What is REACH?
REACH was born in 2010 as a joint initiative of two INGOs (IMPACT Initiatives and ACTED) and the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) Operational Satellite Applications Programme (UNOSAT). REACH’s purpose is to promote and facilitate the development of information products that enhance the humanitarian community’s decision making and planning capacity for emergency, reconstruction and development contexts, supporting and working within the framework of the humanitarian reform process.
REACH is an innovative tool that combines the usefulness of modern information technology, such as web and GIS based mapping, with rapid and well developed assessment methodologies.
REACH’s overall objective is to enhance the effectiveness of planning and coordination by aid actors in countries that are in crisis or at-risk of crisis. REACH’s specific objective is to contribute to filling information gaps before, during and in the aftermath of a crisis.
REACH meets its objectives by promoting and facilitating the effective collection, organisation, processing and dissemination of key data to inform aid action. At global level, REACH partners with humanitarian coordination platforms (notably clusters) in order to strengthen tools and methodologies related to: secondary data review; primary data-collection through assessment and remote sensing; data-storage; data-processing into maps and reports, capitalisation and dissemination of data. At country level, REACH teams are deployed to countries in crisis or at-risk-of-crisis in order to facilitate interagency collection, processing and dissemination of key humanitarian data. Country-level deployments are conducted in the framework of partnerships with aid coordination bodies, including UN agencies, clusters, inter-cluster initiatives, and other interagency initiatives.
Based in Geneva and hosted by IMPACT Initiatives, REACH includes a dedicated team of assessment, database, GIS and remote sensing experts. These skilled practitioners include gull time staff working on the ongoing development and maintenance of REACH’s platform, as well as a deep roster of humanitarian workers available to rapidly respond anywhere in the world to any type of crisis. Experts across a range of sectors are utilized to support the planning and implementation of any REACH deployment, including but not limited to humanitarian coordination, shelter, food security, displacement, disaster preparedness, livelihoods and more. REACH has a number of global and country level partnerships with clusters, inter-cluster initiatives, INGOs, UN agencies, donor and host countries, and private sector actors.