The Cluster Approach


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As part of broader humanitarian reform efforts, the so called Cluster Approach seeks to improve coordination in emergencies. This presentation was given during Fordham University's "International Diploma on Humanitarian Assistance".

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  • Currently: 18 Shelter Clusters and 3 Sheltercluster-likemechanismsactive.
  • The Cluster Approach

    1. 1. The Cluster ApproachIDHA 39, Berlin 14.03.2013 1
    2. 2. Origin of the Cluster approachThe pillars of the Humanitarian Reform Process: establishing more predictable humanitarian financing, developing more predictable humanitarian responses, and strengthening humanitarian coordination.14.03.2013 2
    3. 3. The intitial problem What organisations Is anyone already are already doing X? here? Who needs assistance? Where can I get information? Where do people need assistance? Who is doing Y in C-town? How can I Why is the get funds? government (not) doing Z?14.03.2013 3
    4. 4. Purpose of the Cluster approch Ensuring more predictable leadership and clearly defined responsibilities by identifying cluster leads that are accountable for the coordination of the activities of their respective sector (including functioning as a provider of last resort, where necessary). Ensuring timely and effective responses, including through the maintenance of global capacity, rosters of trained experts and stockpiles. Strengthening partnerships between UN agencies, IOM, NGOs and other humanitarian actors, and also ensuring more coherent linkages with national authority counterparts. Improved strategic field-level coordination and prioritisation, leading to fewer gaps and duplication.14.03.2013 4
    5. 5. UN vs IASC The Cluster approach is NOT a UN (only) coordination mechanism.However, the majority of global cluster leads are UN agencies14.03.2013 5
    6. 6. 11 ClustersArea of Activity Global Cluster LeadCamp Coordination/Camp Management (CCCM) UNHCR (conflict) IOM (natural disasters)Early Recovery* UNDPEducation UNICEF/Save the Children(Emergency) Shelter UNHCR (conflict) IFRC (natural disasters)Emergency Telecommunications WFP/OCHA/UNICEFFood Security (frm. Agriculture) FAO and WFPHealth WHOLogistics WFPNutrition UNICEFProtection UNHCR (conflict) UNHCR/OHCHR/UNICEF (IDPs from disasters and civilians other than IDPs affected by conflict)Water, Sanitation and Hygiene UNICEF 14.03.2013 6
    7. 7. Clusters and Cluster Leads Not all Clusters are activated in each emergency Clusters can be combined (for example Shelter and CCCM) Global Cluster leads and local Cluster leads don‘t have to be identical. New thinking: train national NGOs in coordination so they can lead Clusters Global Cluster leads are accountable to the Emergency Response Coordinator (ERC). Exception: IFRC14.03.2013 Social Media for Good – 7
    8. 8. Cross-Cutting IssuesCross-cutting issue Cross-cutting issue leadAge HelpAge & WHOGender UNFPA & WHOEnvironment UNEPHIV and AIDS UNAIDSSometimes referred to as cross-cuttingissueInformation Management OCHA14.03.2013 8
    9. 9. What is a “provider of last resort”?  “… the commitment of cluster leads to do their utmost to ensure an adequate and appropriate response.  “…it is necessarily circumscribed by some basic preconditions that affect any framework for humanitarian action, namely unimpeded access, security, and availability of funding.” → “Provider of last resort“ is a very soft concept Source: IASC Guidance Note on Using the Cluster Approach to Strengthen Humanitarian Response (November 2006)14.03.2013 9
    10. 10. Cluster activation RC/HC agrees with HCT which Clusters should be activated. RC/HC designates national cluster leads in consultation with global cluster lead agencies. RC/HC informs ERC of decisions; ERC gives global cluster leads 24 hours to approve proposal Where available, national coordination mechanisms should be supported Review every 3 – 6 months to see whether Clusters can be de- activated.14.03.2013 10
    11. 11. Coordination Services14.03.2013 11
    12. 12. The Cluster Coordination Team provides the table around which all Cluster members can sit down to develop “strategic field level coordination.”Photo: João Almeida 14.03.2013 12
    13. 13. Coordination ≠ Tasking14.03.2013 13
    14. 14. Six core functions at field level1. Supporting service delivery • Provide a platform to ensure that service delivery is driven by the agreed strategic priorities • Develop mechanisms to eliminate duplication of service delivery2. Informing strategic decision-making of the HC/HCT for the humanitarian response • Needs assessment and response gap analysis (across sectors and within the sector) • Analysis to identify and address (emerging) gaps, obstacles, duplication, and cross- cutting issues including age, gender, environment and HIV/AIDs • Prioritisation, grounded in response analysis3. Planning and strategy development • Develop sectoral plans, objectives and indicators that directly support realisation of the HC/HCT strategic priorities • Apply and adhere to existing standards and guidelines • Clarify funding requirements, prioritisation and cluster contributions for the HC’s overall humanitarian funding considerations (e.g. Flash Appeal, CAP, CERF, Emergency Response Fund/Common Humanitarian Fund)14.03.2013 14
    15. 15. Six core functions at field level4. Advocacy • Identify advocacy concerns to contribute to HC and HCT messaging and action • Undertake advocacy activities on behalf of cluster participants and the affected population5. Monitoring and reporting the implementation of the cluster strategy and results;recommending corrective action where necessary6. Contingency planning/preparedness/capacity building in situations where there isa high risk of recurring or significant new disaster and where sufficient capacity existswithin the cluster. → Accountable to the HC/RC (except IFRC) Source: IASC Reference Module for Cluster Coordination at the Country Level; Nov 201214.03.2013 15
    16. 16. Special role of the IFRC asShelter Cluster “convener” Not accountable to the HC/ERC because of independence and neutrality of the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement Not a “provider of last resort” IFRC does not receive money from the CERF14.03.2013 16
    17. 17. Cluster products14.03.2013 17
    18. 18. 14.03.2013 18
    19. 19. 14.03.2013 19
    20. 20. 14.03.2013 20
    21. 21. 14.03.2013 21
    22. 22. Cluster structuresin the field14.03.2013 22
    23. 23. Who are the Cluster partners? UN agencies Host government International NGOs Local NGOs / Civil society organisations Red Cross Red Crescent Movement Donors14.03.2013 23
    24. 24. Ideal Cluster structure SAG Main Cluster Meeting TWIGs TWIGs SAG = Strategic Advisory Group; TWIG = Technical Working Group14.03.2013 24
    25. 25. SAG and TWIGs Main Shelter Cluster meeting: Everyone Strategic Advisory Group: Max 15 key operational partners. Develops the overall strategy and provides strategic oversight. Vets proposal for Flash appeal etc. Technical Working Groups: Specific, short-term. For example: Drainage, Temporary shelter design, Unaccompanied/seperated minors ...14.03.2013 25
    26. 26. You cannot be aneffectivecoordinator ifyou are alone 14.03.2013 26
    27. 27. Shelter Cluster Core Coord. Team Technical Coordinator Information coordinator manager14.03.2013 27
    28. 28. Shelter Cluster Coord. Team (large disaster) Land rights Environment Mapping/GISRemote support Contingency planning Dept./Hub coordinators Tech Coord IM Debris Media Logistics Gov. liaison Urban settlement Community liaison 14.03.2013 28
    29. 29. Main challenges14.03.2013 29
    30. 30. Main challenges Lead agency staff don’t understand role of Cluster coordination (tasking vs. coordinating) Frequently no dedicated staff for Cluster coordination (double hatting) UN centric New actors that don’t know about the Cluster system Too resource intensive for organisations taking part in the Cluster (too many meetings)14.03.2013 30
    31. 31. Transformative AgendaResult of lessons learned after disasters inPakistan and Haiti 2010: “We recognize that we need to focus not on the process of implementing change, but on the impact of change.”14.03.2013 31
    32. 32. Transformative Agenda Focus on large (Level 3) emergencies Leadership: Senior Emergency Coordinator can replace HC Pool of qualified staff (on standby) Accountability to the affected population Multi-Cluster assessments Common performance and reporting framework See also: IASC Principals Transformative Agenda14.03.2013 32
    33. 33. Actions in a Level 3 Emergency14.03.2013 33
    34. 34. Questions?14.03.2013 34
    35. 35. Thank you!Timo Lügetimo.luege@gmail.comTwitter: @timolueTel: +49 170 311 22 4314.03.2013 35