The Sub-Working Group on Preparedness was established in 2001 with the aim of strengthening and promoting inter-agency preparedness, contingency planning and early warning processes across the IASC community of humanitarian actors. In its latest Terms of Reference (2009), the SWG sets out to promote collaboration in emergency preparedness among humanitarian actors, to support effective and timely humanitarian response.
» To achieve its goals, the SWG has a normative role directed towards the following objectives:
- Development of inter-agency guidance on preparedness;
- Identification and sharing of best practices in preparedness activities;
- Promulgation of early warning/early action information and advisories;
- Promotion of inter-agency contingency planning and preparedness measures;
- Strengthening of inter-agency initiatives in emergency preparedness.
The SWG explores and develops a variety of preparedness, contingency planning, early warning and early action approaches, methods and trainings to enhance the UN and IASC partners' overall preparedness capacity. Among key contributions, the SWG publishes the quarterly IASC Early Warning-Early Action Report and has been instrumental in setting up the Humanitarian Early Warning Service Website.(HEWSweb). The SWG continues to enhance the Inter-Agency Contingency Planning Guidelines for Humanitarian Assistance and increase its usage at field level. In addition, the SWG works to strengthen inter-agency capacity to support emergency simulations and trainings.
The SWG meets three times per year and conducts more frequent teleconferences on specific situations and/or issues whenever necessary. The SWG is open to all IASC members and standing invitees as well as the ISDR secretariat, and by invitation to non-IASC organisations. The SWG collaborates to build synergies with other relevant subsidiary bodies of the IASC. The SWG is co-chaired by and UNICEF and WFP. Secretariat functions are provided by OCHA.