Accurate and complete information is essential for creating a solid evidence-base to help Humanitarian Coordinators and Humanitarian Country Teams analyse humanitarian needs, identify priority issues, and provide the strategic direction for operations to respond effectively. Joint Needs Assessments was a major topic at the World Humanitarian Summit and raised many discussions on how best to bring data and information together to inform and direct humanitarian operations.
A summary of the webinar is available. Practical steps that Humanitarian Coordinators and Humanitarian Country Teams can take to ensure humanitarian operations are based on impartial, unbiased, comprehensive, context-sensitive, timely, and up-to-date information that is collected and analysed in a transparent and collaborative manner, include:
- Agreeing on guidelines and methodologies, as well as on what information is needed and how it can best be collected. This gives the time and space to all agencies to voice their concern and include their programmatic needs into the assessment in a coordinated way.
- Providing clear guidance to the Inter-Cluster Coordination Group for organising joint needs assessments. If needed, the Humanitarian Coordinator should meet bilaterally with Cluster Lead Agencies (CLA) to understand their individual concerns and vision.
- Encourage close working relationship between the Humanitarian Country Team and OCHA in order to better link the strategic vision and operational realities.
- Engaging with sub-national cluster focal points to ensure wide geographic coverage for data collection and analysis. Sub-national clusters, the Area Humanitarian Country Team, and other local organisations often have a better understanding of the local context and better access to local populations.