Workstream 5 (Improve joint and impartial needs assessments): January 2020 Update

Published Date

Advancing Needs Assessment and Analysis Through the Grand Bargain

In an effort to enhance confidence in the quality of humanitarian needs assessments, with the assistance of an external consultant, the workstream developed in late 2018 and early 2019 a set of criteria against which to assess the quality of multisectoral needs assessments. Similar criteria were also developed for Humanitarian Needs Overviews (HNOs) which are being revised to reflect the enhancements made to the 2020 Humanitarian Programme Cycle. These will be applied this year by a multi-agency body, inclusive of UN Agencies and donors, who will review and score the 2020 HNOs.

The workstream also came together in December 2019 to reflect on progress to date against their Theory of Change, identify current and anticipated challenges, and chart a path for further rollout and institutionalization of the tools and guidance they developed in 2019

Taking it to the field

Strengthened needs assessment and analysis, and confidence in the data and analysis put forward by humanitarian actors through the Humanitarian Programme Cycle (HPC), is one of the key outcomes towards which the workstream 5 is working. As such, field application of the tools and guidance was initiated through the 2020 enhanced HPC, which included revisions to guidance, templates and approaches to strengthen linkages between situation, multi-sectoral needs and response monitoring. With the significant attention and energy dedicated to rollout of the enhanced HPC across the humanitarian sector during the second half of 2019, the workstream sought to leverage this and ‘roll out’ the elements of its package by emphasizing its utility in support of the HPC. For example, information on the work undertaken to improve data use and usability was disseminated, and agencies and sectors were encouraged to apply the quality criteria for multi-sectoral needs assessments.

The two most significant elements were the Joint Intersectoral Analysis Framework (JIAF) and the DEEP. Provisional elements of the JIAF were introduced and applied in virtually all HNOs, leading to improvement in joint intersectoral analysis.

The DEEP is now being used in 35 countries, and 25 crises. While its main use is to support strategic planning, it is also being used by OHCHR for human rights violation monitoring and IFRC for other purposes (historical databank, situation analysis, operational review). Throughout 2019 additional features were added, including strengthened security, situation analysis features, user guides and tutorials, and translation into Spanish.

Looking Forward

The Joint Intersectoral Analysis Group (JIAG) will meet in Geneva for a 2-day workshop on the 29-30 January 2020.

Topics will include consensus building on aspects of the Joint Intersectoral Analysis Framework (JIAF), lessons learned from the 2020 HNOs and work planning for 2020.