Demystifying Humanitarian Coordination

Providing relief and protection to those in need requires a coordinated and effective response to emergencies from humanitarian actors. Despite widespread acknowledgment of the need to improve humanitarian coordination, many NGOs have only a limited understanding of, engagement in, and influence over humanitarian coordination mechanisms.

ICVA has therefore created an online learning stream on how to navigate humanitarian coordination. The stream specifically targets NGO staff, including field, policy, and HQ staff. Short videos and briefing papers will help simplify complex topics. Webinars were held in partnership with PHAP and are open to anyone interested in improving their understanding of humanitarian coordination.

Overview

This learning stream covers the following topics:

Topic One: The IASC and the global humanitarian coordination architecture: How can NGOs engage?
Topic Two: The humanitarian coordination architecture at country and regional levels
Topic Three: NGO fora and consortia – from local to global
Topic Four: OCHA and NGOs in humanitarian coordination
Topic Five: The New Way of Working: What is it? What does it mean for NGOs?
Topic Six: NGOs in government-led and refugee coordination contexts

Learning Stream Objectives

At the end of this learning stream, NGO staff who have participated in all events will:

  1. Have a stronger understanding of the various humanitarian coordination mechanisms, and the challenges and opportunities experienced by NGOs in engaging with such mechanisms of coordination.
  2. Be better informed to engage in further discussions; influence policy where possible; and engage in humanitarian coordination.

Target Audience

Topic One

The IASC and the Global Humanitarian Coordination Architecture: How can NGOs Engage?...

This topic provides NGOs with a general understanding of IASC-led humanitarian coordination actors and mechanisms at different levels....
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Introduction

On 31 May 2017, ICVA and PHAP organised the first online session of humanitarian coordination learning stream. This session examined the current global humanitarian architecture, what is the Inter Agency Standing Committee (IASC) and how can NGOs engage in the various IASC coordination mechanisms. It also explored the current coordination structures, and the way for NGOs to engage in such structures, with a special focus on how the country-level and global-level mechanisms coordinate and feed into each other.

Participants were provided with an overview of IASC humanitarian coordination mechanisms at the country, regional, and global levels, followed by an opportunity for questions and answers.

Learning Objectives:

  • Knowledge of the different IASC coordination structures at country, regional and global level
  • Familiarity with key actors of the global humanitarian coordination system, and their main roles
  • Understanding of the cluster approach, its purpose and main features
  • Awareness of the main trends, opportunities and challenges for NGOs to engage in coordination mechanism
  • Familiarity with sources of information on the humanitarian coordination structures
Topic One: Global Coordination Mechanisms

Listen and watch this brief introduction video on topic one.

Humanitarian Coordination: The IASC and the Global Humanitarian Coordination Architecture

This webinar recording provides an overview of IASC humanitarian coordination mechanisms at the country, regional, and global levels.

The following are the speakers.

Colourful Abstract Shaped Profile Picture Social Media Post (1)
Kate Halff
Executive Secretary, Steering Committee for Humanitarian Response (SCHR)
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Kirk Prichard
Director of Humanitarian Programs, Concern US
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Leila Muriithia
Senior Programmes Officer & Programme Officer Legal and Social Justice Programme, Refugee Consortium of Kenya

The following are the co-hosts.

Emanuelle_photo_125
Emmanuelle Osmond
Senior Policy Officer - Humanitarian Coordination, ICVA
AngharadLaing300(1)
Angharad Laing
Executive Director, PHAP​
Topic One Resources

ICVA Paper
13 July 2017
Topic One Briefing Paper: Global humanitarian coordination mechanisms
Subject/ Coordination / Learning /
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Description

Click on this briefing paper to access a summary of the content discussed throughout topic one.

ICVA
1 July 2017
Topic One: Humanitarian Coordination - Follow-up Q&A
Subject/ Coordination / Learning /
Topic One - Follow up Q & A
Description

Click on this document to read the webinar follow-up question and answers.

ICVA
1 July 2017
Topic One: Expert Interview with Kirk Prichard
Subject/ Coordination / Learning /
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Description

Read the interview with Kirk Prichard.

ICVA
1 July 2017
Topic One Coordination: More information
Subject/ Coordination / Learning /
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Description

Curious to learn more on the overall IASC and the global humanitarian coordination architecture? Click this document to find out more information.

Topic Two

The Humanitarian Coordination Architecture at Country and Regional Levels...

The session will explore the function of various country-level humanitarian coordination structures and actors while highlighting the strengths and limitations of these structures....
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Introduction

On 22 June 2017, ICVA and PHAP organised the second online session of the humanitarian coordination learning stream. The session explored the coordination mechanisms available at country level and the existing regional structures. This involved looking at the function of various country level humanitarian coordination structures and actors and highlighting the strengths and limitations of these structures.

Participants were provided with recommendations on how NGOs can better engage in these coordination mechanisms, and will also have an opportunity to ask questions.

Learning Objectives:

  • Knowledge of the different coordination mechanisms available at country and regional levels
  • Familiarity with key actors at country level and their main roles
  • Awareness of the opportunities and challenges for NGOs to engage in country-level and regional-level coordination mechanisms
  • Familiarity with sources of information on coordination structures at country and regional levels
Topic 2: Coordination at the National Level

Listen and watch this brief introduction video on topic two.

Humanitarian Coordination: The Humanitarian Coordination Architecture at Country and Regional Levels

This webinar recording explored the coordination mechanisms available at the country level and some of the existing regional structures.

The following are the speakers.

Colourful Abstract Shaped Profile Picture Social Media Post (1)
Najat Rochdi
Deputy Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General, Humanitarian Coordinator, United Nations Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in the Central African Republic
Colourful Abstract Shaped Profile Picture Social Media Post (1)
Kirk Prichard
Director of Humanitarian Programs, Concern US
Colourful Abstract Shaped Profile Picture Social Media Post (1)
Paul Knox-Clarke
Head of Research, ALNAP
Colourful Abstract Shaped Profile Picture Social Media Post (1)
Mohammad Kilani
Executive Director, Jordan Hashemite Charity Organisation (JHCO)

The following are the co-hosts.

Melissa Pitotti
Melissa Pitotti
Manager, CHS Alliance Initiative to Cultivate Caring, Compassionate Aid Organisations
AngharadLaing300(1)
Angharad Laing
Executive Director, PHAP​
Topic Two Resources

ICVA
1 September 2017
Topic Two Briefing Paper: Humanitarian coordination at the country level
Subject/ Coordination / Learning /
Briefingpaper2
Description

Click on the briefing paper to access a summary of the content discussed throughout topic two.

ICVA
17 July 2017
Topic 2: Humanitarian Coordination -Follow-up Q&A
Subject/ Coordination / Learning /
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Description

Follow up Q & A on topic two.

ICVA
11 April 2018
Topic Two: Humanitarian Coordination Expert Interview
Subject/ Coordination / Learning /
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Description

Humanitarian coordination expert interview.

Topic Three

NGO Fora and Consortia – From Local to Global...

This session aims to provide NGOs with a general understanding of NGO-led coordination initiatives to improve and enhance their assistance at different levels....
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Introduction

On 20 July 2017, ICVA and PHAP organised the third session of the humanitarian coordination learning stream. This session emphasised the importance of understanding how the NGO fora and consortia function as well as how NGOs can engage in these structures. Participants were provided with examples of good practice of NGO-led fora and consortia, highlighting the challenges and opportunities to engage for both local and international NGOs. Guest experts explored their added value, and answered live questions from participants throughout the session.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understanding of the concept and diverse role of NGO fora and consortia
  • Knowledge of the different forms of NGO fora and consortia
  • Familiarity with the main NGO-led fora and consortia of international and regional relevance
  • Awareness of the  added value and trends for NGOs to engage in such fora and consortia
  • Familiarity with sources of information on NGO-led fora and consortia
Topic Three: NGO Fora & Consortia

Listen and watch this brief introduction video on topic three.

Humanitarian Coordination: NGO Fora and Consortia from Local to Global

This webinar presents examples of good practices of NGO-led fora and consortia. It highlights the challenges and opportunities to engage for both local and international NGOs.

The following are the speakers.

Colourful Abstract Shaped Profile Picture Social Media Post (1)
Raphael Gorgeu
Director of Program and Policy, ICVA
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Pansy Tun Thein
Executive Director, Local Resource Centre Myanmar
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Abdurahman Sharif
Director, Somalia NGO consortium
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Rolla Hinedi
Media and Advocacy Manager and Head of Gaziantep Office, Syria Relief UK

The following are the co-hosts.

Emanuelle_photo_125
Emmanuelle Osmond
Senior Policy Officer - Humanitarian Coordination, ICVA
AngharadLaing300(1)
Angharad Laing
Executive Director, PHAP​
Topic Three Resources

ICVA Paper
1 October 2018
Topic Three: NGO Fora and Consortia Briefing Paper
Subject/ Coordination / Learning /
2021-08-30_11-03-36
Description

Click on the briefing paper to access a summary of the content discussed throughout topic three.

ICVA
19 September 2018
Topic three: Humanitarian Coordination NGO Fora Expert Interview
Subject/ Coordination / Learning /
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Description

NGO fora expert interview.

ICVA
19 August 2017
Topic Three - Humanitarian Coordination Follow-up Q&A
Subject/ Coordination / Learning /
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Description

Check out responses to the questions from participants.

Topic Four

OCHA and NGOs in Humanitarian Coordination...

This fourth online session focuses on NGO challenges and opportunities to engage with OCHA in an effective and meaningful way....
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Introduction

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) aims to achieve greater coherence, complementarity, and efficiency of humanitarian response by mobilizing and coordinating humanitarian actors through different coordination mechanisms. NGOs undertake a vital role in these various structures.

On 14 September 2017, ICVA and PHAP organised the fourth online session of the humanitarian coordination learning stream. This session focused on NGO challenges and opportunities to engage with OCHA in an effective and meaningful way. Participants were provided with an overview of OCHA’s main focus areas, highlighting the different NGO engagements with OCHA country offices in different regions, and exploring lessons already learnt by NGOs.

Learning Objectives:

  • Knowledge of OCHA’s mandate and key focus areas
  • Familiarity with NGO entry points to engage with OCHA’s coordination mechanisms
  • Awareness of the differences per region and the effect of field realities on NGOs’ engagement with OCHA country offices
  • Familiarity with sources of information on NGO engagement with OCHA

 

Topic Four: OCHA and NGOs in Humanitarian Coordination

Listen and watch this brief introduction video on topic four.

Humanitarian Coordination: OCHA and NGOs in Humanitarian Coordination

This webinar recording highlights NGO challenges and opportunities to engage with OCHA in an effective and meaningful way.

The following are the speakers.

Loretta-Hieber_125
Loretta Hieber Girardet
Chief of OCHA's inter-Custer Coordination Section in Geneva, Switzerland
Ian-Ridley_125
Ian Ridley
OCHA South Sudan Head of Office ​
Mohammed-Alhammadi_125
Mohammed Alhammadi
Syrian NGO Alliance Coordinator

The following are the co-hosts.

Emanuelle_photo_125
Emmanuelle Osmond
Senior Policy Officer - Humanitarian Coordination, ICVA
AngharadLaing300(1)
Angharad Laing
Executive Director, PHAP​
Topic Four Resources

ICVA
19 September 2018
Topic four - Humanitarian Coordination Expert interview
Subject/ Coordination / Learning /
Topic four expert interview
Description

Expert interview.

ICVA
20 November 2017
Topic Four - Humanitarian Coordination Follow-up Q&A
Subject/ Coordination / Learning /
Topic four follow up q&a
Description

Follow-up questions and answers.

ICVA Paper
20 March 2021
Topic Four - Briefing paper OCHA and NGO's in Humanitarian Coordination
Subject/ Coordination / Learning /
2021-08-30_17-00-01
Description

A briefing paper on OCHA and NGO’s in humanitarian coordination.

Topic Five

The New Way of Working: What is it? What does it mean for NGOs?...

An overview of the New Way of Working, what changes are needed across the sector, how these changes impact NGOs, and how can NGOs influence this process....
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Introduction

In his report on the World Humanitarian Summit “One Humanity: Shared Responsibility”, the former UN Secretary-General proposed an Agenda for Humanity that would help to meet people’s immediate humanitarian needs – while at the same time reducing risk and vulnerability. This “new way of working”, adopted by eight UN humanitarian and development entities aspires to: work towards collective outcomes across the humanitarian and development community; Wherever possible, those efforts should reinforce and strengthen the capacities that already exist at national and local levels; whilst ultimately working towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.

On October 5 2017, ICVA and PHAP organised the fifth online session of the humanitarian coordination learning stream. This session focused on the New Way of Working, unpacking overall goals, what changes are needed across the sector, how these changes impact NGOs, and how can NGOs influence this process.

Learning Objectives:

  • Knowledge of the New Way of Working including its aspirations, the actors involved and potential implications across the humanitarian sector
  • Awareness of how the New Way of Working may impact NGO operations and policy priorities
  • Familiarity of how NGOs can engage in processes to contribute to and influence the New Way of Working
  • Familiarity with further sources of information on the New Way of Working
Topic Five: The New Way of Working: What does it mean for NGOs?

Listen and watch this brief introduction video on topic five.

Humanitarian Coordination: The New Way of Working

This webinar recording is on humanitarian coordination focusing on the New Way of Working.

The following are the speakers.

Bruno_Lemarquis
Bruno Lemarquis
Acting Director, Crisis Response Unit, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
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Hansjeorg Strohmeyer
Director of Policy, Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)
Lise Fouqant
Lise Fouquat
Senior Humanitarian Advocacy Advisor, Action Against Hunger (ACF)
James Curtis
James Curtis
Country Director for Ethiopia and Djibouti, Danish Refugee Council (DRC)

The following are the co-hosts.

Melissa Pitotti
Melissa Pitotti
Manager, CHS Alliance Initiative to Cultivate Caring, Compassionate Aid Organisations
AngharadLaing300(1)
Angharad Laing
Executive Director, PHAP​
Topic Five Resources

ICVA
20 November 2017
Topic 5 - Humanitarian Coordination Follow-up Q&A
Subject/ Coordination / Learning /
Topic five follow up q&a
Description

Follow-up questions and answers.

ICVA
20 October 2017
Topic Five: Expert Interview with Fabrizio Hochschild
Subject/ Coordination / Learning /
Topic five expert interview
Description

Expert interview with Fabrizio Hochschild

ICVA Paper
20 September 2017
Topic Five -The "New way of working" Examined: An ICVA Briefing Paper
Subject/ Coordination / Learning /
NWOWBriefingPaper
Description

ICVA briefing paper on the “new way of working”

Topic Six

NGOs in Government-led and Refugee Coordination Contexts...

This topic focuses on how NGOs engage and interact with government-led coordination mechanisms and on NGOs ' role in the Refugee Coordination Model....
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Introduction

The humanitarian coordination learning stream has so far covered how NGOs engage and how NGO fora and consortia function in the international humanitarian coordination architecture at the global, regional and country levels.

The UN General Assembly Resolution A/RES/46/182 of 1991 states that “in a natural disaster and other emergencies occurring on its territory… the affected State has the primary role in the initiation, organization, coordination, and implementation of humanitarian assistance within its territory.” The increasing capacity of many governments to lead humanitarian coordination efforts, coupled with the growing critique of relying on an internationally led approach to humanitarian coordination means that NGOs are engaging even more with governments to provide humanitarian assistance.

Moreover, in the light of the refugee crises that we are currently witnessing around the world, another coordination model has become increasingly important for humanitarian practitioners and NGO staff: the Refugee Coordination Model (RCM). It provides a framework for humanitarian response in the context of a refugee crisis and links with broader humanitarian coordination structures and the IASC cluster system.

On 9 November 2017,  ICVA and PHAP organised the  sixth and last online session of the humanitarian coordination learning stream. The event focused on how NGOs engage and interact with government-led coordination mechanisms and on NGOs role in the Refugee Coordination Model.

Learning Objectives:

  • Familiarity with the role of governments in the coordination of humanitarian response
  • Awareness of the opportunities, challenges, and best practice for NGOs engaging in government-led coordination mechanisms
  • Understanding of the Refugee Coordination Model and how NGOs can engage in it
  • Awareness of the opportunities, challenges, and best practice for NGOs engaging in the Refugee Coordination Model
Topic 6: NGOs in Government-led and Refugee Coordination Contexts

Listen and watch this brief introduction video on topic six.

Humanitarian Coordination: NGOs in Government-led and Refugee Coordination Contexts

This webinar recording is on how NGOs engage and interact with government-led coordination mechanisms and on NGOs role in the Refugee Coordination Model.

The following are the speakers.

Paul
Paul Harvey
Partner, Humanitarian Outcomes
Vik photo
Vikrant Mahajan
CEO, SPHERE India
ArafatJamal
Arafat Jamal
Head of Inter-Agency Coordination Service, Division of External Relations, UNHCR
PatriciaRoyAkullo-125
Patriciah Roy Akullo
Advocacy Officer, ACT Alliance Uganda Forum

The following are the co-hosts.

Emanuelle_photo_125
Emmanuelle Osmond
Senior Policy Officer - Humanitarian Coordination, ICVA
MarcDuBois125
Marc DuBois
PHAP Facilitator
Topic Six Resources

ICVA
20 January 2018
Topic 6 - Humanitarian Coordination Follow-up Q&A
Subject/ Coordination / Forced migration / Learning /
Topic six follow up q&a
Description

Follow-up questions and answers.

ICVA
20 November 2017
Topic Six - Note on the Refugee Coordination Model - Introduction by Arafat Jamal
Subject/ Coordination / Forced migration / Learning /
Topic six rcm
Description

Note on the Refugee Coordination Model

ICVA Paper
20 March 2021
Topic Six - Briefing Paper on NGOs in Government-led and Refugee Coordination contexts
Subject/ Coordination / Forced migration / Learning /
2021-08-30_17-03-08
Description

Briefing paper