Strategic planning

What is it about?

Once the needs assessment phase is completed, all necessary data should have been collected and analysed to inform strategic planning allowing the Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) process to start. The HRP has become the main tool for intersectoral strategic planning in protracted, slow-onset or stabilized emergency setting. It is a one-month duration OCHA-driven process done with the support of each sector, usually occurring once a year. Part of the HRP process, the development of the WASH Operational Response Plan is an essential function of the WASH coordination platform, requiring joint efforts from Information Management Officer, WASH Cluster coordinator and WASH partners.

In large sudden onset emergencies, the annual HNO + HRP documents can be replaced by a Flash Appeal, which follows the same logic but drafted over a very short period (3 to 5 days), and mostly based on secondary data. A Flash Appeal contain both needs assessment and response strategy information.

What are the objectives?

  • Focus response's activities and resources
  • Ensure that organizations are working toward the same goals and using the same modalities
  • Provide guidance to WASH sector partners on operational and technical aspects of the response; 

At least, you should do…

 GWC Minimum Requirements
  • A WASH response plan has been jointly agreed addressing priority needs identified during data review. As a minimum the response plan will include:

- priorities (targeted population, geographic areas, activities);

- key strategic indicators; and

- funding requirements.

  • WASH standards and guidelines for humanitarian response have been developed and agreed by partners and are based on national standards where applicable (or global otherwise) with consideration made for the local context
  • WASH cluster/sector has conducted a training or workshop on AAP within the past year or AAP is a standing agenda item during coordination meetings.
  • WASH cluster/sector specific policy or guidance for the minimum level and means of communication with affected communities.

Click to get the complete list of GWC Minimum Requirements 

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The WASH Operational Response Plan provides partners with a general framework to design and cost their projects. Its objective is inter-sectoral planning, and it contains only a summary of the WASH strategy and implementation guidance.  More details about the WASH response implementation modalities must be agreed by SAG and gathered in a document called the WASH Strategic Operational Framework (SOF).

Beyond strategic planning and HRP/SOF development, the WASH cluster / sector is committed to deliver services to the beneficiaries with the highest possible quality. The WASH cluster partners must set up the response's Quality Assurance System, agreeing on quality targets for both response inputs and outputs, monitoring modalities and collective ways of addressing quality issues. 

HRP and SOF contains targets against which WASH response can be monitored. Once strategy has been defined, the WASH coordination platform elaborates the WASH response's Monitoring plan, which contains the indicators that will be used to monitor the response, the monitoring modalities and the data analysis plan.