Humanitarian organisations are over stretched and under pressure. The lack of resources means senior leadership have the difficult task of prioritising activities.

May 29, 2016 Delivery and Access

The OPRs and STAIT missions confirm that prioritisation is one of the most critical concerns of Humanitarian Coordinators (HCs) and Humanitarian Country Teams (HCTs). It is particularly relevant when preparing the Humanitarian Response Plan and appeals.

Whilst there are no set rules on how prioritisation should be done, some good practice is emerging.

During the L3 crisis in Iraq, the Humanitarian Country Team (HCT) was struggling to respond to the crisis. The HCT started a prioritisation exercise that ensured the most urgent needs across clusters were prioritised for the response. 

"A useful prioritisation practice was documented during the L3 crisis in Iraq, where the Humanitarian Country Team (HCT) was struggling to respond to the crisis."

In a recent interview with the STAIT, Lise Grande, Iraq Humanitarian Coordinator, shared some steps on prioritisation that were applied for the Iraq response:

Additional guidance for prioritisation is available in the IASC Reference Manual for the Implementation of the Humanitarian Programme Cycle.

Do you have any examples to share on prioritisation in field operations? Please email them to

Interview with Lise Grande, Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq, on Prioritisation



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