global Food Security Cluster INFORMATION MANAGEMENT FRAMEWORK

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1 global Food Security Cluster INFORMATION MANAGEMENT FRAMEWORK Updated April

2 Contents 1.BACKGROUND OBJECTIVES AND BENEFITS PRINCIPLES CORE IM PRODUCTS

3 1. BACKGROUND The Food Security Cluster is about enhancing cooperation and partnerships in order to improve the efficiency of humanitarian operations. The FSC coordinates partner responses to ensure that planning and implementation of food security responses avoid gaps and duplications, are comparable and delivered on time to affected populations. The FSC works directly with its partners and stakeholders that include international NGOs, the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, other cluster lead agencies, UN organizations, Governments and Donors. The FSC was formally endorsed by the Inter Agency Standing Committee (IASC) on the 15 December 2010 at the global level. The global Food Security Cluster (gfsc) is based at WFP headquarters in Rome, and is led by FAO and WFP. The gfsc works with partners at the global and country level to provide support to country-level food security clusters through establishing standards, setting policies and building response capacity and operational support in six core functional areas, such as: Result 1 Strengthened and developed national clusters capacity Result 2 Harmonised and globalised information management system Result 3 Improved operational and surge support to national clusters Result 4 Scaled-up advocacy, communication and resource mobilisation Result 5 Deepened and diversified global partnerships and operational collaborations Result 6 Systematised learning and knowledge management processes Information Management (IM) is one of the core FSC functions and the basis for decision making at both the country and global levels. This document focuses on the IM priority area of the gfsc by defining an IM framework for the gfsc, aimed at putting in place a platform to ensure the efficient and timely sharing of documentation and information amongst cluster members and other stakeholders, as indicated in the FSC terms of reference. Information Management: Managing information during a humanitarian emergency is a crucial part of any operation. The humanitarian community recognizes the importance of gathering reliable data on the locations of people in need, what they urgently need, who is best placed to assist them, and the value of this information for effective and timely humanitarian assistance. Information Management (IM) is a sequence of linked activities, essentially taking raw data, compiling and associating them with other relevant data, and presenting this in a format designed to assist analysis, decision-making and action regarding aspects of a humanitarian crisis. 3

4 IM does not in itself produce best-possible decisions or action; rather it supports this goal by providing decision-makers with high quality information products relevant to the situation under consideration. Information and decision making are linked by applying a systematic process for the collection, collation, storage, processing, verification and analysis of data and information from one or more sources, and the dissemination of relevant information to humanitarian stakeholders, to support effective and timely humanitarian action. Figure 1 - The information management cycle The information management cycle defined above, is shown in figure 1 and it aims at turning raw data into information, knowledge and action, through an analytical process. Annex A the IM cycle, as a process to turn data into information, is illustrated in more detail. FSC Information Management Officer: The FSC IMO is one of the core FSC Coordination team members and plays a vital role in collecting, analysing, and sharing information that is through high quality information products design to assist cluster partners make programmatic, evidence based and strategic decisions regarding aspects of a humanitarian crisis including: 1. Food security needs of affected populations 2. Prioritization of these areas according to Food Security indicators 3. Where there is a need for Food Security actors and to what degree 4. Key gaps in activities and needs 5. What capacity (human, material, financial) exists to support the identified and prioritised response needs The Information Management Officer therefore supports the Food Security Cluster with the data and information it requires to make programmatic decisions. As such, the Information Manager needs to be able to liaise and communicate with many different types of people and agencies and act as a bridge between Food Security decision makers and technical IM staff. For more details please consult the FSC IMO Terms of Reference. 2. OBJECTIVES AND BENEFITS The objective of the IM framework is to outline the role of gfsc and country level IM, and to improve the FSC coordination mechanism through best information management practices to support informed food security decision making at global and national level. The benefits to the cluster members and ultimately to the beneficiaries, will be an improved information sharing platform, which will allow for more efficient and adequate programming. The role of the global Food Security Cluster Information Management is to provide support to: a. gfsc Support Team by, Keeping an institutional memory of the cluster activities by developing a Content Management System, an online application where digital information/documents are saved, filed and can be easy accessed by multiple users. Such preserved 4

5 documentation can be used for preparedness, analysis, lessons learned and evaluation. Developing and maintaining contact lists for different contact categories. b. Global Partners by, Ensuring efficient and timely sharing of documentation and information amongst cluster members and other stakeholders Promoting standardisation of information products, metadata and tools c. National clusters through providing guidance, tools and templates and by supporting the country clusters in the production and dissemination of information products. Specifically: Provide support for FSC website, which includes both global level and countrycluster information, including meeting minutes, tools, guidance, documents and information on current activities. The FSC Website is both a repository of food security information and documents and a dynamic communication tools that gives quick interactive snapshots and updates on the current operations and activities, as well as on the global Food Security Cluster in general. Provide support for FSC IM tool or other databases for cluster systems and partners used to collect, analyse and report on food security responses. Provide on demand IM backstopping and surge support for new crises and protracted emergencies. Manage IM Help desk for incoming support requests Conduct Bi-monthly IM teleconference to provide updates, review corporate level issues and facilitate experience sharing. Develops and conduct trainings and orientation for FSC IMOs to enhance capacity. The role of country-level Information Management is to: Dissemination of food security assessments that informs partners response planning Conduct Gap Analysis to identify critical gaps and overlaps of ongoing and planned interventions; ultimately leading to better programming Analysis of realized assistance in relation to planning/targets to increase knowledge of operational, security and political issues blocking the flow of food related assistance Ensure gaps of most vulnerable are highlighted and addressed Advocate on behalf of partners to secure financial resources Promote information sharing to result in focused coordination meetings, enhanced collaboration and; Increase transparency/accountability within the cluster Ensure partners fulfill their IM role, through: i. Exchange of quality, up-top-date data on planned and realized assistance to enhance coordination ii. Sharing information on an ad-hoc basis to support contingency planning 5

6 iii. Respect reporting deadlines iv. Ensure for dedicated reporting capacity for each countries use of the FSC IM Tool/3W database v. Active participation within the cluster, including regular attendance at coordination meetings vi. Contributing to developing and disseminating advocacy and messaging targeted at various actors 3. PRINCIPLES According to the IASC Operational Guidance on Responsibilities of Cluster/Sector Leads & OCHA in Information Management Core IM Products, the responsibility for ensuring appropriate IM needed for an effective and coordinated intra-cluster response rests with the Cluster Lead Agency. Intercluster information responsibility rests with OCHA, which is responsible, for providing information products and services to the humanitarian community, and by developing standards for datasets and databases to be compatible in order to support inter-operability of data. Each cluster/sector lead agency shall appoint an IM focal point to work with different partners and clusters, and contribute to inter-cluster IM Coordination led by OCHA. The general operational principles of humanitarian information management and exchange activities as outlined in the OCHA Operational Guidance should be applied to food security information. A data standard is a classification (or coding) system for data, which is shared in common by a group of stakeholders. Data standards allow the movement of data within and between organizations, but they are only useful to the extent to which they are mutually accepted. If developed and implemented properly, they can create the shared frame of reference necessary to manage large amounts of data effectively among a group of actors. This saves time and money, and ensures quality and completeness. Beyond standardisation, data must also be interoperable. The key notion for information interoperability is standardisation. By having common agreement on which information is exchanged, in what format, how this is done and under what conditions, it becomes easier to allow systems of different type to interoperate. The total set of agreements that make systems co-operate by exchanging information, can be called interoperability standard. The development of standard templates for needs/requirements data matrixes, maps and reporting tools, is required to ensure that global and national clusters produces a consistent set of information. In order to support a more appropriate and effective emergency food security intervention, the gfsc will promote data interoperability and standardisation at national cluster level, as well as facilitating the development of standard templates as required. 6

7 4. CORE IM PRODUCTS The following products should be produced and disseminated by the country level food security clusters on a regular basis: a. FSC 5W: 3/4/5W (who does what where) is an excel table compiling data that gives an understanding of the planning and on going response, and helps the cluster to make informed decisions for strategic interventions and identify overlaps or gaps in response. b. Sudden Onset/Protracted Emergency Dashboards: PowerPoint Templates for reporting on an overview of the food security cluster/sector & food security situation during a sudden onset or protracted emergency. The dashboards displays key FSC output indicators to be monitored and provides an overview of the country food security cluster/sector response. c. Gap Analysis Map: PowerPoint Template for reporting on the percentage of beneficiaries reached with assistance against the target for a FSC Strategic Objective, by geographic area. The gap analysis map allows the FSC to highlight specific areas of need (gaps) which have not received adequate support and to assess if the cluster objectives are being met. d. Partner Presence Map: PowerPoint Template for reporting on the number and names of partners with ongoing or planned activities by geographic area. This information allows partners to identify other organizations to collaborate with for joint interventions and for the FSC to identify areas in need of assistance but with no partner presence. e. FSC Bulletin: PowerPoint Template for creating a bulletin that reports on key updates for topics pertaining to the Food Security Cluster. The bulletin is a tool for building relationships with FSC partners through regular communication and high valued information. The purpose of the bulletin is also to inform readers of latest news from the country cluster, increase participation in FSC initiatives and events, and increase dialogue around the FSC. f. Advocacy Publication: PowerPoint Template for producing a publication that communicates a message with a variety of audiences, on behalf of affected populations. The advocacy publication describes a current food security cluster/sector issue that needs to be highlighted for increased urgent funding or support. The advocacy publication also raises awareness of what the FSC is doing and the value of FSC work for vulnerable communities. 7

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