New Emergency Needs Assessment Guidelines point the way to more standardized FAO assessments in emergencies

New Emergency Needs Assessment Guidelines point the way to more standardized FAO assessments in emergencies

24/03/2017

FAO has just released new guidelines ‒ the Phased Agricultural Livelihoods Needs Assessment Framework and Tools and its Technical Annexes ‒ to help guide field staff undertake or supervise assessments in emergency and recovery situations.

In line with the IASC assessment framework, the guidelines are organized around four assessment phases: Phase I - to be undertaken 48-72 hours after an event; Phase II - within two weeks; Phase III - after 4-8 weeks, and Phase IV between 6 and 12 months. The focus is very much on agriculture and agricultural livelihoods, as it is here that FAO has a comparative advantage and mandate. Whilst the primary focus is to provide a framework to guide assessments after sudden onset disasters, the tools in Phase III and IV can also be used in other kinds of crisis situations. The guidelines also have a chapter on companion assessment tools which can be used in conjunction with the “core” tools for each phase.

The targets for this publication are FAO managerial and technical staff, and staff from partner organizations and governments, who are charged with participating in or managing agricultural livelihood assessments in emergencies. The focus is on familiarization and general guidance, sufficient for practitioners and managers but not for those with little or no experience in conducting needs assessments. For this group, further training can be provided on a case by case basis by FAO emergency assessment specialists.