IOM implements several humanitarian hub operations in collaboration with the International Humanitarian Partnership (IHP) and its European Civil Protection Agency members. These facilities are primarily aimed at improving humanitarian actors' access to affected populations by providing accommodation, meeting, and communication facilities in isolated field locations. These hubs are established based on requests for support, issued collectively by the members of the Humanitarian Country Teams (HCT), and are hence considered a common service.
Upon a decision by the Humanitarian Country Team to establish or scale up common presence in a new location, based on clear need, a request will be made to the IOM Country Office (CO) to act as the lead agency for the establishment of office and/or accommodation space for humanitarian actors. The IOM Country Office will then reach out to the IOM HQ International Humanitarian Partnership team for further discussions and support in establishing and managing a Humanitarian Hub. Once the request for support has been approved, the IOM Country Office, in coordination with the HCT and OCHA, will take the lead in coordinating the establishment and management of the Humanitarian Hub, in close coordination with the committing Standby Partnership (SBP)/International Humanitarian Partnership members. A sample Humanitarian Hub project checklist can be found below:
|Before Official Request to SBP/IHP||Discussions will be ongoing between IOM and the Humanitarian Country Team/OCHA on the humanitarian situation, needs and possible locations.|
|Site Assessments||Site assessments of where to build the HH(s) will take place, assessing security, land ownership, as well as the identification of potential partners to whom the HH could be handed over to. Sites assessed can include land for new construction or existing compounds if available.|
|Field Request||In coordination with OCHA/HCT, the IOM CO will draft a request for support and submit an official service package request form to the IOM HQ IHP focal point at HQ (keeping the Regional Office in copy)|
|IHP Support||The IOM HQ IHP focal point will review the request, share it with the SPB/IHP and, if approved, will draft a Letter of Agreement between IOM and the involved IHP members for approval.|
|Land selection and procurement||IOM, in coordination with OCHA/HCT, will select the final site, obtain from the local authorities the necessary documents for the lease of lan d for new construction or acquire and validate the lease of already existing compounds as needed. Land lease and tenure will be under IOM's name and responsibility.|
|Cost-share/funding outreach||Although the SBP/IHP is expected to cover the majority of the HH project costs, a 30% cost-share will need to be covered by the lead UN agency. IOM CO, in close coordination with OCHA/HCT, will determine funding and donor outreach to cover the cost-share portion of the HH project.|
|Implementation Phase||SBP/IHP and IOM will coordinate the implementation of the HH construction, including the deployment of SBP personnel, the expedition, customs, import and storage of equipment, and the procurement and contracting of local equipment and contractors, based on SBP/IHF and IOM agreement.|
|Maintenance of HHs||SBP/IHP will be responsible for HH maintenance until selected managers are trained and the facility is handed over to IOM.|
|Humanitarian Hub Management||IOM CO, in coordination with OCHA/HCT, will manage the hubs unless a formal handover to a selected implementing partner (IP) has been agreed with IHP. A Letter of Agreement will be signed with the selected IP to formally handover the HH management.|
|Reporting, Monitoring and Evaluation||HH operations will be monitored and reported against performance indicators to be shared with the HCT and the SBP. Regular reporting on the use of the facility to the SBP is also expected.|
|Handover and Exit Plan||Should one or several of the HHs be dismantled, and irrespective of the reason why, IOM will dispose of the assets donated by the SBP according to IOM's internal procedures, endeavor ing to find alternative use for the equipment and materials donated by the SBP. IOM shall keep the SBP informed of such decision and actions.|
Relevance to IOM’s Emergency Operations
IOM, in partnership with the International Humanitarian Partnership (IHP), first started to support the creation of base camps in 2014, targeting hard to reach areas in South Sudan, allowing humanitarian organizations to rapidly implement relief activities. Since then, IOM has become a primary partner for Humanitarian Country Teams in the establishment of humanitarian hubs in difficult settings when the need arises. Humanitarian Hubs (HH) allow IOM to gain and establish access in hard-to-reach areas and provide common facilities for humanitarian actors in a country to create a lifeline for affected populations and serve as a base for staff, IT services, logistics and warehousing and other relevant services.
Upon request from the Humanitarian Country Team, IOM will play the lead role in the construction and management of Humanitarian Hubs. While Humanitarian Hubs may be managed by IOM directly or through the organization's implementing partners, decisions pertaining to hub establishment, management, and closure are consistently coordinated with HCTs, as well as the SBP/IHP. Please reach out to IHP HQ Support (firstname.lastname@example.org) to receive further support in the coordination of the establishment and management of HHs.