The Humanitarian Country Team (HCT) and Inter Cluster Coordination Group (ICCG) have distinct but complementary functions.
June 01, 2016Leadership and Coordination
The HCT is responsible for the strategic direction of the humanitarian response, while the ICCG coordinates the operationalisation of the response.
OPRs and STAIT missions have found that sometimes the HCT and ICCG can be disconnected. Cluster lead agencies may not always provide sufficient support to clusters as well as not representing the cluster in the HCT effectively.
Reduce the size of the HCT: The HCT should be a manageable size and function as a strategic decision-making body. In Afghanistan, the HC reduced the size of the HCT, to make it more manageable, and gave it a policy agenda focused on strategy and decision-making.
Streamline the clusters: Clusters have specific functions that are outlined in the Cluster Coordination Reference Module. However, cluster coordinators are often over-tasked and can be distracted from their core role. The HCT in Afghanistan conducted a reform process that identified the clusters essential to the operation. The number of clusters was then streamlined.
Dedicated cluster coordinators: Clusters should focus on their coordination role. This includes knowing where partners operate and what they do. It also means keeping members informed of key HCT decisions and ensuring the HCT is informed of operational issues ‘on the ground’.
Cluster lead responsibilites: The Cluster lead agencyhas responsibilities to cluster members, HCT, and HC. This should be balanced with their responsibilities to agency headquarters.
Together these steps can help guide HCTs and ICCGs in improving their relationships.
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