Virtual Environmental and Humanitarian Adviser Tool – (VEHA Tool) is a tool
to easily integrate environmental considerations in humanitarian response. Field Implementation guidances are useful for the design and execution of humanitarian activities in the field.
Nutrition cluster coordination aims to support the delivery of a timely, quality, and appropriate nutrition response in order to effectively and accountably meet the needs of people affected by humanitarian crises safeguard and improve their nutritional status.
Achieving food and nutritional security requires developing and implementing robust public policies that jointly tackle the challenges of development, sustainable consumption, and production while contributing to the resilience of landscapes and seascapes. They also demand a great deal of political will, leadership from all relevant sectors, healthier partnerships with the private sector, dedicated and scaled-up investments in sustainable diets, diversified portfolio of funding, robust disaggregated data that is easily accessible, clear targets for domestic expenditure, and technological innovation.
The state of the environment, in turn, has a direct bearing on the welfare of communities affected by the crisis. Environmental considerations thus need to be taken into account in almost all aspects of the coordination of humanitarian response. Due to their inherent links with other sectors, environmental issues cannot be dealt with on their own, therefore, environmental guidelines dealing with specific sectors must be used in conjunction with those developed for other sectors. Coordinated planning allows for the formulation of strategic objectives, what needs to be done to meet them, and how much it will cost. This project plan will undoubtedly have environmental impacts, concerning natural and manufactured resources, staff, access to basic services, and more. During this phase, environmental considerations should be integrated by ensuring they are well adapted to the context, well understood, and shared, with the capacity of providing adequate orientation for the whole humanitarian community.
Mainstreaming environment often comes down to how much this is facilitated by coordination. Environmental issues often affect multiple sectors and can therefore be an excellent way to build bridges between sectors and generate and genuinely comprehensive approach to humanitarian needs (for example the links between waste management, livelihoods generation, and renewable energy, or addressing livelihoods or energy needs to reduce protection risks). Identify these links and work across sectors to address them in joined-up strategies;
In the planning phase of a Nutrition response, you or your organization might be one of many working together. Establishing committees based on the subject area of the response sector can help to ensure a high level of participation in the management to deliver aid to those who are most in need and share the environmental, financial, and resource burden. An effective committees system should provide access to local knowledge, facilitate the collection of accurate data for the provision of aid, foster community ownership, and empowerment, enable more efficient programme delivery, and ensure that programmes are tailored to local needs and circumstances.
Natural resource depletion
UNHCR is the lead for coordination in refugee contexts and UNICEF for non-refugee contexts. UNICEF as a cluster lead agency will mobilise partners where the Humanitarian Programme Cycle is activated. Where not activated, UNICEF is still the sector lead and will support as needed.
Mainstreaming environment often comes down to how much this is facilitated by coordination. This might include:
1. Involve environmental actors in coordination mechanisms and ensure that they understand coordination architecture and mechanisms and their roles and opportunities for engagement therein;
2. Include environment as an agenda point in meetings for other sectors to raise questions or concerns related to the environment – do not expect that the one environmental agency in the room should cover the entire issue;
3. Promote consortia between humanitarian and environmental agencies;
4. Promote all cross-cutting themes equally;
Nutrition coordination between different humanitarian actors, regarding environmental sensitivities, potential impacts, and sustainability can be strengthened through the following activities:
Build community resilience through increasing the abundance of natural resources, reducing waste and pollution, increasing their knowledge and skills around the environment, and building alternative renewable energy, solid waste management, or other green economy livelihoods.
As further guidance, you can refer to the Nutrition Cluster toolkit – https://www.nutritioncluster.net/Coordination_Toolkit
SAG and TWiG and partners:
The 2010 HAP report entitled Committee Assessment shared lessons learned from a methodology of committees system designed for deciding how to work with camp committees in the onset of a multisectoral response. The report concluded that working with camp committees can help to ensure a high level of participation in camp management and that aid reaches those who are most in need.
The report indicated that an effective camp committees system should ideally provide access to local knowledge, facilitate the collection of accurate data for the provision of aid, foster community ownership, and empowerment, enable more efficient programme delivery, and ensure that programmes are tailored to local needs and circumstances.
Key report findings include the successful experiences of:
a) building direct contact and collaboration between the NGO and wider camp population, in addition to contact via the committee– in order to share key information directly with the population, and understand needs and views of different groups;
b) establishing ongoing monitoring of the camp committees as part of project monitoring;
c) clarifying roles, responsibilities, and code of conduct of the committee, including what the agency expects from the camp committee, and what the camp committee;
d) communicating clearly the roles and responsibilities of the committee to the camp population;
e) establishing complaints and response mechanism;
f) developing guidelines for staff on how to work with the committee(s).