Preparedness and Response Effectiveness Programme (PREP)

"Those responding together should have the opportunity to learn together."

OCHA Emergency Response Support Branch (ERSB) has taken a long desired step towards training and preparing together with its partners and networks.

Besides surging with its own staff, OCHA relies on several mechanisms to fill a critical staffing gap in sudden onset, newly escalating and protracted humanitarian crises.

At the core of the Preparedness and Response Effectiveness Programme (PREP) training course will be OCHA Surge, UNDAC, INSARAG and UN-CMCoord. The course will focus on the interoperability of these mechanisms along the humanitarian programme cycle, focussing on coordination and information management as key enablers.

PREP Relationship Map

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AnnexD_PREP Concept Note.pdf

PREP Concept Note

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Reaction and Planned Action

After participating in PREP, graduates will:

  • React positively to the overall training and share the philosophy of OCHA networks and partners, training together as one.
  • Join a robust pool of dedicated staff, willing to keep abreast of latest humanitarian rapid response mechanisms, ready to self-develop in their respective subject matter expertise and prepared to join skills-specific OCHA-led staff development events.

Learning and Confidence

After participating in PREP, graduates will:

  • Describe the purpose and function of OCHA-managed emergency preparedness and response networks.
  • Identify key areas of inter-operability and explain how to maximize their impact in operational contexts.
  • Explain the operating modality of wider humanitarian field coordination, including cluster coordination.
  • Utilize confidently information management tools to boost enhanced information flow within and between disaster response networks based on IASC guidance.
  • Apply influential communication skills to foster collaborative preparedness and response planning and programming
  • Design and maintain coherent on-site coordination platforms for information sharing and interactions in emergencies.
  • Optimize the use of collaborative working tools for preparedness and response effectiveness.

Application and Implementation

After participating in PREP, graduates will:

  • Successfully exercise the Humanitarian Affairs function for OCHA’s rapid response mechanisms that possess technical expertise, whilst also being versatile all-rounders, able to operate in natural disasters, technological emergencies and conflict settings.
  • Take an active part in establishing and maintaining coordination platforms along the humanitarian programme cycle.
  • Gain trust and confidence from all coordination stakeholders through demonstration of professionalism, dedication and organizational integrity.


The PREP course brings together four groups of interdependent emergency responders: OCHA and UN agencies, surge staff, militaries and non-governmental humanitarian agencies.

24 participants will be selected on the basis of the following criteria:

  • Experience working in emergency relief and response, coordination, operational support in complex emergencies or natural disaster, either with humanitarian agencies, military or both.
  • Current member of a formal OCHA Surge Mechanism (i.e. ASP, SBPP, ERR).
  • For active military personnel, current or recent operational deployment (e.g. PKO, CIMIC, civil-military personnel)
  • Excellent oral and written English is essential


  • Preparatory phase:
    • Distance learning
    • Webinar
  • Participatory approaches using facilitated discussions
  • Group and individual work, including analysis and role plays on real case studies to allow for practical application of information and concepts presented
  • Written assignments (i.e. preparatory phase and evaluation)
  • Presentations in plenary


  • Residential
  • 5.5 days (Sunday to Friday)
  • No course fee
  • Accommodation and meals covered by organizers
  • Sending organizations/office responsible for travel costs and applicable allowances


  • Course coordinator/Lead Facilitator (OCHA)
  • Four Co-facilitators/Technical Subject-Matter Experts
  • Course administrator (OCHA)