A people-centred needs analysis for effective humanitarian action
JIAF 2.0 is people-centered. People affected by crises have multiple humanitarian needs, spanning different sectors. JIAF 2.0 is based on an analytical approach that considers the coexistence and intersection of different needs, and how their combined effects lead to humanitarian outcomes.
JIAF 2.0 provides key information that can assist decision-makers in coordinating and implementing a more effective response, answering the key questions of how many people are in need, where they are, how severe their needs are, which are the drivers of the needs and who are those most in need.
Frequently Asked Questions
JIAF 2.0 is the revamped Joint Intersectoral Analysis Framework (JIAF) and it sets global standards for the analysis and estimation of humanitarian needs and protection risks.
Since 2020, countries preparing humanitarian responses within the Humanitarian Programme Cycle have been using this enhanced approach to inform their country ‘Humanitarian Needs Overview’ [HNOs].
The JIAF provides:
- An estimation of the overall magnitude of a crisis: How many people are in need of humanitarian assistance and protection, irrespective of the sectors from which their needs arise;
- An estimation of intersectoral severity: How severe is the humanitarian situation that results from the compounding effect of overlapping sectoral needs;
- Estimation of sectoral needs in an interoperable and commonly understood way: How people face needs in specific sectors;
- Identification of linkages and overlaps between sectoral needs: How people’s multiple needs overlap, co-exist and interrelate;
- Identification of those most affected: Which population groups and geographic areas face the most needs;
- An explanation of the drivers: Why a crisis is happening and what is the underlying context.
All these outputs look across traditional sectors to give a ‘people-centred’ overview of needs. This shifts the focus from the sectoral lens of aid providers to the experience of affected populations.
The ultimate aim of the JIAF is to improve the way humanitarian actors jointly plan and respond to crises. By better understanding who is affected, how, and why, JIAF outputs can help inform joined-up and cross-sectoral responses, such as multi-purpose cash assistance and area-based programming.
People impacted by crises have multiple humanitarian needs. A displaced child needs access to school but may also need to travel far to collect water for her family during daylight hours. A young woman may need protection from gender-based violence but may also need immediate shelter for her family. An elderly person needs access to health services but may also need access to toilets and soap, to prevent him from getting sick again. What do they need first? What do they need most urgently? Which needs are linked and interrelated, and should be considered together?
Responding to people’s multiple needs in an appropriate way requires joint action and coordination across the humanitarian community. At the heart of this joint action is joint needs assessment and analysis: the JIAF.
The JIAF process enables humanitarian actors to understand the complexity of a crisis, and its impact on different population groups. With this information, we can plan and deliver in a more tailored and effective way.
Following an independent review in 2021, UN agencies, NGOs, specialized agencies, clusters and donors joined forces to further strengthen and adapt the methodology. JIAF 2.0 builds on learning from the application of the JIAF 1 and a two-year process of consultations, (re)design, testing and learning, including academic and applied research.
The JIAF Steering Committee endorsed JIAF 2.0 in May 2023. The methodology is currently under review by the HPC Steering Group and IASC’s Operational Policy and Advocacy Group (OPAG), and is expected to be rolled out with the Humanitarian Programme Cycle 2024.
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 coherent and transparent approach to analyzing and presenting needs was needed.
This became one of the key Grand Bargain commitments (on Needs Assessment) and triggered the conceptualization of the JIAF.
 Two evaluations of the Cluster Approach, in 2007 and 2010, highlighted the strengths and the challenges of the cluster system. Cross-sectoral analysis was highlighted as a key area for improvement. (source: humanitarianresponse.info)
The JIAF project is governed by a multi-agency Steering Committee which meets twice a year at Deputy Director level, and a JIAF Advisory Group which meets more regularly.
Members of the Steering Committee include OCHA, FAO, IOM, UNFPA, UNHCR, UNICEF, WFP, WHO, Global Cluster Coordination Group, Acaps, Norwegian Refugee Council, REACH, Save The Children, ECHO, FCDO, Global Affairs Canada, SIDA and USAID.
The technical development of the JIAF is coordinated through a multi-agency ‘Methodology technical working group’ (M-TWG) comprising of specialists from UN Agencies, Global Clusters, donors, NGOs and other related needs analysis stakeholders (e.g. the Integrated Phase Classification for Food Security).
The development of JIAF 2.0 was coordinated by an interagency Project Management Unit (PMU), which is physically housed in OCHA Geneva, with staff contracted by IOM, until June 2023. After June 2023, OCHA will assume full coordination responsibility for the JIAF.
JIAF country processes are an integral part of the Humanitarian Needs Overview (HNO) processes. All activities are embedded in the HNO processes and all outputs feed into the HNO document. Sectoral processes are part of JIAF 2.0, and their results constitute the building blocks of JIAF. The JIAF 2.0 analysis is conducted in three multi-partner joint workshops: (i) one workshop at early stages to identify scope, conduct initial analysis, and set the parameters for interoperability of sectoral analyses, (ii) a second workshop to conduct a joint review of preliminary sectoral findings and (iii) a third workshop for the final analysis.
OCHA, Clusters, and Partners commit to the process and jointly own the results of the analysis.
The JIAF partnership is committed to ensuring that JIAF 2.0 products meet global standards and respond to the needs of decision-makers.
Quality of JIAF 2.0 analyses will result from a combination of different components, including technical standards (tools, reference tables and detailed step-by-step guidance on how to complete analyses), an online cloud-based Analysis Platform, serving as one-stop place for analysts to review evidence and conduct analyses, multi-partner workshops to conduct evidence-based technical discussions for sectoral and intersectoral analyses, a coherent capacity development plan, and an analysis support mechanism, including day-to-day support and in-depth support to facilitate consensus.
These components ensure that country analysts are able to conduct and adhere to JIAF 2.0 standards, to, ultimately, produce rigorous and impartial needs analysis.