Guidance Note on Early Recovery CWGER April 2008

Guidance Note on Early Recovery CWGER April 2008 cover.jpg



Guidance Note on Early Recovery CWGER April 2008

November 22, 2015

This IASC Guidance Note on Early Recovery was written in 2008 as a joint effort by the Cluster Working Group on Early Recovery (CWGER) in cooperation with the UNDG-ECHA Working Group on Transition and aims to provide greater clarity and guidance on what early recovery means and how to undertake early recovery activities effectively.


Early recovery is a multidimensional process of recovery that begins in a humanitarian setting. It is guided by development principles that seek to build on humanitarian programmes and catalyze sustainable development opportunities. It aims to generate self-sustaining, nationally owned, resilient processes for post crisis recovery. It encompasses the restoration of basic services, livelihoods, shelter, governance, security and rule of law, environment and social dimensions, including the reintegration of displaced populations.


In the first chapter, “Understanding Early Recovery”, the paper discusses the definition and objectives of early recovery and presents the guiding principles for a successful recovery process.


Subsequent chapter describe the planning and implementation processes of early recovery activities, and the key role of coordinating early recovery, and providing support to the Humanitarian Coordinator (HC) to integrate the early recovery approach into the humanitarian environment generally.  The Guidance Note highlights how the mechanisms in coordinating early recovery function within the UN humanitarian system at the global, national and local level. Furthermore, the document shows how early recovery can be integrated within the various steps of a humanitarian program cycle (needs assessments, strategic planning, programming, monitoring and evaluation) and outlines in a last part the challenges of early recovery resource mobilization.


The Cluster Working Group on Early Recovery (CWGER) is currently looking to update the Guidance Note, and will likely start this process in 2013 after clarity on the role of the CWGER and early recovery in general are approved by the IASC Principals.  In the meantime, the Guidance Note still provides the best explanation of early recovery as a concept and how it should be implemented.