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Handbooks, manuals and toolkits


7 October 2019

The goal of a refugee response is to provide international protection to people forced to flee their countries to find safety in other ones, and to seek durable solutions to that displacement. A coherent response meets immediate and long-term assistance needs of refugees through the efforts of host governments supported by the humanitarian and development communities. Success depends on coordinated action that is inclusive, predictable, and transparent.

UNHCR’s mandate puts the agency at the center of the refugee response system, with leading and coordinating relief efforts for refugees a core responsibility. The Refugee Coordination Model (RCM) ensures predictable, transparent, inter-agency protection and assistance under the leadership of UNHCR. The RCM supports international protection through advocacy, and through access to basic services that meet global humanitarian standards. It facilitates inclusive strategic planning, information sharing, and emergency preparedness, and supports fundraising and resource mobilization, where appropriate leading to dedicated appeals.

This Coordination Toolkit, originally released in April 2014 to support the response to the Syria refugee crisis, is a collection of global, inter-disciplinary practices that inform successful leadership and coordination in the inter-agency humanitarian context. The Toolkit targets coordinators and members of coordination groups developed under the RCM. Currently presented in 13 chapters, the Toolkit weaves together three core subjects:

  1. Elements of coordination such as coordination principles and structures;
  2. Coordination functions such as assessing needs, planning, and managing information; and,
  3. Coordination skills such as leadership, communication, and group decision-making, skills essential for the coordinator to do his or her job.

The Coordination Toolkit is live in the sense that content is updated as needed to ensure it reflects the best practices to support coordinators in carrying out their difficult jobs. We hope you find it useful.