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Coordination in Refugee Operations

Coordination in Refugee Operations

01 September 2001

The successful delivery of refugee assistance programmes requires close coordination throughout the entire programming cycle, including the needs assessment, planning and budgeting stages, and consultation with local authorities in the concerned area.

UNHCR is recognized as the appropriate lead agency to bring together concerned bodies for needs assessments, and the formulation of objectives, programmes, reporting systems and policy guidelines. UNHCR retains overall responsibility to ensure that an appropriate durable solution is implemented, while respecting the independence of its partners who have been selected for their professional expertise and to whom authority has been delegated accordingly.

Thus, UNHCR's operational role always includes a coordination function, regardless of whether UNHCR is providing the funding.

Together with the government(s) concerned, UNHCR coordinates all protection and assistance to refugees, attempting to:

  • Ensure that assistance is timely, appropriate and cost effective;
  • Establish appropriate standards and ensure their application;
  • Identify complementarity and synergy among those involved in providing assistance;
  • Avoid duplication of assistance activities;
  • Facilitate communication and joint planning among the organizations involved; and
  • Encourage effective management practice at all stages of programmes, from emergency preparedness and response to consolidation of durable solutions and phase out.