Annex 1: Terms of Reference

AuthorDirectorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO) (European Commission), Landell Mills International
1 The legal base for Humanitarian Aid is provided by Article 214 of the Treaty on the
Functioning of the European Union, and the Humanitarian Aid Regulation (HAR). The
objectives of European Union (EU) humanitarian assistance are outlined there and could for
evaluation purposes be summarized as follows: From a donor perspective a nd in
coordination with other main humanitarian actors, to provide the right amount and type of
aid, at the right time, and in an appropriate way, to the populations most affected by natural
and/or manmade disa sters, in order to save lives, alleviate suffering and maintain human
2 The European Consensus on Humanitarian Aid (the Consensus) which has been jointly
developed by the Council, the EU Member States, the European Parliament and the
Commission provides a reference for EU humanitarian aid, and outlines the common
objectives, fundamental humanitarian principles and good practices that the European Union
as a whole pursues in this domain. The aim is to ensure an effective, high-quality, needs-driven
and principled EU response to humanitarian crises. It concerns the whole spectrum of
humanitarian action: from preparedness and disaster risk reduction, to immediate emergency
response and life-saving aid for vulnerable people in protracted crises, through to situations of
transition to recovery and longer-term development. The Consensus has thus played an
important role in creating a vision of best practice for principled humanitarian aid by providing
an internationally unique, forward-looking and common framework for EU actors. It has set
out high-standard commitments and has shaped policy development and humanitarian aid
approaches both at the European and Member State level. Furthermore, with reference to its
overall aim, the Consensus has triggered the development of a number of humanitarian
sectoral policies.
3 The humanitarian aid budget is implemented through annual funding decisions adopted by the
Commission, which are directly based on Article 15 of the HAR. In general, there are two
types of financial decisions: decisions adopted in the context of non-emergency situations
(currently entitled World Wide Decisions (WWD)), and decisions which are adopted in
emergency situations. The WWD defines inter alia the total budget, and budget available for
specific objectives, mechanisms of flexibility. It is taken for humanitarian operations in each
country/region at the time of establishing the budget. The funding decision also specifies
potential partners, and possible areas of intervention. The operational information about crises
and countries for which humanitarian aid should be granted is provided through ‘Humanitarian
Implementation Plans’ (HIPs). They are a reference for humanitarian actions covered by the
WWD and contain an overview of humanitarian needs in a specific country at a specific
moment of time.
4 DG ECHO has more than 200 partner organisations for providing humanitarian assistance
throughout the world. Humanitarian partners include non-governmental organisations
(NGOs), international organisations and United Nations agencies. Having a diverse range of
partners is important for ECHO because it allows for comprehensive coverage of the ever-
expanding needs across the world and in increasingly complex situations. ECHO has
developed increasingly close working relationships with its partners at the level of both policy
issues and management of humanitarian operations.
5 DG ECHO has a worldwide network of field offices that ensure adequate monitoring of
projects funded, provide up-to-date analyses of existing and forecasted needs in a given
country or region, contribute to the development of intervention strategies and policy
development, provide technical support to EU-funded humanitarian operations, and facilitate
donor coordination at field level.
6 DG ECHO has developed a two-phase framework for assessing and analysing needs in
specific countries and crises. The first phase of the framework provides the evidence base for
prioritisation of needs, funding allocation, and development of the HIPs.
The first phase is a global evaluation with two dimensions:
Index for Risk Management (INFORM) is a tool based on national indicators and data
which allows for a comparative analysis of countries to identify their level of risk to
humanitarian crisis and disaster. It includes three dimensions of risk: natural and man-made
hazards exposure, population vulnerability and national coping capacity. The INFORM
data are also used for calculating a Crisis Index that identifies countries suffering from a
natural disaster and/or conflict and/or hosting a large number of uprooted people.
The Forgotten Crisis Assessment (FCA) identifies serious humanitarian crisis situations
where the affected populations do not receive enough international aid or even none at all.
These crises are characterised by low media coverage, a lack of donor interest (as measured
through aid per capita) and a weak political commitment to solve the crisis, resulting in an
insufficient presence of humanitarian actors.
The second phase of the framework focuses on context and response analysis:
Integrated Analysis Framework (IAF) is an in-depth assessment carried out by European
Commission's humanitarian experts. It consists of a qualitative assessment of humanitarian
needs per single crisis, also taking into account the population affected and foreseeable
7 The European Union aims at being a reference humanitarian donor176, by ensuring that its
interventions are coherent with the humanitarian principles177, are relevant in targeting the
most vulnerable beneficiaries, are duly informed by needs assessments, and promote resilience
building to the extent possible. The Commission also takes the role of when necessary
leading, shaping, and coordinating the response to crises, while respecting the overall
coordination role of the UN OCHA.
176 I.e. a principled donor, providing leadership and shaping humanitarian response.
177 Humanity, Impartiality, Neutrality and Independence

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