Module 2 DUE: 29 May 2017

The Education Cluster’s Core Skills Course requires that all participants have a basic level of theoretical and practical knowledge and skills related to coordination prior to arriving.

We have therefore prepared FOUR modules with accompanying assignments to be completed and submitted according to the specified due dates.

Each module will contain a theory-based assignment as well as a practical, Information Management (IM)-based assignment. 

To qualify to attend the face-to-face portion of this course, you must complete and submit all assignments in Modules 1-4 on time.

All assignments and assignment-related questions should be sent to the Global Education Cluster at [email protected].

Module 2a (Theory): IASC Reference Module for Cluster Coordination at Country Level

Module 2a (Theory): IASC Reference Module for Cluster Coordination at Country Level

Module 2a (Theory): Cluster Coordination Reference Module (CCRM)


  1. Read the entirety of the CCRM (see below or click on the link above)

  2. Complete the following post-reading quiz 


Additional highly suggested readings on Cluster Coordination can be found under the following links: UNICEF Cluster Coordination Guidance for Country Offices and Cluster Coordination Guidance to SC Country Offices

What is the purpose of the “IASC Cluster Coordination Reference Module”?

  • Outline the basic elements of cluster coordination
  • Serve as a reference guide for field practitioners to help facilitate their work and improve humanitarian outcomes
  • Provide UNICEF Country Representatives with a clear guide on their role and responsibilities vis-a-vis UNICEF led Clusters and AORs
Select all that apply.

All Clusters are automatically activated in a humanitarian crisis.

  • True
  • False
Select the correct answer.

List at least one main criteria for activating Clusters?

How does Inter-Cluster coordination work in humanitarian responses?

Match the explanation of the different components of Inter-Cluster Coordination to the corresponding level of Inter-Cluster Coordination.
  • Provides strategic direction through the articulation of strategic objectives and operational support to their achievement. CLAs ensure an inter-sectoral analysis informs HCT decision-making.
    Humanitarian Country Team
  • Determined by the HCT, relevant clusters group together to develop multi-sectoral strategies in achievement of the SO and coordinate to implement and monitor their achievement.
    Strategic Objectives
  • Focus on key operational issues which impact on an effective and efficient response

List at least 3 core functions of a cluster at country level?

What are the characteristics of (your) well-managed cluster?

  • Five people around the table at the monthly cluster meeting
  • Monitor performance of the six core cluster functions, making sure that programmes clearly contribute to the implementation of strategic objectives and are based on sound field practices and agreed international benchmarks and standards.
  • Establish and maintain a cluster, which (1) strengthens pre-existing sectoral coordination by increasing predictability and accountability, (2) reinforces the complementarity of partner actions by avoiding duplication and gaps, (3) advocates for adequate resources, which are allocated according to agreed priorities and fulfill cluster response plan, (4) ensures effective and comprehensive integration of relevant crosscutting issues and (4) ensures protection and early recovery are mainstreamed and integrated.
  • Maintain cluster’s responsiveness to changes in environment including by adjusting requirements, capacity, and participation.
  • Ensure that information is effectively transferred btw. cluster members and to and from other stakeholders, and is well used.
  • Contribute effectively to inter-cluster coordination forums and cooperate with humanitarian actors, Government counterparts, and relevant authorities (as appropriate) in planning, coordination, and operational activities.
  • Be accountable to affected people, by ensuring that women, men, girls and boys have equal opportunity to participate throughout the programme cycle, including through feedback mechanisms that are inclusive and consultative
Select all that apply.

Who is responsible for the efficient functioning of a cluster?

  • The Cluster lead Agency (CLA)
  • The Cluster Coordinator
  • Affected populations
  • Resourcing partners
  • Cluster members
  • The military
Select all that apply.

What are possible advantages of shared Cluster leadership (ie. UNICEF and Save the Children for the Education Cluster)?

  • Improved Partnerships
  • Improved Advocacy
  • Improved Information Transfer
  • Higher Transaction Costs
  • Better Coordination
  • Stronger Engagement of Partners
Select all that apply.

List at least 2 benefits of establishing sub-national coordination mechanisms?

What does the Cluster Performance Monitoring (CCPM) evaluate?

  • Cluster Program Implementation and Delivery
  • Cluster Coordination and Functions
  • Cluster Coordination Architecture

What are the different Steps of Cluster Performance Monitoring (CCPM)?

Match the description to the corresponding CCPM Step.

  • • HCT discusses and agrees on implementation of CCPM incl. timeframe • Inter-cluster Group discusses CCPM process and objectives and agrees on timeline and roles and responsibilities • Clusters discuss objectives and clarify steps and processes w partners
    Step 1 - Planning
  • • Cluster Coordinator completes cluster description survey • Cluster Coordinator and partners each complete separate (online) survey • Global Clusters compile survey data and produce Preliminary CCPM Report on performance of six core functions
    Step 2 - CCPM Survey
  • • In CCPM workshops, each cluster discusses survey results, mitigating factors and explanations of performance and agrees on specific corrective actions that will be taken • CCPM Report and Action Plan are finalized and shared with stakeholders
    Step 3 – Cluster Analysis and Action Planning
  • • Inter-Cluster Group reviews CCPM Reports and Action Plans • CCPM Reports and Action Plans are presented to HCT and Global Clusters • Each cluster monitors implementation of its Action Plan • Clusters report to HCT on respective progress and challenges
    Step 4 - Follow-up and Monitoring

Module 2b (IM): Education Cluster Monitoring Tool (ECMT)

Module 2b (IM): Education Cluster Monitoring Tool (ECMT)

Assignment: Review the lessons, walkthroughs, videos, and challenges in this module and then complete the Exercise at the end of the lesson.  You can access the Exercise by clicking on 'Next' at the bottom of this page.

Please Note: If you feel you have already mastered the skills described in a particular lesson within this module, feel free to skip it.  You must, however, complete and submit your completed Exercise.

2.1 Working with Basic Functions

How to insert common functions in your worksheet by utilizing the AutoSum and Insert Functions commands. You will also become familiar with how to search and find various functions, including exploring Excel's Functions Library.

2.1. Walkthrough


Challenge: Try completing 2.1 Challenge  to try out your new skills

2.2 Creating Simple Formulas

How to create simple formulas in Excel to add, subtract, multiply, and divide values in a workbook. You will learn the various ways you can use cell references to make working with formulas easier and more efficient.

2.2. Walkthrough


Challenge: Try completing 2.2 Challenge  to try out your new skills

2.3 Worksheet Basics

How to organize your workbook, rename and colour code worksheet tabs; insert, delete, move, and copy worksheets

2.3. Walkthrough


Challenge: Try completing 2.3 Challenge  to try out your new skills

2.4 Lock/Unlock Cells, Protect Worksheets and Workbooks    

2.4.A How to (Un)lock cells and (un)protect a worksheet to in order to protect your formulas, etc. while still allowing user data entry

2.4.A Walkthrough


2.4.B How to protect a workbook so that users cannot insert, delete, rename, move, copy, hide or unhide worksheets

2.4.B Walkthrough


Challenge: Try completing 2.4 Challenge  to try out your new skills

(Note: for this Challenge, download the Excel file and practice locking and unlocking the cell with the formula and protecting/unprotecting the worksheet. See here.)

2.5 Dropdown Lists

How to create drop down lists by using a comma-delimited list, a cell range, and a named range to define the options in a drop-down list. You will also learn how to manage dropdown lists.

2.5.A how to use comma-delimited list to create a dropdown list. 

2.5.A Walkthrough


2.5.B How to use a cell range and named range to create a dropdown list. 

2.5.C How to create input and error messages for your dropdown list when people have not entered correct value (as defined by the dropdown list).

2.5.D  How to prevent changes to your drop-down list data. You will review how to hide the columns, rows, or the entire worksheet that contains the dropdown list data. Learn how to lock and password protect the cells on the worksheet and the entire worksheet.


Module 2b (IM): Exercise

The Education Cluster needs to start collecting information from partner agencies regarding the number of beneficiaries their activities are currently reaching.  You have been provided with an Excel monitoring tool, but you realize that the tool is missing formulas for automatic calculations, data validation/dropdown lists to ensure correct data entry and protection measures to ensure formulas and worksheets are not deleted.  Using the skills learned in the various lessons of Module 2, follow the steps below to improve the Cluster’s monitoring tool.

Download the Excel file ‘2b_Cluster Monitoring Tool’ 

  1. Format the data as a table (Caution: make sure you have the correct Header Row)
  2. Add a ‘Total Beneficiaries’ column at the end of the table and add a formula summing the male and female beneficiaries reached
  3. Rename the worksheet ‘Data’
  4. Use data validation to create a drop down list for the ‘Organization’ column. Do this by:
    • Create a new worksheet called ‘Lists’
    • Create a list including the two existing organizations (World Vision and Plan International); add UNICEF and Save the Children to the list
    • Format the Organization list as a table
    • Open the Name Manager (on the Formulas tab; or with the shortcut key Ctrl + F3)
    • Create a new name, call it ‘Org’ and define where the named range refers to (e.g. A2:A5)
    • Open the Data Validation (on the Data tab), select ‘List’ as the validation criteria and for the ‘Source’ type “=Org” (or paste it by using F3)
    • Return to your Org list and sort it in alphabetical order
  5. At your Cluster meeting, you realize that Finn Church Aid has arrived to the emergency; add them to the dropdown list options
  6. Repeat all of Step 5 and create a dropdown list for the ‘Activity’ column; use whatever activity options you would like
  7. Before sending this file to partners you want to make sure it’s properly protected:
    • Unlock the cells where you would like partners to be able to input data (Hint: do NOT unlock the ‘Total Beneficiaries’ cells as this contains a formula you want to protect)
    • Protect the worksheet (Review tab)
    • Hide the ‘Lists’ worksheet
    • Protect the workbook
  8. Practice inputting fake data

Save the file with an appropriate file name and send to the Global Education Cluster at [email protected]


Watch this video if you would like to receive step-by-step guidance on how to complete the following exercise.


Have you updated and sent the Monitoring Tool to the Education Cluster at [email protected]?

  • Yes! The Monitoring Tool is better than ever...
  • No way, who needs a Monitoring Tool anyway?