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Nurturing humanitarian coordination leadership

Ten years ago, the IASC set up a unique consensus-based tool, the Humanitarian Coordination Pool (HC Pool), to pre-identify talented humanitarian leaders to mainstream in key collective coordination positions, including in the most complex humanitarian responses. Being in the HC Pool means that its 143 members are considered ‘fit’ by key humanitarian stakeholders for leadership roles with important humanitarian coordination aspects.

The HC Pool is currently composed of 143 members with one third already serving in Humanitarian Coordinators’ roles. Still there is a need to increase the diversity of its composition, especially with respect to gender, geography, and agency of origin.

The IASC pipeline for humanitarian coordination leadership positions

Over the last decade, the HC Pool has already moved from being a roster of potential candidates for Humanitarian Coordinators’ positions to a career development programme. Recent consultations with IASC partners have highlighted the need for a two-window approach in the talent identification to take into account the strengthened role of the RC function as well as the need for a more diverse and well-rounded leaders.

The discussions have focused on two particular groups with two particular needs:

  • Talented leaders that need to be ‘fit’ to serve in complex collective leadership roles with humanitarian coordination functions;
  • Future leaders who wants to move into coordination leadership roles across development and humanitarian settings and need support to get ready to step in these roles.