1.11 The IPC governance structure

  • Country level

At the country level, Technical Working Groups are the foundation of the IPC governance structure (Box 4). These are composed of experts representing key stakeholder institutions/organizations who are responsible for leading the planning, coordination and implementation of IPC activities in the country. Where considered appropriate and feasible, IPC Technical Working Groups can be supported by other bodies, such as a senior management group, equivalent in composition and function to a steering committee at the country level.

Although not strictly part of the governing structure, the IPC analysis team conducts the actual IPC analysis and typically includes all the Technical Working Group members as well as other experts whose knowledge or skills are relevant for the analysis. Membership of the analysis team may vary between analyses, depending on the focus of analysis at hand. The analysis team is led and coordinated by the Technical Working Group. 

Commonly, during combined Acute Food Insecurity and Acute Malnutrition analyses, there are two interlinked analysis teams. Coordination and collaboration between the two teams is ensured by the Technical Working Group.

Organizations that need to classify acute food insecurity independently from the national IPC partnership may use IPC protocols to develop IPC-compatible classifications. In such cases, agencies follow all protocols except those for Function 1 (Protocols 1.1 and 1.2). With regard to Function 4, the only protocol that applies is the external quality review when the Technical Working Group of the country subject to IPC Compatible Classification expresses concerns about a lack of adherence to protocols in the IPC Compatible Classification with regard to Phase 4 classification. The resulting Compatible Classification is the sole responsibility of the individual organization and includes the following disclaimer or similar text: “This is an IPC Compatible Classification, which uses key IPC protocols but is not built on multi-partner technical consensus”. Should IPC-compatible analyses include a Famine classification, specific protocols for Functions 2 to 4 for Famine should be applied, including the Famine review process.

  • Regional level

In most regions, regional IPC working groups composed of representatives from key stakeholders are usually established to support funding, implementation and institutionalization of IPC at the country level, and dissemination of IPC results and advocacy at the regional level. IPC regional coordinators and trainers, who are part of the Global Support Unit, also play a key role in the coordination of IPC activities within the region and provide direct support to regional and country stakeholders for IPC implementation.

  • Global level 

The IPC is a multi-agency initiative governed by the IPC Global Steering Committee, which is composed of senior officers representing the partner organizations. The Steering Committee is responsible for strategically guiding and positioning the IPC globally (see Box 5 for the Steering Committee composition as of April 2019). 

The Global Nutrition Cluster and Southern African Development Community joined the IPC Global Partnership in November 2018. 

The Technical Advisory Group is responsible for advising the Steering Committee on technical matters. This group is made up of high-level technical experts from the IPC Steering Committee agencies. As necessary, the Technical Advisory Group can invite experts from any relevant agencies to form working groups to work on specific topics.

The Global Support Unit is the operational arm of the IPC Global Steering Committee. Hosted at FAO, the IPC Global Support Unit is in charge of promoting the IPC within global decision-making structures, developing and updating IPC protocols and technical guidance based on inputs from the Technical Advisory Group. It also provides capacity development and technical support to countries, as well as quality assurance oversight, among others.