Interagency contigency Planning Online Toolbox

Preparation

Coordinate and prepare for the process

Organizing and effectively managing inter-agency contingency planning from the outset is essential.

The Resident/Humanitarian Coordinator is responsible for providing overall strategic leadership to the inter-agency contingency planning process.

All members of the Humanitarian Country Team, in particular those with sector/cluster leadership responsibilities, are expected to ensure adequate coordination during the planning process within their respective sectors/clusters and agencies/organizations.

Example: Key messages for HoAs on CP (Word, 30KB)

Define the scope of participation

Participation Scope

Planning in advance of an emergency allows participants time to think through and address some critical questions including:

  • What could happen?
  • What would be the impact on the people affected?
  • What actions would be required to meet humanitarian needs?
  • How would agencies/organizations work together?
  • What resources would be required?
  • What can agencies/organizations do to be better prepared?

Contingency planning is most effective when it is a participatory process that includes all those who will be required to work together in the event of an emergency:

  • Establish working relationships
  • Develop common understanding
  • Reinforce coordination
  • Clarifying roles and responsibilities
  • Put in place measures that enhance preparedness

IASC Contingency Plan Template-Outline (Word, 328KB)

Establish Working Groups (Steering Groups and Technical Working Groups)

Steering Groups Technical Working Groups

A steering group of senior decision-makers can help to ensure a balance between participation and effective management.

Existing coordination mechanisms such as Disaster Management Teams or Humanitarian Country Teams will typically perform these functions.

This group will be responsible for providing overall strategic direction and guidance to the contingency planning process and ensuring that adequate resources are available to keep the process active.

The steering group will approve the inter-agency contingency plan and monitor implementation of the preparedness actions identified.

The Technical working group will manage the practical planning process.

It will ensure that agency/organization and sector/cluster response plans are in line with the overall planning framework.

It will consolidate the results of different elements of the planning process and ensure that cross-sector/cluster issues are addressed.

Appropriate representation is essential and should include representatives of agencies/organizations, sector/cluster groups and the Resident/Humanitarian Coordinator's Office.

Fonctiones del UNDMT y UNETE (Word, 84KB)

Structure the process (agree on timeline workplan and outputs)

Map out the inter-agency contingency planning process, articulate key timelines, meetings and outputs so that progress can be monitored by all participants.

Management of Contingency Planning Process to Expected Risks (Word, 117KB)

Ensure facilitation

The primary responsibility for contingency planning rests with agencies/organization comprising the Humanitarian Country Team.

Should assistance in facilitating the contingency planning process be required, facilitators with contingency planning experience can be drawn from humanitarian agencies/organizations at the regional and global level.

Experience has found that facilitation teams composed of staff from more than one agency/organization are more effective as they bring a range of perspectives, experience and knowledge of different systems.

Analysis

Context analysis, scenario building and planning assumptions

This step in the planning process focuses on the analysis of likely hazards and their potential risks, as well as analysis of the existing vulnerabilities and capacities of the population so as to be able to make informed assumptions about the likely humanitarian impact of a particular hazard.

All Humanitarian Country Teams are expected to maintain active early warning systems to help determine when humanitarian response may be required.

Analyze hazards and risks

Brainstorming Guide Contigency Plan Checklist

What are the socio-economic and political trends?

Consider recent assessment / reviews/baseline studies / analytical exercises as sources of information.

What is the country's recent record with regards to particular hazards such as drought, floods, earthquake, epidemics violence or security threats, population movements, resources constraints, human rights abuses, demographic/land issues (etc.)?

What are the risks in order of priority?

Summarize main hazards/risk assessment. Can be summarized in a matrix.

  • Country information and context analysis
  • Brief summary of hazards
  • Risk assessment of different hazards

Instructions for Working Groups on hazard analysis_scenario building (Word, 30KB)

Risk Analysis for IACP Toolbox (PowerPoint, 76KB)

Define scenario, planning assumptions and identify triggers and early warning indicators

Brainstorming Guide Contingency Plan Checklist

What areas are likely to be affected and what will be the geographical extent of the damage / crisis?

Numbers and percentage of population affected; population profile and demographics?

Gender considerations; specific vulnerable groups; and target beneficiaries?

What will be the impact on livelihoods? What will the specific sectoral impacts be?

How long are emergency conditions likely to last under this scenario?

Do the government / local authorities have prior experience in responding to the situation?

How will the scenario affect on-going operations?

What other organizations are likely to respond to the emergency and in what way?

What are likely to be the major constraints to an emergency response?

What are likely to be the major gaps?

What are the various factors negative or mitigating) influencing the situation?

What events could trigger this scenario?

What are the early warning indicators that should be monitored?

This section elaborates the planning scenario(s). It contains the main planning assumptions:

  • Geographical location.
  • Description of the main humanitarian consequences:
    • Vulnerabilities and anticipated consequences on populations, provision of basic services.
    • Coping mechanism of population.
  • Description of government capacity to respond.
  • Gaps and constraints:
    • Capacity gaps in provision of humanitarian assistance & protection.
    • Major obstacles (security, logistics, etc).
  • Planning figures for humanitarian assistance.
  • Triggers, early-warning indicators and monitoring arrangements.

Niveles de Alerta y activacion correspondiente (Word, 101KB)

Response Planning, Part1: Objectives and Strategies

Define objectives and strategies

Establishing common objectives and strategies helps to ensure that all sectors/ clusters and agencies/organizations are working towards the same overall goal. h

Define response objectives, strategies and guiding principles

Brainstorming Guide Contingency Plan checklist

What are the over-arching objectives of the humanitarian response? What will the humanitarian community seek to achieve?

How is the implementation strategy linked to the realisation of the objectives?

What are the overarching principles that will guide the response?

How will individual sectors/clusters projects contribute to the overall objectives?

How long will the assistance be required for?

Who are the target beneficiaries?

Are the levels and the types of assistance to be provided to the different beneficiaries agreed on?

This section outlines the agreed response objectives that define the common planning framework and the strategies for achieving those objectives

  • Overall objectives to be achieved during the response.
  • Strategy for achieving objectives.

Guiding principles.

 

Define management and coordination arrangements

Establishing clear mechanisms for accountability and coordination is critical to effective humanitarian response.

Based on the planning assumptions developed, this section of the plan highlights what management and coordination mechanisms have been established to guide the humanitarian response.

Protocolos de activacion del Sistema de las Naciones Unidas (Word, 70KB)

Define operational roles functions, responsability and accountability

Under the leadership of the Resident/Humanitarian Coordinator, the Humanitarian Country Team has overall responsibility for mounting a coordinated humanitarian response.

Typically the Humanitarian Country Team or Disaster Management Team will agree on overarching policy issues and management structures.

Humanitarian Country Team or Disaster Management Team are also responsible to ensure that cross cutting issues (e.g. gender, age, diversity, the environment, HIV/AIDS, and human rights) are adequately addressed.

Matrix of Allocations of Responsibility by Sector and Function (Word, 31KB)

Define external coordination arrangements with government and donors

Brainstorming Guide Contingency Plan checklist

External Relations

How does the government coordination body work?

What are the coordination arrangements between the government, the Humanitarian Country Team, donors, civil society, private sector and beneficiaries? Have partners been briefed on the cluster/sector approach?


Resources Mobilisation

What are the potential sources of funds? Will rapid response resources (e.g.CERF) be needed?

Is there a need for a specific appeal for this operation? Should there be a CAP or a Flash Appeal?

Should a donor consultation be organised?

Based on the planning assumptions developed, this section of the plan highlights what management and coordination mechanisms have been established to guide the humanitarian response.

  • Resource mobilization strategy (funding and appeal arrangements).
  • Internal and external coordination arrangement.

CERF and Flash Appeals December 2007 (PowerPoint, 625KB)

Flash Appeal Template (Word, 35KB)

Decide which sector/cluster groups to establish, agree on participation and establish a sector/cluster lead group

Brainstorming Guide Contingency Plan checklist

Coordination

Does the Humanitarian Country Team understand the cluster/sector approach?

Have the cluster/sector leads been identified?

Have the specific cluster/sector TORs been agreed?

Have the reporting procedures be agreed?

What joint activities will be undertaken: Assessment, monitoring, programming?


Information Management

How will information/data be collected?

How will information flow between the various levels (local, national, regional and HQ) and vice-versa?

What report formats will be used?

What GIS and mapping capacity will be needed?


Safety and Security

What are the security coordination arrangements at the local, national, regional levels (i.e. SMT, informationsharing meetings)? Is there a need for additional arrangements/ resources?

Are there specific security training needs?

What are the security and evacuation plans? Who is responsible for them?

Who maintains a central list of names and locations of all international and local staff??


Media Strategy

What will be the public information strategy?

Can the current staff handle the influx of journalists and information requests or should Public Information personnel be recruited?

How should media relations be coordinated?

What will be the information strategy for the target population?

Based on the planning assumptions developed, this section of the plan highlights what management and coordination mechanisms have been established to guide the humanitarian response.

  • Operational roles, responsibilities and accountabilities.
  • Cluster/sector arrangements, including designated lead agencies.
  • Internal arrangements
  • Cross-cutting issues
  • Immediate response mechanisms (rapid assessment, advance funding, response).
  • Information management.
  • Media strategy.
  • Safety and security arrangements.

Sector_cluster response planning Tip Sheet (PowerPoint, 57KB)

Checklist of Preparedness Information (Word, 66KB)

Data Preparedness - Indonesia CP Workshop (PowerPoint, 1725KB)

Emergency Rapid Needs Assessment (Word, 122KB)

Guidance to Spokespersons (Word, 50KB)

HRR_best practices PI&Advocacy; (Word, 38KB)

Instructions for WG sector response plans (Word, 31KB)

Agree on Common Service Areas

Brainstorming Guide Contingency Plan checklist

Common Service Areas

What common services areas will be required to support the response: Transport and logistics, media and information, TC/IT?

Can staff and material be shared?

How will shared resources be paid for? Who will own them? To whom will personnel report?

Based on the planning assumptions developed, this section of the plan highlights what management and coordination mechanisms have been established to guide the humanitarian response.

  • Cross cutting issues
  • Common services Area Required

Emergency Telecomunication Cluster Common Service Areas (Word, 28KB)

Develop Response Plans

Develop response plan

Once the over-arching objectives, strategies, management and coordination arrangements have been established, specific sector/cluster response plans should be developed.

These plans will describe how agencies/organizations will respond to needs within the sector.

Define sector/cluster specific principles/operational objectives

Brainstorming Guide Contingency Plan checklist

What is are the specific cluster objectives?

What are the provisions in place for immediate response?

Concise summaries of the sector/cluster response plans should be included in the Inter-Agency Contingency Plan. Some critical issues to include in sector/cluster summaries are:

  • Outline of participation in sector/clusters
  • Objectives and response actions
  • Standards that will guide response
  • Outline of the roles and responsibilities of agencies.

Agriculture CP template 1 (Word, 34KB)

Camp Coordination and Management CP template 1 (Word, 37KB)

CP Template I (Word, 109KB)

Early Recovery CP template 1 (Word, 33KB)

Education CP template 1 (Word, 45KB)

Emergency Shelter CP template 1 (Word, 40KB)

Emergency Telecoms CP template 1 (Word, 34KB)

Food CP template 1 (Word, 36KB)

Group work for developing sector_cluster response plans (PowerPoint, 61KB)

Health CP template 1 (Word, 40KB)

Health CP template 2 (Word, 124KB)

Livelihoods CP template 1 (Word, 40KB)

Logistics CP template 1 (Word, 40KB)

Nutrition CP template 1 (Word, 35KB)

Protection CP template 1 (Word, 38KB)

WASH CP template (Word, 48KB)

WASH CP template 2 (Word, 119KB)

Define individual (agency/organisation) and collective actions to meet the sector/cluster objectives

Brainstorming Guide Contingency Plan checklist

What initial assessment arrangements are needed?

What actions will be taken as an immediate response to the situation? Who does what and when?

Concise summaries of the sector/cluster response plans should be included in the Inter-Agency Contingency Plan. Some critical issues to include in sector/cluster summaries are:

  • Outline of participation in sector/clusters
  • Objectives and response actions
  • Gap analysis
  • Standards that will guide response
  • Outline of the roles and responsibilities of agencies.

Define sector/cluster preparedness assessment and response actions

Brainstorming Guide Contingency Plan checklist

What is required to support the immediate response (logistic/transport,TC-IT, commodities, staff…)?

Who will participate in the Emergency Needs Assessment?

Concise summaries of the sector/cluster response plans should be included in the Inter-Agency Contingency Plan. Some critical issues to include in sector/cluster summaries are:

  • Objectives and response actions
  • Standards that will guide response
  • Outline of participation in sector/clusters
  • Outline of the roles and responsibilities of agencies.

Consolidate and review planning outputs

Brainstorming Guide Contingency Plan checklist

What are the critical sector gaps?

Which sectors/clusters are most likely to be critical / should be prioritised?

Are all the sector/cluster needs identified covered in sector/cluster or agency plans?

Concise summaries of the sector/cluster response plans should be included in the Inter-Agency Contingency Plan. Some critical issues to include in sector/cluster summaries are:

  • Gap analysis
  • Outline of participation in sector/clusters
  • Outline of the roles and responsibilities of agencies.

Implementing Preparedness

Consolidate and implement followup actions

Contingency Planning should not be a theoretical exercise; its main objective is to ensure that agencies/organizations develop a level of preparedness that is sufficient to respond to an anticipated emergency.

Prioritizing and implementing preparedness actions and monitoring agreed early warning indicators for developments that would trigger a response convert intentions into action.

Consolidate preparedness, assessment, response actions and division of responsabilities

Brainstorming Guide Contingency Plan Check List

Who is responsible for the update and maintenance of the contingency planning document?

When and how will the plan be updated and tested?

Have specific preparedness actions be agreed on for sectors/clusters and agencies?

What follow up actions are required?

This section documents the preparedness actions that agencies/organizations have agreed to undertaken in order to strengthen their preparedness. It also describes the arrangement for the continuation of the contingency planning process.

  • Priority preparedness actions identified
  • Preparedness levels
  • Stockpile levels
  • Equipment needed
  • Resources (human, cash, material) on stand-by.
  • Preparedness action to be taken
  • Arrangement and responsibilities for monitoring of early warning indicators.
  • Training/capacity strengthening required.
  • Development of initial assessment formats.
  • Stand-by capacities to be activated
  • List of focal points and deadlines for individual activities.
  • List of agency or sector/cluster level of preparedness (staff, stocks, programs etc)
  • Workplan for regular review and updating of contingency plan

Review, test and update plan

Contingency plans should not be considered to be instruction manuals to be strictly followed in an emergency. Their value is in establishing key working relationships, coordination mechanisms and agreeing on common standards - in short, solving potential problems ahead of time. (The preparedness actions identified should contribute to strengthening emergency response systems which will be activated at the time of an emergency.