About HPC

The Humanitarian Programme Cycle (HPC) is a coordinated set of actions undertaken by humanitarian actors to improve the predictability, speed and effectiveness of their response to emergencies.

The HPC is based on a six-step process that includes analysis, planning, resource mobilization, implementation, monitoring and evaluation and reporting.

For protracted crises, most of these elements previously formed part of the consolidated appeal process (CAP). However, the CAP – both as a process and document – became too ‘heavy’ in an attempt to include all the elements. As such, the approach to assessing, planning an delivering humanitarian response evolved and each response operation was guided to undertake two connected processes and products: the Humanitarian Needs Overview and the Humanitarian Response Plan. The mid-year review of the CAP was replaced by more regular, less labor-intensive response monitoring based on an IASC framework.

This approach, agreed by IASC Principals as part of the Transformative Agenda, is based on innovations that have become good practice and which aim to achieve the following results:

  • stronger emphasis on the needs of affected people;
  • improved targeting of the most vulnerable;
  • increased funding for humanitarian priorities; and
  • greater accountability of humanitarian actors and donors for collective results

All key documents produced by Humanitarian Country Teams as part of the programme cycle are available on this site, along with many other documents produced as part of humanitarian response. For ease of reference, the following links provide each discrete type of HPC document only:

Here is a non-exhaustive list of the most important policy documents relating to the humanitarian programme cycle (HPC) as a whole.

  • Resolution 46/182
    General Assembly resolution A/RES/46/182 founded OCHA and created the position of Emergency Relief Coordinator. It established OCHA’s responsibility for emergency preparedness and coordination as well as the Consolidated Appeals Process, of which the HPC is the latest iteration. Read the full text of the resolution here.
  • IASC Reference Module for the Humanitarian Programme Cycle
    The Humanitarian Programme Cycle Reference Module establishes the overarching policy for the application of the cycle in humanitarian crises globally.  It is meant primarily for managers of organizations that prepare for and respond to humanitarian crises.  It provides an overview of what needs to be done, when and by whom, to enable managers to allocate staff and tasks, sequence decisions and planning, and identify priorities.  It does not describe how to do each action.  For this managers should refer to the technical guidance and templates, current versions of which can be found on this site. The HPC Reference Module is available in Arabic, English and French.