USAID/OFDA Humanitarian Coordination and Information Management Sector Update October 2013
When a disaster occurs, the subsequent influx of humanitarian personnel and supplies can be overwhelming, with numerous agencies gathering information on damage, humanitarian needs, and local capacity to respond. Without a system to collect, organize, and convey information, humanitarian agencies can lose important knowledge and potentially delay the arrival of essential aid and appropriate assistance. Information management involves collecting, processing, and packaging data and information in a useful way for those involved in humanitarian response.
USAID’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA), the lead U.S. Government (USG) office for international disaster response, engages with non-governmental organizations (NGOs), the U.N., and other donors to support the humanitarian cluster system—the coordinating bodies for humanitarian activities in a disaster-stricken country—that forms the basis for effective coordination and information management during an emergency. In Fiscal Year (FY) 2013, USAID/OFDA provided more than $60 million for humanitarian coordination and information management programs across the globe.