To build national capacity

The fifth core function of field Clusters is to build national capacity in preparedness and contingency planning. It requires ensuring that there is a contingency plan with preparedness activities, that localization is prioritized through capacity building of local authorities and civil society, and that a transition strategy is developed when relevant.

While Clusters are typically activated in contexts of rapid onset emergencies where urgent actions are necessary to save lives, Protection Clusters can and must anticipate and prepare for both seasonal or recurring crises, such as disasters caused by natural hazards, as well as a potential sudden deterioration of the armed conflict. This takes the form of preparedness and contingency planning and typically includes building capacity and taking preparedness measures with local communicates, actors and authorities. Clusters are also established as a temporary measure to coordinate humanitarian response, filling gaps from duty-bearers ability or willingness to ensure access to and provide services for the affected populations. Therefore, it is essential to develop a transition strategy to phase out of the Cluster coordination system. Such a transition depends on both a positive evolution of the operational context and reduction of humanitarian needs, as well as – in many cases – building capacity of local actors to take over the coordination of the response or handing over coordination leadership to human rights or development actors. These two processes are closely linked to the localization agenda in field operations. The localization of the coordination and response – as international as necessary, as local as possible – should not however take place only as part of the transition strategy but must be a keystone of the emergency response from the onset building partnerships and leveraging the capacities of both international and national/local actors to ensure affected populations can safely and meaningfully access immediate life-saving services and programs.



  1. Preparedness and contingency planning
  2. Localization
  3. Transition strategy