IASC-designated groupings of humanitarian organizations (both UN and non-UN) in each of the main sectors of humanitarian action. They operate at both global and country level (although they are not necessarily congruent). At the global level they are responsible for strengthening system-wide preparedness and coordinating technical capacity to respond to humanitarian emergencies in their respective sector. At the country level clusters ensure that activities of humanitarian organizations are coordinated, serve as a first point of call for the Government and the RC or HC, and as a provider of last resort in their respective sector.
"OCHA established the structure of clusters as a way to improve its capacity to coordinate response operations in case of disasters and humanitarian crises. The coordination is two-fold:
- On the one hand to cover all the needs that need to be met through thematic approaches;
- To coordinate efforts with donors from developed countries and with the national government."