Emergency Response Preparedness


To enhance emergency preparedness within the multilateral humanitarian system, the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) has developed the Emergency Response Preparedness (ERP) approach.

The aim of the ERP approach is to increase the speed and volume of life-saving assistance delivered in the first four to six weeks of an emergency. The approach, which is designed to be flexible and resource-light, is based on identifying and prioritizing preparedness actions that will make sure that the humanitarian community can effectively respond in the first few weeks of a breaking emergency.

The ERP approach provides tools for UN Country Teams and/or Humanitarian Country Teams to:

  • Understand risks and establish a system to monitor them;

  • Establish a minimum level of preparedness; and

  • Take additional action, including developing contingency plans, to ensure readiness to respond to identified risks.


The first step of ERP is to assess the risks that all or part of the country’s population face and which might require a coordinated humanitarian response. This step is detailed in the Risk Analysis sub-page of the IM Toolbox.

The second step, Minimum Preparedness Actions (MPAs) includes Needs Assessment, Information Management, and Response Monitoring Arrangements. IMOs have a key role in ensuring that arrangements are in place for the three components (see relevant pages of the IM Toolbox, including the section on Common Operational Datasets, which are at the center of all IM preparedness).

The third step is Advanced Preparedness Actions and Contingency Planning. IMOs should ensure that IM is represented adequately in those processes.


Include examples of ERP documents and contingency plans (or IM sections of contingency plans)