These meetings focus on reviewing the information and SitAns carried out by the different participating agencies and field level NGOs, review the requirements relating to relief supplies, vis-a-vis the provision of relief from the State Government/District Administrations, and coordinate relief/supplies distribution, to avoid duplication of effort.
The above stated background as well as years long experiences of working in “Disaster preparedness “and “Disaster response” in Assam led the INGOs/National NGOs/CSOs active in Assam to conceive the Assam State IAG in 2004. The initiative was formalized on 21 June 2006, Dynasty Hotel, Guwahati, Assam URS meeting convened by UNICEF (on behalf of SPHERE). UNICEF has taken lead during the formative years by functioning as the IAG Secretariat. Mr. Somnath Basu UNICEF took specific interest supported by other INGO/NGOs of Assam and gradually responsibility was shared by
CRS, NEDSF and IGSSS on rotational basis. Till mid June 2010, the Inter-Agency Group in Assam has been a loosely formed collective of civil society partners and national and international agencies. The primary focus of the IAG has been on emergency response and information sharing.
The IAG meetings are usually held in one of the IAG member organization office. These meetings focus on reviewing the information and SitReps carried out by the different participating agencies and field level NGOs, review the requirements relating to relief supplies, vis-a-vis the provision of relief from the State Government/District Administrations, and coordinate relief/supplies distribution, to avoid duplication of effort.
Institutionalization of Assam State - IAG and the way forward:
- The IAG Assam charter was adopted on 5th June 2010. The draft for the Charter was prepared by Mr. Aniruddha Kuklkarni (UNICEF) with support by Mangneo Lhungdim (IGSSS).
- The first governing body meeting of IAG Assam was held at hotel Landmark Guwahati,on 15th September 2010, where the Governing body members of IAG Assam, Mr. N.M. Prusty, Chairman, SPHERE India and some other NGO partners.
- The charter and its background, IAG experience and the lesson learnt, the purpose and goal of IAG is also explained in brief in the 1st GB meeting.
- The membership criteria discussed and same has been resolved by the GB.
- The nomination of the new EB member was conducted by Shri N.M. Prusty, Chairperson SPHERE India as observer. Fr. Santiago from NEDSF is nominated as the Chairman, Mr. Mrinal Gohain of AAI as the Vice Chairman, Mr Mangneo Lhungdim from IGSSS as the Secretary, Ms. Enakshi Dutta from CRS as the treasurer, Mr Ravindranath as the Joint Secretary and Rehena Rahman of VHAA and L Meru from CASA is nominated as Executive.
- Apart from the above stated actions the 1st GB meeting of the Assam State-IAG has resolved in the following points-
- Resolved for an annual membership fee of 2500/- .
- Decided to open a bank account.
- Social forum will manage the fund of IAG.
- Mr. Bhaskar Baruah and Dr Jayanta Madhab will be the advisory board member of IAG Assam.
- IAG-Assam Secretariat will be located at IGSSS, NE Regional Office premises at 5th Bylelane,
- Rajgarh Road, Guwahati.
The 2nd EC meeting of Assam State-IAG and resolution:
The 2nd EC meeting of the Assam State –IAG was organized on 7th January 2011 at CRS office. The meeting mainly focused on full fledged institutionalization of Assam-State IAG through setting up “Secretariat”, engaging “HR for coordination, training and actions”, “Under take research works and documentation” as well as “Advocacy with Government for promoting Good practices”.
Focus of the Secretariat:
The secretariat will mainly focus on:
(i) Facilitating the process of common assessment during calamity and conflict giving priority to the local context.
(ii) Facilitating the process of identifying the core needs of the affected people and design the intervention accordingly i.e. meeting the humanitarian charter and the minimum standards.
(iii) Facilitating the process to avoid duplicity during relief and rehabilitation works.
(iv) Holding IAG meeting at a regular interval and mobilizing resources for the same.
(v) Holding training/ workshop as per approved plan on regular basis involving the Partners /grass root organizations and mobilizing resources for the same.
(vi) Facilitating the process to host IAG-Assam website to disseminate information on related issues and real life stories from various parts of the country.
(vii) Facilitate formation, strengthening and networking of district level coordination.
(viii) Document and disseminate best practices of Assam and NE
(ix) Liaison with the ASDMA, DDMAs related agencies to compliment and add value to the programmes and commitment of the primary responders.
The Inter-Agency Group (IAG-A) Assam provides a forum for state, regional organisations - international NGOs, Govt and UN Agencies - to enhance information exchange and regional coordination in order to respond to emergencies in a timely and cost efficient manner. The increased collaboration between partner organisations, fostered by the IAG, recognises that the efforts of individual organisations can and should complement each other in emergency response. The group also seeks to strengthen the support that can be offered to country counterparts by participating regional organisations.
The IAG has established a formal link with the Sphere India project office in Delhi, and the IAG is committed to continue playing a lead role in promoting URS in the NE region. Participation in the IAG has grown steadily and includes members from over fifty international NGOs, national, state level, Actionaid, Red Cross and UN agencies. The IAG comprises a Core Group, which serves as a focal point and steering committee, and depending upon need and situation Sub-Working Groups are constituted. Since September 2010, the IAG Secretariat has been hosted by IGSSS – NE.
- SitReps and IAG members meetings
- Coordinating URS assessments and further assessments/analysis
- Training on SPHERE minimum Standard and translation
- Advocacy for minimum standards with SDMA/NDMA
- Exchange with other IAGs –West Bengal IAG team visited Assam May 2011
- Networking and linkage with resource agencies, Govt. and SPHERE India
- Membership drive
- Press releases etc.
- Piloting URS assessments
- Successful coordination since 2007-08 using common assessment formats
- Rotated leadership with ownership between three core members