In region Resources and in group Resources

GSC Coordination Toolkit


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1B: Cluster Terms of Reference

There is a clear distinction between a Cluster TOR and a Cluster Strategy.

A TOR defines the structure, form and operation of a Cluster and can be heavily based on other examples and templates.  Once written it is relatively static and will need only periodic review and update.

A Strategy is unique for the context and time of its writing and will evolve rapidly in the first few months of a situation and may continue to progress and expand.  This evolution of the strategy is captured by including early strategies (South Sudan) and then in Phase 4A more polished and advanced strategies.

It is important that both the ToR and Strategy (even if it is one-page) are endorsed by the SAG and publicised immediately.

  • 1Bi: Pakistan 2015 – ToR. Covers the form and structure of the Cluster.
  • 1Bii: Yemen 2015 – TORYemen 2017 – TOR. These two examples span over two years and chronicling the development of the Cluster and changes in its nature as the situation in Yemen changed. The 2017 version has a link to the strategy and so clearly draws a separation between a ToR and a Strategy. The 2017 version is more polished and refined although the base text is the same, Sections on Responsibilities, Participation & Membership and the mechanics of the Cluster have changed as the Cluster and its leadership have matured.
  • 1Biii: Nepal April 2015 & May 2015 - Strategy. The April version is a one-page narrative which sets out the situation and then bullet points activities. Often this is all that is needed at the beginning – something to start the conversation and consultative process and to feed other stakeholders when they ask “what are you doing?”. The May version is more formed and structured but still a working draft – a living document.
  • 1Biv: South Sudan 2014 – Strategy. Written in January at the beginning of the response, the five page Strategy represents the early thoughts of the Cluster. The next version (Phase 4, Section A) at 17 pages was published just 10 weeks later and is more comprehensive. The January 2014 version is a place-holder and was necessary to communicate quickly the key aims and objectives of the Cluster. This phased approach to the strategy is encouraged.
  • 1Bv: Yemen 2015 – Strategy. Included as it is a joint NFI / Shelter and CCCM strategy. Regardless that it is a joint Cluster strategy the cross-cutting issues presented are a good reference.
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