MOPAN Assessment of OCHA

In 2021, MOPAN published its assessment of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). This was the second assessment of OCHA; the first was published in 2017.



OCHA occupies a unique space in the humanitarian system, and faces increasingly high demands in the wake of new and ongoing humanitarian crises. Despite a difficult global context, OCHA has improved its organisational performance significantly from the previous MOPAN review, due in large part to the major reforms undertaken in 2017. The reforms have been successful, most objectives were met.

Key MOPAN assessment findings

  • Based on progress since reforms undertaken in 2017, OCHA shows positive signs of an organisation committed to learning and organisational performance is on an improving trajectory.
  • Despite the challenging context, OCHA has made considerable progress and undertaken a major reform process resulting in a coherent strategic vision, based around its five core functions—co-ordination, humanitarian financing, policy making, advocacy, and information management.
  • OCHA has established a more coherent and consistent vision of its role in the humanitarian sector, and has demonstrated increased agility and ability to fulfil that role through an organisational structure that is increasingly fit for purpose.

* For more key MOPAN findings on OCHA, read the report.

OCHA’s work – advocacy and co-ordination in particular – is recognised by stakeholders as invaluable to a more coherent functioning of the multilateral system overall, and to pushing the envelope on key issues and emerging priorities.

While OCHA continues to deliver on its core mandate, addressing lingering issues in organisational structure, and gaps in key corporate systems, would help OCHA continue on its positive trajectory, and continue providing an essential function for a humanitarian system facing the most difficult context since its creation.



 Erika MacLaughlin, Assessment Manager, MOPAN


Cara Yakush, MOPAN Communications Coordinator


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