Guidance note on early recovery
This guidance note has been developed by the UN’s Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) Cluster Working Group on Early Recovery (CWGER) to provide clarification of what early recovery approaches entail. It is designed primarily for UN practitioners and partners working at country level on early recovery in natural disasters and complex emergencies. There are many similarities in the way humanitarian and early recovery actors respond to these types of crises, but there are also distinct differences.
This guidance note outlines the basic principles of the early recovery approach. The bulk of the note concerns implementing early recovery, with sections on coordination, need’s assessment, strategic planning, programming and monitoring and evaluation as well as resource mobilisation.
The guidance refers to cross cutting issues that, for institutional or social reasons, are key areas of concern. These include gender equality, HIV and AIDS, human rights and the rule of law. Early recovery aims to build upon ongoing emergency assistance by ensuring that inputs are designed to become assets for long-term development, fostering self- reliance and the sustaining of livelihoods through for example:
- re-establishing and facilitating access to essential services such as health, education, water and sanitation
- finances, and primary infrastructure (road repair, transport, communication), and restoring
- ensuring appropriate transitional shelter
- distributing seeds, tools and other goods and services that help to revive socioeconomic activities among women and men
- providing temporary wage employment for both women and men (e.g. cash-for-work programmes)
- urgently restoring environments needed to allow for rebuilding of livelihoods
- strengthening the rule of law and the capacity of the State to respect, protect and fulfil the rights of the people.
Specifically, the guidance aims to:
- help practitioners understand the particular complexities of early recovery environments and
appreciate the diverse range of actors involved in planning and implementing early recovery
- establish some basic guiding principles and minimum standards of intervention for early recovery
- provide tools and resources for practitioners working on early recovery across a range of functions
- set the stage for an effective handover to longer-term recovery processes.
The guideline notes that forthcoming needs assessment tools that are currently being designed or adapted for use in early recovery settings include a Livelihoods Assessment Toolkit by ILO and FAO, which includes a Livelihoods Baseline, Initial Livelihoods Impact Appraisal and a Livelihoods Assessment.