Large-scale humanitarian crises necessitate concerted response. Humanitarian teams in sixteen countries with continuing emergencies have accordingly prepared concerted action plans for 2012. These consolidated appeals (or similar action plans with variant names) cover the humanitarian situations in Afghanistan, Central African Republic, Chad, Côte d'Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Haiti, Kenya, Niger, occupied Palestinian territory, Philippines (Mindanao), Republic of South Sudan, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen, and Zimbabwe. These appeals are the planning and monitoring frameworks for collective humanitarian response in these countries—the basis for humanitarian teams to measure whether they are accomplishing what they have planned, and whether it is having the necessary effect for people in need.
The consolidated appeal process (CAP) is a strategic system that draws on analysis of needs and formulates inter-agency plans at the strategic and operational levels. These plans comprise a framework of clear targets and humanitarian indicators with which progress can be measured, a clear division of labour to cover the needs, and a detailed costing for each part of the plan so as to ensure that resources go where they are most needed and can best be used.
The appeals are also a crucial interface with donors: they make it possible for donors to fund according to need, by presenting a worldwide total of humanitarian funding requirements (counting most major crises), and detailed, prioritized divisions of labour and costings within each response that can guide donors as to where specifically they should commit their funds to meet the highest-priority needs.
The international humanitarian system has recognized the necessity of better leadership, coordination, and accountability. Part of this will entail making CAPs more strategic—with (among other strategic qualities) clearer objectives, boundaries, prioritization, long-range perspectives alongside the short-term urgencies, and efficiency. The Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) has begun a reflection on what strategic qualities a CAP should have, and will thoroughly review these qualities in the 2012 CAPs so as to strengthen them during the year and strengthen future appeals.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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