The challenges looming before conflict-affected communities are now larger than ever, with recurrent and protracted conflict, waves of displacement, compounded by food insecurity, climate effects and systemic challenges to peace, rule of law and access to justice. Limited resources and, more importantly, constraints in humanitarian and protection space, are also proving to be major obstacles for protection actors around the world. Today’s challenges demand a more holistic approach involving real, concrete collaboration by humanitarian, development, peace and protection actors, necessary to reduce protection risks and vulnerabilities and promote both peace and a human rights-based approaches.
This Guidance Note is meant to help protection cluster coordinators apply nexus approaches in a practical way by, providing concrete steps and means to address prevalent or longstanding protection issues, risk patterns, trends and chronic vulnerabilities. The guidance calls for a practical, problem-solving approach that seeks opportunities to identify and collaborate with actors beyond the humanitarian sphere and address deep-rooted protection issues. Not every context permits nexus approaches – especially where emergencies are still flaring and conflict dynamics so unsettled that the future is uncharted. Ultimately, I see this Guidance Note as a tool for protection cluster coordinators, not as a one-size-fits-all approach, but to empower and encourage them to seek opportunities beyond the humanitarian sphere and adapt them to the operational context and protection needs of conflict-affected communities. The protection analysis, perspective and voice of the cluster is needed by development and peace actors, and so are they needed by the protection cluster. I hope that this Guidance Note will help Protection Clusters set the tone for holistic action and shape our knowledge and practices in the years to come.