ISG was selected for a study on UNICEF’s experiences, learning, and good practices around coordination transition related to the Education and Nutrition Clusters.
Clusters are groups of humanitarian organizations (UN and non-UN) working in the main sectors of humanitarian action, e.g. shelter and health. The Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) designates them when clear humanitarian needs exist within a sector, when there are numerous actors within sectors, and when national authorities need coordination support. Clear and well-implemented coordination ensures a common strategic vision, common work planning, shared resources, and contributions according to comparative advantages/organisational strengths. Clusters also create partnerships between international humanitarian actors, national, and local authorities, and civil society. Additionally, Clusters provide a clear point of contact and are accountable for adequate and appropriate humanitarian assistance.
UNICEF is Cluster Lead for Nutrition and co-Lead (with Save the Children) for Education. As such, the purpose of this consultancy was to document country cluster characteristics, experiences, and learning around the transition of humanitarian coordination functions in the Nutrition and Education sectors from externally supported Clusters to nationally managed and sustained platforms. From this basis, practical guidance for both of these sectors, and implications for UNICEF’s approach to transition more generally, were proposed.
The assignment included an in-depth document review of Education and Nutrition Cluster coordination structures and their characteristics; field visits to Pakistan and Palestine for the Education Cluster and to Kenya and the Philippines for the Nutrition Cluster; and an additional six in-depth, desk-based country case studies. The consultancy culminated in the development of guidance and benchmarks for transition of Cluster Functions to nationally led entities in both sectors.