Knowledge Management

Initial Assessment Report Tropical Cyclone IDAI | Mozambique | District of Dondo

Tropical Cyclone Idai made landfall during the night of 14th to 15th March 2019 in the district of Dondo (nearby the city of Beira) in the Province of Sofala, in central Mozambique. Dondo is a distict within Sofala province with a population close to 185,000 according to the 2017 census (Instituto Nacional de Estatística, 2017). Due to its close proximity to the Beira Emergency Operation Center and relative accessibility the first inter-agnecy initial assessment was conducted on 24 March targeting 24 communites.
Life cycle steps
Localise coordinated assessment strategy
Population types
All affected population

In 2016, the Grand Bargain identified a lack of comprehensive and cross-sectoral assessments to inform crisis-wide humanitarian strategic decisions. In 2018, in recognition of the impetus from the Grand Bargain, REACH initiated and technically led, in close consultation with OCHA and UNHCR (in refugee contexts), 8 Multi-sector Needs Assessments in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Nigeria, Uganda, Ukraine, Somalia and Yemen. This review found that these multi sector needs assessments (MSNAs) are gaining acceptance and increasingly mainstreamed as a tool to bolster the evidence base of consolidated planning and appeal processes such as the Humanitarian Needs Overviews (HNO) and Humanitarian Response Plans (HRP).
Life cycle steps
Lessons learned
Population types
All affected population

This document is a summary and compilation of the initial lessons learned from the 2019 Iraq HNO process. Initial inputs were collected from AWG members at the time of finalization of the HNO, but prior to the publication of the document on 12 November 2018. Additional feedback was collected from AWG and IMWG members on 28 January 2019 in a joint AWG-IMWG meeting. ICCG feedback was received and incorporated on 31 January 2019.
Life cycle steps
Lessons learned

A multi-year HRP (MYP) can be used for planning and coordinating the delivery of humanitarian aid in protracted crises. It differs from a traditional HRP in its focus on establishing a response strategy beyond one year. A MYP can facilitate a more effective humanitarian response through more predictable and realistic/appropriate operational arrangements and a greater focus on the sustainability of results. It also ensures enhanced complementarity with development assistance and other frameworks.

A MYP takes into account the impact that humanitarian and development assistance are expected to have over time in contexts where crises are likely to continue over the medium to long term, or in contexts where there is a clear scope to accelerate the exit from humanitarian assistance by planning on a longer timeframe. In order to be successful, a multi-year HRP requires development action to be at-scale and target the most vulnerable people down to the local level. This would contribute to breaking the cycle of humanitarian dependence and allow for a phased transfer of caseloads, whenever appropriate, from the multi-year HRP to development planning frameworks, such as the UNDAF. In many cases, this requires more risk tolerance, earlier engagement, and more flexible and context-adaptable programming by development actors. It may also require the MYP to clarify steps that will be taken to ensure a boost in development action (e.g. advocacy, capacity building, etc).

Multi-year planning does not solicit humanitarian partners to get involved in the implementation of development plans or programmes. It encourages them to collaborate more effectively with development and other partners at the analysis and planning stages, and to advocate for development partners’ earlier or staggered engagement in crisis contexts, to address the structural and chronic causes of humanitarian needs. Given longer decision and implementation cycles for development programming, a MYP also offers development actors a longer time window within which to interact with humanitarian programming processes and, where possible, adapt development programming over time. 

The IASC Principals have agreed that major sudden-onset crises and/or substantial deterioration of a humanitarian situation triggered by natural and human-induced hazards1 or conflict, which require system-wide mobilization are to be subject to a Humanitarian System-Wide Scale-Up Activation (henceforth referred to as ‘Scale-Up activation’). This exceptional measure shall only be applied for a time-bound period of up to six months where the gravity of the humanitarian situation justifies the mobilization of system-wide capacities and resources, beyond standard levels, to respond to critical humanitarian needs on the ground. Only in exceptional situations shall one additional three-month extension be considered.

The key documents are:


Protocol 1: Humanitarian System-Wide Scale-Up Activation - Definition and Procedures
Protocol 2: ‘Empowered Leadership’ in a Humanitarian System-Wide Scale-Up Activation
Frequently Asked Questions on the Humanitarian System-Wide Scale-Up Activation
Scale-up Activation Timeline (infographic)

Life cycle steps
Understanding of context and enabling factors
Establishing coordination to support coordinated assessments

OCHA/UNHCR Technical Note on HRP refugee chapter and the online projects module

UNHCR and OCHA issued the Joint UNHCR – OCHA Note on Mixed Situations: Coordination in Practice on 24 April 2014 and three subsequent joint letters (29 September 2015 / 2 September 2016 / 5 June 2018, see annex) stating the respective accountabilities, roles and responsibilities of the Humanitarian Coordinator and UNHCR Representative in mixed situations (where the populations of humanitarian concern include refugees, IDPs, and other affected groups). This note clarifies how these agreements translate in practical terms into the HRPs process at field level in order to capture and present the refugee caseload in an HRP. In addition, the note explains in detail how to register the refugee response in the HPC.tools Response Planning Module (RPM) and refugee projects in the HPC.tools Projects Module (new OPS).

Primary data is data collected directly from the information source itself and has not undergone analysis before reaching the analytical phase of the needs assessment. Systematic observation and consultation of affected populations is undertaken during primary data collection to elicit community knowledge and perceptions. Assessment teams ask questions directly to the affected population through interviews and group discussions and of the affected area through observation. Using tools such as check-lists and questionnaires which are entered into spreadsheet or databases allows these information gathering processes to generate data to be aggregated, summarized, and interpreted later at the analysis stage. Primary data complements secondary data and lessons learned as information that feeds into an assessment.
Life cycle steps
Primary Data Collection

The How-to Guide describes the sequence of practical steps necessary to ensure a successful Basic Needs Assessment (BNA) during emergencies, from initiation of the BNA up to reporting and dissemination of the final findings.
Life cycle steps
Localise coordinated assessment strategy
Designing Primary Data Collection methods
Primary Data Collection