Humanitarian, private sector and government organisations that have an interest in humanitarian assistance, and can commit to making a positive contribution to technology in emergency response, can join the Emergency Telecommunications Cluster (ETC) global partner network. 

Making a difference in ICT emergency response

Humanitarian, private sector and government organisations that have an interest in humanitarian assistance, and can commit to making a positive contribution to technology in emergency response, can join the Emergency Telecommunications Cluster (ETC) global partner network. 

ETC partnership is open to all Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) associated organisations. 

Non-IASC members can apply to the global partnership network and if applicable, discuss the process for becoming an ETC partner. To qualify as an ETC partner, organisations must fulfill the following criteria:

  • Demonstrate an interest in humanitarian assistance
  • Support the achievement of the mandate of the ETC
  • Actively engage in or contribute to ETC activities at the global and local levels.

The new Partnership Model

In response to the evolving landscape, the ETC has introduced last year the new ETC2025 partnership model, transforming its approach to engage with partners and managing those relationships moving forward. 

In contrast to the previous ETC2020 partnership model, which was tied to the ETC2020 strategy and its associated goals, the revamped ETC2025 strategy, endorsed in 2021, emphasizes largely on the significance of strategic partnerships. This raised the need to revise the partnership model, as the previous one inadvertently restricted the participation of organizations in service delivery, restricting the entry of new ideas and approaches. 

While the ETC principles for partners, rooted in humanitarian ideals and strict non-commercialism, remain integral in the new model, it endeavors to overcome the limitations of its predecessor, seeking to attract partners who not only share a commitment to humanitarian assistance but actively contribute to ETC activities at both global and local levels.

The new partnership model entails three distinctive levels of engagement, showcasing the diverse ways organizations can contribute to and benefit from the collaborative ecosystem: 

  • Global Members: These are organizations deeply committed to the ETC's mission, actively bringing its mandate forward and actively shaping its core activities. Their high level of engagement signifies a pivotal role in steering the overarching goals of the ETC. 
  • Global Partner Network: This level constitutes a dynamic network of organizations operating at a global scale. Their primary focus is on the exchange of valuable information, sharing knowledge, and pooling resources. This collaborative network facilitates a synergistic approach to addressing challenges and opportunities on a global scale. 
  • Local Partners: Organizations at the local level play a crucial role in ensuring that the ETC remains attuned to contextual needs. Engaged in specific local initiatives and implementations, these partners provide valuable insights and contribute to the ETC's effectiveness in addressing regional challenges. 

The model was finalized by the global ETC and gained endorsement from the SAG (Strategic Advisory Group) towards the end of the last year, after which it was disseminated to partners for their review and comments. 

The new model aims to provide a more standardized approach to managing partnerships, offering clarity on expectations based on its distinct engagement levels. It plays a key role in realizing the overarching goals and vision, serving as a catalyst in moving the ETC2025 strategy forward and fulfilling the ETCs mandate. This shift represents a significant milestone, laying the groundwork for a more collaborative and strategic partnership framework, opening the ETC membership up to a larger network of organizations at the local and the global level.

A streamlined application process has been established to facilitate integration into the ETC Global Partner Network.


Flow chart - application process


The implementation of the new model starts in January 2024 with the following milestones planned:


Tentative timeline

*please note that this is a tentative timeline, that will be revised

ETC Strategic Advisory Group

The ETC strives to involve a diverse and representative group of humanitarian actors, governments, and the private sector in its partnerships. Considering the diversity of partners in the ETC, a Strategic Advisory Group (SAG) is being established to assist the global ETC unit in its support function, and facilitate timely and effective decision making outside the wider cluster coordination meetings and annual ETC plenary events.

Read the full SAG terms of reference here.

Global Partners

An ETC partner since 2016, ACF commits to work with the Cluster to provide vital communications services in humanitarian disasters.
CDAC Network is the global alliance of organisations – including UN agencies, the Red Cross/Red Crescent Movement, local and international NGOs, media development and specialist communications entities – working to ensure people can access safe, trustworthy information and communicate during crises.
Cisco Crisis Response engages with the ETC to help in areas of ICT/networking expertise and training, cybersecurity, global resource capacity and mobilization of people and connectivity solutions in emergencies.
Ericsson Response regularly deploys Ericsson personnel and telecommunications equipment, including its Wireless LAN in Disaster and Emergency Response (WIDER) technology, to support ETC operations in times of disaster.
FAO has been a long-standing partner of the Emergency Telecommunications Cluster.
GVF supports the ETC with thought leadership and by establishing the link with the satellite industry.
In addition to deploying personnel and the connectivity solution to support ETC operations, the Government of Luxembourg also contributes to ETC training development and delivery, as well as Services for Communities and preparedness initiatives.
The GSMA works with the ETC on preparedness and supports the Cluster’s emergency response activities by providing data on local mobile networks, as well as crucial links to local mobile network providers (MNOs).
iMMAP Inc is a worldwide non-profit organization that offers crucial data analysis, mapping, and visualization tools to facilitate decision-making and coordination efforts in humanitarian crisis. As an ETC partner since February 2023, they leverage their expertise in information management to support the ETC in enhancing the impact and effectiveness of emergency responses.
ICRC has been engaged with the ETC for a long time and collaborated in several ETC working groups and initiatives
IFRC is a long-standing partner of the ETC at a global level.
IOM works closely with the ETC in the field to support the provision of services to communities and humanitarians in operational hubs.
ITU and the ETC collaborate in the area of preparedness, delivering simulation exercises and developing guidelines for the development of national emergency telecommunication plans in high-risk countries.
Internews has been instrumental to the development and implementation of the ETC2020 strategy thanks to their expertise and experience about community engagement and communication with communities (CwC).

NetHope and its network of 50+ NGOs regularly collaborate with the ETC in the field to provide ICT and technology services to humanitarians and affected populations.
OICT provides crucial connectivity services to UN peacebuilding operations and collaborates closely with the ETC in the field.
Oxfam and the ETC have collaborated to strengthen the transition from relief to recovery, encouraging community engagement and ownership.
The sharing of information is one of the key added values of the partnership between Plan International and the ETC.
REACH supports the ETC through the development of needs assessment tools and monitoring indicators, facilitating evidence-based humanitarian coordination across the Humanitarian Program Cycle.
Save the Children actively participates in several ETC working groups and engages locally with the ETC in the field.
MSB deploys IT and telecoms experts to set up and deliver shared communications services in emergency situations.
TSF’s rapid deployment capacity makes it a crucial partner for the ETC. TSF provides assessment and connectivity support to humanitarians, as well as connectivity and calling facilities for affected populations.
U.S. Department of State
The U.S. Department of State supports the ETC’s preparedness activities and brings key stakeholders together, linking NGOs and local government officials in the wake of emergencies.
UNICEF provides thought leadership to the ETC and supports ETC operations in the field, leveraging their extensive field presence.
UNDSS and the ETC work together in the field, especially in high-risk environments, setting up and running security telecommunications networks, including communication centers.
The ETC and UNHCR-led Refugee Emergency Telecommunications Sector (RETS) collaborate at global and field levels to leverage synergies and ensure effective response efforts.
OCHA ensures effective coordination of humanitarian action in the field and supports the extension of ETC services when required.
UNDP supports ETC operations in the field, ensuring that longer-term, post-emergency development objectives are also considered.
As the lead agency of the ETC, WFP hosts the Global ETC team responsible for the overall coordination of the Cluster’s activities. WFP also provides expertise and equipment to support the coordination and delivery of ETC services in the field.
The ETC and WHO work closely together in field operations, particularly in response to health crises.
World Vision supports the ETC in thought leadership and participates in several ETC working groups.