Objective 1.4


  • Improved info-graphics, situation reports and dashboards—featuring data and analysis—gave audiences an overview of humanitarian situations.
  • Increased quality and analytical content of operational information products across most offices through the use of the standard templates that draw out figures and trends of the humanitarian crises.
  • OCHA broadened its partnerships with academics and global policy thinkers through the successful organization of three Humanitarian Policy Forums (one global, two regional). Through these consultations and additional analysis work, OCHA identified a joint policy agenda comprising three policy themes for prioritization in 2013: humanitarian aid effectiveness, innovation, and risk and vulnerability.


In 2012, OCHA increased its global analysis and built consensus towards a joint policy agenda for 2013. OCHA organized three policy conferences (USA, Egypt and South Africa) that brought together the views of close to 160 academics and policy actors, over 40 per cent of whom were from the global South. Participants pinpointed three key themes that require research and action: humanitarian aid effectiveness, innovation, and risk and vulnerability.

Simultaneously, OCHA developed a study that focused on the humanitarian impacts of global challenges. This led to recommendations for new risk-assessment models. OCHA also completed a study titled Humanitarianism in the Network Age, which looks at how new communications technologies are already affecting people’s behaviour in emergencies. This study helped OCHA advocate a more global, accountable and innovative humanitarian network, including by adapting to the impacts of new technologies.

In 2012, OCHA defined a priority list of four corporate information products that should be produced across all OCHA offices. These include situation report—an operational report to support coordination in an acute crisis; humanitarian bulletins—the main report for protracted crises that uses data and narrative analysis to substantiate advocacy messages; humanitarian snapshot—a full-page map focusing on up to three key messages, combining geo-referenced information, graphics and textual summaries of an emergency; humanitarian dashboards—an IASC tool to help clusters and the Humanitarian Country Team monitor the implementation of an appeal during a crisis.

To enhance the analytical content of these products, OCHA began developing a better understanding of the data it has and uses. Offices are bringing together operational datasets, which include geographic data, population statistics and data on humanitarian caseloads. More work is required to make this data comparable across offices and link it with other datasets, such as those on preparedness and financing, to create a more complete picture of a humanitarian environment.

A formal product-review process was established between Headquarters and country and regional offices to provide structured feedback to heads of office, and to start a dialogue around any constraints to meeting the corporate standard. This review process led to an increased awareness of the desired standard for all external products. By the end of 2012, all offices were producing these products consistently, and an increase in quality and analytical content was evident. In addition, a third of all offices introduced an e-mail distribution tool, MailChimp, to professionalize how products are presented to audiences and to better understand the metrics around use.

To enhance the analysis of OCHA’s products, more work is needed to make data more readily available and easy to use for analytical purposes. This work will be developed through two forums that were established in 2012: an Information Products Working Group and a Data Working Group.

Progress against Performance Framework
RESULT 1 A shared humanitarian policy and research agenda, shaped by an analysis of how global challenges increase worldwide vulnerability and humanitarian needs.
1. OCHA helps engender a systematic South-North-South exchange on humanitarian policy issues and set a global humanitarian policy and research agenda.

The humanitarian research agenda is dominated by a small number of research and policy actors. It has little representation from the global South. There is also no single publication that presents key strategic policy issues linked to a comprehensive overview of humanitarian facts, figures and trends.


a) Institutionalize a global research conference with strong representation of IASC and North and South research institutions to map current and future humanitarian policy priorities.


b) Organize two regional policy meetings to deepen understanding of local policy challenges and priorities.


c) In consultation with IASC and research partners, identify a research theme and develop/compile quantitative and qualitative data to present a overview of the humanitarian system twice a year.


d) Launch and disseminate a new OCHA flagship publication on pivotal humanitarian policy issues.


e) Undertake joint analysis with non-UN research partners, preferably from the global South.


a) OCHA held the second global Humanitarian Policy Forum in December 2012 to discuss current and future research and policy challenges and trends. More than half of the participants were from the global South. The forum identified key policy issues within the themes of innovation, humanitarian aid effectiveness, and risk and vulnerability.  


b) OCHA held two regional policy forums in South Africa (June 2012) and in Egypt (December 2012). Local humanitarian policy challenges were discussed with local response actors and policy thinkers.


c) OCHA completed the flagship publication Humanitarianism in the Network Age, which analyses the role of social media and other new technology developments in humanitarian assistance. The publication also includes world data and trends, a compilation of thematic and country-based humanitarian data and statistics.


d) The publication substituted the World Humanitarian Report.


e) OCHA broadened its networks and policy institutes to include up to 80 new policy partners from the global South. OCHA initiated a grants programme, offering funds to three researchers from southern institutions to undertake original research.  Grant winners presented their research at the Humanitarian Policy Forum in December.


a) Annual conference and two regional policy meetings are organized to deepen understanding of global and local policy challenges and priorities.


b) Annual overview of humanitarian system is developed/compiled and published.


c) UN General Assembly, ECOSOC, UN Secretary-General reports and the IASC reflect elements of the policy priorities identified.

RESULT 2 OCHA’s evaluations and analytical products help shape intergovernmental and humanitarian decision making.
1. Real-Time Evaluations (RTEs) and other inter-agency evaluations are a driving force in system-wide change and innovation.

RTEs carried out for all major emergencies, but uneven follow-up by HCTs on recommendations.


a) RTEs are carried out in the first three months of all L3 emergencies. HCTs act on 50 per cent of recommendations.


b) Generic ToRs for RTEs are revised in line with the ITA to narrow scope and focus on accountability mechanisms, including the HC-HCT strategic plan and delivery against results.


a) Although no L3 emergency was declared during the reporting period, OCHA completed four inter-agency RTEs in the Horn of Africa, plus a lessons-learned synthesis report. However, the IASC has commissioned an RTE of the response in the Sahel, and a mission was undertaken to look at the 2011-2012 Sahel response. This captured lessons learned from early warning to reinforcing resilience in the Sahel. The findings from the research on these two regional crises were submitted to the ITA and to the IASC principals for their discussion and planning on resilience. The Sahel mission prompted an increased focus on sharing evidence and learning between the Sahel and the Horn, including supporting Governments embarking on new initiatives in the Sahel, such as safety nets to learn from existing programmes in the Horn.


b) The primary purpose of RTEs is to support local-level remedial planning. In Somalia, the HCT accepted 22 of the 23 recommendations identified in the March 2012 RTE. By October 2012, the HCT had implemented eight of the recommendations (36 per cent), and the implementation of 13 recommendations was ongoing. In Kenya, the HCT had implemented two of the five recommendations identified by the RTE, and is implementing the other three.


c) The Ethiopia RTE team presented the RTE mission findings to the HCT and Government, but did not include any recommendations. During a two-day workshop, the participants (implementers and policy makers, including Governments, major donors, UN agencies and NGOs) developed 17 recommendations covering strategic and operational issues. They are developing an agreed workplan to implement these recommendations.


d) OCHA drafted generic terms of reference for RTEs, which were approved by the IASC WG with minor changes. However, in August 2012 the IASC principals decided to replace the formal requirement for RTEs with Real-Time Operational Reviews (see MTT 2.4 for more information).


a) RTEs carried out for all major emergencies. HCTs act on 70 per cent of recommendations.


b) IASC reviews implementation rate of RTE recommendations.

2. Improved info-graphics, situation reports, and dashboards will provide a wide global audience with a thorough analysis of humanitarian situations and trends.

On average, five info-graphics are produced each month. Situation reports do not contain sufficient analysis, and the use of the dashboards is uneven.


a) Conduct training missions to three OCHA offices to improve field production of humanitarian snapshots. 


b) All situation reports and regular reports have at least one analytical component.


c) Define analytical requirements for OCHA’s portfolio of products and associated processes.


d) Dashboard is linked to each CAP and produced regularly during each major emergency. 


a) In 2012, OCHA has undertaken info-graphic training missions to four duty stations in Geneva (Switzerland), Nairobi (Kenya), Kinshasa (DR Congo) and Sana'a (Yemen). In addition, the Visual Information Unit produced more than 100 maps and info-graphics covering natural disasters and emergencies worldwide, including the Sahel and Syria crisis.


b) OCHA defined four minimum operational products that all offices need to produce, including Situation Reports, Humanitarian Bulletins, Humanitarian Dashboard and Humanitarian Snapshots. Information Products Overview Reports were created to review if offices were meeting certain criteria for excellence and to suggest steps for improvement. In most offices, the quality of reports increased through analytical content, such as data showing the trends of a crisis, or cluster-specific data on the needs, response and gaps of their interventions. All products now use the standard templates, which draw out figures and trends more clearly. Data requirements were defined to support the production of OCHA’s operational products. More work is required to link the data with analysis, reporting and visualization. 


c) Dashboards are produced for all CAPs, midyear reviews and larger emergencies with humanitarian response plans. 


d) OCHA created a set of 500 freely available humanitarian icons to help relief workers present emergency and crisis-related information quickly and simply. OCHA’s icons are used in the information products it produces for the humanitarian community, such as maps, reports, info-graphics and websites. Following the launch, the project was the top-viewed story on the OCHA website, and many humanitarian partners have downloaded and are using the icons.


e) Collaboration across branches continued through the creation of a Data Working Group and an Information Products Working Group. 


a) Conduct training missions to three OCHA offices to improve field production of humanitarian snapshots. 


b) All situation reports and regular reports have at least two analytical components. 


c) Dashboard is linked to each CAP and produced regularly during each major emergency.

3. Number of broadly analytical articles and in-depth reports published.

In 2010, IRIN published some 500 analytical articles on humanitarian issues and developed eight in-depth information packages. 


IRIN publishes at least 600 analytical articles on humanitarian issues and develops 10 in-depth packages.


a) In 2012, IRIN produced 750 analysis articles by the end of the year, representing 27 per cent of output. A global survey of IRIN subscribers and users indicated improved audience satisfaction  and media pick up.


b) Nine in-depth packages were published, with the final multi-media package due out in mid-February. The delay was due to a switch in coverage in favour of the Doha climate change talks.


IRIN publishes at least 750 analytical articles on humanitarian issues and develops 10 in-depth packages.

RESULT 3 Strengthened capacity of OCHA and its partners to anticipate, prepare for and respond to the humanitarian consequences of global trends and challenges.
1. OCHA identifies global trends and integrates them into the wider response and preparedness agenda.

Vulnerability analysis is carried out in an ad hoc manner and not systematically integrated into contingency plans and response frameworks.


a) Comprehensive analysis completed on how OCHA and its partners can better monitor vulnerabilities, and how they can anticipate, prepare for and respond to the humanitarian consequences of global trends and challenges. 


b) Regular monitoring conducted of global challenges, such as food prices and climate change. Regional and in-country actors alerted as relevant. 


c) Analysis completed on the impact of counter-terrorism measures on principles humanitarian action.


a) OCHA continued to work with DARA on a study of global challenges, their impact on humanitarian caseloads and assistance, and how the humanitarian system should better prepare for and address them, including through new models for risk assessment. The study will include recommendations for consideration and is expected to be completed in Q3 2013.


b) OCHA continued to produce quarterly food-security updates and monitor other global challenges, such as climate change and population/demographic shifts. These updates supported analysis efforts by regional and country offices.


c) OCHA advanced work on a comprehensive analysis of the impact of counter-terrorism measures on humanitarian action. The study will be complete in Q2 2013.


a) Develop and implement a set of measures at HQ, regional and field level to strengthen OCHA’s capacity to monitor vulnerability, and its capacity to anticipate, prepare for and respond to the humanitarian consequences of global trends and challenges.


b) Regular monitoring conducted of global challenges, such as food prices and climate change. Alert regional in-country actors as relevant. 


c) Contingency plans incorporate vulnerability/risk analysis. 

RESULT 4 A shared international commitment to strengthening aid transparency and commitment through promoting a Global Declaration and Agenda on Humanitarian Aid Transparency and Effectiveness.
1. OCHA develops a framework for aid effectiveness and accountability and builds stakeholder support.

There is currently no agreed framework among humanitarian actors to assess effectiveness or ensure accountability among humanitarian actors, donors and host States.


a) Formation of Aid Effectiveness secretariat.


b) Formation of Policy Working Group.


c) Commission of basic research on impact. 


d) Broad endorsement of concept note on effectiveness and workplan. 


e) Launch of concept. 


In 2012, OCHA began to define the broad elements of an aid-effectiveness agenda and declaration. It is engaged in early consultations to identify lessons learned from similar processes and build early support from key constituencies. OCHA consulted key stakeholders on the development of an aid-effectiveness agenda. Fundraising for the creation of a secretariat was not successful in 2012. However, the bulk of the aid-effectiveness work will take place in 2013-2015 in preparation for the World Humanitarian Summit in 2015.


a) Acceptance of core definitions of impact.


b) Research and development of operational ideas to build effectiveness.


c) Zero draft of declaration and agenda.

2. ReliefWeb Platform provides critical mass of integrated information services that enable better analysis for those engaged in humanitarian action worldwide.

New product strategy and design plan developed and implemented.


a) In September 2012, ReliefWeb finalized a clear product strategy and action plan to become a global one-stop shop to meet the information needs of the international humanitarian community (please see “ReliefWeb: Vision and Strategy” at https://docs.google.com/a/reliefweb.int/file/d/0B-95ZTCMjvgSa3l0OFlyMHJ1...).


b) Major improvements to the site were deployed in November 2012 (home-page redesign, “About Us” redesign, article page redesign, new “ReliefWeb Labs” and blog micro-sites, and optimized search). The stabilization and optimization of the site and the search function continued throughout 2012.


c) One of the first lab projects, the “DRC Interactive Mapping Project”, went online in December 2012.


d) OCHA corporate sites, Humanitarian Response and IRIN now pull content from ReliefWeb. The corporate sites in particular use ReliefWeb’s 24/7 content management to populate content in 14 sites/sections (main OCHA online, Sahel and Syria crisis hub pages, Sudan, South Sudan, ROAP, Somalia, ROCCA, Pakistan, Chad, Zimbabwe, Niger, ROSA and Eastern Africa office sites). 


e) Prototypes were developed and tested for mobile site, user profile, elastic search and API (data handshake). These new tools will be finalized and deployed during the first quarter of 2013.


f) The development of field contact lists has been handed over to ISS


New web strategy for ReliefWeb community platform developed and implemented.