Humanitarian Coordination: Lessons from Recent Field Experience

Research reports and studies
May 2001
Nicola Reindorp and Peter Wiles

In September 2000, the Policy Development Unit of the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) commissioned the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) to undertake an independent study on humanitarian coordination. The aim was to sharpen thinking on UN humanitarian coordination in the light of processes underway in the UN. These include debates on how the UN chooses coordination arrangements, the report of the UN Panel on Peace Operations – the Brahimi report – and OCHA’s own Change Management Process.

The purpose of the study is to:
1. Draw lessons from recent experiences in humanitarian coordination.
2. Understand the advantages and disadvantages of UN coordination models – that is, the Resident/Humanitarian Coordinator or so-called ‘combined model’, the model where the Humanitarian Coordinator is separate from the Resident Coordinator, and the ‘lead agency model’ – in particular circumstances.
3. Identify features of coordination arrangements which have provided ‘added value’.

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