1.4.6 The role of NGOs in the cluster systems

The cluster approach aims to increase the active engagement of NGOs in coordination mechanisms, and to promote broader partnership between UN and NGO actors in broader partnership, beyond simply ‘implementing partner arrangements’. NGOs are able to take on cluster lead or coordination roles and to second staff to clusters. However, in practice, clusters are still perceived to be largely controlled by UN agencies.

The global humanitarian platform ‘principles of partnership’ have been established as part of the humanitarian reform process to try to enhance UN and NGO cooperation. These are:

  • equality
  • transparency
  • result-oriented approach
  • responsibility
  • complementarity.

For a full description of the principles see http://www.globalhumanitarianplatform.org/.

It is important for CARE to engage as actively as possible in relevant cluster coordination mechanisms in the country to access (as well as offer) technical support, and have access to funding and other resources that may channel exclusively through the UN/cluster system.