Do you only have DSRSGs when there is an integrated mission?

Yes, DSRSG positions exist only in special political missions or peacekeeping operations. There are different types of DSRSG positions, including for instance DSRSG-Political, DSRSG-Rule of Law and DSRSG/RC/HC. The number and type of such position in any given mission depends on the context and mandate of the mission.

DSRSG/RC/HCs (“triple hats”) only exist in the context of integrated missions (those are called “integrated” missions as development and humanitarian aspects of the UN presence are “integrated” into the peacekeeping or peace-making operation).

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Who do RHCs, a DRSG, a RC/HC and HCs report to?

Resident Coordinators report to the Secretary General through the UNDG Chair (who is the UNDP Administrator), through the Chairs of the Regional UNDG Teams (who are the UNDP Regional Bureau Directors). RCs have an additional reporting line to the ERC for the performance of humanitarian functions.

RC/HCs have a dual reporting line, to the Secretary-General/UNDG Chair for the performance of RC functions, and to the ERC for the performance of HC functions.

HCs, Senior HCs and Regional HCs report to the ERC.

DHCs report to the HCs in their respective country of assignment.

Deputy Special Representatives of the Secretary-General report to the Special Representative of the Secretary-General in their country of assignment.

DSRSG/RC/HCs have three reporting lines, to the SRSG for the performance of DSRSG functions, to the Secretary-General/UNDG Chair for the performance of RC functions, and to the ERC for the performance of HC functions.

What is the difference between a Regional Humanitarian Coordinator, a DSRSG, a RC/HC, an HC and a DHC?

DSRSG and RC posts are UN positions, whereas HC and DHC posts are IASC positions: that is, they belong to the entire humanitarian community. As such, DSRSGs and RCs are nominated by the UN Secretary-General, whereas HCs and DHCs are designated by the Emergency Relied Coordinator.

Humanitarian coordination leadership posts broadly belong to two tracks:

  • RC-track posts: these are Resident Coordinator (RC) in disaster-prone countries; RC/Humanitarian Coordinator (RC/HC); Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General/RC/HC (DSRSG/RC/HC); and Deputy Special Coordinator/RC/HC (DSC/RC/HC). They are nominated by the UN Secretary-General.
  • HC-track posts: these are Stand-alone HC (HC); Deputy HC (DHC); Senior HC (SHC); Regional HC (RHC); and Deputy Regional HC (DRHC). They are designated by the Emergency Relied Coordinator.

Resident Coordinator positions are funded and managed by UNDP on behalf of the United Nations Development Group (UNDG), the platform of UN development agencies. The Resident Coordinator leads and coordinates the development activities of UN agencies, in support of the national government. As such, s/he chairs the United Nations Country Team. As the most senior representative of the Secretary-General in country (unless a Special Representative of the Secretary-General is appointed), the RC upholds and promotes the UN’s responsibilities with regard to preventing and responding to serious violations of human rights and humanitarian law, including the responsibilities of UN entities and staff in this regard.

The Resident Coordinator is always also the UNDP Resident Representative (RR) in country.

The Resident Coordinator is normally also the Designated Official for UN Security, unless the UN Secretary-General appoints a more senior UN official who is resident in the country.

If international humanitarian assistance is required, the Resident Coordinator is accountable to the ERC for coordinating the response efforts of all humanitarian actors (UN and others). Depending on the situation, in particular its scale, complexity and urgency, the ERC, in consultation with the IASC, may choose to designate the RC as HC (in which case the person becomes known as an RC/HC), or designate someone else as stand-alone HC.

If a special political mission or peacekeeping operation is established and a Special Representative of the Secretary-General is appointed, the RC may be appointed to also serve as the Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General. In cases where a Resident Coordinator (RC) also serves as the Humanitarian Coordinator (HC) and the Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary General (DSRSG), s/he is referred to as a “triple hat”.

Deputy Humanitarian Coordinators (DHC) are appointed when a humanitarian situation worsens in degree or complexity, requiring additional support to the humanitarian leader in place. A DHC can be located either in the capital, together with the HC, or in the region most affected by the crisis. DHCs are designated by the ERC in consultation with the IASC.

Regional Humanitarian Coordinators (RHC) are appointed when a humanitarian response has a regional impact warranting overall strategic coordination at the regional level. The RHC usually supports HCs in the affected countries to ensure overall coherence in the response, build on existing synergies with development actors as well as increase advocacy and fund raising efforts. There are currently two RHCs, one for the Sahel Region and one for the regional impact of the Syria crisis. RHCs are designated by the ERC in consultation with the IASC.

Senior Humanitarian Coordinators (SHC) are appointed in L3 emergencies, the most severe and large-scale humanitarian crises, to lead the humanitarian response. SHCs are designated by the ERC in consultation with the IASC.