These Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) are intended to help catalyse and guide earlier humanitarian and development action to future ENSO-related extreme weather events (including drought, flooding, cyclones and extreme heat/cold and related events such as disease outbreaks). The SOPs outline what actions need to be taken, by whom and by when, once there are warning signs of a possible or impending ENSO event, to mitigate or prevent its impacts. They outline development and humanitarian actions for the international system. While aimed in the first instance at responding to El Niño/La Niña forecasts, these SOPs may in future be reviewed/adapted as needed to apply to non-ENSO-related slow-onset extreme weather events for which early warning is available.
The IASC Task Team on Preparedness and Resilience has developed the ‘Emergency Response Preparedness’ (ERP) approach to enable the international humanitarian system to apply a proactive approach to emergency preparedness. The ERP guidance builds on the importance placed by the IASC Transformative Agenda on preparedness on both the programmatic and financial side and, in particular, for HCT and IASC organizations to act on specific early warning indicators to engage in inter‐agency contingency planning and other coordinated preparedness actions to improve collective response readiness.
The ERP approach can be complementary to development action, e.g. through an UNDAF, that seeks to build national and local resilience, including preparedness capacity – especially where international and national capacity can be closely coordinated. The ERP replaces the ‘Inter-Agency Contingency Planning Guidelines for Humanitarian Assistance’ as developed in 2001 and updated in 2007.
The IASC Principals have called for the development of a “Common Framework for Preparedness” as part of the IASC Transformative Agenda. The framework is common in the sense that it requires all actors, whether focused on humanitarian assistance or development, to develop national and local capacities for preparedness, and that it takes into consideration both international and national capacities for preparedness at the country level.
A range of actors assists member states and communities towards achieving resilience, including through enhancing preparedness. In addition to national, bilateral and international development efforts, entities with significant operational humanitarian capabilities and experience are increasingly requested to assist in enhancing preparedness. This effort requires coherence and coordination and the optimal use of scarce resources.
The Common Framework for Preparedness supports the development of preparedness capacity in a more coherent manner using a systematic country level approach that collectively assesses capacity and need, uses this assessment to jointly develop programmes and plans, and coherently implements these programmes and plans to strengthen preparedness. Preparedness is situated within an overall, nationally led, disaster risk management (DRM) context, which includes prevention, mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery measures.