This document provides an overview of the main steps involved in the development of the Humanitarian Programme Cycle. It should be read alongside the:
Complementary guidance, which provides a depth of information on “what” and “how to” elements; and the
Facilitation Package, which provides illustrative agendas and presentations to assist with orienting and managing the process and discussions.
The steps reassert the sequence of the HPC, with needs analysis directly informing decisions about the response and monitoring, whether for the preparation of new plans or adjustments to existing ones. The steps of the HPC have a rationale and cannot be skipped. However, the depth of work under each step can and should be adapted to the realities of the operating environment and capacities.
Ensuring a principled humanitarian response
- The document speaks to global commitments made at the World Humanitarian Summit and Grand Bargain, IASC and by the Secretary General. It reaffirms the Call to Action to ensure a principled humanitarian response that places protection at the center of the humanitarian agenda, promotes gender equality, addresses inequity and exclusion, and aligns with the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.
To do this, the enhanced 2022 HPC includes:
Improvements to the Joint Intersectoral Analysis Framework (JIAF) to support a holistic, people-centered analysis of needs;
Specific attention to inclusivity, highlighting the criticality of an intersectional understanding of the structural inequities, underlying vulnerabilities, protection needs, and barriers to access that cut across diversity characteristics such as gender, disabilities, age, and others;
Emphasis on protection against and response to gender-based violence and sexual abuse and exploitation;
Focus on enhancing accountability to affected people and community engagement; and
Information on further developments on needs and response monitoring.
Linking humanitarian action to risk management and the peace-development agenda
The past few years have seen renewed attention to emergency preparedness, and early or anticipatory action, recognizing the importance of mitigating or averting crises where possible, and serving as an important link with development and peace interventions.
The IASC Emergency Preparedness Package serves as a short technical step-by-step guide aimed at non-Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) countries to support the development, or strengthening, of preparedness measures to ensure that country teams are operationally ready to implement activities to address the potential new or escalating crises. Additionally, in March 2021 UNISDR developed a checklist to support integration of disaster risk considerations in HRPs.
At the time of launching the HPC in each country, linkages between Emergency Response Plans, contingency, anticipatory action, Common Country Assessment (CCA)s, UN Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework (UNSDCF), government, international financial institution plans, and other relevant development-oriented analysis and plans should be identified.
Dates and status of preparation and finalization of the CCA, UNSDCF and other possible plans should be referenced at the outset to pinpoint opportunities for: (i) sharing data and analysis with mutual benefits on the depth of the needs analysis, particularly causal analysis, (ii) aligning the humanitarian response with other ongoing or planned responses to avoid duplication and identify areas/groups for whom development responses may be more appropriate.
In the matter of COVID-19 vaccine delivery, RC/HCs need to carefully consider the best planning tool for vaccine support (national vaccination plan, development plans or humanitarian plans) and whether it is absolutely necessary to include vaccines in HRPs.
Organization of the Document
The document consists of three primary sections.
The Process Overview presents an indicative timeline for the development of the HNO and HRP, alongside key dates associated with the Global Humanitarian Overview (GHO) and Global Humanitarian Response Plan (GHRP) monthly progress reports (until end 2020). It, further, provides a brief summary of each of the steps of the HPC. More detailed information on facilitation, technical guidance and ‘how do’ can be found in the Step by Step’s companion documents. It is important to note that the steps are not always linear, although for simplicity they are presented as such, nor will every country follow the same timeline. What we provide is indicative and it is assumed that each country operation will modify based on their unique situation and contexts. For example, some country operations will require fewer or more consultations with government counterparts, or at the sub-national level. Some country offices may prefer to ‘kick off’ the HPC with a HCT discussion to tentatively set the scope, and there may be additional HCT check in’s or discussions throughout the process beyond that which is suggested within the Step by Step Guide.
The Glossary provides definitions of key terms and terminology found within the document.
The Appendices include a matrix of key activities, roles and responsibilities for the various actors involved in the HPC.
In countries with a refugee population, a specific the refugee chapter, led by UNHCR should be included in accordance with the OCHA/UNHCR joint note from 2014.
Access the addendum here.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
- To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.