The IASC Emergency Response Preparedness Approach, Frequently Asked Questions | July 2016

Manual and Guideline
Originally published


What is the Emergency Response Preparedness (ERP) approach?

The ERP approach was adopted by the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) in 2015 as the agreed method to ensure readiness to respond to potential crises requiring coordinated action from the humanitarian community. The aim is to increase the speed, volume, predictability and effectiveness of aid delivered after the onset of a crisis.

Why do we need the ERP?

Being ready to respond to emergencies quickly, appropriately and effectively is a core responsibility of humanitarian organizations. The ERP provides an internationally agreed framework that allows Country Teams to analyze and monitor risks, take actions to enhance preparedness, and flag gaps in capacity to the regional and global level so that the right support can be mobilized. Heightened readiness will increase the volume and speed of aid in the crucial first weeks of an emergency. It can also increase the value for money of humanitarian action by ensuring that scarce resources are directed towards the most urgent needs, and reach people in time.

How does the ERP work? The ERP approach is designed to ensure that the humanitarian community in a given country has a shared and updated understanding of risks and a joint plan for enhancing preparedness. The approach has three main components: 1) risk analysis and monitoring; 2) Minimum Preparedness Actions (MPAs); and 3) Advanced Preparedness Actions (APAs) and contingency planning. While risk analysis and monitoring and minimum preparedness measures are relevant in all contexts, advanced preparedness and contingency planning only becomes necessary once a specific moderate or high risk has been identified.

Will the ERP be implemented in the same way in every country?

No. The ERP approach was designed to be flexible and practical with a focus on outcomes rather than process. The approach is considered to be implemented when the following is achieved:  Risk analysis is done and risks identified are monitored regularly;  Key actions to enhance preparedness are identified, and prioritized actions are implemented; and  Gaps that cannot be addressed through in-country capacity are communicated to the regional and global levels.

Who is responsible for implementing the ERP?

At the global level, IASC members have endorsed the ERP and are committed to being adequately prepared to respond to emergencies. This accountability covers both their specific agency role and eventual cluster lead roles. At the country-level, implementing the ERP will be the responsibility of the Humanitarian Country Team under the leadership of a Humanitarian Coordinator. In countries where there is no Humanitarian Coordinator, a Resident Coordinator will lead the UN Country Team’s inter-agency humanitarian preparedness work.