Close sites icon close
Search form

Search for the country site.

Country profile

Country website

Strengthening coordination

Strengthening coordination

1 September 2001

The complexity of the crises in Former Yugoslavia, the Great Lakes and Kosovo/Albania among others placed the issue high on the agenda of the UN reform process and related change in the international humanitarian response. The agencies involved in international protection and humanitarian assistance all seem to agree that coordination is necessary. The question that continues to be hotly debated is how coordination should best be done.

  • Which structural model for coordination works best - combining Resident Coordinator (RC) and Humanitarian Coordinator (HC), appointing a lead agency, or placing a Humanitarian Coordinator within the administrative framework of one of the operational agencies?
  • Which is the most appropriate agency to coordinate in different kinds of situation?
  • Is there a capability for 'strategic coordination' in addition to 'operational coordination'?
  • Is 'coordination by consensus' an adequate standard to aspire to?
  • Is coordination best when it is 'facilitated', or is an element of 'moral authority and leadership' also needed?
  • In what ways does the involvement of the military in coordination structures affect the humanitarian agenda?
  • Are international actors making sufficient efforts to coordinate with host governments and to involve beneficiary populations?
  • To what extent can coordination among donors help set the stage for more effective coordination in specific operations?
  • Can coordination be achieved without control over funding, or should efforts be made to channel funds through the lead agency?
  • What are the risks - and what can be done - if the established and 'mandated' structures are not functioning effectively?

Answers to these and other questions are considered in a number of recent reports.