The Mozambique flood emergency was a classic example of a sudden onset disaster; UNICEF's positive response should be considered a model. UNICEF’s strategy of water/sanitation programming, hygiene education, health, immunization and nutrition response was effective, addressing three of the major immediate needs (the threat of epidemics such as cholera and infectious diseases and malnutrition), the other two needs being food and shelter. The review of the Mozambique experience was important for UNICEF to test the core commitments and principles of the Martigny response, and the country office strategy and response mechanism validated this process.
Purpose / Objective
To this end, the Mozambique office requested a review whose overall objectives were to:
- Review the efficiency and effectiveness of UNICEF’s Phase I Flood Emergency Operations in Mozambique with a view to strengthen them.
- Review UNICEF’s operation plan for Phase II (April-September) for the re-establishment of social services and make recommendations for improvement.
- Suggest a possible strategic role for UNICEF in post-flood reconstruction following the Rome conference, linking the post-flood recovery strategy to the UNDAF and the UNICEF Country Programming Exercise processes.
- Set out lessons learned and clear actions for improving programme implementation and focus.
- Identify integration possibilities and areas where programmes can be taken to scale.
- Review management implications and needs for technical assistance to ensure fund utilisation and work plan implementation.
- Draw conclusions for UNICEF globally, examining the Mozambican experience as an example of the application of the Martigny Principles.
The Mozambique flood emergency was a classic example of a sudden onset disaster; UNICEF's positive response should be considered a model. UNICEF's strategy of water/sanitation programming, hygiene education, health, immunization and nutrition response was effective, addressing three of the major immediate needs (the threat of epidemics such as cholera and infectious diseases and malnutrition), the other two needs being food and shelter. The review of the Mozambique experience was important for UNICEF to test the core commitments and principles of the Martigny response, and the country office strategy and response mechanism validated this process.
The review took place between June 19 and July 7. The team consisted of Dr. Angela Raven-Roberts of the Feinstein International Famine Centre, Tufts University (Boston) and Geoff Wiffin of the Office of Emergency Programmes (New York) who were able to travel to UNICEF-supported projects in Xai-Xai and Chokwe (Gaza) and conduct a series of meetings with district, provincial and national government counterparts as well as with the UN, donors and NGO partners in Maputo and in the field. At the same time, a series of discussions and meetings were held with UNICEF staff at all sites.
Key Findings and Conclusions
The emergency response focused on the immediate threats to the survival and wellbeing of children using an integrated planning approach. UNICEF supported a rapid situation analysis and prioritisation of inputs, which was backed up by resources at hand. The importance of good quality field assessments, monitoring and reporting tools for both programme planning and informing donors, national committees, media and other partners in the UN system.
A consistent emphasis on capacity development and support to responsible national institutions, governments and NGOs. An innovative use of the private sector both for assessments and delivery of inputs, such as educational materials. Support to local authorities through provision of communications equipment and facilitation of access to affected communities. The decision by the office to streamline operational procedures for management, procurement and recruitment. The fielding of a Special Envoy was, in particular, important support for the DMT, and facilitated involvement of senior Government officials in the leadership of the relief effort.
UNICEF Mozambique defined and agreed early on basic principles to provide a clear framework in which to work. In sum, the emergency response should:
- reflect comparative advantages
- reflect competency
- reflect core corporate commitments
- be based on national policies and standards
- focus on a limited number of 'doable' interventions - including defining what UNICEF will not do, and facilitate/advocate with partners from a child-rights perspective to meet unmet needs.
These are further elaborated in the List of Emergency Principles (p. 7 of the report) that should continue to be utilised.
Factors and areas requiring further attention include:
- An absence of contingency planning and disaster preparedness by UNICEF and the UN system as a whole.
- The need for an earlier investment within the Country Programme of nutritional surveillance and vulnerability monitoring.
- The need for earlier assessment of operations needs and capacities, and early involvement of national staff to help decrease workload and stress in office.
- Better management by UNICEF at the global level of information and advisory support on emergency supplies, services, technical resources, standards etc.
- Recognition that shelter is also a key threat to children's wellbeing and, therefore, a more proactive role in ensuring that it was provided for displaced populations and advocating for support to UNDP to fulfil its obligation.
- Define clear roles and responsibilities (an operational plan - a CHAP) in the relationship between the UNDAC and UN Country Team, which questions the adaptation of the CAP process to natural disasters such as the Mozambican floods.
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