About the Cluster Approach
Building a Better Response
This online course provides in-depth understanding of the Humanitarian Reform, the Transformative Agenda, the current Humanitarian Architecture, and the Planning and Funding of Humanitarian Responses.
The Humanitarian Reform
The humanitarian reform seeks to improve the effectiveness of humanitarian response by ensuring greater predictability, accountability and partnership. It is an ambitious effort by the international humanitarian community to reach more beneficiaries, with more comprehensive needs-based relief and protection, in a more effective and timely manner.
IASC Transformative Agenda
In recognition of the challenges that continue to face the humanitarian system, particularly on leadership and coordination, the IASC agreed on the Transformative Agenda (TA) in December 2011, and adopted the TA Protocols, which set the parameters for improved collective action in humanitarian emergencies. The Protocols include the following documents:
- HPC Reference Module (2015)
- Cluster Coordination Reference Module (2015)
- MIRA (Multi-Sector Initial Rapid Assessment) (2015)
- Emergency Response Preparedness (2015)
- Concept Paper on ‘Empowered Leadership’- revised March 2014
- Humanitarian System-Wide Emergency Activation: definition and procedures
- Responding to Level 3 Emergencies: What ‘Empowered Leadership’ looks like in practice
- Reference Module for Cluster Coordination at the Country Level (November 2012)
- Humanitarian Programme Cycle Reference Module Version 1.0 (December 2013)
- Accountability to Affected Populations Operational Framework
- Inter-Agency Rapid Response Mechanism (IARRM) Concept Note (December 2013)
- Common Framework for Preparedness (October 2013)
For additional information and key documents on the TA, please refer to the IASC website by clicking here.
Following a review of international responses to humanitarian emergencies carried out in 2005, known as the Humanitarian Response Review, the Cluster Approach was adopted in order to improve the effectiveness of humanitarian response through greater predictability, accountability, responsibility and partnership. By clearly defining organisations’ roles and responsibilities, the Cluster Approach helps to ensure predictability and accountability, and to build a more structured and professional humanitarian aid system.
For additional information on Cluster Coordination, please see the following documents:
- Humanitarian Response Review
- IASC Operational Guidance on Designating Sector/Cluster Leads in Major New Emergencies