LEADERSHIP IN HUMANITARIAN ACTION: Handbook for the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator

Published Date

The Handbook is designed to directly support Resident Coordinators (RCs) and Humanitarian Coordinators (HCs) in their humanitarian leadership roles. It focuses on the roles and responsibilities of RCs and HCs in leading and coordinating inter-agency humanitarian action in support of the host Government and local actors, as well as on the skills, competencies and qualities of an effective humanitarian leader. It is also intended as a reference for UN and Humanitarian Country Teams and the wider humanitarian community.

There are four chapters in the Handbook:

  1. Chapter A examines the normative aspects of humanitarian action: UN General Assembly resolutions, humanitarian principles, international law, leadership arrangements and mandatory responsibilities.
  2. Chapter B focuses on operational aspects: country-level coordination mechanisms, the humanitarian programme cycle and specific areas of work.
  3. Chapter C details approaches to strengthening national readiness and addressing the underlying drivers of risk.
  4. Chapter D provides guidance on leadership during health emergencies and disease outbreaks including the COVID-19 response.

The Handbook also contains a supplementary booklet: the Concise Guide on Leading an Emergency Response is a compact and accessible tool which RCs and HCs can use in the event of a sudden-onset incident which might require humanitarian action.