The UN led coordination structure in Pakistan consists of the Humanitarian Coordinator (HC), the Humanitarian Country Team (HCT), the Inter-Cluster Coordination Mechanism at national and where relevant, provincial levels, district coordination cells, the Cluster System and UN OCHA.
The Humanitarian Coordinator and The Humanitarian Country Team
The HC leads the HCT, which comprises UN agencies, international NGOs through the PHF, national NGOs though the National Humanitarian Network (NHN) and international Red Cross and Red Crescent movement as observers. The stated objective of the HCT is to ensure that the activities of humanitarian organisations are coordinated, and that humanitarian action in Pakistan is principled, timely, effective and efficient, and contributes to longer-term recovery. The HCT advises the HC and is responsible for agreeing on common strategic issues, advising on priorities for humanitarian action, agreeing on policy advice for humanitarian actors, promoting adherence to humanitarian principles (as set out in the IASC Guiding Principles and overseeing cluster coordination. The HCT is a collaborative body that makes decisions based on consensus amongst its members. Where there is no consensus the HC has the final decision, but should take the views of the majority into account.
UN OCHA is responsible for bringing together humanitarian actors in Pakistan to ensure a coherent response to emergencies and to assist people when they most need relief or protection.
OCHA to deliver its core functions, such as operational coordination, humanitarian financing, advocacy and information management, in response to humanitarian needs in Pakistan. Through knowledge sharing and training, OCHA also seeks to strengthen the capacity of stakeholders to respond to emergencies.
OCHA chairs or co-chairs relevant inter-cluster coordination meetings (ICCMs). At the national level, the ICCM is co-chaired with the NDMA during responses to natural disasters. At the provincial level, the inter-cluster coordination forum is the Humanitarian Regional Team in Peshawar, composed of provincial heads of agencies and provincial cluster coordinators and PHF, and chaired by OCHA; and the humanitarian coordination meetings in Hyderabad, Sindh, and Quetta, Balochistan are co-chaired by OCHA and the Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA).
The Cluster System
The cluster approach is a coordination mechanism involving UN agencies, government authorities and national and international NGOs to make humanitarian response better planned, more effective and accountable by improving partnership working. This joint approach also helps to avoid overlapping and in gap identification across all areas and sectors of the response. Each cluster covers one thematic area, for example: Protection; Shelter; Food Security.
The cluster system is activated at the time of emergency and when the emergency phases out the clusters become sectorial working groups. Cluster meetings are held at district, provincial and at national level. District clusters are linked with provincial clusters and provincial clusters to their national counterparts.
For the coordination of clusters at provincial and national level, Inter Cluster Coordination Meeting (ICCM) are held in which all cluster leads participate, with seats for PHF and the NHN. For further information on each individual cluster please click on the following links:
Camp Coordination/ Management
Education Emergency Shelter and NFI
Ageing and Disability Taskforce
Child Protection sub-cluster
Gender Based Violence sub-cluster
Housing Land and Property
Water Sanitation Hygiene
For more information on the IASC see here: Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC)
For more information on humanitarian coordination in Pakistan see here: Humanitarian Response Pakistan