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Elements of a Coordinating Body

Elements of a Coordinating Body

1 September 2001

(UNHCR Handbook for Emergencies, page 63)

Each of the factors listed below would need to be evaluated against the particular context and policy of the host government. At the beginning of the operation UNHCR should secure a suitable meeting room for coordination meetings.


The nature of the coordinating body and its usefulness will be determined partly by its membership.

Criteria for participation:

  • Provision of direct services;
  • Regular attendance at coordination meetings;
  • Compliance with service guidelines and standards;
  • Regular financial contributions to coordination mechanism.

Other organizations may wish to attend coordination meetings without full participation in the coordination mechanism:

  • Organizations which may choose not to fully participate, e.g. ICRC;
  • Funding organizations and donor representatives;
  • Public interest groups;
  • Military forces.

Functions of the coordination body


These may be needed at the central and the site level, and include:

  • Overall coordination meetings, which may be needed daily at the start of an emergency;
  • Sectoral committee meetings (e.g. health, registration, water);
  • Conferences.

Identification of needed services and soliciting voluntary agencies to assume responsibilities for the provision of these services.

Allocation of donated commodities and financial contributions.

Guidelines and standards for the provision of services.

Orientation of newly arrived agencies.

Orientation of incoming staff.

Research and documentation.

Support for settlement coordination committees.

Coordination with agencies outside the country.

Information sharing.

Fund raising.