a people-centred needs analysis for effective humanitarian action

What

A methodologically new approach to analyzing the multiple needs of populations in crisis, their magnitude and severity.

Why

To respond to the call for a more rigorous, transparent and people-centred overview of people's needs and their severity, so that we can collectively respond better to people in crisis.

Who

OCHA and the clusters lead the JIAF analysis in each crisis context to inform response plans. Local partners and populations are critical actors in the process. Donors use the JIAF analysis to inform their contribution to responses.

When

JIAF 1.0 was piloted by 27 countries to produce Humanitarian Needs Overviews for 2021. The JIAF is still in beta form and is being adapted and strengthened by a multi-agency team. With donor support, JIAF 2.0 will be available next year (2022).

The Ask

We seek additional partners to help us further strengthen, develop and institutionalize the JIAF. Beyond financial resources, the buy in and commitment of donors at regional and country level in promoting people-centred, inter-sectoral needs analysis is critical for success.

The JIAF offers a common method, process and tools to conduct a ‘people-centred’ holistic analysis of needs.

The JIAF reflects an important evolution in the humanitarian community’s ability to systematically and transparently identify the most vulnerable populations, where they are, the combination of needs they face, and their severity. Where data is available, the JIAF offers the possibility to analyze this information by any diversity characteristic [gender, age, disability, displacement, etc].

What is the Joint Intersectoral Analysis Framework

Overview of the JIAF

JIAF infographic
Click below for a detailed representation of the JIAF conceptual framework.

Frequently Asked Questions

The Joint Intersectoral Analysis Framework (JIAF) is a methodologically new approach to analyzing the multiple needs of populations in crisis. It was introduced by the international humanitarian community into the Humanitarian Programme Cycle in 2020. 

The JIAF offers a common method, process and tools to conduct a “people-centred” holistic analysis of needs.

The JIAF reflects an important evolution in the humanitarian community’s ability to systematically and transparently identify the most vulnerable populations, where they are, the combination of needs they face, and their severity.  Where data is available, the JIAF offers the possibility to analyze this information by any diversity characteristic (gender, age, disability, displacement, etc).

The JIAF was designed with the objective of providing a solid evidence-base to inform humanitarian responses, and where necessary facilitate the prioritization of financial resources to populations and localities where intersectoral needs are the most severe.

There was global acceptance at the World Humanitarian Summit in 2016, that as the gap widens between ever-growing global humanitarian needs and the funding available to meet them, a more rigorous and transparent approach to analyzing and presenting needs was needed.

This call for action, was underpinned by a recognition that the analysis of needs should be people-centered, reflecting the overlap and inter-relations across sectors, rather than listing sectoral needs in isolation.  This became one of the key Grand Bargain commitments (on Needs Assessment) and triggered the conceptualization of the JIAF. 

An exponential increase in global humanitarian needs was recorded in 2020, resulting from the combination of protracted conflicts, climate change and- most saliently- the COVID-19 pandemic. As the global economic recession threatens the size of the humanitarian assistance envelope, the imperative for a tool which will enable a more rigorous and comprehensive needs analysis of crisis-affected people, to inform response planning and resource prioritization, has never been greater.

Version 1.0 of the JIAF was endorsed by the IASC for its provisional use in the 2021 Humanitarian Programme Cycle (HPC). In 2020, Twenty-seven countries piloted coordinated needs analysis, planning and monitoring, using JIAF 1.0, resulting in the production of JIAF-informed Humanitarian Needs Overviews (HNOs) and Humanitarian Response Plans (HRPs). The JIAF methodology will continue to be reviewed, adapted and strengthened based on the learnings of JIAF 1.0, and an independent review, to ensure its ongoing value to the humanitarian community. 

The JIAF was developed through a highly consultative process led by a multi-agency technical body comprising of specialists from UN Agencies, Global Clusters, donors, NGOs, academia, private sector, other related needs analysis stakeholders (e.g. the Integrated Phase Classification for Food Security), and supported by a multi-agency steering committee.  

The JIAF is supported by an interagency Project Management Unit (PMU), which is physically housed in OCHA Geneva, with staff contracted by IOM, through the generous contribution of the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA), until 2022.

The JIAF 1.0 guidance has been used to varying extents by 27 countries in 2020 and will evolve and mature through adaptation and strengthening.

During 2021, an independent review is being undertaken by Yale University to review the JIAF methodology and to further strengthen the JIAF approach. Lessons learned are being captured from all 27 countries implementing the JIAF and will also feed into later revisions of the framework and its supporting guidance.

The JIAF is seeking additional partners to enable the PMU to further strengthen, develop and institutionalize the JIAF across the humanitarian community. 

The PMU will lead further methodological and capacity development during 2021, and a further $ 1.6 Million is required in 2022 to enable the unit to provide quality assurance and global capacity-development support to countries implementing the JIAF, as well as to adapt and evolve the JIAF as required. Funding for the JIAF is received by IOM, who are a partner in both the substantive development of the JIAF, and the project administration. It is envisaged that sustainable multi donor funding will be secured in 2021, to enable more partners to contribute to the JIAF in 2022 and beyond.

Beyond financial resources, the buy in and commitment of donors at regional and country level in promoting people-centred, inter-sectoral needs analysis is critical for success.  When the demand from donors for the intersectoral presentation of needs is strong, so too is the incentive of the humanitarian community to complement traditional sector by sector approaches, with a people-centred intersectoral approach.

The JIAF is conducted by an intersectoral team within a country, made up of international and national actors.  

The JIAF provides a valuable opportunity to ensure local actors are substantively contributing to defining and prioritizing needs. During 2021-2022, increased efforts will be made to engage local partners and representatives of affected populations in the needs-analysis process.

The JIAF process involves analyzing the context, events, shock, impact and humanitarian conditions in any given country, in order to give a holistic overview of how a population has been affected, and the severity and magnitude of their needs. 

The current JIAF defines humanitarian conditions as being threefold and interlinked, comprising : Living standards; Coping Mechanisms; and Physical and Mental Wellbeing. 

  • “Living Standards” refers to the ability of affected populations to meet their basic needs (for example access to essential goods and services). 
  • Coping Mechanisms define the degree to which a community is withstanding the impact of a crisis. 
  • Physical and mental wellbeing looks exclusively at the physical/mental health of a population. 

The analysis of the context, events, shocks and impact, as well as the three humanitarian conditions are defined through sectoral, multi-sectoral and intersectoral indicators. 

Using the above three humanitarian “conditions”, and their respective indicators, the JIAF allows for the estimation of an overall number of people in need (PiN) and the severity of those needs inter-sectorally. This is expressed in a total intersectoral PiN number and a series of severity phases, ranging from minimal to catastrophic. 

Conducting a JIAF involves a 4 -step process within a country:

  • Plan: The Humanitarian Coordination Team (HCT) appoints an analysis team, primarily  (but not exclusively) made up of members of the Inter Cluster Coordination Group (ICCG) and the Information Management Working Group (IMWG), to plan and design the JIAF process, define the scope and identify intersectoral linkages and information needs, including adapting global indicators to be relevant at country level.
  • Consolidate and Collect: Data is consolidated and collected to identify the needs and their severity, and enable the PiN aggregation
  • Analyze: The JIAF team describes, explains and interprets the data, and identifies contributing factors. They review the PiN aggregate and draft a scenario/forecast for the forthcoming programme cycle. The team agrees on how many people in need fall into each of the 5 severity phases.   
  • Validate: The JIAF team does a final review of findings and results and presents the final JIAF outputs to the HCT and ICCG to inform the response.

The JIAF methodology for estimating the number of people in need is based on quantitative data and is not currently able to incorporate qualitative data directly.

The JIAF has not been designed to provide a tool for comparing the severity nor the magnitude of one country’s needs against another.

The JIAF enables humanitarian needs to be described and presented in the same way, whatever the country or crisis. However, as the elements contributing to country-specific analyses and resulting severity classifications are different (e.g. different indicators selected in each country), the JIAF cannot allow a ranking of countries based on “equivalent” humanitarian needs’ magnitude
and severity. 

For more detail on the JIAF:

Kashif Nadeem

Information Management Officer
nadeemm@un.org

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