Issue 11 - Article 11

CHAD replaces EMAD DFID announces new 'Conflict and Humanitarian Affairs Department'

May 1, 1998
Laura Gibbons, RRN

Over the past 2-3 years a number of significant changes have been made to DFID’s humanitarian policies and procedures and organisational structures, gathering pace in the period since the publication in November 1997 of the first White Paper on International Development for more than 20 years. Whilst recent policy directions are discussed in more detail in the Conferences section (see page 33 in PDF), some of the principal organisational and procedural changes are highlighted here.

As part of a general trend towards decentralised management within the overall Aid Programme, an important organisational change implemented over the past 2-3 years has been the ‘decentralisation’ or redeployment of responsibilities for the management of the provision of humanitarian assistance in response to slow-onset disasters and complex political emergencies in countries where the UK has existing bilateral aid (development) programmes.

Essentially, responsibilities have been moved from the Emergency Aid Department (EMAD) to the relevant Geographical Departments or Development Division or country-based Aid Management Offices. In these cases EMAD’s role become one of providing advisory support. Management of the response to sudden-onset disasters remained with EMAD as did responsibility for slow-onset and complex political emergencies in countries which did not already have bilateral aid programmes (Afghanistan and Liberia).

Another important procedural change has been the introduction of Guidelines on Humanitarian Assistance which specify the procedures and formats for project proposals and the monitoring and reporting requirements for approved projects. Developed in consultation with traditional NGO partners, the Guidelines became mandatory for all NGO applications in May 1997. An important innovation was the requirement that Logical Frameworks be prepared for all projects requesting over £100,000. Gradually other humanitarian organisations and agencies receiving DFID funding (eg. ICRC, IFRC, UNICEF, etc.) are being encouraged to submit proposals in accordance with the Guidelines.

A further development was the recent (April 1998) relaunch of EMAD as the Conflict and Humanitarian Affairs Department (CHAD), based within DFID’s International Division and the appointment of a new Head of Department.

“CHAD’s purpose is to make an effective contribution to DFID’s overall aim to eliminate poverty, by working globally to help reduce the incidence and impact of violent conflicts, man-made and natural disasters through promoting cost-effective preparedness, response, mitigation and recovery measures via partnerships which create sustainable improvements in international systems for conflict prevention, migration management and humanitarian assistance”….(DFID, April 1998).

The Department will monitor and provide advice and support on a range of issues including initiatives on: conflict prevention, peace-building, forced migration, human rights, preparedness and contingency planning, role of the military, international systems policy in relation to these areas with direct responsibility for core funding, performance review and representation with respect to UNHCR, IFRC, IFRCS, IOM, OHCHR, OCHA, DPKO, DPA and advise on conflict work of WFP, UNICEF, UNESCO, WHO, ILO; liaise with other government departments and conflict departments of other governments, NGOs and academic groups, provide back-up to DFID regional departments on humanitarian response operations and directly manage operations where responsibility falls directly to CHAD where bilateral programmes do not exist e.g. North Korea, Afghanistan.”


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