Global Early Recovery Overview 2015: Early Recovery Requirements & Mid-Year Funding Analysis (2016)

Background and aims

In 2015, the Global Cluster for Early Recovery (GCER) sought to measure how well early recovery was integrated into each cluster, and in parallel, to advance understanding of the relative importance of early recovery principles and practices in humanitarian crises overall. In designing a methodology to undertake this analysis, two assumptions were made.

  • The best, and perhaps the only, way to collate information on how early recovery initiatives are being mainstreamed and early recovery principles are being adopted in crises was to extract it from planning documents that were tied to financial tracking. Analysis of planning documents would allow estimations on the number and kinds of projects undertaken, and the links between these documents, the Online Projects System (OPS), and the Financial Tracking Service (FTS) would allow further analysis to estimate the amount of resources assigned to each project. Ÿ

  • There are considerable concerns around the quality and completeness of data found in the FTS in particular; however, as key humanitarian tracking mechanisms, the FTS and OPS were the only real ways to find resources information.

  • Working with these assumptions, the GCER aimed to determine:

    • How many of the projects detailed in each 2015 Response Plan were focused on early recovery, or were early recovery-related;

    • How much money this represents, as shown in the amount of funding requested for early recovery and non-early recovery projects; and

    • How much funding has been received by early recovery and non-early recovery projects as of July 30, 2015.

Answering these points would allow several metrics to be calculated:

i. The proportion of projects that were ER related, per country;

ii. The proportion of projects that were ER related, per cluster globally;

iii. The proportions of ER and non-ER funding that was requested;

iv. The proportions of ER and non-ER funding that was achieved in the first half of 2015.


For a project to be considered an early recovery project it should meet at least one or more of the following criteria: ŸŸ

  • Life sustaining: Does the project help sustain the lives saved?

  • Time Critical: Is the project implemented alongside relief interventions?

  • Bridge between relief and long term recovery: Does the project serve as a link between relief and long term recovery by building upon relief assistance and laying the essential foundations for long term recovery/ reconstruction?

  • Facilitates the delivery of relief assistance: Does the project help facilitate the delivery of relief assistance?

  • Strengthen national and local capacity to take charge of the recovery process: Does the project aim to resuscitate and strengthen national and local capacity to coordinate and lead the implementation of early recovery programmes and plan for full recovery?

  • Reduce dependence on relief assistance: Does the project help support the spontaneous recovery efforts of communities and help restore livelihoods, community infrastructure and basic social services?

A detailed methodology is attached in Annex 1. However, it is briefly described in two steps below.

Response Plan Analysis, Round 1

In early 2015, all SRP, HRP, HAP and other planning documents were collected and their project details were captured. The projects were divided into ER and non-ER, which allowed the estimation of the ER and non-ER funds requested for 2015.

Response Plan Analysis, Round 2

In June and July 2015, this initial analysis was reviewed. The OPS and the FTS were reviewed to determine whether the requested amounts had been revised; which projects had been withdrawn; and how activity based plans were being financially tracked. Next, the funding received to 30 July was added to the analysis.


In general, data from the FTS and OPS are limited. First, this is because not all funding (for example, pooled and some bilateral funding) are not recorded through these systems.

Secondly, it is understood that not all agencies or clusters in all humanitarian responses will record funding comprehensively through these systems. However, there are currently no better systems to use for analyses like this.

In round 2, it also became more apparent that if a response plan was activity-based, not project-based, there was no way to find funding information. Only projects are tracked in OPS and FTS, so it was not possible to analyse how activity based plan had been funded in this study (see the description in Annex 1).