Header Main Menu

About the IOM Emergency Manual

As the global numbers of forced displacement proceed to rise to unprecedented levels, IOM continues to carry out humanitarian operations to address the most urgent needs of affected populations. To further support IOM's crisis response operations, the Organization has updated its Emergency Manual - formerly referred to as the Emergency Operations Manual and which was last published in 2002 - to reflect the continuously evolving nature of emergency operations across the world.

To ensure that the information provided in the Emergency Manual can be regularly updated and effectively shared with field staff, IOM has created this electronic platform that enables IOM to update content and share updated guidance with all stakeholders in real time.

It is important to note that the IOM Emergency Manual is designed primarily to provide guidance to IOM staff operating in humanitarian contexts. Ranging from operational knowledge based on the various thematic areas to guidance on staff security, the Emergency Manual not only provides essential information on working in an emergency response but gathers best practices, lessons learned and resources from past and present operations for practical use.

Some entries, describing internal management and administrative processes in emergency contexts are available only to IOM staff. To access this content, IOM staff will have to sign in using their IOM email address. However, most of the Emergency Manual's content is publicly available, making the manual accessible as a tool for humanitarian partners and other interested parties.

The Emergency Manual consists of entries that provide guidance on specific topics which are grouped together under eight main categories:

Deployment and System Support

This category provides IOM country offices and staff with the basic guidance and tools to facilitate immediate and efficient deployment and system support to scale up humanitarian operations as needed.


This category is divided by thirteen out of fifteen sectors of IOM's Migration Crises Framework (MCOF). Guidance on cross-cutting topics such as inter-agency assessments, protection mainstreaming and gender mainstreaming are also provided in this section.

Programme Support

This category guidance on procedures that support humanitarian operations, including project development, reporting, monitoring and evaluation, and public information.

Resource management

This category provides information on management procedures for administration, finance, human resources, procurement and logistics, and information communication and technology (ICT).

Staff Safety and Security

This category provides security and risk management guidance, in view of emergency responders and persons of concern.

Global Frameworks

The section provides guidance on Inter Agency Standing Committee (IASC) frameworks and processes, including, but not limited to the IASC Cluster System and the Humanitarian Programme Cycle. Note that guidance on inter-agency frameworks and procedures are taken from existing IASC tools and references with additional guidance included by IOM, when relevant, on how the Organization can better contribute to inter-agency frameworks.

IOM Frameworks

This section, complementary to the global frameworks, summarizes key IOM frameworks that outline IOM's principles, commitments, strategic approach and operational objectives in its emergency responses.

Methodologies and Toolkits

This is a database of existing methodologies, toolkits, and other resources relevant to IOM's work. This includes a repository of terms of references.

Emergency Manual

Quick Guide to the Emergency Manual

The development and maintenance of the Emergency Manual is generously supported by the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration and the Swedish Development Cooperation (Sida).

IOM would also like to thank the Government of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, for its generous financial support in the establishment of this platform in its first iteration. The development and roll out of this platform was made possible through its emergency Standby Agreement with IOM and its emergency.lu initiative.