IASC Reference Group on Principled Humanitarian Action

IASC Reference Group on Principled Humanitarian Action

IASC Reference Group on Principled Humanitarian Action

The Task Team was created by the IASC to implement the 2014-2015 IASC priority on Revitalizing Principled Humanitarian Action. 

Since early 2014, the IASC Task Team on Principled Humanitarian Action has undertaken a series of research, policy and advocacy initiatives with respect to four priority themes: namely (1) Civil-military relations and coordination (e.g. use of armed escorts); (2) UN integration, (e.g. implementation of the UN Integrated Assessment and Planning Policy); (3) Mitigating the impact of counter-terrorism measures (e.g. COTER toolkit); and (4) Improving risk analysis and management.

Key Objectives:

To help create an environment in which humanitarian actors can better access and respond to people in need, the IASC will promote adherence to, and the effective operationalization of, humanitarian principles in humanitarian operations and policies. 

Key Activities:

The Task Team for Revitalising Principled Humanitarian Action has undertaken a number of activities relating to understanding and enhancing UN Integration; Supporting and improving understanding of civil-military coordination practices; Assisting IASC organizations in understanding and addressing counterterrorism impacts on principled humanitarian action; Enhancing understanding and strengthened approaches to risk management; and Facilitating inter-agency coordination and operational improvements re counterterrorism.  

Key activities in 2015 include:

  • Counterterrorism toolkit. Based on Harvard Law School research, a consultant is leading toolkit drafting, supported by an Advisory Group of 13 Task Team members. Field consultations completed in Amman, Kabul and Nairobi.
  • IASC Principals’ statement on counterterrorism witha unified message reinforcing the practical relevance of principled humanitarian action; whilst articulating risk management and due diligence approaches of IASC members; and recommending required changes (including exemptions).
  • Review of the impact of UN integration on humanitarian action.
  • Identify common principles and standards drawn from Enterprise Risk Management, with the aim of developing guidance or a model risk management framework for humanitarian organizations, complementing other RM IASC initiatives.
  • Guidance paper on relations with national security forces distributed.
  • Implementation of the IASC Armed Escorts Guidelines was monitored over 12 months to evaluate their effectiveness and applicability at the operational level. The Guidelines were released and translated into all UN languages.
  • Guidance on Humanitarian Organizations’ Participation in Military Events to promote coordinated engagement and consistent humanitarian messaging with military organizations.  A dedicated page is being set up to facilitate information sharing in this regard.

Upcoming Meetings

There are no upcoming events at this time.