Okay phew – you’re here. This is the safe zone where no question is too silly. Maybe you’re here because you’re not accustomed to all the lingo of humanitarian funding, or maybe our pages aren’t totally clear. Either way, it’s good to have you. Below are a few questions that you might have:

What is a funding requirement?
A funding requirement is simply how much funding is needed for a response. Clusters or sectors working on a thematic area (such as Education or Health) will work out how much funding is required to meet the needs of the target population. For example, the Child Protection sector in Mozambique may say, “for the whole of 2021, there are 544,000 children in need of services, but we can only target 278,000. To reach those 278,000 children, we need $20m”. The funding requirement is that $20m.

When we’re analysing the data, the funding gap is the funding requirement minus the funding received.

All response plans will say the funding required, or the “funding requirement” per cluster or sector, and this allows us to know how much funding is still needed to meet the needs identified.

Okay, rewind, what is a “cluster”, “sector”, or even an “area of responsibility”?
On the site we use these terms interchangeably. But in the real world there are distinctions between them. Firstly, all of them refer to a technical area of work. For example, Logistics, Agriculture, and Food Security. That much is simple. And secondly, they do very similar things, they coordinate humanitarian action.

But the difference is in the relationship between coordination and government. Here’s a definition of a ‘Cluster’ from FTS:

“Clusters are groups of humanitarian organisations (UN and non-UN) working in the main sectors of humanitarian action, e.g. shelter and health. They are created when clear humanitarian needs exist within a sector, when there are numerous actors within sectors and when national authorities need coordination support. The activation of clusters is based on a consultative process and the proposal is transmitted to IASC Principals and Global Clusters for approval within 24 hours. The Resident/Humanitarian Coordinator is informed accordingly.”

and here’s the definition of a ‘Sector’:

“Sector refers to a discrete technical area of humanitarian action. Differently from countries where a cluster system is activated and the Cluster Lead is accountable to the Humanitarian Coordinator, we refer to “Sectors” when the Government has the responsibility for coordination.”

Area of Responsibility is a term used for thematic pieces that are part of the Protection universe. This includes Child Protection, Gender Based Violence, Housing Land and Property, and Mine Action. These are often called ‘AoRs’, and depending on the context may be ‘AoR’, or ‘sub-cluster’, or ‘sub-sector’.

Give me the basics on response plans
A response plan is a document that sets out the collective strategy and objectives of the humanitarian community in a given context. The humanitarian community could be UN, government, international NGOs, local NGOs, national NGOs, and others.

The response plan sets out strategic objectives for the whole response, as well as cluster/sector specific objectives. Response plans will (or at least should be!) based on an analysis of needs.

These needs are often outlined in a document called a “Humanitarian Needs Overview” (HNO). This is then followed up by the response plan, which is often called the “Humanitarian Response Plan” (HRP). But there are also different types of plans aside from HRP.

There are Flash Appeals – a plan that is produced when a sudden onset disaster occurs that requires a coordinated response beyond government capacity, usually for three to six months.

There are Regional Response Plans, or Refugee Response Plans (RRP) – these cover multiple countries and refugee contexts.

And there’s other types of response plans specific to certain countries. There’s the ‘Needs and Priorities’ for the DPRK. There’s also the ‘Joint Response Plan’ for the Rohingya crisis in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. And there’s also the ‘3RP – Regional Refugee and Resilience Plan’ for Syria, and the ‘RMRP – Refugee and Migrant Response Plan’ for Venezuela, which are both types of RRP.