Inter-Cluster/Sector Collaboration

In 2022, the NutritionWASH, Food Security and Health clusters established a global level initiative to reinforce the collaboration between themselves to improve the operational response and coordination modalities to enhance the outcomes for people affected by drought, conflicts, disease outbreak, or any other crises. These clusters often collaborate because they complement each other in most of the responses needed. This is called Inter-Cluster /Sector Collaboration (ICSC).

ICSC coordinates joint responses delivered at the same time, in the same place and for the same people based on prioritization of needs to achieve a jointly agreed outcome. 

ICSC does not compete with the essential function of the Inter-Cluster Coordination groups led by OCHA, but rather reinforces their work by bringing together relevant clusters/sectors and their partners to not only share information but to actively plan and work on joint actions. To better understand the difference and complementarity between ICCG and ICSC, watch this short video.

Please note, that depending on the context and the priority needs of the affected population, an ICSC approach could involve less clusters, or other clusters such as Protection, Education, Camp coordination and Camp management (CCCM), Shelter & Non-Food Item or others. Participation will be driven by the identified common objective that led to the creation of the collaboration.

Have a look at the conceptual framework below that aligns the efforts of the four clusters to deliver holistic packages to the people in need to reach a common objective: saving lives by reducing morbidity and mortality.


To learn more about ICSC, click the two links below.      

What is ICSC - guidance to help national cluster/ sector coordination teams initiate, implement and monitor ICSC at country level. 

Short explainer videos on ICSC - what it is, why it's important and a country example.


E-learning course “Inter-Cluster/Sector Collaboration in practice” 
The course is composed of six short self-paced animated modules, which take you through the steps of the humanitarian program cycle, by exploring each step with an inter-cluster/ sector collaboration lens – from a coordination perspective to a more technical one.

Access e-learning here


The governance of ICSC           

  • The 4Cs: the four global cluster coordinators from the Nutrition, Health, Food Security and WASH coordinate ICSC and validate the yearly workplan. They meet twice a year (virtually) and share a common vision document, which endorses the principles of ICSC.
  • The ICSC platform: three ICSC focal points (Health, Food Security and a shared person for Nutrition and WASH) meet weekly and lead the development of guidance materials and support country cluster coordinators to develop / reinforce ICSC. 
  • The ICSC working group (unique to the Global Nutrition Cluster): a group with 15 members from GNC partners (Save the Children, Concern, FHI360, World Vision International, Aga Khan, CDC, UNICEF, UNHCR, WFP, WHO, USAID) who provide feedback and inputs toward guidance materials and share their ICSC experiences and/or challenges. The working group meets once a month.