In Bangladesh, Humanitarian Clusters including the Food Security Cluster (FSC) were established in early 2012. Clusters in Bangladesh are not formally activated under the IASC system, but in practice they operate largely as though they were activated, while they work on preparedness and related issues. The FSC is co-led by the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) of the United Nations and the World Food Programme (WFP). The cluster leads are responsible for ensuring response capacity is in place and that assessment, planning and response activities are carried out in collaboration with partners and in accordance with agreed standards and guidelines.
The overall objective of the FSC is to be better prepared for and effectively respond to humanitarian crises in a strategic and coordinated manner by assessing the situation and impact and designing appropriate responses. Importantly, it is intended to avoid duplication of efforts and capitalize on members’ field presence and expertise. The FSC members in Bangladesh include UN agencies, I/NGOs and Government partners. The FSC in Bangladesh focuses in particular on emergency response preparedness and coordination while providing support to the Government and the Local Consultative Working Group on Disaster and Emergency Response (LCG- DER) during both slow and sudden onset emergencies.
The cluster system has not been officially activated in Bangladesh. The FSC is working more as a sector.
The FSC Bangladesh has four core areas of focus.
• Information management
• Needs Assessments
• Integrated Phase Classification (IPC)
As part of one of the deliverables for the FSC project funded by ECHO, the FSC should produce a sector transition strategy.
The objectives of this document are to present different options for the FSC to continue, to be “sustainable” with limited financial support from donors in a few years; while being a key humanitarian platform and actor in Bangladesh and a mechanism for coordination and information sharing between GoB & Development Partners
The FSC has developed this transition strategy in the spirit of the World Humanitarian Summit and the Grand Bargain commitments with localization and building local actors’ capacity for better preparedness and response.
The outputs will be:
• A strategic plan for the FSC’s way forward • A practical FSC - Action Plan for 2017 through 2019 • A SOP or minimum operational guideline
As part of this strategy,
• The FSC has developed a stock taking of its activities.
• Two Technical Working Groups were organised: the 1st one Group met to discuss various topics, such as the role of the GoB or NGOs; the 2nd one to review the 1st draft of the strategy
• A Cluster Coordination Performance Monitoring (CCPM) was implemented
• Informal meetings with GoB officials