When is an inter-agency needs assessment necessary? What does it look like?

In the case of protracted crisis a Humanitarian Needs Overview (HNO) is produced. A HNO is a consolidation and analysis of existing secondary data, inclusive of the NGO needs assessments, joint and cluster needs assessments.

The humanitarian needs overview describes the overall humanitarian dimensions of a crisis situation including the key humanitarian issues which are considered the most pressing by common agreement. It is based on existing information (secondary data) derived from multi-cluster and sectorial assessments, monitoring data, survey results and contextual judgment by humanitarian actors and of local sources such as government, community bodies and representative from affected communities. The HNO is informed by shared and collated data and the development of a joint needs analysis.[1]

Multi-sector Initial Rapid Assessment (MIRA) is used in rapid onset natural disasters to collect primary and secondary community level data to support initial decision making at the beginning of a crisis.

MIRAs occur when a disaster first strikes. The Humanitarian Needs Overview (HNO) on the other hand is a consolidation and synthesis of recent data on a crisis that occurs either a) after a MIRA is completed or b) on an annual basis as a precursor to the development of a strategic response plan (SRP).

[1] http://www.humanitarianresponse.info/programme-cycle/space/page/assessments-overview