Surge Capacity

What is surge?

In OCHA, surge means the swift deployment of experienced coordination experts and other specialized humanitarian personnel.

Surge capacity is used when there are unforeseen emergencies and disasters, when a crisis deteriorates, or when a force majeure affects an office.

OCHA mobilizes surge staff from regional offices, or from three mechanisms managed by the Surge Capacity and Logistics Section (SCLS) in the Emergency Services Branch in OCHA Geneva. The three mechanisms are the Emergency Response Roster, the Associates Surge Pool and the Stand-By Partnership Programme. SCLS was previously called the Surge Capacity Section. The name was changed to reflect the merge with the Logistics Support Unit in 2013.

The latest SCLS surge mechanism is the Roaming Emergency Surge,  which is now fully operational with two Roaming Emergency Surge Officers (RESOs) and one Roaming Operations Stability Officer (ROSO).

Coordinating surge

SCLS handles surge management and coordination. This involves working closely with other headquarters sections during an OCHA corporate emergency, supporting the set-up of new country offices where OCHA does not have a presence, and supporting the closure of country offices when OCHA is no longer needed. Surge capacity also means being involved in the staff planning for OCHA country offices worldwide, working closely with human resources colleagues to avoid staffing gaps and ensuring continuity. With the merging of the Logistics Support Unit , SCLS will be responsible for coordinating the provision of equipment for surge personnel and offices during emergencies.