Scaling humanitarian response in times of crises
Driving efficient and effective humanitarian response at Save the Children International
Save the Children International (SCI) requested Deloitte UK’s assistance in planning how to scale up and scale down its local operations when there is a crisis in-country. Deloitte UK consulting professionals worked on a pro-bono basis with SCI to provide a strategy to improve its response decisions, as part of the Deloitte Humanitarian Innovation Program.
Scale up and scale down or ‘surge capacity’ is a common challenge faced by humanitarian organizations. For example, if there is a small, long-term development program in a country and then that country experiences a natural disaster, it needs to quickly transform its operating model to launch an emergency response.
Save the Children International is a leading global humanitarian response agency and the largest agency focusing specifically on the needs of children. In 2012, the organization responded to 77 humanitarian crises in some of the most challenging parts of the world.
“When disasters strike, Save the Children International must be ready to rapidly transform its operations from every-day activities to a large-scale emergency response. The more efficiently we can do this, the more people in crisis our organization can potentially reach with life-saving food, shelter, and supplies,” said David Wightwick, Deputy Humanitarian Director (Operations). “We asked Deloitte to assess how effectively we scale up and scale down our local operations during an international humanitarian crises, knowing that they would draw on their broad experience of tackling similar challenges within the private and public sectors.”
The Deloitte UK project team worked collaboratively with a wide variety of stakeholders from across the Save the Children member organizations to understand the operational challenges to scale up and scale down and to develop a strategy that will assist SCI in delivering more efficient and effective operations.
Deloitte UK also developed a decision-making framework based on the principles of good governance to define the structure, forums, roles and responsibilities for making strategic humanitarian response decisions.
“The resulting findings have provided us with a deep analysis of the way we operate, and a framework for how we can strengthen our model in the future,” stated Wightwick.
Deloitte’s intention is to share the outcomes of projects delivered under the Deloitte Humanitarian Innovation Program with the wider sector. In February 2014, Deloitte UK professionals will host a workshop on surge capacity so that other humanitarian organizations can benefit from the results.
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