Guidance and Resources

Transformative Agenda

The experience of large-scale crises in Haiti 2009 and Pakistan in 2010 highlighted areas of the humanitarian response that needed to be strengthened and the IASC Principals decided to review the current approach to humanitarian response and make adjustments, building on the lessons learned in 2010 and 2011.

Based on an analysis of the challenges to leadership and coordination, the IASC Principals agreed in December 2011 to a set of actions that collectively represent a substantive improvement to the current humanitarian response model this has become known as the Transformative Agenda.

The set of actions include:

  1. A mechanism to deploy strong, experienced senior humanitarian leadership to guide the humanitarian response from the outset of a major crisis
  2. The strengthening of leadership capacities and rapid deployment of humanitarian leaders at various levels, to ensure the coordination architecture functions well
  3. Improved strategic planning at the country level that clarifies the collective results that the 
humanitarian community sets out to achieve and identifies how clusters and organizations will 
contribute to them
  4. Enhanced accountability of the Humanitarian Coordinator (HC) and members of the Humanitarian Country Team (HCT) for the achievement of collective results
  5. Streamlined coordination mechanisms adapted to operational requirements and contexts to 
better facilitate delivery.

Eight protocols have been developed and agreed by the IASC Principals to support the implementation of the Transformative Agenda:

1. Concept Paper on ‘Empowered Leadership’- revised March 2014

2. Humanitarian System-Wide Emergency Activation: definition and procedures

3. Responding to Level 3 Emergencies: What ‘Empowered Leadership’ looks like in practice

4. Reference Module for Cluster Coordination at the Country Level (November 2012)

5. Humanitarian Programme Cycle Reference Module Version 1.0 (December 2013)

6. Accountability to Affected Populations Operational Framework

7. Inter-Agency Rapid Response Mechanism (IARRM) Concept Note (December 2013)

8. Common Framework for Preparedness (October 2013)