Challenges an International Organization Faces Research Paper

Excerpt from Research Paper :

International Relations

The Role of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs and their Involvement in the Relief Efforts Following the 2002 Nyirangongo Eruption

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) operates under the remit of the United Nations Secretariat, with 35 global offices and approximately 1,900 staff (OCHA, 2012). The organization has four principle roles which are stated as being a part of its' mission (OCHA, 2012). The first role is as an inter-agency body; involved in the mobilization and coordinating of actors that respond to humanitarian emergencies, which it aims to perform in a principled manner to help alleviate the suffering caused by disasters and emergencies (OCHA, 2012). The actors that are mobilized and coordinated by the OCHA include United Nations (UN) actors and non-governmental organizations (NGO's) at both national and international levels (OCHA, 2012). The second role of the OCHA is that of advocating for the rights of people who are in need (OCHA, 2012). The third role is to promote preparedness to support relief provision for natural disasters and emergencies as well as preventative measures to aid the prevention of manmade disasters. The last role is that of facilitating sustainable solutions (OCHA, 2012).

These roles of OCHA are fulfilled in a number of ways. This includes the extensive use of partnerships and the provision support being a service provider. The partnerships are an essential...
...OCHA also utilizes its unique position in a strategic manner in order to influence different bodies' decision making in line with its humanitarian agenda to enhance the environment for humanitarian aid (OCHA, 2012). As a service provider the organizations partners are aided with information, support and advice, as well as the general coordination activities. Services, aid and advice include, but are not limited to, services such as the International Search and Rescue Advisory Group (INSARAG), Humanitarian Information Centers, a data exchange platform designed for emergency associated information (OCHA, 2012). There are also a number of databases with that store data on which agencies are undertaking which actions in which emergencies, the main database is colloquially known as the 3W database, officially known as the " Who does What Where Database" (OCHA, 2012).

From this it is apparent the organization has a large remit that is central to the coordination of relief for emergencies and disasters. The role can be seen in many incidences, one example was the eruption of the Nyirangongo volcano on the 17th of January 2002 (O'Malley, 2002). Nyirangongo is located in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo, an area where there were already many difficult conditions due to the political situation in the country and the neighboring Rwanda.…

Sources Used in Documents:


OCHA, (2012), retrieved 12th August 2012 from

O'Malley, Stephen, (2002, Sept 16), The role of OCHA in the emergency operations following the eruption of the Nyiragongo Volcano in Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo, report for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, retrieved 12th August 2012 from

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