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The Humanitarian Coordinators’ Lifecycle refers to the key HLSS activities to select, prepare, deploy and support HCs.

Talent scouting: The HLSS proactively identifies and attracts potential candidates to the Coordinator track through the Humanitarian Coordination Pool. Candidates should be humanitarian leaders with extensive field-based operational humanitarian experience (at least 10 years managing or coordinating operations), coupled with significant representative experience (at least five years as a country director or representative). The HLSS, under the leadership of the Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator and Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, has embarked on an ambitious effort to ensure equal representation of women and men in humanitarian action, including at the senior-level, while fostering achievements towards diversity, equality and inclusion.    

Screening: The HLSS manages the IASC HC Pool, a group of 120 high-caliber humanitarian professionals from 32 entities available for:

  • RC-track posts (RC, RC/HC, DSRSG/RC/HC);
  • Stand-alone HC posts, DHC posts;
  • Surge deployment as HC/DHCs.

Grooming: HLSS manages a “High Potential Pool” of candidates who receive targeted career development support, in consultation with their parent agency, to further develop their leadership abilities.  The Team also manages the “Building inter-agency field leaders” programme, aimed at broadening the pool of female field leaders with inter-agency experience and cross-disciplinary leadership capabilities.

Candidates are screened and interviewed by IASC Emergency Directors and are considered qualified by the humanitarian community to perform humanitarian leadership functions. The HC Pool also includes a separate roster of individuals at the D2 level and above who are ready to be deployed at 72 hours’ notice in case of a major emergency.

Grooming: The HLSS manages a “High Potential Pool” of candidates who receive targeted career development support, in consultation with their parent agency, to further develop their leadership abilities. 

Selection: The HLSS works to harmonize the humanitarian community’s voice in the RC/HC selection process in favor of HC Pool members and other qualified humanitarian candidates, irrespective of their organizational affiliation.

Induction: Newly appointed RCs and HCs participate in mandatory leadership training, individualized orientation briefings in New York, Geneva and Rome, and on-the-job “mentoring” support from experienced former HCs, to prepare them for their new role.

In-briefings: Newly appointed RCs and HCs participate in mandatory leadership training, individualized in-briefings in New York, Geneva and Rome, and on-the-job “mentoring” support from experienced former HCs, to prepare them for their new role.

Learning: OCHA sponsors selected RC/HCs with limited humanitarian experience and non-UN HC Pool members to “shadow” an experienced HC for 2-8 weeks to enhance their understanding of the role. Specialized workshops are offered to help RCs and HCs become better humanitarian advocates, and a learning referral system is in place to cater to individual HC learning needs. Humanitarian Country Team (HCT) development programme: The HLSS is piloting a team development programme for HCTs to foster collective leadership and thereby create a more enabling environment for the development of HCs’ leadership.

End of assignment and knowledge management: The HLSS arranges end of assignment de-briefings for HCs and works to institutionalize and systematize knowledge management around the humanitarian leadership role.