The Global CCCM Cluster was established in 2005 and is co-led by UNHCR in conflict situations and by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in natural disaster situations. The CCCM cluster's overall goals are to coordinate and facilitate the efficient, effective and predictable delivery of protection and services at community level, ensure that the rights of IDPs and other affected populations are protected, and advocate for durable solutions.
The coordination mechanisms of the CCCM cluster, like other clusters, are mainly relevant in situations of internal displacement and natural disasters. The IASC cluster approach is not applicable to refugee situations, where responses are coordinated within the framework of the refugee coordination model (RCM), including the 2014 Joint UNHCR - OCHA Note on Mixed Situations: Coordination in Practice.
CCCM is inherently a cross-cutting sector that may be present in all types of communal displacement settings in rural or urban environments - including planned camps, spontaneous self-settled informal sites, collective centres, reception centres and transit centres. In recent years, CCCM has also worked with displaced populations living with host families and in remote communities. The CCCM cluster does not advocate for camps but rather seeks to establish and maintain dignity and standards in camps if they are created, and to develop exit strategies and durable solutions when feasible. Camps should therefore be considered temporary measures when alternatives to camps are not an option, recognising the specific needs of the displaced communities.
In CCCM responsibilities are distributed across three main roles:
Camp administration (CA). This function is carried out by the State authorities that are responsible for providing protection and assistance to displaced persons on their territories. It relates to the oversight and supervision of activities, including security. State responsibilities are not transferable. A CA is usually represented at camp level.
Camp coordination (CC). UNHCR usually assumes this role in complex, conflict-related IDP emergencies, and it includes both strategic and inter-camp operational coordination. A CC is responsible for designing strategy, setting standards, contingency planning, and information management. Its primary objective is to create the humanitarian space necessary for the effective delivery of protection and assistance. To develop exit strategies and more durable solutions, it liaises closely with local actors, including civil society organisations. The CC is functioning at inter-camp level.
Camp management (CM). An NGO partner or a national or local authority usually fills this function. Where capacity is limited, UNHCR may support a CM or take on the role itself. A CM coordinates and monitors the delivery of, and access to, services and protection to IDPs, and ensures maintenance of infrastructure. It is also responsible for community participation by setting up representative committees. These enable the displaced communities to exercise their right to participate in decision-making and to influence the design and delivery of humanitarian programmes at all stages. Prevention and response to GBV is crosscutting through all phases of camp management. CM operates at camp level.
For more information on CCCM levels of response, see first image below "CCCM Cluster levels of response".
The main roles and functions of the CCCM can vary according to the institution that is responsible and the circumstances in which it operates. What matters is to cover all CCCM functions, making sure that the needs of displaced people are met and that there are no gaps or overlaps in responsibility or response. CCCM approaches and tools remain relevant to situations of displacement whether a CCCM cluster is activated or not.
Where IDPs settle scattered and in remote locations and with host communities and families, CC and CM's approach is sector-based or area-based (Area-based Approach (ABA)), with mobile teams or through remote management (see under Camp Management Camp Coordination (CCCM) and CCCM Paper on Area-based Approaches (October, 2020).
When engaging outside camps it is crucial to work closely with and support existing and functional local structures in relation to information, communication, coordination and monitoring of services to the displaced populations. For a more detailed description of community participation and roles and responsibilities in CCCM, and of approaches outside of camp, see the Camp Management Toolkit (2015), the UNHCR's Collective Centre Guidelines (2010),and Urban Displacement & Outside of Camp (UDOC Desk Review 2014).
Underlying rationale / objective of the approach or system
- The CCCM cluster's roles are to ensure that humanitarian action for internally displaced persons (IDPs) is coordinated, access to services and protection during displacement is equitable, and IDPs participate meaningfully in efforts to enable them to enjoy their rights, ideally by developing their own capacities. In practice this means that the human or ‘software' dimensions of the humanitarian response are fully integrated and coupled with ‘hardware' programmes such as shelter, relief item distributions or WASH infrastructure. Accountability mechanisms are fundamental to achieving this goal. They give the displaced population a voice, permit them to participate meaningfully in governance, and enable them to influence decisions that concern them and the direction of humanitarian programming. The CCCM cluster should be viewed as a mechanism for mainstreaming protection, considering its key partners work in all areas of humanitarian action and have the closest contact with the displaced community.
- The Global CCCM Cluster develops tools, provides field support through remote guidance and rapid response mechanisms, capacity through training and e-learning, and coordinates policy development to guide national CCCM clusters. To fulfil this task, UNHCR and IOM, which co-lead the Global CCCM Cluster, work closely together to develop common approaches for broader CCCM responses and design specific tools and methodologies to address specific subtleties that arise in natural disasters and complex emergencies. The Global CCCM Cluster also works closely with other global clusters and the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). It also supports cross-cutting initiatives of the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC), including its work on accountability to affected populations (AAP) and communicating with communities (CwC).
- At national (or CC) level, CCCM clusters develop an overarching strategy to provide a harmonized, efficient and effective humanitarian response to displaced persons and communities. Central to this is a strong information management and monitoring system that ensures similar approaches are adopted. Identifying relative gaps and duplications in service delivery and protection within specific camps and regions must be coupled with a strong advocacy role to ensure that other clusters and stakeholders provide the most efficient, equitable and logical humanitarian response across all camps and communal settings outside of camps.
- The CCCM cluster is unique in that it has an additional level of coordination and engagement – the communal/camp (or CM) level. This is the level of the CCCM cluster's operational engagement, and involves coordinating service provision, monitoring, governance and engagement within a single (or small grouping) of camp/communal setting. Several Camp Management specific activities also need to be accounted for and are described in depth in the Camp Management Toolkit (2015).
The structure and responsibilities of a CCCM cluster at country level
A country cluster should form a CCCM coordination team that is capable of providing effective leadership of the cluster. Ideally, it should have a minimum of three members: a cluster coordinator, an information management officer (IMO), and a capacity-development specialist. In some geographical or operational settings, additional sub-national coordination mechanisms may be required.
A UNHCR CCCM cluster coordinator reports to UNHCR's Representative or (in sub-national clusters) Head of Office, and is responsible for providing overall cluster leadership. S/he works closely with other country-level cluster coordinators, and particularly with Protection, Shelter, and Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH). For guidance and support, s/he also keeps closely in touch with UNHCR's Global CCCM Cluster coordinator and support team.
Appointing an NGO as co-chair or co-facilitator promotes inclusion, but this decision should be discussed and endorsed by cluster partners. A memorandum of understanding or terms of reference (ToR) should clarify exact roles and responsibilities of the co-facilitator, and define clear lines of accountability. UNHCR will usually take the lead role, and the co-chair or co-facilitator supports. The appointment of a co-facilitator has important implications and should be assessed in consultation with the UNHCR Global CCCM Cluster coordinator.
Information management officer
An information management officer (IMO) reports to the cluster coordinator and is responsible for identifying and satisfying data-analysis and information requirements at a range of levels. The IMO's work: supports cluster priorities, informs decision-making by the Humanitarian Coordinator (HC) or the Humanitarian Country Team (HCT), strengthens data collection and processing systems, establishes information dissemination mechanisms and facilitates information exchange between key stakeholders.
Capacity development specialist
In principle, a capacity development specialist should be deployed alongside the cluster coordinator and IMO. Experience has shown that CCCM training is required at an early stage, because many of the new personnel hired at the start of an emergency are unfamiliar with CCCM concepts.
Sub-national and field level coordination
Complex emergencies or geographically-spread responses may require additional coordination at sub-national or field level. Sub-national coordinators and resources to support sub-national coordination may be mobilised externally but also internally, through standby partner arrangements or CCCM cluster members (if they are willing and have the capacity).
See graphic 2: A minimum CCCM cluster coordination structure for a system-wide L3 emergency.
Policy, strategy and/or guidance
The IASC's Reference Module for Cluster Coordination at the Country Level explains the work of clusters, including their activation and de-activation and core functions. The paragraphs below set out specific steps that an activated (or soon to be activated) national CCCM cluster should take in the first months.
Formal activation of a CCCM cluster
Under the Transformative Agenda, IASC Principals agreed that activation of clusters must be more strategic, less automatic, and time limited. In consultation with the Humanitarian Country Teams and cluster lead agencies, the Humanitarian/Resident Coordinator (HC/RC) should only recommend the activation of clusters when there is an identified gap in the enabling environment warranting their activation. Formal activation of clusters may be difficult in circumstances where government capacity is constrained. In such contexts, different ways of augmenting coordination and response capacity may need to be found, underpinned by the principles of the cluster approach. To ensure that clusters continue to operate for no longer than they are strictly needed, plans to deactivate and transition clusters should be prepared as soon as possible after activation. Building the capacity of local partners and government institutions should be an objective from the outset.
The criteria for cluster activation are met when:
1. Response and coordination gaps exist due to a sharp deterioration or significant change in the humanitarian situation.
2. Existing national response or coordination capacity is unable to meet needs in a manner that respects humanitarian principles, due to the scale of need, the number of actors involved, the need for a more complex multi-sectoral approach, or other constraints on the ability to respond or apply humanitarian principles.
The procedure for activating cluster(s)
1. The RC/HC and cluster lead agencies (CLAs), supported by OCHA, consult national authorities to establish what humanitarian coordination mechanisms exist, and their capacities.
2. Global CLAs are alerted by their country representatives and OCHA, prior to the UN Country Team (UNCT)/HCT meeting to discuss activation, to ensure they are represented at the meeting.
3. The RC/HC, in consultation with the UNCT/HCT, decides which clusters should be recommended for activation, informed by analysis of the situation and preparedness planning. In each case, the decision should be based on the criteria for cluster activation.
4. The RC/HC, in consultation with the UNCT/HCT, selects CLAs based on agencies' leadership accountably in IASC, their operational presence, and their ability to scale up. Ideally, the selection of CLAs mirrors global arrangements; but this is not always possible and sometimes other organizations are in a better position to lead. Under the IASC Transformative Agenda, CLAs were encouraged to consider developing a clearly defined, agreed and supported sharing of cluster leadership with NGOs wherever feasible.
5. The RC/HC writes to the Emergency Relief Coordinator (ERC), following consultation with the HCT, outlines the recommended cluster arrangements, suggests CLAs, and explains why particular clusters need to be activated. If non-cluster coordination solutions have been agreed, these are also described.
6. The ERC transmits the proposal to the IASC Principals for approval within 24 hours, and informs the RC/HC accordingly. The Principals may ask the IASC Emergency Directors Group to discuss in more detail, if necessary.
7. The ERC writes to the RC/HC to confirm that activation of the suggested clusters has been endorsed and/or to provide feedback from the IASC Principals.
8. The RC/HC inform relevant partners when decisions on clusters and lead agencies are approved.
Activating a country-level/national CCCM cluster after endorsement
- Cluster formation workshop – Invite interested actors to a workshop. Highlight what the cluster is, what it can do and how partners can contribute. Establish the capacities of stakeholders and where critical gaps need to be filled.
- Define the cluster's terms of references (ToRs) – Establish clear ToRs clarifying the role of the cluster in this specific context, scope, regulations for membership and national structure including sub-national CCCM structures. Membership of national CCCM clusters can vary considerably, but it is advisable to have a representative from all the major operational clusters (WASH, Protection etc.) to ensure cross-cutting representation.
- Define roles and responsibilities between CA, CC & CM functions – Define in writing, which actors will be responsible for which specific CCCM architecture functions. Depending on the context CM actors may need to take on CA functions, or the government will take on both CA and CM. What is essential is that it is clearly defined which specific actors are responsible for which specific activities and that a document outlining these can be referenced.
- Create a strategic advisory group (SAG) – Ideally, a SAG should have n more than six members. The group is responsible for developing the cluster's strategic direction.
- Define the scope of CCCM intervention – Will the intervention involve formal camps only or a variety of informal settlements and communal settings outside of camps? Will it involve people living with host communities and families? Establish clearly in writing what the cluster will and will not cover. Depending on the context overlap with OCHA's inter-cluster coordination mechanisms may be anticipated. The delineation of these responsibilities should be made clear in writing, and be based on actual human resources and the ability to effectively cover the defined scope.
- Outline a CCCM strategy – Initially, quickly produce a one page ‘living' document that sets out what the cluster would like to do (why, by whom, how and by when). Do not aim for perfection: create something that sets the direction and then elaborate it over time.
- Continue to develop capacity and run information sessions – Given that new emergencies often entail a high degree of staff turnover and recruitment, continued CCCM information and training sessions should be conducted in the initial months to ensure smooth transitions and a sustained quality response.
- Information management products – Establish a regular and predictable dissemination of Information Management products. Initially this should include 3/4Ws (Who, What, When, Where) and basic information on population, key indicators and mapping. Eventually this should evolve into fuller camp profiles and key data on displacement trends. The onset of the emergency is a critical moment to harmonize systems among partners as this becomes increasingly challenging as the response get more established.
- Communicate with the CCCM Unit at HQ – At least at the beginning of the emergency weekly or biweekly calls with an HQ CCCM focal point can provide remote support. Seek advice on strategy development, good practices, capacity development support, comparison with other operations and funding applications (to pooled funds, such as common humanitarian funds (CHFs) and the Central Emergency Revolving Fund (CERF).
For recent developments, consult the Global CCCM Cluster.
Role of partners involved
| Internally displaced persons||Internally displaced persons (IDPs) are important CCCM partners at operational level. The CCCM cluster should explore how to involve them at cluster level, through representatives or camp management agencies (CMA). They are a key source of information on the needs and capacities of the displaced community, and on solutions. At community level they are directly engaged in governance and grievance mechanisms and play a crucial role in identifying specific and individual needs and targeting assistance. |
|Host communities||Host communities play crucial roles. They grant access to fuel wood, pasture, and other community services; facilitate a smooth humanitarian response; give IDPs access to protection and rights; promote harmonious relations by participating in peace and co-existence programs; protect the environment; and participate in efforts to prevent and respond to SGBV, etc.|
|National authorities||Government offices are responsible for policies, regulations, land allocation, data and documentation, camp administration, camp security and access, and provision of protection and assistance to the IDPs. The Government also promotes peaceful relations and co-existence with host communities. Where feasible, national authorities should be encouraged and assisted to assume responsibility for camp management as well as camp administration. This will ensure ownership and continuity after UNHCR exits. The ministries of home affairs and land are most commonly a CCCM cluster's counterparts.|
|HC, HCT supported by OCHA||The Humanitarian Coordinator and Humanitarian Country Team determine the shape and functions of inter-cluster coordination, supported by OCHA.|
|Other UN agencies||UN agencies share information on protection and assistance needs, participate in joint needs assessments, and respond to needs/gaps in their respective areas. Cluster/sector leads, notably those responsible for shelter, protection and WASH, should be invited to participate in the CCCM cluster.|
|National NGOs||National NGOs make a crucial contribution to CCCM responses and should be encouraged and assisted to participate in the cluster. Typical roles will be camp management and the provision of services to IDPs in camps. After clusters phase out, national NGOs ensure the continuity and sustainability of a response; they should be capacitated to fulfil these roles|
|International NGOs||Like national NGOs, international NGOs (INGOs) with relevant experience should also be represented in a CCCM cluster. INGOs that typically participate in a CCCM response include (note that programs and activities are subject to change):
|IOM||When UNHCR leads a CCCM cluster, the IOM is invited to participate in it, and vice-versa. IOM's CCCM experience and resources contribute in addition to capacity development and information management, including Data Tracking Matrix (DTM).|
|Donors||Relevant donors interested in the work of a CCCM cluster should be involved as soon as possible and invited to strategic discussions.|
|Media||The media are important partners but should not join cluster meetings. To ensure accurate reporting and cluster visibility, specific mechanisms for working with the media should be established|
UNHCR's role and accountabilities
Under the cluster approach, UNHCR has specific CCCM roles and accountabilities at national level associated with its responsibilities as a cluster lead and an operational agency.
UNHCR as a CCCM cluster lead
At national level, the UNHCR Representative heads the lead agency of the CCCM cluster and is accountable to the HC. The Representative has responsibility to:
- Ensure that coordination mechanisms are established and properly supported.
- Serve as first point of call for the Government and the HC.
- Discuss cluster-specific concerns at the HCT as well as challenges the cluster cannot solve.
- Act as provider of last resort.
The CCCM cluster coordinator is responsible and accountable for ensuring that the CCCM cluster performs the following six core functions:
- To support service delivery by providing a forum in which approaches can be agreed and duplication eliminated.
- To inform the strategic decision-making of the HC and HCT by coordinating needs assessments, gap analysis, and prioritization.
- To plan and develop strategy (including cluster plans, adherence to standards, funding needs).
- To advocate for identified concerns on behalf of affected populations and cluster partners.
- To monitor and report on the cluster strategy and its results, and recommend corrective action where necessary.
- To conduct contingency planning, preparedness, and capacity development where needed.
The CCCM cluster coordinator is ultimately responsible for ensuring that service provision is equitable and harmonized across communal displacement setting and that camp managers apply participatory and community-based approaches universally.
By building trust via regular, two-way engagement at community level, camp managers enable CCCM clusters to play a unique role in strengthening accountability to affected populations (AAP).
The following five commitments are part of a camp manager's everyday responsibilities:
- Leadership and governance
- Feedback and complaints
- Involvement in design, monitoring and evaluation
Operationalising UNHCR's commitments
The text below is drawn from UNHCR's Policy on UNHCR's Engagement in Situations of Internal Displacement (2019).
The scope of UNHCR's engagement in situations of internal displacement consists of global and country leadership, advocacy and coordination responsibilities, including those set out in arrangements agreed by the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) under the leadership of the Emergency Relief Coordinator, as well as operational involvement in line with relevant General Assembly resolutions. It will normally be aligned with UNHCR's leadership and coordination responsibilities related to protection, camp coordination and camp management and shelter, with a particular emphasis on displacement owing to conflict and violence, in line with IASC arrangements.
UNHCR will at all times strive to place protection at the centre of humanitarian action through strategic leadership of the three UNHCR-led clusters and ensuring, together with partners, an evidence-based analysis that informs inter-agency decision-making and operational delivery.
UNHCR will also contribute to any inter-agency response to disaster-induced internal displacement, taking the lead on protection, whenever the three criteria of field presence, a government request and inter-agency agreement are met. The scope of UNHCR's engagement in such situations will generally be time-limited, and will be determined in consultation with the Senior Executive Team.
UNHCR may also make available its protection expertise in the context of national, regional and international preparedness and response measures related to forced displacement or planned relocations arising from development projects, climate change and environmental degradation.
The implementation of the Policy requires concerted organisation-wide commitment and effort to ensure the predictable exercise of leadership and coordination responsibilities in line with IASC agreements, and an operational stance that is fit for purpose at each stage of our engagement.
- The Senior Executive Team (SET), namely the High Commissioner, Deputy High Commissioner and Assistant High Commissioners for Operations and Protection shall ensure that our IDP commitments are fully reflected in the exercise of their leadership, oversight, management and support responsibilities, including in relation to strategic planning and resource allocation;
- Regional Bureaux Directors and Representatives have a crucial accountability and responsibility for ensuring prompt and robust engagement in humanitarian crises characterized by internal displacement, from prevention through to solutions, on a ‘no regrets' basis; and
- Directors of Divisions and Heads of Services are responsible for mainstreaming internal displacement in their respective areas of work and ensuring that the necessary capabilities, systems, processes and procedures are in place to resource, guide and support Regional Bureaux and country operations in preventing and responding to internal displacement, including through strategic and effective global cluster leadership, strategic communications and advocacy, and contributing to global policy development and standard setting.
Delivering a protection and solutions response
With respect to delivering protection and solutions, and disengaging, the Policy states:
UNHCR will support Resident/Humanitarian Coordinators and UN/Humanitarian Country Teams to develop an overarching protection and solutions strategy, based on an evidence-based protection analysis. UN and humanitarian partners will be able to rely on UNHCR for expertise and advice on protection priorities and Representatives will participate actively in UN/Humanitarian Country Teams, to help ensure that protection is placed at the centre of the humanitarian response.
When cluster or cluster-like arrangements are established, UNHCR will assume leadership and coordination functions in line with global responsibilities. These will be supported by dedicated cluster coordination capacities, underpinned by a robust operational response – with both aspects supported by information management capacities.
In its cluster leadership capacity, UNHCR will support and steer the development and implementation of comprehensive cluster strategies while, as Provider of Last Resort, mobilizing internal and external resources and engaging a range of stakeholders to fill response gaps.
UNHCR will promote protection mainstreaming, working with all clusters to design and deliver an inter-agency response that is shaped by protection considerations. Appropriate opportunities will be identified to reinforce local and national actors, including those responsible for development, to engage in and eventually lead the response to internal displacement.
In its operational capacity, UNHCR will ensure a community-based protection approach and prioritize interventions to prevent, respond to and mitigate the most urgent and immediate protection risks and needs, including protection against sexual exploitation and abuse (PSEA), sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) and child protection. UNHCR will apply and integrate systematically to its work with IDPs its longstanding expertise in shelter, and camp and site management, including experience gained in the refugee context in transitioning from camps into inclusive settlements.
UNHCR will also prioritise actions that contribute to the conditions conducive for safe, dignified and comprehensive solutions, including (where relevant) for refugees returning from countries of asylum. Special areas of focus will include community engagement, law and policy, documentation, shelter, secure land tenure, livelihoods, peaceful co-existence and conflict resolution.
UNHCR will galvanise and contribute to government led efforts to address the needs of IDPs – including those who are integrating locally, returning to places of origin or settling in another part of the country, as well as the wider displacement-affected community.
In line with the 2030 Agenda and the principle of "leaving no-one behind," UNHCR will work together with partners to secure the inclusion of IDPs in national services, such as education, health, access to livelihoods and social services, including social safety nets; promote the participation of IDPs in local and national social and economic development, including through an enabling legal framework; and build effective approaches to resilience and solutions that assist IDPs, wider displacement affected communities and their governments to better manage and overcome the consequences and effects of displacement. In pursuit of solutions, UNHCR will contribute to transition strategies that link humanitarian and development action, and activities that build and sustain peace.
Results from protection monitoring and assessments, and other monitoring systems, will be systematically utilised to generate an evidence-base to inform analysis, advocacy, programme design, resource mobilisation and communications. Protection assessments and monitoring will also be used to reinforce community based protection work and to ensure that the humanitarian response takes full account of age, gender, disability and other diversity elements.
Protection and conflict analysis will also be used to ensure a "do no harm" approach to solutions. In this regard, UNHCR will initiate and participate in multi-stakeholder assessments, profiling and analysis, engaging relevant national bodies and other actors to develop a comprehensive understanding of the longer term protection and assistance needs, vulnerabilities, socio-economic conditions, capacities and aspirations of IDPs, returning refugees and wider displacement-affected communities.
UNHCR will disengage responsibly when local and national actors can meaningfully take over operational delivery, coordination and monitoring in relation to protection and solutions for IDPs. This will require UNHCR, from the outset of its involvement, to undertake interventions and measures aimed at enhancing national response capacity, including technical advice and support for national laws and policies on internal displacement, training and capacity development. UNHCR will work alongside others in the UN/Humanitarian Country Team to support the gradual de-activation of clusters in support of government-led coordination arrangements, including in the transition of any IDP sites to governments and/ or other agreed approaches.
Contact UNHCR's CCCM Unit. At: [email protected]
Contact the Global CCCM Cluster. At: [email protected]