NGO Cluster Co-ordination Manual



This manual with tools and guidance on NGO co-coordination of clusters and sector working groups was developed by the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) to guide country offices that engage in humanitarian coordination mechanisms. The manual is the outcome of an NRC survey on cluster cocoordination and a Co-coordinators workshop, carried out in September 2013. It is shared externally to allow other agencies to draw on NRC’s experiences, with the aim that such exchange can contribute to joint strengthening and promotion of NGO co-coordination in humanitarian response. The IASC cluster approach was adopted as a key strategy to address the gaps and coordination problems during a humanitarian response, and it has endorsed NGO co-coordination as a good practice. Numerous evaluations have found that co-coordinated clusters “produce positive benefits by improving partnership, advocacy and information for a better response”.

Importantly, NRC believes this manual may also be useful for NGO co-coordination of non-cluster mechanisms, e.g. in refugee situations. To-date, NRC has taken on coordination roles for protection, shelter/NFI and education clusters, sector working groups and task forces in a variety of humanitarian contexts.

The manual includes:

  1. Key messages from a survey among NRC Co-coordinators
  2. Guidance note: Entry and exit criteria for co-coordination
  3. Guidance note: Developing a Memorandum of Understanding
  4. Guidance note: Developing Co-coordinator Terms of Reference
  5. Guidance note: Developing a log frame for an NGO co-coordination proposal
  6. Guidance note: Linking clusters at national and provincial level

There are also two more NRC internal documents, namely a full survey analysis and a guidance note on internal set-up within the NRC country office.

The manual is developed with support from the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.