Managing operations

Responding effectively to crisis is an exercise in swiftly, safely delivering large quantities of services and stuff to people who urgently need it, and doing so under difficult conditions. The managerial task list is long, a requirement to ensure security, sufficient human resources, adherence to humanitarian principles and IHL, negotiated access, functional relations with local governmental and community authorities, real-time monitoring of the context and programmes (to signal but a few). This requires human resource management, financial management, security/risk management, logistics/resources management, strategic planning, context analysis and diplomatic engagement. It also requires patience, dedication, flexibility and stamina. Luck may also come in handy.

Supply work line in warehouse

Photo: Julien Harneis

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Tools for the job

Information services supporting the humanitarian program cycle (HPC) in the following stages: the identification of needs; strategic, cluster-level and project planning; periodic monitoring; presence mapping and financial tracking.

Key actors

Primary mechanism for inter-agency coordination of humanitarian assistance, policy development, and decision making consisting of the key UN and non-UN humanitarian partners. One of the main priorities that guide its work is improving the operational response.

Coordinates humanitarian response in order to expand the reach of humanitarian action, to improve prioritization, and to reduce duplication of operational humanitarian response

Key references

Reference module providing a standard and an adaptable set of tools to help implement the HPC

Handbook that looks at ways of optimizing the participation of crisis-affected people in humanitarian action

One of the main areas on “Delivering the Response” includes guidance on program planning and management, sector guidance, and good practices by operational context

Guidance manual providing an introduction to project/programme planning in a Red Cross Red Crescent environment within the context of result-based management (RBM)