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Health Cluster Guide:A practical guide for country-level implementation of the Health Cluster

This Guide suggests how the Health Cluster lead agency, coordinator and partners can work together during a humanitarian crisis to achieve the aims of reducing avoidable mortality, morbidity and disability, and restoring the delivery of and equitable access to preventive and curative health care as quickly as possible. It highlights key principles of humanitarian health action and how coordination and joint efforts among health sector actors working in partnership can increase the effectiveness and efficiency of health interventions. It draws on Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) and other documents but also includes lessons from field experience

It should also be useful in cases where, at country level, it has been decided to combine health with nutrition in a single cluster or sector group. This Guide is “generic” in that it should be useful in different humanitarian crisis contexts including sudden- and slow-onset crisis and protracted emergencies. It does not address all the specificities of the different contexts. After field testing during 2009 and first half of 2010, more guidance will be inserted in relation to different contexts.

Structure Chapter 1 explains the role of a Health Cluster at national and, where needed, sub-national levels, and suggests the principal actions that need to be taken during different phases of response. A table in section 1.2 sum- 12 Health Cluster Guide — Provisional version June 2009 marizes the main roles and functions of the health cluster coordinator (HCC), the country cluster lead agency (CLA), and cluster partners. Chapters 2 outlines what needs to be done to establish and sustain an effective cluster while chapters 3 to 8 provide guidance in relation to the specific functions listed in section 1.2. Each chapter highlights the key principles, summarizes what needs to be done and considered, lists the tools and guidelines that are available, indicates the challenges likely to be faced, and provides practical hints and references for further guidance. The tools and guidelines referred to include, but are not limited to, those developed by the Global Health Cluster.1 The annexes and additional documents on the accompanying CD-ROM provide essential complementary information.

Operation(s)/ Webspace(s): 
World Health Organization
Original Publication Date: 
06 Apr 2010
Document type: 
Inter-Cluster Coordination
Syria: Crisis 2011-2020