Information Management Working Group role in CODs


The Information Management Working Group (IMWG) is an important component of the COD process.  The IMWG can exist at country and regional levels and is also established at the global level. Country and regional IMWGs are composed of the active humanitarian information management actors such as government, UN agencies and programmes, cluster IM staff, and international and national NGOs.  If there is an OCHA office in the country the OCHA information management officer is responsible for establishing the IMWG, however, OCHA does not have to be present for there to be an active IMWG. 

The IMWG, as it relates to CODs, should have Information Management Officers (IMO) from OCHA, representatives or IMOs from clusters or sectors representatives (if these are not activated then agencies), technical staff from international and national NGOs, and ideally technical staff from relevant government agencies.

Possible partners include: 

UN: OCHA, UNICEF, UNHCR, WHO, IOM, WFP, UNDP, FAO, UNFPA, UNDP, UN Women, UN-Habitat, UN Environment, etc.

Cluster IMOs; Health, Logistics, Nutrition, Protection, Shelter, WASH, CCCM, Early Recovery, Education, ETC, Food Security

Cross-Cutting Issues: Environment, GBV, SADD…

Government: May include the following ministries/departments: Cartographic, Geographic, Statistics, Census, Emergency Management, Environment, etc.

Other: ITOS, MapAction, OSM, etc.


The role of the IMWG is to:

  • Participate in the planning, identification, collection, processing, analysis, communication, and versioning of CODs

  • Determine COD and prioritization of COD collection

  • Use and advocate for use of CODs and P-codes

Why is the IMWG important to the COD process?

The IMWG is composed of the country-level technical staff that can ensure that the best available operational datasets are being used. Only those closest to the ground are aware of the numerous complexities when determining the "best available" dataset.  Active engagement by individuals with detailed local knowledge is critical to determining which dataset should be used for a humanitarian response.

Who does the IMWG report to?

The IMWG should report to the inter-cluster coordination group or mechanism (ICCG/M) and if possible a representative of the IMWG should attend the ICCG. If an ICCG is not present, the communication about the CODs should be shared with the Humanitarian Country Team (HCT) via the OCHA Head of Office. The image below illustrates the connection between the various groups. Communication between the IMWG chair and OCHA Head of office is important to gain support, resources (if required), endorsement and advocacy of CODs in an emergency.


  • Is there technical staff working outside of a country that can assist the IMWG with COD?  Yes!  There are several regional and global actors that can help a country level IMWG as they work on their CODs:

    • OCHA Field Information Services in Istanbul: can help with the overall process and help identify support

    • Global level IMWG: can help identify CODs 

    • ITOS can help with processing administrative boundaries

    • MapAction: MapAction is a key partner for OCHA and all humanitarian organizations. MapAction staff in the field quickly gather crucial data (including CODs) at the disaster scene, conveying it visually in the form of maps. By creating this ‘shared operational picture’ for aid agencies, governments, and local partners, we can help them make informed decisions and deliver aid and emergency supplies to the right place, quickly.

    • OSM: can help with..

    • GIS Corp: example of COD work