ANNEX I – Tip Sheet For Meetings
  • 06 Dec 2023
  • 4 Minutes to read
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ANNEX I – Tip Sheet For Meetings

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Article summary

First meeting(s) after a Sudden Onset Emergency
Regular meetings

Provide the purpose and objective

Sharing information and reports, generating ideas, finding solutions, solving problems, making clear decisions on next steps (who is to do what by when), developing trust and relationships.






Prepare and communicate the meeting agenda, focus and priorities

  • Welcome and introductions (depending on the number of participants).
  • Outline/review of the purpose and expectations, the role and functions of the FSC coordination team.
  • Initial information on Who does What, Where, When and to Whom (5Wssee 5.15.2) and outline of ongoing IM requirements.
  • Identification of priority problems, needs and constraints, and any gaps in information and response.
  • Initiate arrangements for ad hoc working group meetings (e.g. to consider arrangements for sub-national cluster coordination mechanisms.
  • Organise a joint/coordinated initial rapid assessment; consider cluster standards) (see chapter 6).
  • Explain which different topics are discussed by distinguishing among items that need decisions, are for discussion, or for just information-sharing, schedule time and speakers.
  • Initiate each meeting by taking stock on previous action points (see below), followed by a presentation of IM products including a partners presence map and gap analysis map (i.e. key gaps in activity/programme coverage and response overlaps), geographical coverage and priority interventions of Food Security actors, as well as (where possible) overviews of current food security needs and geographic areas of affected populations.

Agenda setting:




  • Depending on the common language, to the extent possible, aim to provide translation (ideally both ways) for meetings (also virtual). 
  • If the majority of FSC members speak a common language, consider providing translation to the international members if needed.
  • Continue translation as required.
  • Translate key documents and other information and resources where possible.


Invite stakeholders and ensure participation

  • Invite country representatives or directors of food security stakeholders.
  • Get a well-informed senior government official to chair or co-chair the meeting, if possible. Otherwise, arrange co-chairing by FAO /WFP.
  • Ensure participation from FAO/WFP programme or technical units to segregate agency from FSC roles (see 3.5.1).
  • Ensure continued participation of target audience. 
  • Work to ensure the meaningful participation of L/NAs, including national and sub-national NGOs and CSOs, national and local government, National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and their branches and domestic private sector entities if relevant (encourage participation from women’s groups, minority groups, youth groups, people with disability).



Time and location

  • Agree on frequency of cluster meetings, alternative communication arrangements (email lists, SMS/WhatsApp contacts, etc.) and language(s) of communication.
  • Set the next meeting: Date, time, place, agenda items, or any necessary preparation.
  • Identify and agree on culturally appropriate meeting times and accessible and acceptable locations (e.g. distance, security, equipment, space see more in 10.3).  
  • Careful scheduling across sectors and in general is important to avoid conflicting timetables (the meetings are usually on - check with OCHA and note that in 2023, content from this website will shift to ReliefWeb).
  • Encourage partners to host meetings on a rotational basis.
  • Choose the venue according to the type of meeting (e.g. workshop, meeting, training)
  • Pending the country context, organise virtual meetings that allow local organisations to join on-line calls, organise organising coordination meetings as close to operations as possible to minimise the logistical strain on L/NAs or rotate meeting locations so different groups can attend.  

Consider the way of facilitation

  • Prepare sign-in sheets (name, organisation, phone, email – in addition to project areas and the kind of assistance/services provided or planned).
  • Arrange for translation and microphones, if necessary. 
  • Ensure good time management during the meeting
  • Familiarize yourself with and use different tools for communication and presentation (e.g. handouts, presentation, text, graphics, videos).
  • See above point on language: consider translation, depending on the common language.



Ensuring follow-up on Action Points

  • It is key to agree jointly on action points with a set timeline and a designated focal point. Often the Coordinator is the primus motor behind the majority of action points. 
  • Clearly summarize and record the decisions and action points with a clear indication of next steps, timeline and who is responsible.
  • It is useful to start the subsequent meeting with a summary of previous action points and a status update. 
  • As TWGs (and a SAG) are formed, these will often be responsible for certain action points – the Coordinator’s role is to ensure deadlines are met. 

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