Our Focus

Crisis Response

Deployment mechanism

Overview of deployments facilitated by the Crisis Bureau in 2020 (click to enlarge)


To prepare for, respond to, and support recovery from major crises, UNDP Country Offices (COs) have often to meet multiple demands and pressures in addition to their usual workload. Under these circumstances, COs often have a critical need for additional capacity to help them meet these demands and facilitate essential roles in these areas.

UNDP has several deployable capacities that can be drawn upon, including SURGE Advisors, and external experts from the GPN/ExpRes ONE roster and Stand-by Partners. 

Overall in 2020, UNDP Crisis Bureau facilitated over 847 deployments to over 122 countries/offices. Of these deployments, 741 were GPN/ExpRes consultants, 42 were staff (mostly SURGE advisors), 33 were through Standby Partnerships and 31 were United Nations Volunteers. 

UNDP periodically commissions reviews of its deployments mechanism to ensure systems remain up to date and new technology and ideas are brought on board.

SURGE Advisors are deployed as First Responders (FR) in the immediate aftermath of a crisis, as part of a SURGE planning team or as SURGE support during the 3-6 month recovery period. SURGE advisors are UNDP staff members selected for their extensive experience in their technical field and in crisis situations. They also have strong analytical, interpersonal, team work, communication, and stress management skills, with a proven ability to deliver timely and quality results under pressure.  Once requested to participate in a FR or SURGE mission, advisors must be ready to deploy within days. These missions are typically between 2 weeks and 3 months.

Stand-by Partnership Programme: UNDP has agreements with 7 partners to deploy additional capacity on a pro bono basis. Under these arrangements, partners maintain a pool of technical experts that can be deployed to UNDP to enhance its crisis response capacity. While standby arrangements primarily support the response to a crisis, these partnerships can also strengthen the capacity of partner countries for crisis preparedness and risk reduction. UNDP currently has Memorandum of Understandings with the following Stand-by Partner organizations: Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency (MSB), Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), Danish Refugee Council (DRC), Canada's Civilian Reserve (CANADEM), Dutch SURGE Support, RedR Australia, and iMMAP.


The UNDP ExpRes Roster: The UNDP ExpRes Roster is a consultant deployment mechanism which maintains pre-vetted consultants for quick support to UNDP Country Offices. The ExpRes Roster currently has over 6,500 vetted consultants and is organized into 30 knowledge profiles and 182 sub-profiles:

Early recovery coordination
Monitoring and evaluation
Early warning
Operations/Programme Support
Conflict prevention & peacebuilding
Extractive industries
Recovery and peacebuilding assessment
Countering/Preventing of Violent Extremism
HD Nexus advisor
Resource mobilization
Disarmament demobilization & reintegration
HIV, Health and Development
Rule of Law
Disaster risk reduction and recovery
Livelihoods and area based development
Senior Advisor, CPR issues Stabilization
Gender equality and empowerment of women
Inclusive Growth
Migration and displacement
Nature, Climate and Energy
Poverty and the Environment
SDG Finance
Social and Environmental Standards


  • Cyclone Idai response in Mozambique 2019

  • Kerala Floods response in India in 2019

  • 30 SURGE advisors were trained in Port of Spain, Trinidad Tobago in April 2019

  • Barbuda Sub-office was established as a response to the 2017 Hurricane season in the Caribbean

  • UNDP has initiated Debris Management and Cash for Work programmes in Palu, Indonesia after the 2018 earthquake

  • Cyclone Idai response in Mozambique 2019

  • Kerala Floods response in India in 2019

  • 30 SURGE advisors were trained in Port of Spain, Trinidad Tobago in April 2019

  • Engagement with the community in Maiduguri, North-East Nigeria in 2017