Operations and Emergencies

The Department of Operations and Emergencies directs, oversees and coordinates IOM’s resettlement work and transport programmes and is responsible for overseeing IOM’s activities related to movement, logistics, preparedness and response in migration crises and humanitarian emergencies and to recovery and transitional settings.

The Department coordinates IOM’s participation in humanitarian responses and provides migration services in emergencies or post-crisis situations to address the needs of individuals and uprooted communities, thereby contributing to their protection. It provides technical support to efforts in the field, particularly in responding to forced migration and massive population movements, including protracted internal and cross-border displacement and refugee situations. This contributes to improving the conditions of crisis-affected populations and leads to life-saving interventions through the early identification and implementation of comprehensive durable solutions to end displacement conditions.

The Department also provides strategic recommendations on both policy and operational issues and provides guidance to field operations on project development and implementation and inter- agency coordination. It further oversees individual specialized projects related to humanitarian principles, protection mainstreaming and prevention of sexual abuse and exploitation.

The Department of Operations and Emergencies is composed of four divisions and one  unit:

  • Preparedness and Response Division
  • Transition and Recovery Division
  • Land, Property and Reparations Division
  • Resettlement and Movement Management Division
  • Statistics and Knowledge Management Unit

The Preparedness and Response Division serves as the institutional focal point for emergency preparedness and response. The Division undertakes the collection and analysis of information, conducts contingency planning and acts as IOM’s early warning service for humanitarian crises. It also undertakes rapid needs assessments and assists in the development of response operations, including strategic planning, capacity-building, staff surge support, the emergency roster and the mobilization of stand-by partners. It proposes policy and global strategies and provides guidance on IOM’s role in emergency preparedness and response, focusing on key sectors of IOM emergency programming (shelter, CCCM and the Displacement Tracking Matrix) and IOM’s engagement within the cluster system. The Division also develops institutional standards for responses and oversees IOM emergency activation procedures and maintains an operational overview of responses to natural disasters and conflict situations.

The Transition and Recovery Division is the institutional focal point on prevention and solutions within crisis settings and fragile contexts. It applies resilience, peacebuilding and stabilization approaches to resolve migration crises and assists governments, communities and vulnerable populations to cope with migration-related pressures. By looking at underlying causes of vulnerability, risk and fragility, the Division builds on humanitarian responses to address socioeconomic, peace, security and development challenges found in natural, man-made and protracted crises. Developing strategies to better bridge the gap between humanitarian aid and development action, the Division promotes sustainable transition from relief to recovery and development. The Division also assesses and addresses drivers of migration and root causes of complex migration crises; promotes human mobility as a means to reduce vulnerability and to progressively resolve displacement situations; and invests in conflict analysis, stabilization and development-oriented solutions. It is also the focal point for global partnerships on elections support, early recovery, durable solutions, preventing violent extremism, disarmament, demobilization and reintegration, and disaster risk reduction.

The Land, Property and Reparations Division is responsible for providing policy advice, technical assistance and capacity-building, and operational support in the crisis and post-crisis phase in relation to the resolution of land disputes and mobility-related land issues; addressing land issues within disaster risk reduction, humanitarian assistance, human security, conflict prevention, peacemaking and peacebuilding; and providing reparations and other transitional justice measures to victims of systemic and widespread human rights violations.

The Resettlement and Movement Management Division directs, oversees and coordinates IOM’s resettlement work and transport programmes. As the institutional focal point for resettlement and transport operations, the Division coordinates the policy, programmatic and resource management aspects of IOM’s work in these areas and provides direction, guidance and support to managers of resettlement and movement programmes. It also negotiates, oversees and maintains the Organization’s global agreements with air carriers and other transport providers and is the focal point for managing movements of IOM-assisted passengers travelling by air, land or sea.. For more information, see Resettlement Assistance.

The Statistics and Knowledge Management Unit is responsible for maintaining quality control for IOM operations by providing support for data collection, analysis and evaluation and for the systematic consolidation of knowledge to strengthen IOM’s humanitarian response and recovery operations. The statistics produced by the Unit provide the source of data for multilevel analysis of IOM projects, donor reporting and financial control. The Unit is also responsible for developing tools and products to better support operations and programmes under emergency and post-crisis operations.


November 2016