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close this bookRefugee Emergencies. A Community-Based Approach (UNHCR, 1996, 142 p.)
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Annex No. 11

Mission Terms of Reference Community Services in Emergencies (Initial Needs Assessment)

The Community Services Officer in the initial stages of the emergency should undertake a mission to accomplish the following:

1. Together with the BO/OCM concerned assess the possibility of a needs assessment to identify the number of vulnerable in the refugee community, i.e. the elderly, children, unaccompanied children, the disabled, the chronically ill, single-headed (female) households, the mentally ill.

2. Review the possibilities to meet these needs within the existing structures and the need to develop innovative means if necessary.

3. Assess the participation of the refugees in the day-to-day management of the refugee situation. In particular, the involvement of women in decision-making and their participation in the handling of resources. The need of women staff and interpreters.

4. Develop a system and procedures for continuing management and handling of assistance in order to establish clear guidelines for the delivery of services as well as reporting patterns from implementing partners.

5. Undertake visits to the various situations urban/camp based where refugees are and establish dialogue with them to assess their perception of the situation.

6. Identify and contact NGOs and Governmental Agencies who could assist in delivering services.

7. Develop job descriptions for staff who may be recruited to organize Community Services and establish clear lines of reporting and accountability.

8. Conduct brief on the job training for staff and volunteers who are involved in assisting refugees.

9. Prepare together with the BO a brief informational handout for the refugees and implementing partners, stating clearly UNHCR's approach, abilities, and limitations.

10. Any other emerging issues relating to refugee management.