The Humanitarian Reform process was initiated by the Emergency Relief Coordinator, together with
the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) in 2005 to improve the effectiveness of humanitarian
response through greater predictability, accountability, responsibility and partnership. Emergency
response capacity has been reinforced at the global level according to an agreed division of labour.
However, challenges still remain in deploying adequate leadership; putting in place appropriate
coordination mechanisms at various levels and ensuring clear mutual accountabilities as evidenced
by several major disasters over the past years. Furthermore, the application of the cluster approach
has become overly process-driven and, in some situations, perceived to potentially undermine
rather than enable delivery.
In light of the growing recognition of the weaknesses in the multilateral humanitarian response, 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 current
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.Detailed information on agreed actions are availabe in the Chapeau and Compendium document.
Following the agreement of the Transformative Agenda (TA) in December 2011, the Principals in December 2012 agreed the ‘TA Protocols’, which set the parameters for improved collective action in humanitarian emergencies. The Protocols include the following documents:
1. Concept Paper on ‘Empowered Leadership’
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
5. Responding to Level 3 Emergencies: The Humanitarian Programme Cycle
These documents are available as a zip file in the document section below.
ERC video message introducing the Transformative Agenda
Introduction of IASC Transformative Agenda
A short film with IASC Principals explaining the importance of the Transformative Agenda
IASC Principals on the Transformative Agenda
Power Point presentation of the Transformative Agenda
Power Point on the The IASC Transformative Agenda
Key Messages on the IASC Transformative Agenda
Key Messages: The IASC Transformative Agenda
Additional Transformative Agenda documents (password required for IASC Principals and IASC WG members
Additional Transformative Agenda documents