Humanitarian Needs Overview (HNO)


The HNO is a critical document in the HPC, a clear understanding of need is required before an adequate response can be planned or implemented.  Work on the HNO should begin 6-8 months before the document is due as there are many dependencies.  Ideally, the OCHA office should have a timeline or work plan for the entire HPC with clear deadlines and responsibilities.   

Dependences for the HNO include:

  • CODs - Administrative boundaries and population statistics with sex and age-disaggregated to lowest possible level, at a minimum, are agreed upon, clean, and sharable.

  • Humanitarian Profile

  • Needs assessments

  • Access mapping

Essential reading on the Humanitarian Needs Overview for IMOs

HNO Checklist for IMOs

  • Read the previous years HNO

  • Download and read all guidance documents as soon as they become available.  

  • Contact the Programme Support Branch in Geneva to identify a focal point that can help you prepare for and plan especially if this is the first time you have been involved in an HNO.

  • Discuss the previous years HNO with cluster and OCHA colleagues.  Ask what could be improved.

  • If not already done request a staff meeting on HNO to determine timeline and responsibilities.

    • Prepare an OCHA or IMU work plan for the HNO with clear deadlines and responsibilities.

    • Needed data is identified and acquired (note this can take an extraordinary amount of time - plan for it!)


Read more on HNO as HPC product