Every Humanitarian Country Team will develop a planning calendar suited to their needs. The planning timeframe is flexible and can start at any point in the year.
In general by September a Humanitarian Needs Overview is developed. This then informs the development of the Humanitarian Response Plan (November but as agreed by the HCT). The Global Appeal is launched in December.
The frequency of response monitoring and reporting is determined by the HCT as well but the guidance recommends response monitoring and reporting on a quarterly basis, which should be used to adjust planning documents as necessary.
Yes. For instance the 2014-2016 Sahel Humanitarian Response Plan includes both the regional response plan as well as country plans for the nine countries included in the regional response.
It depends on the context and the coordination arrangements. For instance in the 2014-2016 South Sudan Consolidated Appeal the HCT opted to include Sudanese refugees residing in South Sudan. Another example, for the Mali crisis the Regional Humanitarian Coordinator (RHC) opted to create a regional strategic response plan (Sahel Humanitarian Response Plan) which included refugees. However for the Syria crisis, given the scale and complexity of both the refugee and IDP response there is both a Syria Regional Response Plan (for Syria) and a Syrian Humanitarian Assistance Response Plan (SHARP).
The Strategic Response Plan (SRP) contains a country strategy which defines the priorities, strategic objectives and bounds of the response. The country strategy is further elaborated on and to some degree operationalized by the accompanying cluster response plans which directly relate to the strategic objectives of the response. For more information and guidance on how to develop the SRP inclusive of country strategy and cluster response plans please see the Strategic Response Plan guidance.
Inter-cluster coordination is a cooperative effort among sectors/clusters and the HCT to assure coherence in achieving common objectives, avoiding duplication and ensuring areas of need are prioritized. Inter-cluster coordination takes places at the national and sub-national level to coordinate the implementation of the response through each step of the humanitarian program cycle.
Guided by the HCT, inter-cluster coordination provides a platform for clusters to work together to advance the objective of delivering assistance to affected people effectively and efficiently. It does this by encouraging synergies between sectors, ensuring roles and responsibilities are clearly defined, closing potential gaps and eliminating duplication. Inter-cluster coordination may also take the form of small groupings of related clusters meeting to address a particular challenge (e.g. a cholera outbreak). Inter-cluster coordination plays a central role in facilitating the development of the Strategic Response Plan (SRP) and assures a coherent and coordinated approach to planning and operationalizing the shared strategic objectives as set out in the SRP.
The RC/HC and HCT, supported by OCHA, determine the shape and functions of inter-cluster coordination during a crisis.
 Please see the Reference Module for Cluster Coordination at Country Level page 17.
 The strategic objective itself and the humanitarian context will determine which sectors are needed for its achievement. Some strategic objectives may require contributions from all clusters and others a more limited group and should be determined through inter-cluster discussions with all clusters. Smaller groups of clusters, potentially supported by members of the HCT, may come together to discuss specific strategies for and periodically for monitoring of their achievement, although all clusters and the HCT need to be aware of progress and challenges to ensure the appropriate overall linkages as necessary
Operational NGOs should be referenced as implementers within sit reps and other external response documents except under circumstances where it may put implementers or beneficiaries at risk.