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Needs assessment

Needs assessment

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 or food safety

Needs assessments are a fundamental part of the humanitarian programme cycle that supports all other stages, including emergency preparedness, strategic response planning, resource mobilization and the monitoring and evaluation of an implemented strategic response plan.

FAO works in partnership with national governments, UN partners and NGOs to coordinate, support and implement a wide range of pre- and post-crisis assessments to inform food security and livelihood response planning and policies.

A collection of guidelines and training modules on various stand-alone and joint assessment processes and tools is available to support FAO staff and partners in different contexts.

Once released, assessment reports are made public and can be downloaded from the assessment library.

1. Assessment Guidelines

Several guidelines are available to support FAO staff and partners to engage in various stand-alone and joint needs assessments processes.

2. Training

Training modules

In order to ensure that adequate assessment capacities are in place in the event of an emergency that threatens agriculture, food and nutrition security or food safety, FAO has developed a modular approach to needs assessment capacity building consisting of four modules:

  1. FAO’s Phased Needs Assessment Framework for Livelihood and Food Security Interventions
  2. Key assessment tools and approaches
  3. Conducting a Survey A-Z
  4. Post-Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA) methodology

Training events

The following training workshops have been conducted since June 2013:

  • Emergency Response Roster of Needs Assessment Specialists training in Fiuggi, Italy 4-11 September 2014
  • Conducting a Survey A-Z training for Jordan Ministry of Agriculture in Amman, Jordan 18-22 May 2014
  • Post Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA) regional training - FAO Sub-regional Office for Mesoamerica in Panama City, Panama 1-5 July 2014
  • Post Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA) regional training – FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (RAP) in Bangkok, Thailand 17-19 July 2013

Trained assessment practitioner database

  • Trained Assessment Practitioner Database
  • Emergency Response Roster (ERR)
    In the case of a Level 3 major emergency - such as the large scale natural disaster in the Philippines after typhoon Haiyan, or the widespread violent conflict in South Sudan and the Central African Republic – a roster of trained needs assessment specialists is in place to support FAO country and regional offices and to participate in initial assessments as early as 18 hours of the onset of the crisis. The following persons are part of the ERR of assessment specialists and may be called upon to support emergency assessments in L3 situations.

3. 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.

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