Why is this important?
In accordance with the humanitarian principles, established by the European Consensus on Humanitarian Aid, the EU seeks to address the needs of the most vulnerable people facing a crisis. A needs-based approach is therefore necessary to ensures aid is provided in different countries according to their respective needs, independent of any pressure. The approach also guarantees the credibility and transparency of EU humanitarian aid.
How do we ensure a needs-based approach?
The European Commission's Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO) has developed a two-phase framework for assessing and analysing needs in specific countries and crises. It provides an evidence base for funding allocation, prioritisation of needs, and development of humanitarian implementation plans (HIPs). The first phase is based on the below ECHO-based tools:
Global Vulnerability and Crisis Assessment (GVCA)
The Global Vulnerability and Crisis Assessment is a tool based on national indicators and composite data that allows for a comparative analysis of countries to identify the level of vulnerability/ crisis. The first component identifies the most vulnerable countries, where humanitarian needs are likely to be greater in the event of a disaster, using a vulnerability index; the second component identifies countries that are effectively in a humanitarian crisis situation corresponding to the ECHO intervention criteria, by means of a crisis index. Taken together, the two indices define the priorities for intervention.
The Forgotten Crisis Assessment (FCA)
The Forgotten Crises Assessment is a methodology which identifies serious humanitarian crisis situations where the affected populations are not receiving enough international aid or even none at all.
The second phase of the framework focuses on the sub-crisis context and response analysis, carried out jointly by ECHO experts in both the field and in the Brussels headquarters.
How do we promote needs-based decision-making?
ECHO is committed to improving the capacities, quality and coordination of needs-assessment approaches across the humanitarian sector. Such actions include::
- Assisting the work of the Inter-agency Standing Committee (IASC) Needs Assessment Task Force (NAFT) in the application of the Operational Guidance on Coordinated Assessments in Humanitarian Crises and the field roll-out of the MIRA (Multi-cluster/sector initial rapid assessment).
- Funding of global needs assessment initiatives under the Enhanced Response Capacity (ERC) funding mechanism.
- Promoting efforts aimed at improving coordinated needs assessment methodologies and processes in humanitarian assistance.
- Supporting the development of the Open Humanitarian Risk Index (OHRI), aimed to provide a common and objective basis for measuring risk and identifying countries that are more likely to experience humanitarian emergencies.
- Funding needs assessment initiatives implemented by partner organisations, such as the World Food Programme (WFP), UNFAO, UNOCHA, UNHCR, HelpAge International, CARE-UK, ACTED, Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), Action Contre la Faim (ACF), Save the Children (UK), etc.