Level 2 Procedure
This is the UNICEF Procedure for Level 2 (L2) emergencies, defined as a situation where the magnitude of the emergency is such that a Country Office needs additional and prioritized support from other parts of the organization (Headquarters, Regional and Country Offices) to respond, and where the Regional Office (RO) must provide dedicated leadership and support. It is designed for the UNICEF Country Programme's response (sectors and cross-cutting areas) to be timely, appropriately assessed, and designed and executed according to the Core Commitments for Children in Humanitarian Action (CCCs).
The L2 procedure will enhance the response at country level by:
- enabling a number of additional simplifications and fast-tracking measures to complement simplifications already available per existing UNICEF rules and regulations related to Human Resources, Administrative and Financial Regulations and Supply emergency procedures 1;
- securing prioritized, enhanced support to a country-led response from the Regional Office and Headquarters and;
- bolstering the Regional Director's ability to mobilize and track support from all Divisions and Offices.
This L2 procedure is a key component of the overall effort to enhance UNICEF's response to all emergencies, as defined in the CCCs.Footnote:
As stipulated in CF/EXD/2011-001, an L2 is an emergency where "the magnitude of the emergency is such that a Country Office needs additional and prioritized support from other parts of the organization (HQ, RO and COs) to respond and that the RO must provide leadership and support." 2
Situations defined as L2 emergencies could be sudden-onset emergencies, a significant deterioration in an ongoing complex emergency which is not sufficiently addressed through the regular UNICEF Country Programme, or a situation where CCC-based emergency preparedness measures need to be urgently augmented to avoid imminent risks to children. In addition, L2 emergencies can be country-specific, cover a region or many regions within a country, multi-country and/or sub-regional in nature or potentially span more than one region.
In all cases, the determination of what constitutes an L2 is based on analysis of the same five criteria as those which are used to define Level 3 (L3) emergencies: scale, urgency, complexity, capacity and reputational risk.Footnote:
For each of the situations to be designated as an L2 emergency, a recommendation memo3 will be prepared by the Regional Director (RD). He/she can submit such a memo at any moment, based on analysis of the situation. Subsequent to the initial designation, an L2 emergency can be extended based on a shorter version of the recommendation memo issued each time the designation is to be extended in conjunction with the trimestral update of the list of L2s (see below).
The recommendation memo will outline the analysis of the five criteria and explain why the emergency is justified as an L2 emergency. It will also include a succinct assessment of risks, with a focus on those risks that are likely to result from simplified procedures, and proposed measures to mitigate those increased risks. The memo will be submitted to the Office of Emergency Programmes (EMOPS) Director for endorsement4. Once he/she has endorsed the recommendation, the EMOPS Director will forward the recommendation memo to the Deputy Executive Director (DED) External Relations5 for consideration. If he/she agrees, the DED External Relations will seek the final approval of the Executive Director (ED). Once this approval is obtained, the DED External Relations will inform Global Management Team (GMT) members of the designation of this situation as an L2 emergency6. The process between submission of the recommendation memo by the Regional Director and the communication to the GMT, should occur within one week. Emergencies designated as L2 will be added to a list of situations designated as L2 emergencies, maintained by EMOPS. The list will be updated every three months and indicate which emergencies are continuing as L2 and which have been discontinued and will include any emergency newly designated as L2 during the previous three month period.
For the purposes of this update every three months, RDs will present their analysis of the five criteria for the emergencies already designated as L2s during previous periods and for which they would like to maintain L2 designation in a shorter version of the recommendation memo7. The next updates will be: 1 March 2013, 1 June 2013, 1 September 20138, 9. The EMOPS Director will review these recommendations, and the DED External Relations will issue the list of L2 emergencies within one week of the pre-defined deadline for submissions, after receiving approval from the ED.
In the event that a disagreement between an RD and the EMOPS Director regarding a specific humanitarian situation cannot be resolved within one week after receiving the RD's recommendation memo for either a new L2 or for a continuation of a given L2, the DED External Relations will recommend a final decision for approval by the ED. This arbitration should not delay the issuance of the updated L2 list.
Besides recommendation memos on individual emergencies to be designated as L2, and/or the extension of L2 status through the scheduled update of the list, the other ways to include a situation on the list of L2s are as follows:
- When a previously activated L3 emergency is de-activated, the situation will automatically be designated as an L2 at that time, and its status will be re-assessed at the next update of the L2 list. This will be documented through the same procedure as outlined above.
- If a new major sudden onset emergency is being considered as a potential L3 but the assessment does not result in the activation of the L3 Corporate Emergency Activation Procedure (CEAP), it can be considered as an L2 and subsequently be added to the list at any time, through the procedure described above.
When a proposed L2 emergency spans countries within more than one Regional Office, the RD in the region containing most of the affected population will take the lead in the analysis of the five criteria and the preparation of the recommendation memo and will coordinate all other concerned RD(s) to sign off on the analysis and proposed measures contained in the recommendation memo. This applies to new emergencies as well as the updated quarterly list.
There is no formal deactivation process. Instead, the RD will re-assess on trimestral basis the emergencies designated as L2 based on the five criteria, in consultation with the Country Offices (COs) in question. If a designated L2 emergency is no longer assessed as an L2 when the scheduled update takes place, it is removed from the list. GMT members will be kept appraised of these changes by the DED External Relations.
Designation as an L2 emergency is to be considered an exceptional measure. It will apply to a limited number of situations.
A given emergency should not remain on the list of L2 situations for longer than one year in total. To avoid this, any situation that has already been on the list for nine months in total will be reviewed by the RD, EMOPS Director, and OED to determine appropriate measures to be taken to build capacities and exit from L2 status. Adequate measures to support COs to fulfil their commitments per the Country Programme Document and the CCCs without the exceptional L2 measures should be put in place as soon as possible after designation by the RD in consultation with the Regional Emergency Management Team (REMT).Footnotes:
Upon issuance of the L2 list, fast-track procedures and simplifications available to L2 emergencies will apply to all such designated situations automatically and with immediate effect. This includes all measures outlined in the table below.
|Procedures||Simplifications that apply to L2 emergencies|
|Automatic application of fast-track human resource procedures||
|Quick and easy application of Programme Cooperation Agreements (PCAs)|
|Simplified operational (financial and administrative) procedures||
|Automatic issuance of a US$2 million EPF||
|Deployment of RO staff, ERT or similar capacity||
Although all emergencies require support from HQ Divisions and Regional Offices, the list of L2 emergencies will become an overall tool for prioritization, enhanced support from RO and HQ, access to fast track procedures, as well as application of the simplifications listed above and the requirements outlined below.
- CO leadership remains accountable for the response to an L2 emergency.
- The RO's role in leading the coordination of support and in having oversight over the CO(s) is also unchanged but will be reinforced by the L2 designation. The support provided by the RO to the CO is enhanced in comparison to the support regularly provided to emergency preparedness and response.
- HQ Divisions are required to organize themselves to provide enhanced and prioritised support and coordination to the RO and CO. This could entail: (a) prioritisation of support to L2 emergencies in allocating capacity and staff time, (b) enhanced role of the RO in quality assurance, and (c) rapid response time for requests from COs (a maximum of 24 hours). This is already in place in Supply Division, where support to emergencies is included in most staff job descriptions. The same is in place in Division of Communications.
- A Regional Emergency Management Team (REMT) bringing together relevant HQ Divisions, RO and CO should be established to cover L2 emergencies. The RD's ability to exercise his/her existing authority will be strengthened through this mechanism as it will facilitate the mobilization of support from all concerned Divisions. The RD or his/her designate, will lead this mechanism. It will be the main vehicle to mobilize the required support and oversee the response. The frequency and level of participation will be agreed between the RD and the EMOPS Director with meetings taking place on at least a monthly basis. This will be indicated in the recommendation memo and should be tailored to each situation. HQ Division Directors have the option of requesting an ad hoc REMT meeting through the EMOPS Director if they feel an issue must urgently be addressed outside of the scheduled REMT. It is good practice to convene an REMT early in the response to discuss elements of an integrated programme strategy.
- HQ divisions have a role to oversee and provide support so that critical gaps in the emergency response are addressed. The RD tracks follow up of CO/RO requests to RO/HQ in the REMT, where key actions and deliverables are reviewed and specific follow up actions and accompanying accountabilities are determined. EMOPS has a coordinating role in delivering requested HQ division support to COs/ROs.
- It is clear that the capacity to respond and coordinate will depend on resource availability and personnel. If additional capacity needs are identified, surge should be prioritised both to affected COs as well as the relevant ROs.
In L2s spanning several countries within more than one Regional Office, the RD/RO who had taken the lead in developing the analysis and the recommendation memo will be responsible for providing support to the emergency response, including in the COs from other regions. The Regional Emergency Advisors (REAs) from the other concerned regions should be part of the REMT and copied on Situation Reports and other communications.
A few actions /deliverables are to be considered mandatory in newly designated L2 emergencies. These are:
|ToRs for REMT (adjusted from the standard ToRs), including the frequency of meetings defined initially in the recommendation memo following agreement between RD and EMOPS Director.||REA||CO
|Integrated Programme Response Plan, supported by Operational Staffing Matrix (OSM) and Supply Plan||CO Rep||EMOPS
Other REMT members
|2-3 Advocacy Priorities are defined and shared||RD||CO
|L2/3 Humanitarian MoRES (humanitarian performance monitoring) implemented including SitReps with at minima monthly monitoring and reporting. Adaptations to format of reports to be agreed by the REMT11||CO Rep||RO
|Updated Key Messages and
OED as needed