Nutrition Cluster Handbook: A practical guide to country-level action
Purpose: The purpose of the handbook is to provide those involved in nutrition coordination with relevant tools, guidance, information and resources to support their roles in facilitating predictable, coordinated and effective preparation for, and responses to, nutrition needs in humanitarian emergencies. Rather than being prescriptive, the handbook aims to raises key issues encountered to date in the application of the Cluster Approach in nutrition that should be considered in emergency response. Available guidance is provided in relation to emergency preparedness, activating the cluster and emergency response, and transitioning out of the emergency phase. Where there is no formal guidance in these areas, issues to consider are presented. The handbook does not provide in-depth reiteration of technical information, but does provide references for resources for additional detail in these areas. Updated information, tools and resources can be found on the Global Nutrition Cluster website.
Target audience: Among others involved in nutrition coordination in emergencies, this handbook is aimed at Nutrition Cluster Coordinators (NCCs), Nutrition Cluster partners and staff within the Cluster Lead Agency (CLA) and partners from other clusters, in particular those with relevant links to nutrition outcomes. The majority of the guiding principles outlined in the handbook are relevant for sector coordination in both emergency and non-emergency settings.
Contents: The handbook aims to address in a practical manner the 13 functional areas described in the generic Terms of Reference (TOR) for sector/cluster leads at country level. The handbook aims to be applicable across the range of country contexts and different types of emergency, spanning acute-onset/slowonset, natural disasters, conflict and protracted crises. The contents build on core components contained in existing cluster handbooks and IASC documentation on the Cluster Approach. The handbook also reflects available lesson learning around the Cluster Approach, across clusters and within the Nutrition Cluster. Case examples are included in order to illustrate the application of principles and standards and to balance theoretical with operational guidance – they are not intended to be illustrative of best practices. Cross-cutting issues are highlighted in a separate section under strategy development, and are incorporated throughout the handbook where relevant.
Structure: The handbook is divided into ten chapters. Each chapter provides an overview and key messages, highlighting key principles and standards, as well as practical guidance and common challenges faced in applying these. Further reading, tools and resources are also found in each chapter.