Building a Better Response

A typhoon strikes the Philippines. An earthquake devastates Haiti. Monsoon floodwaters inundate Pakistan. A hunger crisis erupts in the Sahel.

When a country is faced with an emergency, international humanitarian organizations jump into action to respond.

However, the first crucial hours and days during an emergency can be a confusing time, with infrastructure often impaired, transportation disrupted, resources made scarce, and lines of communication delayed.

It is essential that NGOs (non-governmental organizations) work together to get help fast to those who need it, but coordinating efforts during the chaos of crises is often challenging.

Training and skills to improve coordination

Concern Worldwide, along with International Medical Corps and Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, decided to do something to help humanitarian workers during these critical moments after a disaster. In 2012, the Building a Better Response (BBR) project was launched, with funding from the Office of US Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA).

To date, over 30,000 humanitarians have joined the BBR movement by either attending a workshop or registering for the e-learning tool.

BBR provides training that gives NGO first responders the skills to engage with each other and coordinate more effectively when working on the ground during man-made crises or natural disasters.

Through an interactive e-learning tool and workshops held all over the world that include discussion panels and simulation exercises, BBR participants learn how to become more effective emergency responders by increasing their knowledge of:

  • International humanitarian systems and other institutional networks that can provide resources to help first responders do their jobs more effectively
  • Humanitarian “cluster” coordination, a system that brings UN agencies and NGOs together to collaborate on response strategies
  • Humanitarian response financing and planning
  • International humanitarian law and standards
  • Foundations of humanitarian action and how to plan and prepare for an emergency response
  • Complex Humanitarian Emergencies and the additional considerations actors must incorporate into their aid deliver strategies in these situations

 

BBR workshop

Teammates collaborate at a BBR workshop

Through these trainings, BBR is strengthening the humanitarian community to provide efficient emergency response when people are most in need of our help. To date, over 30,000 humanitarians have joined the BBR movement by either attending a workshop or registering for the e-learning tool.

To learn more about BBR and to sign up for the interactive online learning tool, visit buildingabetterresponse.org.

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