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Operational Support for National Coordination Platforms (NCP)

The Global WASH Cluster (GWC) provides operational support to water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) National Coordination Platforms (NCPs) to strengthen partnerships, and the predictability and accountability of humanitarian action, by improving prioritization and clearly defining the roles and responsibilities of humanitarian organizations. As a priority, the GWC supports NCPs on the delivery of the 6+1 core functions, which guide cluster coordination, as outlined in the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) Reference Module for Cluster Coordination.

The GWC and FST provide support for the four principal areas of coordination: coordination, information management, coordinated assessments and people-centered programming. Support is provided through three modalities: deployments – surge support through in-person or virtual deployments to NCPs; remote – punctual bilateral remote support to specific NCPs; and global support through webinars or other online events to guide NCPs through regular or routine coordination activities.


Surge support for deployments (in person or virtual) is when a Field Support Team (FST) member is dedicated to a coordination platform at the national or subnational level. Deployment duration depends on the work required but is up to two months with the possibility to extend to the third month based on a reasonable justification.

Two key documents drive all FST deployments, a signed standby partner request form (SBP request) and Terms of Reference (ToRs). The deployment request process is relatively straightforward and can be covered in the following three steps:

  1. Advance discussion with GWC. The discussion will help to clarify the requirements of the deployment, such as position and timing, help to identify if there is an FST available of the right capacity, and verify if the surge requests fall within the FST donor criteria. Note this is also an opportunity to discuss alternative means of support, including standby partners or stretch.
  2. Complete the standby partner (SBP)/FST request form and obtain the Country Representative signature. This is a requirement as it allows the FST staff to be a full member of the country office staff for insurance and medical support.
  3. Develop ToRs specific to the requirements of the surge. The generic ToRs can be used in the case of rapid-onset emergencies. In slow-onset emergencies, the generic ToRs should be adapted for the context.
  4. Ensure that the signed request and ToRs are sent to:

SBP or FST Request form Cluster Coordinator Generic ToRs Information Manager Generic ToRs

Notes on requesting surge support:

  • The request mechanism is operated by the Inter-Agency Humanitarian Partnership (IAHP); please make sure to copy in for any WASH coordination requests (even if this address is not listed on the SBP form)
  • The GWC and the financial donor provide final approval for requested deployments. Requests are prioritized based on the level of emergency.
  • Deployment requests to fill humanitarian response gaps will not be considered without a justification (humanitarian response gaps are when there is a predictable gap in coordination staffing, such as end/renewal of contract, parental leave).

Remote Support

Bilateral remote support is when an FST is engaged to support the National Coordination Platforms (NCPs) on a specific task or activity. The remote support should be specific and targeted with a clear deliverable and reasonable timeline. Remote support is available through sending an email request to, including the following information:

  • What: one sentence that describes the expected result or deliverable
  • Who: the requested FST profile (Coordinator, Information Manager, Assessment Specialist, People-Centred Programming Coordinator)
  • When: deadline for deliverables
  • Period: estimated number of days to complete the task
  • Description: if necessary, a brief description and/or attachments

The request will be clarified by GWC through an email or call, if necessary, and then allocated to an FST, who will follow up with the requesting platform.

Global support

Global support is rolled out as a series of thematic events during the humanitarian programme cycle planning process to support National Coordination Platforms (NCPs). Typically, events align to key steps in the year’s humanitarian needs overview, cross-cutting themes, People In Need (PIN) and targeting, project costing or thematic topics such as accountability to affected populations. The events are planned and announced on a quarterly basis through the operational support updates.

National Cluster/Sector Coordinators, Co-Leads, Co-Chairs, Co-Coordinators, National Information Management officers should ensure that they are signed up to receive the operational support updates from GWC by sending an email to

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