1.1. Cluster Approach
  • 23 Jan 2024
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1.1. Cluster Approach

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Article summary

The Cluster Approach was established in 2005 through the Humanitarian Reform Agenda with the intention to:

“strengthen system-wide preparedness and technical capacity to respond to humanitarian emergencies, and provide clear leadership and accountability in the main areas of humanitarian response’ (IASC, Cluster Functions, p. 13). For further information please see CC Handbook , chapter 2.4. 

The Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) outlines 6 core functions of the cluster at country level, plus accountability to affected population (AAP): 

1. Support service delivery:
  • Providing a platform that ensures service delivery is driven by the Humanitarian Response Plan and strategic priorities.
  • Developing mechanisms to eliminate duplication of service delivery
2. Inform strategic decision making for the Humanitarian Response: 
  • Preparing needs assessments and analysis of gaps (across and within clusters, using information management tools as needed) to inform the setting of priorities.
  • Identifying and finding solutions for (emerging) gaps, obstacles, duplication and cross-cutting issues.
  • Formulating priorities on the basis of analysis.
3. Plan and implement cluster strategies: 
  • Developing sectoral plans, objectives and indicators that directly support realization of the overall response’s strategic objectives.
  • Applying and adhering to common standards and guidelines.
  • Clarifying funding requirements, helping to set priorities, and agreeing cluster contributions to the HC’s overall humanitarian funding proposals
4. Monitor and evaluate performance: 
  • Monitoring and reporting on activities and needs.
  • Measuring progress against the cluster strategy and agreed results.
  • Recommending corrective action where necessary.
5. Build national capacity in preparedness and contingency planning:
  • To build national capacity in preparedness and contingency planning
6. Support robust advocacy:
  • Identifying concerns, and contributing key information and messages to HC and HCT messaging and action.
  • Undertaking advocacy on behalf of the cluster, cluster members, and affected people.

(IASC, 2015, p. 13)

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