation and development activities to ensure that rehabilitation actions begin as soon as they become feasible (which will often be simultaneous with relief efforts), and that relief actions are planned and undertaken with the perspective of their longer-term impacts.
20. Serving as focal point for the humanitarian community for ensuring the protection of humanitarian mandates in conflict situations, including by: (a.) seeking acceptance by all parties to the civil conflict in question on the key principles that must underlie UN humanitarian aid efforts (e.g. neutrality, impartiality, access to those in need, accountability to donors for aid provided, etc.); and (b.) promoting, assisting and if necessary, leading negotiations to obtain free, safe and unimpeded access for humanitarian assistance to those in need. (c.) provide information to the Military and Political Department of UN missions assigned to a country to situate the humanitarian mandate in relation to political and military ones.
21. Collecting, analyzing, and disseminating information regarding humanitarian needs and operations to the wider community (e.g., through the production of regular Situation Reports).
22. Ensuring the provision of timely, accurate and relevant information to media, and of briefing information to assist new agencies and NGOs, visiting missions and delegations, etc.