What is the current global humanitarian architecture? What is the Inter Agency Standing Committee (IASC)? And how can NGOs engage in the various IASC coordination mechanisms? On 31 May, PHAP and ICVA hosted the first online session of the new learning stream on humanitarian coordination.

Participants were provided with an overview of IASC humanitarian coordination mechanisms at the country and global levels, followed by an opportunity for questions and answers.

The event examined the current coordination structures, and the way for NGOs to engage in such structures, also exploring how the global-level structures coordinate with country-level mechanisms, and how they feed into each other.


Kate Halff Kate Halff Executive Secretary, Steering Committee for Humanitarian Response (SCHR)
Kirk Prichard Kirk Prichard Director of Humanitarian Programs, Concern U.S.
Leila Muriithia Leila Muriithia Senior Programme Officer, Refugee Consortium of Kenya


Angharad Laing Angharad Laing Executive Director, PHAP
Emmanuelle Osmond Emmanuelle Osmond Senior Policy Officer – Humanitarian Coordination, ICVA

Briefing paper

ICVA has prepared an explanatory briefing paper on the discussions during the event. You can access the document in English and in French. The briefing paper will be soon available in also Arabic.

For additional resources on this topic, you can go here.

Recordings and follow-up

Session recording (YouTube - faster loading time)

Closed captions available in English

Sous-titré en français

Session recording (Adobe Connect - higher quality)

Session recording (audio podcast)

Introductory whiteboard video

Recommended resources

Geneva Humanitarian Connector

This event was made possible through the Geneva Humanitarian Connector, an initiative of PHAP supported by the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs.

Learning objectives

  • Knowledge of the different IASC coordination structures at country, regional and global levels
  • Familiarity with key actors of the global humanitarian coordination system, and their main roles
  • Understanding of the cluster approach, its purpose and main features
  • Awareness of the main opportunities and challenges for NGOs to engage in coordination mechanism
  • Familiarity with sources of information on the humanitarian coordination structures

Target audience and event access

The event was particularly targeted to those working in international and national NGOs engaged in humanitarian action, who are seeking for a stronger understanding of the various humanitarian coordination mechanisms. The event was also open to the public.

Learning stream on humanitarian coordination

As part of the learning stream on humanitarian coordination, this event was the first session of six live interactive online learning events that ICVA and PHAP have organized in the coming months with the purpose of providing NGOs and humanitarian workers with a stronger understanding of the humanitarian coordination mechanisms at global, regional, and country levels.

PHAP Credentialing Program

PHAP Credentialing Program

Understanding the Humanitarian Ecosystem

This event can help you prepare for the PHAP Credentialing Program certification in Understanding the Humanitarian Ecosystem.

In particular, the event addresses segment 3.1 of the certification assessment outline. It also addresses some aspects of segments 1.2, 1.5, 2.3, and 3.2.

Read more about the PHAP Credentialing Program