|Snapshot on: The goals of Emergency Preparedness and Response (ERP) planning
What does this 2-pager aims at?
· To review overall goals of emergency preparedness and contingency planning
· To better understand how to go about preparing to respond to potential emergencies
Why should one embark into EPR planning?
· Emergency preparedness allows stakeholders to anticipate and act on early warning indicators, and to engage in contingency planning and coordinated preparedness actions toward improved collective response readiness.
· Emergency preparedness and response planning (EPRP) is an approach that should be seen as complementary to development actions, e.g., that seeks to build national and local resilience, including preparedness capacity.
· The primary aim of the EPRP approach is to optimize the speed and volume of critical assistance delivered immediately after the onset of an emergency.
· Developing a Nutrition EPRP or Contingency Plan is a valuable exercise, especially when it is a participatory process where nutrition partners agree to key interventions, coordination structures, shared roles and responsibilities, information management, assessments, supplies, etc during a response and what are key actions during the preparedness phase than can be undertaken to anticipate and maximize the effectiveness of the response to a crisis.
· One way of viewing the process is it can either be undertaken during the preparedness phase, where there is time for meaningful discussion and analysis amongst the partners, or (less preferred) the process can be undertaken in the first days of a sudden onset emergency. The latter option is likely to be much more stressful, and lead to a less efficient initial response by the nutrition cluster while these key decisions are being reached on what actions to take, who will be responsible for what, etc., but…
Do you know the return on investment EPRP has?
· To learn more about the impact of EPRP in terms of time saved and Return on Investment (RoI), read the UNICEF-WFP RoI for emergency preparedness study report (or see a summary in Text box 1 extracted from the EAPR NiE strategy, link here).
Proposed steps toward preparing to respond to potential emergencies?
· To develop a common understanding of risks (natural hazards, conflict, etc. as well as nutrition vulnerabilities) and to develop a system to monitor those risks to ensure early action is taken when required (early response). See toolkit folder 2.2.Risk analysis
· To establish a minimum level of preparedness actions. See toolkit folder 2.5.Minimum Preparedness Activities
· Among the above mentioned actions, the development of Nutrition EPR plan can be used as the basis for initial planning, including action the Nutrition sector needs to undertake to meet the needs of an affected population in the first weeks of an emergency. See toolkit folder 2.3.Response planning
· To evaluate how the Nutrition EPRP is aligned with other national level EPRP processes and importantly, Government processes and existing disaster response plans.
· In countries where national preparedness and response plan/contingency plans exist, the nutrition sector specific plan should be included for example as an annex. This is a particular opportunity for inter-sector coordination and planning of joint responses. In countries where there is an ongoing nutrition response, i.e., Myanmar, and response activities are well defined in the Strategic Response Plan and the Humanitarian Response Plan, the focus will be more on what is the capacity of the nutrition sector to manage another/additional emergency i.e. floods response of large scale as well as the ongoing protracted emergency response.
· Very importantly, for most countries of the EAPR, the NiE strategy to be based on strengthening local government structures and health systems as well as existing service delivery platforms to deliver CMAM/IYCF-E/MN supplementation interventions. Strengthening the local health system on a regular basis through regular programming will maximize the capacity of the health system to cope with disaster and to roll-out more timely and effective nutrition emergency responses.
There is a number of examples of EPR plans for the nutrition sector (the Philippine example is included in this toolkit folder 2.1., link here) and lots of global guidance on how to develop and structure an emergency preparedness and response plan overall.
This toolkit folder contains different sub-folders that provide some more detailed guidance on the different aspects of EPR planning largely inspired from the 2015 IASC guidance on EPR planning (link here) including on:
o Risk analysis (and monitoring) and scenario building
o Response planning
o Minimum Preparedness Activities
o Capacity mapping and gap analysis
o Caseload estimates, target calculation, supply forecast
Please note that the Nutrition EPR plan document should not serve as a Nutrition Cluster ToR (to be developed separately) but rather define goals and objectives of the Nutrition emergency team/plan, list its members, their roles and responsibilities, the coordination mechanism within the nutrition sector, as well as linkages with health and with other sectors (notably WASH, Health and food security); how to go about information management in emergencies, pre-define approaches for nutrition rapid assessments, explain / map capacities (HR, implementation and supplies); list Preparedness Activities (Minimum Preparedness Actions); and outline response plan (caseload estimates, response actions, key indicators).
 UNICEF/WFP Return on Investment for Emergency Preparedness Study, BCG January 2015