Clusters

There are eight clusters in DRC: Health (WHO), Nutrition (UNICEF), Food Security (FAO), NFI/Shelter (UNICEF), Logistics (WFP), Protection (UNHCR), Education (UNICEF), and Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (UNICEF).  UNHCR is in charge of multi-sectoral assistance for refugees, a sector of humanitarian assistance introduced in the 2011 HAP, alongside clusters’ sectionsClusters can be present at the national level or field level, depending on the coordination needs in each province. Clusters in DRC meet once every two weeks or once a month. In areas where cluster lead agencies are not represented, or where there are no clusters, the functions are performed by sectoral commissions. 

Cluster leads ensure that response capacity is in place and that assessment, planning and response activities are carried out with partners and in accordance with standards and guidelines. When no other organization can respond, cluster leads act as the “provider of last resort” to meet identified needs. As such, this area remains problematic and the IASC Transformative Agenda, initiated by Emergency Relief Coordinator (ERC) Valerie Amos in 2011, will bring clarity to many issues.

Each UN agency designates cluster coordinators. They  participate in relevant meetings, develop and implement strategies around their respective clusters, coordinate clusters’ work and report to the HCT or to the national Inter-Cluster Group.

Most clusters have opted to share cluster coordination and facilitation responsibilities with international NGOs. This system of INGO co-facilitators, both in Kinshasa and at the provincial level, was adopted in 2008. However, a key challenge for INGOs is finding adequate resources to take on their co-facilitation role, particularly at the national level, as most of their emergency staff are based in the east.

At the global level, cluster leads are accountable to the ERC for building a more predictable and effective response capacity in line with IASC agreements. At the field level, in addition to their normal institutional responsibilities, cluster leads are accountable to the HC for fulfilling agreed roles and responsibilities.

More>> Clusters activities (source: RDC Humanitaire)