The cluster approach was introduced as part of humanitarian reform in 2005. It
seeks to make humanitarian assistance more effective by introducing a system
of sectoral coordination with designated lead organizations. Since 2005, much
energy, time and money have been invested in the implementation of the cluster
approach at global and country levels. The shape and functioning of the cluster
approach on the ground has continuously evolved in this time as humanitarian
actors have adapted the initial design to their needs and constraints.
This evaluation assesses the operational effectiveness and main outcomes of the
cluster approach to date and aims to develop recommendations on how it can
be further improved. It draws most strongly on six country studies,1 but also on
global and regional interviews, a survey among humanitarian actors, as well as
literature and document analysis.