Emergency response is one pillar of FAO’s strategy to build resilience in countries vulnerable to different kinds of crises and emergencies. Accurate and timely situation and needs analysis is a critical building-block for FAO’s responses to emergencies that threaten agriculture, food and nutrition security.
Needs assessments are a fundamental part of the humanitarian programme cycle providing the foundation and justification for interventions to support recovery and future resilience of populations affected by emergencies. FAO works in partnership with national governments, UN partners and international and local NGOs to coordinate, support and implement a wide range of assessments in different kinds of crisis and post-crisis situations.
Examples of assessments undertaken during 2015 include food security and agriculture assessments in conflict affected Eastern Ukraine and Iraq; an agricultural livelihood impact assessment after the April 2015 earthquake in Nepal; and a post disaster needs assessment after the March 2015 floods in Myanmar. The results of these assessments feed into decision-making of governments, UN and NGO partners and donors as well as FAO itself. The assessments form the basis of humanitarian appeals and post-disaster planning frameworks in the agricultural sector.
To strengthen knowledge and capacities and support FAO staff and partners in the design and implementation of interventions, FAO focuses on the development and dissemination of assessment tools and training that can be tailored to different contexts.
Assessment Guidelines and Training
A collection of guidelines is available to support FAO staff and partners to engage in various stand-alone and joint needs assessment processes. These guidelines are supported by different kinds of training materials. Training in FAO’s Agricultural Livelihoods Needs Assessment Framework gives a general overview of four different phases of post-disaster assessment, and is supported by specific trainings in key thematic areas such as Seed Security, Fisheries and Post-Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA) for the agricultural sector.
FAO supports and conducts training on a regular basis at national and local level with the aim of increasing capacity to conduct high quality assessments in agriculture and sub-sectors including seed security, crops, livestock, fisheries, aquaculture and forestry. Since 2012, FAO has developed needs assessment capacities in more than 30 countries.
Assessment Practitioners List
The availability of trained staff who can be deployed at short notice to different emergency contexts is a key aspect of FAO’s needs assessment capacity. A list of trained needs assessment specialists is available within the FAO Emergency Response Roster (ERR) to support FAO country and regional offices and to participate in initial assessments as early as 18 hours after the onset of the crisis.
Assessments Reports Library
FAO engages in various pre- and post-crisis stand-alone and joint needs assessment processes. All reports from recent assessments that FAO has directly supported are available in our online Assessment Reports Library. Additional assessment report relevant to food security and livelihood programming are available on the global Food Security Cluster (gFSC) website.
To help in raising awareness about this emergency needs assessment work that FAO is involved in, the SO5 Emergency Needs Assessment Update is now produced on a monthly basis.