Addendum HNO + HRP Guidance: Analysing Risks and Determining the Most Likely Evolution of the Humanitarian Situation

Manual and Guideline
Originally published
View original



This guidance outlines key steps for analysing risks and determining the most likely evolution of the humanitarian situation when developing an HNO. The analytical outputs should help to plan for the most likely scenario in the foreseeable future and inform the response analysis and targeting steps in the HRP. This note complements the HPC step-by-step guidance and HNO annotated template (Chapter II) and is based on a review of existing practice and policy.

The three main outputs of the analysis include:

  1. Risk analysis identifies the main drivers in a given humanitarian context, both positive (opportunities) and negative (shocks and stresses), their likelihood and potential severity. The risk analysis clarifies which and why changes are expected to occur, where, when and who will benefit or be affected.

  2. Scenarios: From the drivers identified in the risk analysis, the most likely and those with severe impact are identified. Humanitarian Country Teams/Inter-cluster coordination groups should use this information to agree on a scenario for the planning period. It will also inform potential changes in operational access, which influence the choice of response options.

  3. Most likely evolution focusing on the humanitarian consequences for most vulnerable groups and projection of number of people in need during the planning period. This projected figure includes the number of persons in need already identified in the previous steps of the HNO and the number of people who are not resilient to the anticipated shocks and stresses and are expected to present needs in future (during the planning period of the HRP).

The underlying logic of this guidance is:

Risks Analysis (informs) -> scenario (informs) -> evolution + projections (informs) -> response analysis and targeting in HRP

Structure of guidance:

I. Determining risks and the most likely impacts (main steps)

II. Use of risk analysis and projections for prioritization, response options analysis and targeting in the HRP

III. Linkages between risk analysis and preparedness planning, contingency planning and anticipatory action

IV. Risk analysis in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic: What to focus on

  • Direct impact and humanitarian consequences on people’s (women and men of different age and disability) physical and mental wellbeing: (spread/curve, mortality rate) and secondary impacts and consequences (health systems, other pathologies, safety/protection).

  • Impact and humanitarian consequences on people’s (women and men of different age and disability) living standards (livelihoods, access to basic needs) due to government and international measures etc.

V. Annex: How to forecast PiN Estimates

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit