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Learning support exercise in Haiti for the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)
August-October 2010

In order to prepare for future disasters following the Haitian crisis, the UNFPA decided to carry out an After Action Review. Groupe URD were chosen to lead the process.

With growing turbulence in the world linked to climate change and increasing population density in “at-risk” areas, it is likely that Haiti-type situations are going to become more frequent (the current crisis in Pakistan tends to confirm this idea). Organisations involved in managing situations of this kind need to develop effective rapid learning mechanisms to improve their response. Such mechanisms include evaluations (real-time or ex-post) and After Action Reviews which can be carried out internally or with support from an external facilitator.

The After Action Review with UNFPA will be participatory in essence. Documents produced by UNFPA staff at headquarters and in the field will be analysed and a series of interviews will be carried out in New York, Haiti and Santo Domingo. A two-day workshop will then be held which will focus on the following three questions:

  • What were the strengths and weaknesses of the Haitian crisis response?
  • What are the principal challenges which need to be overcome immediately to improve preparedness for major crises?
  • How can this be achieved?