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About us

The Global Nutrition Cluster (GNC) was established in 2006 as part of the Humanitarian Reform process, which aimed to improve the effectiveness of humanitarian response programmes by ensuring greater predictability, accountability and partnership.

The 2017-2020 Global Nutrition Cluster (GNC) Strategy was developed by the GNC-Coordination Team and the GNC Strategic Ad­visory Group with support from consulting firm Avenir Analytics and in consultation with partners at global level and clusters at national level. The process involved an extensive review and consultation with a wide range of stakeholders using an online survey, key informant interviews and a focus group discussion, undertaken during the last quarter of 2016. The new GNC strategy also drew on lessons learnt from the previous strategy, changes in the humanitarian operat­ing and policy environment, and GNC stakeholder expectations. The draft strategy was extensively reviewed and endorsed by GNC partners. Based on this analysis and review, the core of the GNC Strategy for 2017-2020 is focused on the following three areas:

  1. Supporting operational delivery of national emergency nutrition coordination platforms. This is focused on supporting national platforms to deliver the core cluster functions to ensure a more timely, effective and people-centred response. Based on the ‘emergency continuum,’ this involves supporting national platforms to:

    a. Prepare for crises and be well positioned to meet their responsibilities during the response phase of an emergency.
    b. Respond to crises when they arise, primarily by delivering the core cluster functions.
    c. Lead the timely transition to national coordination mechanisms (where not already leading) to maximise efficiency, effectiveness and local ownership of responses.
  2. Strengthening capacity through national/regional and global platforms to support national coordination platforms to deliver more effective and people-centred responses. The GNC intends to develop the capacity of nutrition practitioners globally and locally on nutrition in emergency response coordination. These outcomes are highly correlated with objective one as supporting national platforms helps build coordination capacity in practice.
  3. Advocating and influencing for more effective coordination. The GNC will provide leadership (along with the cluster lead agency and cluster partners) in advocating for greater nutrition coordination in crises and for inter-cluster and multi-sector approaches to meet the needs of affected populations.

Other areas highlighted in the strategy include:
Scope of activities which fully clarify the GNC’s role in terms of its mandate and technical responsibil­ities, with an attempt to delineate the areas that are within the GNC’s scope of activities and those that are not.

Ways of working which briefly out­line the roles and responsibilities of GNC constituents and other key stakeholders who would help deliver the strategy and related work plan.

Outcomes, indicators and baseline targets have been linked to the strategic priorities and supporting objectives to help with delivery.

The GNC strategy, and specifically the strategic priorities, have guided the development of a yearly rolling work plan and prioritisation of activities to be implemented.

The strategy is available at: 2017-2020 Global Nutrition Cluster Strategy

Our vision and core purpose

The vision of the GNC is to safeguard and improve the nutritional status of emergency affected populations by ensuring an appropriate response that is predictable, timely and effective and at scale. The GNC is first and foremost a coordination mechanism. The GNC’s core purpose is to enable country coordination mechanisms to achieve timely, quality, and appropriate nutrition response to emergencies. The GNC supports country coordination in strategic decision-making, planning and strategy development, capacity building on coordination and IM/KM, advocacy, monitoring and reporting, and contingency planning/preparedness.


Cluster Approach

Clusters are groups of humanitarian organizations, both UN and non-UN, in each of the main sectors of humanitarian action, e.g. nutrition. They are designated by the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) and have clear responsibilities for coordination. The aim of the cluster approach is to strengthen system-wide preparedness and technical capacity to respond to humanitarian emergencies, and provide clear leadership and accountability in the main areas of humanitarian response. At country level, it aims to strengthen partnerships, and the predictability and accountability of international humanitarian action, by improving prioritization and clearly defining the roles and responsibilities of humanitarian organizations.


GNC partners and observers

GNC Partners  are entities (organizations, groups or individuals) committed to respecting fundamental humanitarian principles, working in Nutrition in Emergencies, who are willing to actively help the GNC fulfill its role and contribute to the GNC work plan. Observers are organisations that are interested in the GNC work, but are not actively contributing to the GNC work plan.  At global level, the GNC has 46 partners and observers representing International Non-Governmental Organizations (INGOs), research and development groups, academic institutions, UN agencies, donors and individuals. At a country level, in addition to these partners, local authorities, national NGOs and community based organisations are an integral part of each Nutrition Cluster.

Our Team

The Global Nutrition Cluster Coordination Team (GNC-CT) provides leadership and stewardship for coordination and functions as the secretariat and leadership for the Global Nutrition Cluster. The GNC-CT is staffed by UNICEF and housed within UNICEF Geneva.

The GNC-CT represents the GNC partners in global fora and provides operational support to country nutrition clusters while linking stakeholders and ensuring effective communications.

Strategic Advisory Group

GNC Strategic Advisory Group (SAG) provides strategic support to the GNC-CT to guide direction of GNC affairs. The SAG is composed of representatives from GNC partners: three NGO partners, four UN agencies (UNICEF, WFP and UNHCR are standing members), two donor representatives and one Nutrition Cluster Coordinator.

Rapid Response Team

The Rapid Response Teams (RRTs) are one option for sourcing surge/temporary staff for Clusters and AoRs. The RRT ensures that high level deployable surge staff are secured to ensure that the cluster functions can be supported or established in the event of a sudden onset crisis or if an existing crisis escalates dramatically. Each UNICEF led or co-led Cluster and AoR has an RRT, made up of high quality, rapidly deployable cluster coordinators and information management specialists. This enables timely and coordinated response, which then ensures improved emergency interventions. The RRT members are deployed to UNICEF through Standby Arrangements or hired directly by UNICEF, are hosted by UNICEF at the country level and work with all partners in the cluster. The Global Nutrition Cluster’s Rapid Response Team (RRT) is a partnership between the Global Nutrition Cluster (GNC) and INGO partners. The purpose of creating the RRT is to increase the capacity of the GNC to support cluster coordination and information management functions through rapidly deployable Nutrition Cluster Coordinators’ (NCC) and Information Management Officers’ (IMO) technical capacity in humanitarian situations. For more information please read the RRT flyer.

Global Technical Assistance Mechanism for Nutrition (GTAM)

The Global Technical Assistance Mechanism for Nutrition is a common global approach endorsed by over 40 Global Nutrition Cluster partners to provide systematic, predictable, timely and coordinated nutrition technical support to countries in order to meet the nutrition rights and needs of people affected by emergencies. The Global Technical Assistance Mechanism for Nutrition (GTAM) is co-led by UNICEF as the Cluster Lead Agency & World Vision.


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