Generic Module 2 (Philippines IM)

The Nutrition Cluster Information Management Training 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 specified due dates.

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

Thanks go to the Global Education Cluster for their support in the development of this training. 

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

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

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 


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.

What are the criteria for activating Clusters?

  • Response and coordination gaps exist due to a sharp deterioration or significant change in the humanitarian situation.
  • Existing national response or coordination capacity is unable to meet needs
  • The availability of a Cluster Coordinator and Information Management Officer
Select all that apply.

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

What are the six core functions of a cluster at country level?

Match the description to the Cluster Core Function.

  • Support service delivery
    ▪ Providing a platform that ensures service delivery is driven by the Humanitarian Response Plan and strategic priorities. ▪ Developing mechanisms to eliminate duplication of service delivery.
  • Inform the HC/HCT’s strategic decision-making
    ▪ Preparing needs assessments and analysis of gaps to inform the setting of priorities. ▪ Identifying and finding solutions for (emerging) gaps, obstacles, duplication and cross-cutting issues. ▪ Formulating priorities on the basis of analysis.
  • Plan and implement cluster strategies
    ▪ Developing sectoral plans, objectives and indicators that directly support realization of the overall response’s strategic objectives. ▪ Applying and adhering to common standards and guidelines. ▪ Clarifying funding requirements
  • Monitor and evaluate performance
    ▪ Monitoring and reporting on activities and needs. ▪ Measuring progress against the cluster strategy and agreed results. ▪ Recommending corrective action where necessary.
  • Build national capacity in preparedness and contingency planning
    • Identify key elements of the HPC that require preparation • Analyse and address anticipated risks • Establish good working relationships with authorities and partners and clarify roles and responsibilities • Reinforce coordination structures
  • Support robust advocacy
    ▪ Identifying concerns, and contributing key information and messages to HC and HCT messaging and action. ▪ Undertaking advocacy on behalf of the cluster, cluster members, and affected people.

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.

What are possible benefits of establishing sub-national coordination mechanisms?

  • Strengthen accountability to affected people.
  • Establishment of additional offices and recruitment of additional staff.
  • Work closely with local authorities and partners
  • Support real-time implementation of the Humanitarian Response Plan, and address cross-cutting and multidimensional issues arising in the immediate context
  • Adapt the response, including priorities to local circumstances
Select all that apply.

What does the Cluster Performance Monitoring (CCPM) evaluate?

  • Cluster Program Implementation and Delivery
  • Cluster Coordination and Functions
  • Cluster Coordination Architecture
Select the correct answer.

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 a cluster description survey • Cluster Coordinator and partners each complete separate (online) survey • Global Clusters compile survey data and produce a 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 then 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): Excel 102 (copy)

Module 2b (IM): Excel 102

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 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.

  1. Download the Excel file ‘2b_Cluster Monitoring Tool’ 
  2. Format the data as a table (Caution: make sure you have the correct Header Row)
  3. Add a ‘Total Beneficiaries’ column at the end of the table and add a formula summing the male and female beneficiaries reached
  4. Rename the worksheet ‘Data’
  5. 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 ACF 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
  6. At your Cluster meeting, you realize that Samaritan’s Purse International Relief has arrived to the emergency; add them to the dropdown list options
  7. Repeat all of Step 5 and create a dropdown list for the ‘Activity’ column; use whatever activity options you would like
  8. 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
  9. Practice inputting fake data
  10. Save the file with an appropriate file name and send to


Watch this video examaple by the Education Cluster 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

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