Accurate and timely information on the needs of people affected by emergencies is essential for the effective design of humanitarian programmes and equitable allocation of resources. It lays the groundwork for humanitarian decision-making and is crucial for humanitarian actors to target their assistance strategically, taking into account the severity, scale and underlying causes of the disaster. To address these issues the Multi-Cluster Initial Rapid Assessment (MIRA) was developed.
The MIRA framework covers the dimensions of status and impact, vulnerabilities and risks, and trends and information gaps in each of the following themes: 1) Drivers of the crisis and underlying factors 2) Scope of the crisis and humanitarian profile 3) Status of populations living in affected areas 4) National capacities and response 5) International capacities and response 6) Humanitarian access 7) Coverage and gaps 8) Strategic humanitarian priorities
The 2015 revision supersedes the 2012 version of this tool.
Experience has shown that coordinated needs assessments brings significant benefits and helps save more lives and restore more livelihoods. Along with emergency preparedness, the timeliness and quality of assessments help determine an effective, needs-based humanitarian response. The credibility and accuracy of assessment results are the basis for needs-based planning and can have long-lasting effects on everything from the quality of inter-agency coordination to donor funding levels and relationships with national governments, local non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and disaster-affected people.
The guidelines consist of four parts: 1) The first part provides a background on the purpose, audience and scope of the document 2) The second part defines coordinated assessments and describes key actions to be taken, roles and responsibilities, and common principles to be considered when undertaking coordinated assessments 3) The third part provides recommendations on the types of coordinated assessments that can be carried out during the different phases following an emergency, and proposes standard operating procedures for doing so 4) The fourth part outlines key preparedness measures to prepare for coordinated assessments