IASC Reference Group on Risk, Early Warning and Preparedness
The Reference Group on Risk, Early Warning and Preparedness was created by the IASC to implement specific elements of the IASC Work Plan 2016-2017. The Group seeks to enhance preparedness to respond of the IASC system and, leveraging capability developed for this outcome, to develop preparedness of national and local actors. The work of the Group is primarily related to IASC WG Priority 1 – Effective Response to Emergencies and Protracted Crises -, although the Group supports other Priorities, in particular preparedness elements of the IASC priority on Financing.
In addition to undertaking tasks related to the current iteration of the IASC Work Plan the Group is directly relevant to the call to better invest in risk analysis, preparedness and early action that is featured in many areas of the UN Secretary-General’s Agenda for Humanity, particularly in Core Responsibilities One, Four and Five. Given this, the ToR have been formulated with a view to taking forward outcomes of the World Humanitarian Summit (WHS).
The Group assumes a number of tasks from the former IASC Task Team on Preparedness and Resilience (TTPR). Elements of the work of TTPR will be passed to the Task Team on Strengthening the Humanitarian-Development Nexus and the Group will work closely with this entity, including on preparedness for issues such as use of cash.
As a Reference Group, its activities are not confined to the IASC Work Plan and the Group acts as a “Community of Practice” for risk, early warning and preparedness issues.
Expected Results, Rationale and Objectives
The overarching result sought by the Group is that the IASC system, as part of wider efforts, is effectively and efficiently prepared to respond to emergencies and protracted crises. The Group will continue the broad twin track approach that was a feature of the TTPR. This involved a core focus on supporting the preparedness of the IASC, while, where appropriate, linking this work with other action, in particular development. This second track includes enabling the use knowledge, skills, and capabilities that have primarily been acquired for humanitarian action to better develop national and local risk analysis, early warning and preparedness. To achieve this overarching objective, and building on the achievements of the former TTPR, the Group will undertake work on the following inter-related pillars:
Understanding Risk and Anticipation. The core operational support task of the Group related to this pillar is production of Early Warning-Early Action Reports that are consistent with humanitarian principles, so that the IASC emergency capacity can systematically respond as required. In a wider sense, the Group promotes common risk-informed understanding of current and potential operational contexts (including through development and use of tools and methodologies such as the Index for Risk Management – INFORM).
Readiness. Developing better preparedness to respond (primarily through the IASC Emergency Response Preparedness (ERP) approach and, for contribution to national and local preparedness capacity, through implementation of the Common Framework for Preparedness). Of note, Agenda for Humanity advocates for the development of a comprehensive action plan by 2017 to significantly strengthen the response capacities of the 20 most-risk prone countries by 2020.
Awareness and Investment. Advocacy and advice on the importance of consideration of risk, early warning, and preparedness, including through inclusion in discussions and outcomes of relevant global processes and support to the design and implementation of platforms that link risk with readiness and financing.