Interesting to know that U.N. has created an organizational mechanism known as the cluster system in reaction to Darfur, and since then it has been implemented in Pakistan during the 2007 floods, Burma after Cyclone Nargis and Haiti after the earthquake, the largest trial of the system to date.

Based on this article:


“The management involved in a response like this is phenomenally complex,” said Wall, who worked in Aceh, Indonesia, after the 2004 tsunami. “A major event that causes such devastation, the government is weak, and there are underlying endemic problems. And you have the whole humanitarian world descending on the country.”

Particularly challenging, said Wall, is that cluster groups have no formal decision-making mechanisms or mandates. This becomes problematic in the extreme at a shelter cluster meeting, for example, where there can be as many as 400 participants. The effectiveness of any given cluster often comes down to the personality or leadership skills of a single individual. “It’s the collective action problem, which is a classic philosophical dilemma,” Wall said. “How do you get organizations with wildly different mandates, funding mechanisms, skill sets, experience in the country, relationships with the government—how do you get all of them to work together when you have no power to make them do so?”

If it can be improved, evolved to overcome the challenge, this way of organization will be very useful for future adaptation to global shift.

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