2. CARE’s policy

CARE recognises that effective humanitarian action requires cooperation and coordination among key players in a global context of growing humanitarian needs and increasing numbers of humanitarian actors. In most emergencies, no single organisation has the resources and capacity to meet all relevant needs. Coordination can harness the diversity of the humanitarian community to optimise the effectiveness of our work. CARE supports and engages in appropriate coordination mechanisms, and promotes a collaborative approach of working with partners and peers, while being careful to retain CARE’s independence and impartiality, particularly in conflict settings.

CARE supports and participates in coordination efforts with the following objectives:

  • sharing information
  • ensuring responses are complementary (who does what, and where)
  • reducing additional (externally derived) burden on affected population as much as possible
  • agreeing on common technical and quality standards
  • facilitating a coherent approach (for example, analysis)
  • common assessment processes and joint planning exercises.

CARE avoids coordination approaches that may compromise our independence and impartiality.

Country Offices are required to plan for sufficient capacity among senior emergency response staff to effectively participate in humanitarian coordination efforts during emergencies. CARE staff must engage in relevant coordination mechanisms, including UN-led ‘clusters’ and NGO coordination forums.

CARE COs are expected to engage with UN/IASC country teams, and participate in cluster meetings and activities in CARE’s core programming sectors (WASH, shelter, food security) and the logistics cluster. This should enable COs to coordinate activities with peer agencies, and secure access to financial and physical resources through the cluster system. For more information on how to engage with the cluster system, contact the CI Head of Emergency Operations or the CI Senior Sector specialists (see Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH); Chapter 8.2 Shelter and camp management ; Chapter 8.3 Food security; and Logistics).

CARE has developed close working relationships with peer agencies in several NGO forums, such as the Steering Committee for Humanitarian Response (SCHR), the Interagency Working Group (IWG) and the Humanitarian Accountability Partnership International (HAP). Peer agencies that CARE has developed close working relationships with include (but are not exclusive to) Save the Children (SC), Oxfam, International Rescue Committee (IRC), World Vision, IFRC, ICRC, Mercy Corps, MSF, NRC, CRS, Caritas and LWF. Based on these relationships, we are striving to have closer collaboration in field operations and COs are encouraged to collaborate and coordinate with these international forums and agencies, as well as with local NGOs.

CARE has set humanitarian reform as a key issue within our global humanitarian advocacy strategy, with the objective of promoting improved impact and effectiveness for disaster-affected communities. In line with this, CARE is committed to monitoring, analysing and advocating on issues relating to humanitarian reform and coordination, and their impact on the effectiveness of humanitarian responses, while also undertaking internal reform to fill gaps in CARE’s own emergency strategy, capacity and capability

There are a growing number of actors in emergency responses, many of which are not humanitarian actors (when applying the definitions of humanitarian principles). These include governments, private companies and military. CARE must analyse the role and perception of these actors, and engage with them in a way that supports the independence and standards of humanitarian action, while achieving humanitarian objectives through appropriate coordination. For civil-military relations CARE has policies and frameworks that should be considered by the CO and CARE International Members (see Chapter 39 Civil-military relations).