ANNEX I: The Five Phases Of The Assessment Framework
  • 06 Dec 2023
  • 4 Minutes to read
  • Dark

ANNEX I: The Five Phases Of The Assessment Framework

  • Dark

Article summary

Assessment PhasePhase 0: 
IMPACT Phase 1: 
First 72 Hours
Phase 2: 
1-2 weeks
Phase 3: 
3-4 weeks
Phase 4: 
Week 5 onwards (see note*)

Recommended Type of Coordinated Assessment

Coordinated assessment preparedness (part of contingency planning) 

 Initial assessment (“snapshot diagnosis”)

  • Joint assessment 

Rapid assessment

  • Multi cluster/sector initial rapid assessment (MIRA)
  • Joint assessment 

In-depth assessments 

  • Single cluster/sector coordinated in-depth assessments, harmonized across Clusters/Sectors (single agency assessments should be coordinated by cluster coordinators), with (early) recovery considerations
  • Harmonised (and Joint) assessments

Continued in-depth assessments

  • Continued single cluster/sector coordinated in-depth assessments, with (early) recovery considerations, harmonized across Clusters/ Sectors (single agency assessments should be coordinated by cluster coordinators)
  • Harmonised (and Joint) assessments


  • Preparedness planning and gathering of pre-crisis data to ensure readiness to respond in a coordinated manner
  • Estimate scale and severity of the impact of the event, 
  • Locate affected populations
  • Inform initial inter-sectoral analysis and prioritization, response decisions and appeals, 
  • Inform the MIRA in Phase 2
  • Inform initial planning of humanitarian response and highlight priority actions (e.g. for 3 months)
  • Define focus for follow-on phase 3 in- depth assessments 
  • Analyse situation and trends, 
  • Adjust ongoing response and appeals
  •  Inform detailed planning for humanitarian relief/early recovery 
  • Establish baseline for operational and strategic performance monitoring
  • Specify any needs for more in-depth sub-sector analyses
  • Analyse situation and trend.
  • Inform phasing out of life- sustaining activities 
  • Inform detailed planning for humanitarian relief and (early) recovery (and transitioning to recovery and development) 
  • Feed into performance monitoring

Decisions to be Informed

  • Who will do what, where and with what resources when the emergency occurs.
  • How will assessments and response will be coordinated and prioritized
  • Immediate response actions 
  • Initial appeals (e.g. Flash appeal)
  • Support donors’ decisions
  • Mobilisation of technical and management expertise for assessments and initial response
  • Inform national government’s communication/ messaging
  • Response actions (e.g. first 3 months)
  • Geographic targeting
  • Beneficiary selection criteria and systems
  • Response implementation and monitoring systems
  • Revised appeals
  • Support donors’ decisions
  • Communication strategies
  • Response actions (more detailed proposal planning)
  • Support donors’ decisions
  • Support and inform cluster partners fund raising
  • HCT agenda
  • Government agenda
  • HRP (and Mid-Year Review)
  • PDNA/PCNA and National Early Recovery / Reconstruction Plan
  • Transitional planning (LRRD)

Assessment Level

  • N/a
  • Community level and KII
  •  Community level and KII
  • Community/HH/individual level 
  • Community/ HH/individual level 

Sources and Assessment Methods

  • Prepare and agree on assessment formats, indicators and tools
  • Organize trainings on assessment tools (through simulations, tabletop exercises etc.)
  • Establish procedures and responsibilities
  • Prepare key humanitarian indicators and 
  • Gather baseline data
  • Prepare fact sheets and lessons learned as relevant 
  • Mostly secondary data sources with primary data from remote sensing and direct observation in a limited number of purposively selected site
  • Expert interpretation of initial reports and remote data
  • Mix of secondary and primary field data (collected jointly from selected locations, spread across affected areas)
  • Rapid appraisal methods only (i.e. key informant interviews, observation, and (focus) group discussions)
  • Increasingly primary data sources, such as monitoring systems and joint assessments. The latter will now also include representative sampling
  • Household level survey and rapid appraisal methods  
  • Increasingly primary data sources and joint assessments include representative sampling 
  • Household level survey and rapid appraisal methods  

Overall Output 


  • Assessment preparedness plan agreed by HCT
  • Pre-crisis data compiled (at ICCG level)
  • Situation Analysis (within 3 days) 
  • MIRA Report (within 14 days)
  • Initial analysis of main problems, risks and gaps – initial planning scenario
  • Sector/cluster reports
  • Comprehensive analyses of problems, risks and gaps – updated planning scenario
  • Sector/cluster reports
  • Up-dated analyses and planning scenario (ongoing, regular)
  • Post-Disaster Needs Assessment and Recovery Framework (PDNA/RF)

Food Security Specific Information Output 

  • Baseline data on food security situation, capacity to respond 
  • Impacts of previous similar crises
  • Likely food security impacts of new crisis
  • Lessons from previous response operations
  • Outputs include (as possible):
  • Nature and scale of expected response requirement 
  • Priority needs, areas and population groups
  • Estimation of number of people affected
  • Expected duration of needs
  • Initial food security situation analysis:  numbers, impacts, causes, forecasts, risks
  • Updated planning scenario 
  • Initial food security response analysis including options, capacities, constraints, likely effectiveness and efficiency 
  • FSC strategic approaches further defined
  • Joint interagency or inter cluster assessments
  • Joint interagency or inter cluster situation analysis
  • Gaps/Duplication Matrix
  • Recovery progress monitoring
  • Impact evaluation
  • Identification of new / projected needs 
  • Challenges to recovery and triggers to initiate recovery-oriented strategies
  • Institutional capacity analysis

Use of the Information


  • Preliminary sector response strategy (for response in the first few days)
  • Flash appeal
  • Initial sector response strategy 
  • Adjustment of initial response 
  • Specific project proposals 
  • Revised flash appeal 
  • Detailed sector response strategy
  • Refinement of ongoing projects
  • Additional project proposals
  • Revised flash appeal
  • Updated sector response strategy, projects and appeals (Flash appeal: 3-6 months, after this, HNO/HRP


Pre-disaster secondary data (See examples from Bangladesh on CycloneFloodwaterlogging)

  • Multi Sector: Initial MIRA
  • FS Specific: WFP 72-Hr Assessment    
  • Multi Sector: MIRA  
  • FS Specific: Rapid EFSA
  • Other: EMMA and RAM
  • FS Specific: Rapid EFSA  
  • Other: EMMA and RAM
  • Multi Sector: MSNA (mainly protracted crises)
  • FS Specific: In-depth EFSA , CFSAM , SMART
  • Other: EMMA
  • See note below* 

Adapted from the IASC Operational Guidance for Coordinated Assessments in Humanitarian Crisis. See pp. 12-20 for more on each of the assessments phases. Note that the IASC operational guidance will be reviewed in 2023 – check the IASC website for updates.

*The Examples included under Assessment Phase 4 refers to both Sudden Onset Crises, where, for example, PDNAs (usually after a MIRA and a rapid EFSA ), are undertaken – but also to products commonly used in Protracted Crises such as MSNA, indepth EFSA and SMART (a more liberal interpretation of week 5 onwards).

Was this article helpful?