8.3 FSC Coordination Costs
  • 15 Dec 2023
  • 4 Minutes to read
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8.3 FSC Coordination Costs

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Article summary

While the FSC works with its partners to coordinate resource mobilisation and advocacy activities for the sector response as a whole, FSC coordination costs should also be considered. Coordination costs at national and sub-national level should be included in FAO /WFP fundraising activities i.e. Flash Appeal, HRP etc. This includes funding for the following activities: 

Coordination support:  

  • FSC Coordination Team, including Cluster Coordinator, Information Management Officer (at national and sub-national level, as relevant) and NGO co-facilitator. 
  • Operational costs, e.g. office and meeting costs, travel costs. 
  • Translation costs, communication and advocacy materials. 

FSC partner activities (as relevant) facilitated through the cluster:   

  • Training and capacity strengthening, e.g. training facilities, consultant/trainer. 
  • FSC assessments and analysis, e.g. IPC, joint need assessments.   
  • Lesson learnt exercises and evaluations. 
  • Dissemination of standards and best practices.

What is the role of the FSC coordinator?  Working with the CLAs, the Coordinator should advocate for the FSC to have sufficient resources to coordinate the response. The CLAs are accountable for the performance of the FSC and therefore must provide the resources to the FSC

The Coordinator should also include the cost of coordination support in the HRP , under “coordination cost” which often is a standalone section (with the other clusters and OCHA costs), and not in the FSC specific funding requirements. 

There are four main ways to ensure funding: 

  1. Make sure CLAs include the coordination costin their own proposals and programmes (for appeals/pooled funds).  
    • Check with CLAs how they will fund the cluster (sometimes it is a line in another budget and other times it may require a longer narrative and budget outline to be prepared by the Coordinator). Funding may be available at CLA HQ level to pay for cluster coordination on ad hoc basis.   
  2. Support the CLAs in advocating with donors to cover coordination costs, for example, by approaching them with short proposals and cost overviews (see “Tip” below on traditional donors). Before taking any action, the Coordinator should clarify the preferred donor approach with CLAs. The proposal should follow the donor's requirements (template, budget). Usually, donors have a set funding window - e.g. ECHO’s Humanitarian Implementation Plan (HIP) is launched at the end of the year with project submission at the beginning of the following year. In case of a sudden onset emergency, funding windows become flexible.
    In relation to the proposal writing, Coordinators should consider the following:  
    • Proposal will be submitted by one CLA.  
    • Expenditure should be reviewed against the FSC coordination team project sheet (the Coordinator can liaise with CLA staff for the most up-to-date expenditure information, especially with the finance colleagues). 
    • The Coordinator is in charge of writing the mid-term and final report. Usually, this is shared in advance with the partnership team (FAO or WFP) who review it (alternatively, the CLAs may want to clear it) before sharing it with the donor.
      Cost sharing: it is possible for one CLA to pay the cost of a FSC staff member who has a contract issued by the other CLA. This letter must be signed by the two CLAs representatives.  
  3. Country-based Pooled Funds sometimes support the NGO co-facilitator cost as well as other cluster functions (sub-national IMO and Coordinators). See 8.4.2 on CBPFs.
  4. CERF may also cover cluster/sector coordination in very specific situations (only in new emergencies under rapid response and only as part of a larger approved project) - see CERF Funding Criteria in 8.4.3.

In some situations, the Coordinator may have to be creative to find funding or cover the FSC positions - for example, the IMO position can be covered by OCHA during a gap (for a few months), or it can be shared across multiple clusters (e.g. Nutrition cluster or other WFP-led clusters).

It is recommended that the Coordinator prepares a short document (in whichever format preferred by the CLAs) flagging the importance, necessity and added value of FSC coordination. This should also include a realistic cost overview with budget lines for each of the activities (as relevant) for the coordination support and FSC partner activities listed above.

The requirement will depend on whether it is a large-scale sudden onset emergency requiring a large team, potentially both at national and sub-national level, or if it is a protracted or small-scale sudden onset emergency requiring only a Coordinator and IMO. This should be discussed and agreed with the CLAs.

Support: Contact the GST for support with and examples of concept note and proposals. It is recommended to check if any ad hoc gFSC funds are available for emergency coordination costs.

TIP: Historically, donors for FSC Coordination (through FAO and/or WFP) have included USAID/BHA and the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM) (for example in Yemen and Afghanistan), the EU and ECHO (for example in Bangladesh and Chad) and (more rarely) the UK and DFID/FCDO (in Bangladesh). The FSC is funded in majority through WFP and FAO project activities. 

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