In January 2007, UNSIC together with OCHA, UNDP and other UN agencies created PIC (Pandemic Influenza Contingency) to focus on mitigating impacts of the next influenza pandemic and develop greater readiness of the UN System, national governments and the humanitarian community. The PIC Support Team in Geneva and 7 Regional Officers worldwide was set up within OCHA by an inter-agency effort. Donors and UN agencies alike seconded staff to work in the Support Team. While other UN agency colleagues work remotely as strong members of the PIC network but spearhead their agencies involvement from within their organizations. PIC was closed on December 2010.
Online Readiness Tracker
One of the innovated tools created by PIC was the “online readiness tracker”. This online tool provided a number of extremely important functions. Through a series of system wide agreed preparedness indicators, UNCT’s and National Governments were able to measure their level of pandemic preparedness; this information was then used by PIC to prioritise resources and technical assistance. This measurement of progress was also used to provide annual feedback to the Secretary General and also the annual Inter-Ministerial conference on Animal and Pandemic Influenza. A second function of this tool was to serve as a database for all UNCT’s and National pandemic plans, in addition to being used to publish guidance, templates and other important information. Finally the readiness tracker was also used by all stakeholders to share information on planned events such as workshops and simulations through an online planning calendar.
The UN Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) Sub-working group on Preparedness also used the format of the online readiness tool to support the tracking of preparedness.