The Joint Steering Committee

Background

The Joint Steering Committee to Advance Humanitarian and Development Collaboration (JSC) is a critical mechanism to promote greater coherence of humanitarian and development action in crises and transitions to long-term sustainable development and in reducing vulnerabilities to build resilience. It was established by the Secretary-General in 2017. As outlined in greater detail in its Terms of Reference, the Committee will focus on guiding policy setting and fostering synergies in humanitarian and development action to achieve progress on the Sustainable Development Goals. 

The JSC will empower and support Resident Coordinators (RCs) and UN country teams (UNCTs) in efficiently addressing the humanitarian-development nexus through closer collaboration, integrated approaches, including the New Way of Working, and through joint missions to the field. RCs will act as an interface between the UN and national governments, to adequately articulate and operationalize collective outcomes, with the overall aim to reduce needs, risks and vulnerability and achieve sustainable development.

Membership

The Joint Steering Committee will be chaired by the Deputy Secretary-General, with the Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Emergency Relief Coordinator (ERC) as well as the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs as Vice-chairs.

Additional membership of the Committee, at the level of Principals, will be as follows: FAO, IOM, OHCHR, PBSO, DPA, DPKO, UNHCR, UNICEF, UNWOMEN, UNFPA, World Bank, WFP and WHO.

Other United Nations entities relevant to specific discussions may be invited to participate on an as-needed basis and in an advisory capacity.

Format and Mechanisms

The Steering Committee will meet in person twice a year at the level of Principals, chaired by the Deputy Secretary-General, in the margins of the meetings of the Chief Executive Board. Principals may also meet on an ad hoc basis to take forward decisions, chaired by the ERC and the Administrator of UNDP, if required.

The agenda of the meetings of Principals will consider how to overcome systemic barriers to implementation; will identify and promote incentives to advance strong coherence, complementarity, collaboration and coordination within and between development and humanitarian activities; and will reflect on progress toward achieving key milestones, including by reviewing good practice and lessons learned from concrete country examples or crisis settings.

The Committee will be assisted by a joint support team with capacities pulled from existing units of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs and UNDP, with no additional resources required. The joint support team will ensure participation, inclusion and consultation with field counterparts, members, champions and interested parties. It will work in close collaboration with the Executive Office of the Secretary-General.

The Committee will be kept abreast of the work of relevant, existing inter-agency bodies such as the UNDG Sustainable Development/Sustaining Peace Results Group and the IASC Task Team on the Humanitarian-Development Nexus and of progress made in collective action to advance humanitarian and development cooperation in support of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Objective and Scope

  • Guide policy setting for collective action and to foster greater synergies in humanitarian and development action to implement the Sustainable Development Goals.

  • The Committee seeks to promote greater coherence of humanitarian and development action in crises and transitions to long-term sustainable development and in reducing vulnerabilities. In line with the Report of the Secretary-General “Repositioning the United Nations development system to deliver on the 2030 Agenda– Ensuring a Better Future for All” – and drawing on relevant aspects of the New Way of Working and its contribution to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development – it will focus on three main areas:

Upcoming meetings:

November 2019 (exact date tbc)

Fifth high-level meeting of the United Nations Joint Steering Committee to Advance Humanitarian and Development Collaboration

Previous meetings

8 May 2019

Fourth high-level meeting of the United Nations Joint Steering Committee to Advance Humanitarian and Development Collaboration

6 November 2018

Third high-level meeting of the United Nations Joint Steering Committee to Advance Humanitarian and Development Collaboration

26 October 2018 

Second ad-hoc meeting of the United Nations Joint Steering Committee to Advance Humanitarian and Development Collaboration

2 May 2018

Second high-level meeting of the United Nations Joint Steering Committee to Advance Humanitarian and Development Collaboration

2 March 2018

First ad-hoc meeting of the United Nations Joint Steering Committee to Advance Humanitarian and Development Collaboration

7 November 2017

First high-level meeting of the United Nations Joint Steering Committee to Advance Humanitarian and Development Collaboration

Background documents submitted for the JSC High-Level Meeting 8th May 2019

1) Ensuring coherence, complementarity, collaboration and coordination within and between development and humanitarian activities and mechanisms on the ground

  • Reinforce and support country-level leadership (including United Nations Resident Coordinators, Humanitarian Coordinators, United Nations Country Teams and Humanitarian Country Teams) to ensure a context-specific approach to ensure strong coherence, complementarity, collaboration and coordination within and between development and humanitarian activities and mechanisms, through enhanced joint analysis, a focus on collective outcomes, joined-up planning, programming and financing;
  • Address system-level bottlenecks to overcome longstanding attitudinal, institutional and financing obstacles for better joined-up approaches by humanitarian and development actors;
  • Agree on a common, light methodology for assessing the key measures of success;
  • Support and provide common messaging and guidance to respective United Nations Development Group (UNDG) and Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) groupings to transcend humanitarian-development divides through strengthened collective action, in support of the 2030 Agenda.

2) Adopting regional approaches and strategies, as required, to foster better response, prevention and preparedness

  • Identify where emerging regional trends driving needs, risks and vulnerabilities can be better addressed through multi-country approaches and strategies;
  • Support regional level leadership, teams and processes to address regional needs and risks;
  • Ensure coherence in engagement with regional organizations and financial institutions.

3) Mobilizing global action and support to major crises

  • Support common advocacy and messaging around responses to concrete country or crisis settings;
  • At the policy level, liaise with donors and other partners to take forward the appropriate adjustments needed to ensure coherent and appropriate financing from all sources to achieve collective outcomes.