UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
http://www.unocha.org/
 
Source description last updated: 8 October 2015

In brief: The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) is responsible for mobilizing and coordinating humanitarian actors to ensure a coherent response to emergencies, advocating the rights of people in need, promoting preparedness and prevention as well as facilitating sustainable solutions.

Coverage on ecoi.net:
Situation reports, humanitarian bulletins and humanitarian overviews for countries of priorities A-C.
Covered weekly on ecoi.net.

Mission/Mandate/Objectives:
OCHA is “responsible for bringing together humanitarian actors to ensure a coherent response to emergencies. OCHA also ensures there is a framework within which each actor can contribute to the overall response effort.” (OCHA Website, Who We Are, undated, http://www.unocha.org/about-us/who-we-are)

OCHA’s mission is to:
 
  • “Mobilize and coordinate effective and principled humanitarian action in partnership with national and international actors in order to alleviate human suffering in disasters and emergencies.
  • Advocate the rights of people in need.
  • Promote preparedness and prevention.
  • Facilitate sustainable solutions.” (OCHA Website, Who We Are, undated, http://www.unocha.org/about-us/who-we-are)

OCHA’s role in operational coordination in crisis situations includes “assessing situations and needs; agreeing common priorities; developing common strategies to address issues such as negotiating access, mobilizing funding and other resources; clarifying consistent public messaging; and monitoring progress.” (OCHA Website, Coordination, undated, http://www.unocha.org/what-we-do/coordination/overview)

Funding:
“To finance OCHA’s activities, only 5 per cent of the organisation’s annual budget is funded from the United Nations Regular Budget. Therefore OCHA is [...] dependent on the voluntary contribution of its Member States and the European Commission.” (OCHA Website, How OCHA is funded, undated, http://www.unocha.org/about-us/ocha-funded)

The OCHA Donor Support Group (ODSG) consists of 27 members, who “commit to provide political, financial and technical support towards fulfilling OCHA’s mandated coordination activities. In 2014, ODSG members provided 93 per cent ($221.8 million) of OCHA’s voluntary contributions, as well as considerable policy and advocacy support.” (OCHA Website, How OCHA is funded, undated, http://www.unocha.org/about-us/ocha-funded)

Donors can choose to fund humanitarian projects that are implemented by third parties, such as UN partners and NGOs. These so-called Specially Designated Contributions “are not included in the annual budget plan, as they do not have a direct link to OCHA’s activities.” (OCHA Website, How OCHA is funded, undated, http://www.unocha.org/about-us/ocha-funded)

Scope of reporting:
Geographic focus: Worldwide.
Thematic focus: Displacement, emergencies, environmental emergencies, humanitarian response, explosive weapons in populated areas, food security, humanitarian access, humanitarian civil-military coordination, humanitarian development, logistics, OCHA’s work with governments, protection, transition from relief to development.

Methodology:
“When an emergency occurs, OCHA’s information management officers immediately start working with key partners to produce standard information products to support coordination of all the humanitarian organizations and the response operation. These include the Who What Where (3W) database, contact lists and meeting schedules. Tools such as the information needs assessment and maps are made available to support better relief planning and action. [...] The data collected and analysed is used as a foundation for situation reporting and for crafting public information messages. In addition, properly collected and managed information during the emergency phase can benefit early recovery and disaster preparedness activities later.” (OCHA Website, Information Management, undated, http://www.unocha.org/what-we-do/information-management/overview)

In 1996 OCHA launched the humanitarian information portal ReliefWeb, which aims to provide reliable and timely information on global crises and disasters.

Languages of publications:
English, French, Arabic

Further reading / links:
United Nations: Deliver Humanitarian Aid
http://www.un.org/en/sections/what-we-do/deliver-humanitarian-aid/index.html

PreventionWeb: United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs - Headquarters (OCHA)
http://www.preventionweb.net/organizations/983/profile

Humanitarian Response
https://www.humanitarianresponse.info/

ReliefWeb
http://reliefweb.int/


All documents available on ecoi.net from this source: https://www.ecoi.net/en/source/67
All links accessed 8 October 2015.
 
Homepage:
http://ochaonline.un.org/
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