The Office of Civilian Response

The Office of Civilian Response (OCR) deploys personnel around the globe to USAID Missions and Embassies as well as embedded in Washington, D.C on various crisis response teams. The USAID OCR was established in 2009 to oversee training, equipping, and deploying mission-ready civilian experts for crisis stabilization, reconstruction and conflict transformation operations worldwide.

The mission of the Office of Civilian Response is to rapidly mobilize highly qualified technical experts providing critical development skills in support of USAID and USG civilian operations essential to crisis prevention, response, recovery and transition efforts, and to help the Agency prepare for such action.

Our work

The Office of Civilian Response is home to the USAID component of the Civilian Response Corps (CRC), a cadre of development professionals that augments USG capacity to help US Missions and Embassies prevent, respond to, and recover from crisis and conflict. The office reflects the full array of USAID technical specialties and helps ensure USAID’s response is robust and fully integrated both internally and in conjunction with USG and international actors.

Countries experiencing a significant political transition, in the midst of a crisis or emerging from conflict have unique assistance needs which cannot always be fully addressed by traditional USAID staffing methods. For the last four years, USAID has utilized the Civilian Response Corps staff of full-time technical experts to provide critical development skills needed to USAID Missions needing medium-term support.  Building on that experience, the DCHA Bureau is establishing a crisis response staff or "Firehouse" of permanent and on-call technical experts, in areas such as elections, democracy and governance, strategic communications and others. 

OCR assistance strengthens USAID’s and the USG’s prevention of, preparation for, or response to crisis or transition situations. Representing the entire skillset of the agency, Civilian Response Corps members provide key technical expertise, such as election support to the USAID Mission in Kenya, urban planning  and infrastructure development in Haiti or democracy officer support to Burma. Other expertise includes: Program Officers, Business/Livelihoods Development, Justice/Rule of Law, and Public Health.

OCR assistance in acute crisis is short to medium term, generally 3-9 months.  Serving in both USAID Missions and in Embassies, as well as several non-presence countries, the Civilian Response Corps gives the agency key manpower to respond to acute crisis.

Planning, programming, and management of OCR deployments are directly supportive of  USAID requirements and objectives. In fiscal year 2012, the Civilian Response Corps undertook 44 deployments to 19 countries including Yemen, Burma, Libya.  In total Civilian Response Corps work amounted to nearly 8,000 days of support to USAID Missions and Bureaus. 

For further enquires please contact:

Alicia Williams
The Office of Civilian Response
1300 Pennsylvania avenue
SA-44, 2nd Floor, Suite 270
Washington DC 20547

Last updated: March 19, 2014

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