The dynamic and multi-faceted nature of the South Sudanese displacement crisis has created significant challenges for humanitarian information management. As a result of the continued insecurity and overall unpredictability of a sudden increase in humanitarian needs, it is becoming increasingly important to quickly identify and fill information gaps relating to potential areas of severe humanitarian distress. Further, identifying the level of needs must be done in a systematic and timely manner to promote more effective humanitarian analysis, comparability, response and planning for immediate life-saving activities.
At the Famine Workshop, in February 2018, the cluster leads for FSL, WASH, Health, and Nutrition, as well as REACH, agreed that there was a need for a better system to track the needs of vulnerable populations in a timely manner. Despite multiple agencies regularly conducting assessments, there was no information management system to house key indicators collected by numerous agencies across the four identified life-saving clusters. Furthermore, there was a lack of a transparent system that the Needs Analysis Working Group (NAWG) could use to quickly identify potential hotspot counties and prioritise them for further discussion. As a result, the Integrated Needs Tracking (INT) system was designed, based on lessons learned from the Somalia early warning system, the IPC, HEA framework, and literature on early warning systems. The INT system feeds directly into the NAWG and is designed to assist the NAWG members in sifting through monthly data to identify areas requiring further assessment and response scale-up. The system is accessible at any time through an online portal that is updated on a monthly basis and is available for stakeholders to view whole categories or filter to specific indicators and themes at the county level.
- Develop an analytical framework to assess the severity of needs, and flag the need for possible further humanitarian intervention, at the county level.
- Continue to develop thresholds for indicators based on global standards or technical input from experts.
- Directly feed the analytical framework into a custom map for easier understanding of the severity of humanitarian conditions.
- Successfully develop a needs tracking system that is updated on a monthly basis and consistently used by the NAWG partners and non-NAWG partners for identifying counties most at risk of increasing needs.
- Implement other core conceptual indicators, such as shocks monitoring, to increase the precision and accuracy of the INT.
- Track counties’ needs severity levels over time to understand how conditions change based on different events and seasons.