Since 2007, OCHA has used the Emergency Response Roster (ERR) as its internal mechanism for temporary deployment of staff during new or escalating emergencies. Made up of OCHA staff from different functional profiles and duty stations, the ERR has 40 to 50 people on standby during a 6-month period for urgent deployments.

During the current -19th rotation – the majority of deployments were to Ethiopia, Iraq and Yemen. Membership to the ERR’s 20th rotation is being finalized and will be operational from 1 October 2016 to 30 April 2017. The selection process of applicants includes a cross-departmental exercise to ensure that the roster has key competencies and profiles as well as a gender, geographic and diversity balance. The number of staff applying for the 20th rotation dropped from an average of 70 over the last four rotations to 53 applications, with 41 staff selected. At 34 applications, Humanitarian Affairs Officers continued to be the dominant profile, followed by Administration (12); Information Management (11), Information Communication Technology (5), Civil-Military Coordination (5) and Public Information Officers (8). A five-day training course – the FIRST (Field Response Surge Training), that includes desktop exercises and a simulation – aims to prepare members for deployment. The course will be held in Austria at the end of September.