4.2 Types of assessments

Whenever possible assessments are led by national governments, as they have a prime responsibility to lead humanitarian efforts. Assessments should be designed to promote ownership, or at the least engagement, by national and local authorities, including the national disaster management agency, line ministries and other national capacities (e.g. NGOs).

CARE should always consider conducting coordinated field assessment. Such coordinated assessments are those planned and carried out in partnership by humanitarian actors, and of which the results are shared with the broader humanitarian community to identify the needs of affected populations. Such assessments range from inter- and intra-cluster/sector joint assessments to harmonized single agency assessments.

Harmonized assessments occur when agencies collect, process and analyse data separately, but where the collected data is sufficiently comparable (because of the use of common operational data sets, key indicators, and geographical and temporal synchronisation) to be compiled into a single database and used in a shared analysis.

Joint assessments occur when data collection, processing and analysis form one single process among agencies within and between clusters/sectors, and lead to the production of a single report. This is sometimes also referred to as a “common assessment”.

In contrast, uncoordinated assessments are those in which data sets are not interoperable, and results cannot be used to inform the overall analysis.

Joint assessment have many advantages, including:

  • reducing the ‘assessment burden’ on communities
  • promoting common methodologies and understanding of the situation
  • facilitating coordinated response planning
  • sharing resources.

Joint assessment missions are appropriate if the participating organisations share common values, operational principles and assessment methodologies (IFRC 2005, see Annex 4.6). Joint assessment missions should not be considered with organisations whose mandate, values or perception in the community may compromise CARE’s impartiality. At a minimum, ensure coordination and information sharing