Global Cluster for Early Recovery (GCER)

Global Cluster for Early Recovery (GCER)

During and immediately after a crisis, urgent action is required to save lives. At the same time, from the start of humanitarian response, time critical interventions which lay the foundations for sustainable recovery and a speedy return to longer term development are also imperative.

Early Recovery (ER) is an approach that addresses recovery needs that arise during the humanitarian phase of an emergency; using humanitarian mechanisms that align with development principles. It enables people to use the benefits of humanitarian action to seize development opportunities, build resilience, and establish a sustainable process of recovery from crisis.

Early Recovery is both an approach to humanitarian response which, through enhanced coordination, focuses on strengthening resilience, re-building or strengthening capacity, and contributing to solving rather than exacerbating long standing problems which have contributed to a crisis; and also a set of specific programmatic actions to help people to move from dependence on humanitarian relief towards development.

Early Recovery is never just a ‘phase’. It is a multidimensional process of recovery that begins in the early days of a humanitarian response. An Early Recovery approach means focusing on local ownership and strengthening capacities; basing interventions on a thorough understanding of the context to address root causes and vulnerabilities as well as immediate results of crisis; reducing risk, promoting equality and preventing discrimination through adherence to development principles that seek to build on humanitarian programmes and catalyse sustainable development opportunities. It aims to generate self-sustaining, nationally owned, resilient processes for post crisis recovery and to put in place preparedness measures to mitigate the impact of future crises.


In 2013, the IASC Principals have requested all clusters (with the exception of ETC and Logistics) to integrate early recovery into all the different phases of the Humanitarian Programme Cycle as the foundation for strengthening resilience in a crisis or post-crisis context.

The Global Cluster for Early Recovery (GCER), is chaired by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and comprises 31 UN and non-UN active global partners from the humanitarian and development communities,including representatives of NGO consortia and cross-cutting issue Focal Points.  The Global Cluster for Early Recovery Strategic Advisory Group (SAG) is the principal advisory body for the GCER. The SAG is composed of ActionAid, FAO, IOM, MSB, OCHA, UNDP (chair), UNICEF, and WFP.  

The GCER leads global and interagency efforts to establish and maintain standards and policy, build response capacity and provide operational support.


1.       Strategic support and policy guidance

2.       Cluster coordination

3.       Tools and technical support

4.       Resource mobilization and partnerships

5.       Policy and tools development

6.       Monitoring and evaluation

Further Information

Contact: Rachel Scott -

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Related Publications

Global Cluster for Early Recovery Strategic Plan 2015-2017

The Strategic Plan 2015-2017 provides an overview of the vision and goals of the Global Cluster for Early Recovery. It also provides a focused and accountable overarching framework for collective action by organizations involved in Early Recovery.