OCHA continued to support the roll-out of the UN integration policy, while ensuring integration measures supported principled humanitarian action. With DPA and DPKO, OCHA led analysis and discussion on UN integration and humanitarian space. This process included many humanitarian and non-humanitarian partners. An independent study was issued, outlining several recommendations that OCHA will help implement in the next biennium.
UN Humanitarian Civil-Military Coordination (UN-CMCoord) capacity was enhanced in OCHA country offices through developing and delivering tailored training packages at the country and regional level, e.g. Haiti and the Regional Office for West and Central Africa.
In response to the North Africa crisis, a tailored UN-CMCoord assessment package was delivered to OCHA Libya. UN-CMCoord country support was also delivered to OCHA Somalia in Nairobi and Mogadishu.
- Eight new partnership agreements were signed in 2011 with corporate-sector actors, non-profit organizations and academic institutions.
Humanitarian coordination now requires a more imaginative and inclusive approach, and new forms of engagement that go beyond partnerships with traditional humanitarian organizations. Due to the variety of non-humanitarian actors now engaged directly or indirectly in humanitarian work, in 2010 and 2011 OCHA initiated and consolidated partnerships with different groups, such as military respondents, corporate-sector actors and non-profit organizations.
OCHA’s relationships with political and peacekeeping missions remain essential. The roll-out of the UN policy on integration should give these relationships a new coherence. OCHA developed the integrated-mission planning work that was carried out in 2010. It focused on field support, looking to ensure that integration processes and mechanisms helped support humanitarian activities.
However, despite overall improvements in the level of collaboration and coordination between humanitarian actors and DPA and DPKO missions, UN integration policy was still criticized by humanitarian actors. They warned of its tendency to undermine impartial, neutral and independent humanitarian action. With IASC partners, OCHA argued for greater analysis of the issue, and in December 2011 an independent study on UN integration and humanitarian space was completed. The findings and recommendations, which will be taken forward in the next biennium, underscore the need for a context-driven approach to integration, grounded on a thorough analysis of the potential consequences of integration for humanitarians.
OCHA maintained its leading role in UN-CMCoord. A strategic engagement with DPKO and peacekeeping forces, including pre-deployment training to civilian and military staff, has aided their understanding of humanitarian action, while regional civil-military networks and coordination mechanisms continue to grow. This has helped relationships and general interaction in the field. In the North Africa and Horn of Africa crises, the dissemination of civil-military operational guidance proved instrumental in informing and directing the international community on the appropriate use of military assets to support the humanitarian response, particularly in the Libya and Somalia situations. The use of specific UN-CMCoord packages to OCHA field offices has been judged successful. There will now be a wider global application of UN-CMCoord.
OCHA has maintained partnerships with organizations that facilitate the work of the UNDAC team and other humanitarian actors in areas such as logistics, IT, communications and mapping support. OCHA has also continued to work with partners that directly support the work of the service clusters.
UNDAC deployments have used a range of support networks and organizational partners. For example, OCHA worked closely with the International Humanitarian Partnership (IHP) in Libya, Côte d'Ivoire and Japan, while also helping IHP work with WFP, UNHCR and ECHO. Best practices from the IHP network were demonstrated to regional partnership networks, such as the Asia-Pacific Humanitarian Partnership and the Americas Support Team.
Meanwhile, emergencies such as Libya and the famine in Somalia saw the arrival of numerous new aid organizations to these contexts, in particular of diaspora origin as well as from Turkey and the Gulf. Many of these organizatons had little previous interaction with the international humanitarian system, requiring dedicated efforts at field and HQs levels to help draw them into humanitarian coordination structures.
Public-private partnerships also continued to develop, including a new agreement with Lonely Planet. With the pro bono telecommunications services provided by Ericsson and the logistics expertise provided by DHL, these long-term agreements helped improve the effectiveness of field response, particularly in sudden-onset disasters. In collaboration with UN Global Compact and the NGO Global Hand, OCHA launched the UN-Business partnership gateway (www.business.un.org). This gives companies an overview of humanitarian needs and an entry point to explore partnership opportunities.
Reflecting the increasing importance of social media, OCHA launched an Emergency Relief Coordinator and OCHA Twitter account, enabling regular engagement with about 7,250 followers. This is in addition to the 11,250 followers on Facebook, where OCHA uploaded more than 400 posts during the year. About 11.2 million people on Twitter received messages about World Humanitarian Day (WHD) 2011, and 1.2 million people were contacted during the Horn of Africa mini-Summit. The WHD music video and other WHD films have been viewed over 100,000 times on video-sharing platforms such as YouTube.
WHD also saw OCHA’s first collaboration with the music industry. Connections were established with companies such as Warner Music International to produce the music video “If I Could Change”, which celebrates people helping people across the globe. The Warner Music relationship will be formalized into a partnership in early 2012 to reach much wider audiences through new music-related initiatives. OCHA also strengthened relationships with the PR and advertising world in 2011, particularly through projects with Droga5, a leading global advertising firm. Droga5 and OCHA are seeking innovative ways to reach wider, global audiences with humanitarian advocacy campaigns.
- Objective 1.1 - Member States and Regional Organizations
- Objective 1.2 - Operational Partners
- Objective 1.3 - Preparedness
- Objective 1.4 - Analysis and System-Wide Learning
- Objective 2.1 - Accountable Humanitarian Coordination Leaders
- Objective 2.2 - Scaling Up and Drawing Down Operations
- Objective 2.3 - Tools and Services
- Objective 2.4 - The Humanitarian Programme Cycle
- Objective 3.1 - Funding and Financial Management
- Objective 3.2 - Surge and Staffing Solutions
- Objective 3.3 - Organizational Learning for Results