The Inter-Agency Protection Standby Capacity Project (ProCap) was created in 2005 to strengthen the humanitarian protection response. Following in 2007, the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) Gender Standby Capacity Project (GenCap) was established to strengthen capacity and leadership to undertake and promote gender equality programming at the global, regional, and country levels.

An evaluation of the Projects in 2011 highlighted the continuing relevance and impact of both OCHA-hosted projects, recommending extensions of both mandates. In 2013, the projects developed a medium-term strategy for the period 2014-2016. In October 2015, the Steering Committees met separately to review implementation of the 2014 to 2016 strategies and to agree priorities for 2016. The ProCap Steering Committee is made up of representatives from ICVA, NRC, OCHA, OHCHR, UNHCR, and UNICEF and the Global Protection Cluster (GPC), with UNDP and WFP endorsed as observers at the meeting. Members of the GenCap Steering Committee are FAO, OCHA, NRC, UNDP, UNFPA, UNHCR, UNICEF, and UNWOMEN.

A number of key decisions were made during the meetings. Of strategic importance is the decision to embark on an external review, prior to the current strategy coming to an end in 2016. The Review will assess the implementation of the projects since the previous evaluation conducted in 2011 and will inform the strategic and operational frameworks from 2017 onwards.

At the GenCap meeting the Steering Committee agreed to deploy GenCap Advisors to the coordinating agency of level 3 responses emergencies within 72 hours and to work with partners to develop specific gender training to build capacity.

Finally, changes to the IASC Gender Marker tool were discussed, with the Steering Committee reconfirming its decisions to endorse simplifying the coding by combining the previous 2a (the project contributes to gender equality) and 2b (the project purpose advances gender equality) of the Marker. The Gender Marker is used to assess the gender sensitivity of projects in Humanitarian Response Plans (HRP), through a 0 (no visible contribution to gender equality) to 2 coding scale and will be further revised to include age factors. 

A decision on strategic priorities for the ProCap project included revising and prioritizing support for inter-agency coordination and development of protection strategies in politically challenging situations. The focus of strategic advice deployments to Humanitarian and Resident Coordinators was broadened to include strategic advice on protection issues with affected governments as well as protection clusters. 

Photo credit: OCHA/Matija Kovac