OCHA is the part of the United Nations Secretariat responsible for bringing together humanitarian actors to ensure a coherent response to emergencies. OCHA also ensures there is a framework within which each actor can contribute to the overall response effort.
OCHA's mission is to:
Mobilize and coordinate effective and principled humanitarian action in partnership with national and international actors in order to alleviate human suffering in disasters and emergencies.
Advocate the rights of people in need.
Promote preparedness and prevention.
Facilitate sustainable solutions.
From 35 offices around the world, some 1,900 specialized and dedicated OCHA staff work to ensure that effective assistance reaches millions of humanitarian beneficiaries in four continents.
HOW THEY DELIVER
OCHA's Strategic Framework ensures that OCHA delivers on its core mandate, while responding to contemporary global challenges. The three pillars of the Strategic Framework are:
1. Partnerships: broadening the coalition for multilateral humanitarian action
The scale and scope of global challenges requires working together in new ways, with new partners. Partnership has always been integral to OCHA's efforts. Sustained relations, built on trust and mutual respect, are vital when preparing for and responding to humanitarian emergencies. OCHA has a unique position within the international humanitarian system to convene and influence agendas. They will do this more strategically, with the aim of creating a more enabling environment for humanitarian action.
2. Service provider: building a better system
The expectations of OCHA have evolved since humanitarian reform. They will ensure that their services and support to partners also evolve and meet clients’ needs. They are focused on helping partners more predictably through humanitarian coordination leadership, strengthening coordination mechanisms, and improving the evidence base for humanitarian decision-making, planning and resource allocation.
3. Reliability and professionalism: creating better staffing and surge solutions to be there when it counts
In 2010, OCHA will introduce surge solutions to ensure the right people are on the ground immediately after a new disaster. This will be coordinated with longer-term staffing to ensure continuity of OCHA presence.
WHAT THEY DO
OCHA is responsible for bringing together humanitarian actors to ensure a coherent response to emergencies. The aim is to assist people when they most need relief or protection. A key pillar of the OCHA mandate is to “coordinate effective and principled humanitarian action in partnership with national and international actors”.
Policy development is defined as one of OCHA’s three core functions. It aims to support effective and principled humanitarian action, saving lives and reducing suffering. It also underpins the role of the Under-Secretary-General/Emergency Relief Coordinator as principal advisor to the Secretary-General on humanitarian issues.
OCHA has a unique mandate to speak out on behalf of the people worst affected by humanitarian situations. As the organization tasked with coordinating international humanitarian response, their ultimate goal is to save more lives and reduce the impact of conflicts and natural disasters. Whether they’re mobilizing relief money after a massive earthquake, ensuring vulnerable communities are protected, or raising awareness of forgotten crises, it’s their job to keep world attention focused on humanitarian issues.
When an emergency occurs, OCHA’s information management officers immediately start working with key partners to produce standard information products to support coordination of all the humanitarian organizations and the response operation. These include the Who What Where (3W) database, contact lists and meeting schedules. Tools such as the information needs assessment and maps are made available to support better relief planning and action.
Where is United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA)