Aid Management

In the wake of a major national crisis it is critical to be able to effectively coordinate, quickly disburse and accurately account for the use of large volumes of external assistance.

Within days massive amounts of funding and assistance will be channeled towards the most-affected communities. Under these circumstances, national or local government systems may not be able to cope with the management and coordination of aid, especially if they too have been adversely affected by the catastrophe. Objective when assisting government institutions to deliver aid in the aftermath of a crisis is to immediately reinforce national and local government institutions and systems to operate throughout the crisis and to strengthen their capacities to respond more effectively to future ones. ‘Aid coordination’ is a sub-set of aid management and usually refers to the architecture, institutions and mechanisms underpinning the administration of external assistance. Aid coordination projects have the following entry points: (i) aid coordination structures set up including assessments, clear planning, project appraisal process, regular reporting and cluster thematic coordination systems; (ii) improve organizational capacity of department responsible for aid management; (iii) ensure that aid links to national policy and the national budget cycle; and (iv) improve transparency and mutual accountability of financial information.


Restoration of Local Governance Functions

Projects seek to guarantee strong local ownership of early recovery endeavors whilst contributing to longer-term development and reconstruction. In particular, projects seek to guarantee that local governments’ knowledge of local contexts and their essential role in maintaining community morale are recognized. Local authorities require the capacities and visibility to lead the management of the recovery phase. Working with state authorities and other non-state actors, ER projects help maximize the impact of external assistance by restoring local governance functions as quickly as possible so that local services can be demand-driven and responsive to the population. By engaging local communities, ER projects increase the resilience of those communities and strengthens the social contract that binds citizens and their State via the effective performance of local governance systems. Entry points for ER project support include: 1) infrastructure repairs of local government facilities; 2) temporary staffing and asset support for local authorities, in particular for critical service delivery (e.g., debris management, etc.); 3) targeted capacity boost for local governance actors (Governor’s Offices, planning, communications, etc.); 4) support for effective coordination and division of roles for leadership/ coordination of the recovery between central and local authorities; 5) support for coordination of service delivery with the local governments and other local actors, such as community-based organizations (CBOs) and NGOs; 6) facilitation of participatory and collaborative governance mechanisms; 7) support for the delivery of basic services (including socio-economic infrastructure repairs); 8) strengthening of social cohesion; and 9) measures to reinforce community security.



Extension of Civil Service

The payment of civil servant salaries has been identified as a key entry point for the securing of core government functions for the following reasons.

a. Short-term the payment of salaries can inject cash into the economy, encourage staff to return to work, and enable some critical social and municipal services to be restored at local level, by enabling partners, such as UNICEF, to sub-contract basic service provision.

b. Medium-term the recurring wage bill represents a major concern for international partners and a primary determinant of fiscal stability in a post-crisis country. The establishment of basic control systems, in payroll and or beyond, is essential to ensure fiscal stability, improve credibility of the state as a viable partner, and to avoid the total collapse of governmental systems which have been built up over decades. Projects focus on salary payments can be an entry point to incrementally develop complementary support to the state such as provision of equipment, rehabilitation of infrastructure and capacity building of staff.


Strenghtening Social Cohesion and Community Stability : Sport and Play in Early Recovery

Sport and play is a practical, and cost-effective methodology in early recovery. It promotes self-sustaining nationally owned and resilient processes for post-crisis recovery and nurtures integrated solutions at the interface between humanitarian assistance, social and economic development as well as ecological sustainability.



Restoring Core Government Functions

Armed conflicts or major natural disasters often shatter the capacity of governmental institutions to respond and ensure rapid recovery. Weak or inadequate government structures, aid management, coordination, service delivery or inability to restore and pay the civil service can undermine humanitarian, relief and recovery efforts. Crisis-affected populations look at government institutions as critical service providers in recovering from a shock. As a result, when people’s needs are not met by government institutions the social contract between a government and its people may be undermined, particularly in fragile contexts where conflict may relapse and peacebuilding may be compromised. It is therefore imperative that international actors, the State and civil society, work together early on at national and local levels to build – or rebuild – the social contract in crisis-affected countries.

UNDP/GCER seeks to guarantee strong national ownership of early recovery endeavors and contribute to longer-term development and reconstruction through a rapid, effective, inclusive and participatory approach to recovery. UNDP’s objective when assisting government institutions in the aftermath of a crisis is to immediately reinforce national and local government institutions and systems to operate throughout the crisis and to strengthen their capacities to respond more effectively to future ones. 



National Recovery Planning and Coordination

Disasters cause large-scale damages and losses to countries on a regular basis. They damage or destroy public infrastructure, disrupt basic services and cause loss of lives and livelihoods. Following each disaster, governments invest a significant amount of resources to reconstruct damaged infrastructure and restore community livelihoods. Poorly implemented recovery processes can increase vulnerability and, over time, create chronic conditions of risk that translate into even higher economic and social costs in the next disaster. Recovery begins the day after the disaster and can continue for 2-5 years depending on the damage caused. Therefore it is critical that recovery programmes are well thought through, making best use of available resources and capacities. Institutionally, UNDP has been assigned as the global lead for early recovery and is usually asked by governments to support post disaster recovery efforts based on its mandate and role in Recovery and Disaster Risk Reduction.

The signature product on National Recovery Planning and Coordination refers to the processes and institutional capacities to lead, plan, and implement resilient recovery processes. It includes the following elements i) capacities to undertake post disaster needs assessments; ii) development of early and long term sector and area based recovery plans; iii) institutional arrangements and coordination mechanisms for disaster recovery and risk reduction; iv) standards and guidelines for recovery; v) setting up monitoring and grievance redress mechanisms for recovery; vi) strengthening capacities for disaster risk reduction and vii) resource mobilization for recovery. Project's role is to assist national and local governments to design and deliver benefits and services to people with the aim of empowering communities to build their capacities so they can better manage future disasters. In the process, national and local institutions, capacities and systems are strengthened to effectively deliver recovery programmes and address disaster risks.


Photo credit : UNDP Philippines Cash for Work - Talcoban




UNDP Guidance Note Restoration of Local Governance Functions


A UNDP how to guide: Local governance in fragile and conflict-affected settings - Building a resilient foundation for peace and development


UNDP - An integrated framework to support Local governance and local Development


United Nations/World Bank (Re) Building Core Government Functions in the Immediate Aftermath of Conflict - A Joint Approach and Methodology for Assessing Key Issues and Priorities


Crisis Response Package/UNDP National Recovery Planning and Coordination 2015


Crisis Response Package/UNDP Core Government functions 2015


Swiss Academy for Development Sport and Play in Early Recovery


Other resources 


Post your question on Ealy Recovery & Governance on our discussion forum !


Learn more on ER programming : check Module 5 of our e-learning


Other Early Recovery Programming areas

- Basic infrasturecture repairs and rehabilitation

- Capacity building investing in people 

- Livelihood


Country examples

Burundi: « Appui à la sécurité communautaire et la cohésion sociale auprès des jeunes touchés par les conflits »

Cameroon: Consolidation of peace and conflict resolutions mechanismes

Iraq: Strenghtening social cohesion

Libya: Access to basic services for all, stabilisation process

Pakistan Communities restoration including gender priorities

Yemen: Cluster aims at strengthening the resilience of affected families and communities through the provision of emergency and alternative income opportunities, protection and restoration of livelihoods and support to the rebuilding of communities and paving the way for longer term stabilization, peacebuilding and development. The cluster also supports the preservation and revitalization of services and institutions critical to the humanitarian action.


Read more on countries here