Coordination is essential to the success of humanitarian response. In most crisis situations, a large number of organisations will be working to provide support in the same area. Under these circumstances, coordination allows all actors to get a better understanding of the situation and to share effective practices. It prevents dangerous gaps in assistance, and helps avoid wasteful duplication.
However, coordination does not happen automatically. In many situations, humanitarian organisations fail to realise the full benefits of working in a coordinated manner. This study attempts to identify the factors that contribute to effective coordination. In doing so, it concentrates on the IASC ‘Clusters’, a formal humanitarian coordination forum for ‘sectors’ of the response at the country level.