The Humanitarian Coordination Architecture: Towards a New Hybrid Approach?

29th March 2022
Author: Nino Kemoklidze

Humanitarian coordination as an area of scholarly research has grown exponentially over the past decade and can be considered “a well-established and mature topic” now (Jahre and Jensen, 2021, 586).The global humanitarian coordination architecture seems to have more backing in terms of resources and support as well as knowledge and experience, than ever before. Despite this, on the ground, the humanitarian relief system continues to face challenges in the increasingly difficult operating environments whether it is protracted conflicts or other emergency situations causing mass displacement of populations (Healy and Tiller, 2014, p.4). This rapid review explores the following questions: how (if at all), has the current system adapted to these highly restricted operating environments? More specifically, is the current cluster system still relevant in such cases or can it be adapted for better use? And is there evidence to support that area-based approaches might be better suited to conduct adequate humanitarian coordination and planning? The evidence gathered in this report is based on a mixture of academic, policy, and practitioner-based literature.

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Suggested Citation

Kemoklidze, Nino (2022). The Humanitarian Coordination Architecture and the Merits of the Cluster and Area-Based Approaches. K4D Helpdesk Report. Institute of Development Studies. DOI 10.19088/K4D.2022.061


29th March 2022


Continent: Global