IASC Contingency Planning

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					Inter-Agency Contingency Planning:
        Concepts & Process
                        Workshop Title
                       Workshop Location

                       Facilitator’s Name

                         Session Design:
                Inter-Agency Standing Committee
   Sub-Working Group on Preparedness and Contingency Planning
Session Overview

 1. Introduction                                                                     10

 2. Key Concepts of Inter-Agency Contingency
    Planning                                                                         30

 3. Exercise: Levels of Contingency Planning                                         30

 4. The Inter-Agency Contingency Planning Process                                    20

                             Inter-Agency Contingency Planning: Concepts & Process    2
 Focus of this session
 Effective humanitarian action requires planning at several levels:

                                                             This session will focus
                                                                 on the role of
                               Inter-Agency                       Inter-Agency
                               Contingency                   Contingency Planning
                                                                   in effective
                                                              humanitarian action

Organizational               Sector / Cluster
  Planning                      Planning

                                   Inter-Agency Contingency Planning: Concepts & Process   3
Why contingency plan?
There are many good reasons why organizations should contingency
                  •   Deal with anticipated problems
     Time             before the onset of a crisis
                  •   Put in place measures that
                      enhance preparedness

                  •   Establish relationships with
                                                                         Enhance the
                      Develop shared understanding of
                                                                         quality of
                      common challenges                                  humanitarian
                  •   Clarify roles and responsibilities
                  •   Strengthen coordination                            response!

                  •   Identify constraints to effective
 Effectiveness        response actions
                  •   Focus on operational issues

                                      Inter-Agency Contingency Planning: Concepts & Process   4
What is contingency planning?
Contingency planning is a tool to anticipate and solve problems that
typically arise during humanitarian response:

 Analyse                      Analyse                     Establish clear            Implement
 potential                    potential                   objectives &               preparedness
 emergencies                  impact                      strategies                 actions

Example:               Example:                    Example:                      Example:
Due to unusual         Up to 1.5 million           1. Maintaining                Raise public
weather patterns,      people would be                people on their            awareness of
Country X is at risk   displaced from their           land and in their          preventive measures
of large scale         homes and 50% of               homes
                                                                                 Distribute emergency
flooding this year     domestic crop
                                                   2. Protecting the             supplies in high risk
                       production would
                                                      most fertile crop          areas
                       be wiped out.
                                                                                 Create water
                                                                                 diversion channels

                                              Inter-Agency Contingency Planning: Concepts & Process   5
When to Plan?
                   Preparedness Planning                            Contingency Planning

               •    Establish standing capacity to              •    Establish capacity to respond
 Description        respond to a range of                            to a specific emerging or
                    situations that may affect a                     anticipated crisis
                    given country or region                     •    It is a discrete activity
               •    It is a continuing activity for all              triggered by early warning
                    Country Teams that should                        systems
                    be reviewed regularly                       •    If the threat becomes chronic,
                                                                     it may be integrated into
                                                                     preparedness planning

               •    Hurricane season in tropical                •    Pandemic influenza
 Examples           areas                                       •    Flooding in a not typically
               •    Chronic conflict zones                           flood-prone region
                                                                •    Population displacement due
                                                                     to election violence

                   The primary difference is the level of specificity
                                      Inter-Agency Contingency Planning: Concepts & Process   6
 What is inter-agency contingency planning?
 Effective humanitarian action requires planning at several levels:


                                                         Organizational Planning
                               Contingency               Defines specific organizational
                                 Planning                arrangements to deliver the services
                                                         that the organization is committed to

                                                         Sector / Cluster Planning
                                                         Defines how organizations will work
                                                         together to achieve sector specific

Organizational               Sector / Cluster            Inter-Agency Contingency Planning
                                                         Provides a common strategic
  Planning                      Planning                 planning framework & process to
                                                         ensure alignment of humanitarian
                                                         action to overarching principles and

                                   Inter-Agency Contingency Planning: Concepts & Process   7
Elements of inter-agency contingency planning
    Inter-Agency                                                                      Sector / Cluster
Contingency Planning                                                                     Planning
     Elements                                                                          Elements
• Common analysis, risk &                                                        • Sector objectives &
  vulnerability assessment                                                         strategies
• Scenarios & planning                                                           • Needs assessment &
  assumptions                                                                      analysis
• Agreed planning figures                                                        • Capacity & response
• Overall objectives &                                                             commitments
  strategies                                                                     • Standards for
• Overall management &                                                             response
  coordination                                                                   • Monitoring & reporting
• Linkages with government
     Examples                                                                         Examples
• Monitoring probability of emerging crisis                                      • Sector targets, e.g. in health,
• Projected # of people threatened by the                                          food, shelter, etc.
  emerging crisis                                                                • Vulnerability assessments
• Objective to maintain people in their present                                  • Application of sphere standards
  location by providing supplies                                                 • Information management
• Establishment of 6 Clusters                                                    • Monitoring & reporting
• Negotiating access with government

                                                  Inter-Agency Contingency Planning: Concepts & Process     8
Who’s involved?

 Who should     •   All who will be required to work together in the event of an
 be involved?       emergency, including government whenever possible.
                •   Working groups and information sharing mechanisms
                    should be established to ensure the planning process
                    remains manageable and effective.

                •   The Resident / Humanitarian Coordinator is responsible for
 Who leads?         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.

                                Inter-Agency Contingency Planning: Concepts & Process   9
The planning process
The inter-agency contingency planning process is organized around four
basic components:

                                                   Response                   Implementing
 Preparation               Analysis
                                                   Planning                   Preparedness

     • Prepare for        • Analyze             • Define response           • Enhance
       and organize         hazards and           objectives &                preparedness
       the inter-           risks, build          strategies                  and continue
 A     agency               scenarios and       • Define                      the planning
 C     contingency          develop               management &                process
 T     planning             planning              coordination
 I     process              assumptions           arrangements
 O                                              • Develop &
 N                                                consolidate
 S                                                response plans

                      Strong coordination and process management

                                       Inter-Agency Contingency Planning: Concepts & Process   10
Success criteria for IA contingency plans
              •   Dedicated leadership
 Commitment   •   Appropriate resources
              •   Investment in planning process,
                  not just planning document

              •   Effective leadership                              Failure in any
              •   Clear management and
                                                                    one area
              •   Prioritization of key issues                      diminishes the
              •   Appropriate delegation to sector /
                  cluster level                                     quality of the
              •   Clear process and milestones                      contingency
              •   Continuous communication
              •   Engagement of all stakeholders
  Inclusion   •   Inclusion of government in
                                                                    process and
                  meaningful role                                   results.
              •   Effective information sharing
              •   Taking action on planning
  Follow up       recommendations
              •   Integration of contingency plans
                  at sector and organizational
                                 Inter-Agency Contingency Planning: Concepts & Process   11
Background & Reference

        Inter-Agency Contingency Planning: Concepts & Process   12
About the Guidelines
A number of agencies had developed very good internal guidance on
contingency planning. However, there was no reference document or
standards for how to contingency plan on an inter-agency basis.

    First version of IASC Inter-Agency Contingency Planning Guidelines
     developed in 2001.

    Intervening years have seen an expansion in inter-agency contingency
       2001: approximately 15 inter-agency contingency plans in existence
       2007: approximately 250 inter-agency contingency plans in existence

    Revision of the guidelines was initiated in February of 2007 to:
       Reflect accumulated good practice
       Include key elements of humanitarian reform, specifically the cluster

                                    Inter-Agency Contingency Planning: Concepts & Process   13
For more information and assistance

 Inter-Agency   • Prepared by the IASC Sub Working Group on
 Contingency      Preparedness and Contingency Planning
 Planning       • Published November 2007

 Active         • There are active inter-agency networks in many
 Networks         regions that include staff from a range of
                  humanitarian agencies that can provide advice or
                  facilitation experience

                             Inter-Agency Contingency Planning: Concepts & Process   14
Contingency Planning Reference
• Inter-Agency Contingency Planning Guidelines for Humanitarian
  Assistance, November 2007 (Available in English Spanish, French
  and Arabic)

• IASC Sub-Working Group on Preparedness and Contingency
  Planning. Challenges and Suggestions for Enhancing Inter-
  Agency Contingency Planning: Report of the 1st Global
  Consultation of Contingency Planners in Humanitarian Agencies.
  2-4 July, 2007.

  Available at: or

• Choularton, Richard. Contingency Planning and Humanitarian
  Action: A Review of Practice. HPN Network Paper No. 59, March

  Available at:

                              Inter-Agency Contingency Planning: Concepts & Process   15
Thank you!

   Inter-Agency Contingency Planning: Concepts & Process   16

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