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Early Recovery Cluster Guideline, Bangladesh

The Inter Agency Standing Committee (IASC) for humanitarian responses was formed as a follow up to the Humanitarian Response Review conducted by a high level committee in 2005 and its recommendations have evolved, over the years, in what is today known as the Humanitarian Cluster system. 

The humanitarian responses are globally organized around 12 thematic areas including:

  1. Emergency Shelter,
  2. Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH),
  3. Health,
  4. Education
  5. Nutrition,
  6. Social Protection,
  7. Logistics,
  8. Food Security,
  9. IT and Telecommunication,
  10. Agriculture,
  11. Camp Management and Camp Coordination (CCCM), and
  12. Early Recovery

The Clusters are open forums, coordinated by one of the member organisations of IASC (mostly UN agencies but also includes some non governmental humanitarian agencies).  The actual number of Clusters mobilized in a specific situation depends upon the prevalent conditions. Initially, the Clusters were conceptualized as a mechanism to be activated after a disaster, but through global learning, the organisation of clusters for pre-disaster preparedness has become in vogue in many places.  In case of Bangladesh, eight Humanitarian Clusters have been rolled out in January 2012, following the decision of the LCG-DER.  These Clusters are: i) Food Security; ii) Nutrition; iii) Health; iv) WASH; v) Shelter; vi) Education; vii) Logistics; and viii) Early Recovery.   

The primary purpose of the Humanitarian Clusters can be paraphrased as follows:

  1. Information Management to ensure that all the assessment, monitoring and evaluation related data is centrally coordinated to optimise the investments made in these areas by the myriad of responders and to avoid occurrence of gaps and minimization of duplication.
  2. Standard Setting to ensure that the certain minimum quality standards are maintained across the affected areas and the distribution of goods and services is equitable.
  3. Stakeholder Coordination to maintain ownership, transparency and confidence of all the stakeholders, especially the related government agencies, leaving minimal gaps and minimising duplication.

In Bangladesh, the clusters have been assigned some additional roles to make them more appropriate to the national context.  These are:

  • Stronger links between Disaster Risk Reduction, preparedness, response and transition to resilient recovery.
  • A model for locating preparedness for coordinated response, led by Government, and a coordination architecture within the LCG-DER
  • Adoption of functional roles and responsibilities outlined in global humanitarian architecture but tailored to Bangladesh context.

For further reading please download the PDF Version..

United Nations Development Programme
Global Cluster(s): 
Early Recovery
Original Publication Date: 
04 Feb 2014
Document type: 
Early Recovery