‘Changing Humanitarian Action?’: ALNAP 31st Annual Meeting
On 14-15 February, the ALNAP (Active Learning Network for Accountability and Performance) held its 31st Annual Meeting in Stockholm, Sweden. Participants included a wide range of humanitarian actors, donors and academics. Discussions, presentations, and several side events explored the theme of the event “Changing Humanitarian Action?”. The Chief of OCHA’s Surge Capacity Section and the GenCap/ProCap Support Unit were present, along with a senior ProCap Adviser, who led a discussion on Humanitarian Country Team (HCT) protection strategies, drawing on her experience in Yemen, as well as other Protection advisers. The Support Unit also had an exhibition space to promote the GenCap and ProCap Projects. The event was attended by 215 participants and was an excellent opportunity to learn about new and innovative initiatives, as well as for networking and discussion with key partners. For further information on the event, please see the link: http://www.alnap.org/31am

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Surge Capacity refreshing rosters memberships
The Call for Applications for the new 21st round of Emergency Response Roster, OCHA’s internal surge mechanism, was announced on 30 January 2017.  The call brought a welcomed increase of staff applying for the Administrative profile, which accounted for over 40 per cent of applications submitted. In conjunction with specialist HQ Sections and OCHA’s Coordination and Response Division (CRD), the Surge Capacity Section has now notified the 37 successful candidates who will be part of the deployment roster from 1 April 2017 until 30 September 2017. Over half of the new roster members will be invited to the Field Response Surge Training (FIRST), which will take place in Starum, Norway from 29 of March to 5 of April 2017.

Throughout the year, OCHA’s Surge Capacity Section issues temporary job openings for application to the Associates Surge Pool (ASP) to renew and repopulate the various rosters.  The selection process for the Humanitarian Affairs Officer (HAO) profile was recently finalised, taking in 32 new P3 and P4 HAO members, who join 65 members (P3 and P4), who renewed their membership to the pool.

The Surge Capacity Section is also conducting, in collaboration with the technical sections, the annual selection processes for Civil Military Coordination and Pooled Fund Manager profiles. The openings for Information Management, Public Information and senior Humanitarian Affairs Officers will be published later in the year. The size and diversity of the ASP has grown over the years. At present, it comprises 225 members who are alerted and can make themselves available, as requested by Country Offices, in case of new emergencies and critical gap filling.

OCHA’s Surge Capacity Section also maintains regular dialogue with its 14 Stand-By Partners for regular operational needs as well as for strategic collaboration.  The Stand-By Partner annual consultation that took place in February during the 2017 Humanitarian Networks and Partnership Week, allowed for specific discussions around addressing gaps in surge profiles and languages, new and emerging profiles, performance monitoring, duty of care, staff development, training and mentoring.