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Multi-Cluster/Sector Initial Rapid Assessment (MIRA)

March 2012 — By IASC

The immediate aftermath of a sudden-onset disaster is a critical period of time when the humanitarian and donor communities need to make key decisions on how to best support the affected country or region and its populations. However, during that brief period, limited comprehensive information on the disaster’s impact, scale and severity is typically available to support the identification of strategic humanitarian priorities. In addition, humanitarian actors often begin gathering information independently and with little consolidation, resulting in an incomplete and sometimes conflicting picture of humanitarian needs. The Multi-Cluster/Sector Initial Rapid Assessment (MIRA) developed by the Inter-Agency Standing Committee Needs Assessment Task Force (IASC NATF) seeks to address this problem, and to lay down the foundations for a stronger and better-coordinated assessment culture during crises.

Carried out by key stakeholders during the first weeks following a sudden-onset disaster, the MIRA aims to provide fundamental information on the needs of affected populations and to support the identification of strategic humanitarian priorities. It thus enables all humanitarian actors to reach, from the outset, a common understanding of the situation and its likely evolution and to agree immediately on strategies.