Humanitarian Health Action

Global Health Cluster Guide

Provisional version – June 2009

Goal of the health sector response during humanitarian crises

To reduce avoidable mortality, morbidity and disability, and restore the delivery of, and equitable access to, preventive and curative health care as quickly as possible and in as sustainable a manner as possible.

Expected Health Cluster outputs

  • Functioning health sector coordinating mechanisms involving UN agencies, NGOs, CBOs, health authorities, donors, and community members, including between the centre and the field, and with other sectors/clusters
  • Up-to-date mapping of health actors, available health services, and service delivery activities
  • Up-to-date information on the health situation and needs is available to all stakeholders; regular situation reports/health bulletins

  • Initial rapid assessment and situation analysis, agreement on priority health problems and risks
  • Regular joint situation updates based on monitoring of the situation and of the health services delivered

  • A joint, regularly updated, health response strategy in the crisis, with clear priorities and objectives for addressing priority health problems, risks and gaps
  • A joint contingency plan for response to future events that could impact on the populations’ health or partners’ response activities
  • Distribution of responsibilities among partners based on capacities to deliver in the field.

  • Agreed standards, protocols and guidelines for basic health care delivery, standard formats for reporting
  • Training materials and opportunities available to all partners for upgrading skills and standards of service provision, as needed

  • Agreed health sector elements in joint appeals and CERF applications; agreed priorities for allocation of pooled resources
  • A common advocacy strategy and plan

  • Joint field visits for monitoring; joint evaluations and lesson-learning