Case studies

Reaching out with purpose

Deloitte professionals' business skills elevate global humanitarian efforts

Syria and the South Pacific are separated by 16,000 kilometers and a long list of physical and social contrasts. But, they have at least one thing in common—humanitarian needs that require innovative solutions.

One place is tropical, the other arid. One is torn by nature, the other by war. One has about 2 million people living on 25,000 low-lying islands, the other has seen about 2 million children among those forced to flee its predominantly landlocked borders.

The South Pacific and Syria are separated by 16,000 kilometers and a long list of physical and social contrasts. But, they have at least one thing in common—humanitarian needs that require innovative solutions. In the South Pacific, more frequent and intense cyclones are the culprit, disrupting livelihoods and upsetting a fragile infrastructure. In Syria, armed conflict is driving families from their homes to other parts of the nation and to neighboring countries in search of safe haven.

Deloitte professionals are providing support in both crisis situations. Deloitte New Zealand is working with Oxfam New Zealand (Oxfam NZ) to co-create innovative solutions to deliver post-cyclone relief to multiple countries in the Pacific region while Deloitte Middle East is supporting Syrian refugee response.

The connection with Oxfam NZ was made through the Deloitte Humanitarian Innovation Program. “This program paired Deloitte New Zealand member firm professionals with humanitarian organizations, enabling the Deloitte network to have a role in co-creating and scaling innovative solutions to the sector’s most pressing challenges,” says David Pearson, Deloitte’s Global Chief Sustainability Officer.

Getting clean water to disaster-stricken areas is a priority for Oxfam New Zealand.

Conquering a logistical challenge

Following a disaster, the priority for Oxfam NZ—part of Oxfam’s international confederation of 17 organizations working in more than 90 countries—is to get clean water, sanitation, and hygiene packs to communities. That’s easier said than done, given geographic and infrastructure challenges that make it difficult to reach vulnerable, remote island communities across the Pacific.

The Deloitte New Zealand member firm used its supply chain skills and insights to co-develop a logistics framework and management plans for disaster support and relief throughout the vast region. “The framework considers the movement of aid following a disaster from the point of supply to the point of entry into each affected country,” explains David Lovatt, Consulting partner, Deloitte New Zealand. “This approach is designed to improve the effectiveness of a response by reducing the costs, reducing the time, and improving the quantity and quality of aid.”

While developed specifically for Oxfam NZ’s requirements, Oxfam aims to scale the framework within its broad network and among NGOs across the Pacific region. “By sharing the learnings with the wider humanitarian community, Oxfam will help enable others to act more cohesively in the wake of a disaster, and ultimately reach more people with lifesaving support,” Lovatt says.

Deloitte New Zealand teamed up with Oxfam New Zealand to improve disaster relief in the Pacific.

Reaching displaced women and children

Syria is home to one of the largest humanitarian emergencies of our era. Millions of school-aged children have been forced to abandon their educations and sometimes their families to escape danger. Getting basic necessities to Syrian refugees is just one of many priorities within the humanitarian community. Deloitte Middle East (DME) decided to make an impact by focusing on educating and empowering the women and children who have been impacted most by the ongoing conflict in the area.

DME’s Syrian refugee program, working with local and international organizations, addresses needs through home-based study, skills building, activities for children, and funding for basic necessities. The firm currently is looking to expand the scope of the program beyond Syrian refugees in Lebanon to reach refugees in Jordan and Syria by helping set up classrooms in refugee camps, providing accounting courses, offering skill-building workshops via technology boot camps, and implementing other DME initiatives, such as the Digital Youth Program.

“Over the years, we impacted the lives of thousands of Arab children by focusing our DME corporate responsibility agenda on skill-building and entrepreneurial programs,” explains Rana Salhab DME Talent and Communications Partner. “We are now working on innovative programs that affect vulnerable Syrian refugee youth and women in multiple countries. The world and our region cannot ignore the crisis and consequences resulting from a lost generation of young Syrians.”

Deloitte Middle East is providing educational opportunities for children displaced by the ongoing conflict in Syria.

Disaster relief

Some crises, like the one in Syria, unfold over several years. Others transpire quickly. The Ebola outbreak in West Africa and the earthquake in Nepal are two such events that caused Deloitte professionals to mobilize during the past fiscal year.

In the wake of the Ebola outbreak, DTTL made a significant donation to the U.N. secretary-general’s Ebola Multi-Partner Trust Fund, which directed support toward the greatest identified needs of the United Nations Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER). And within hours of the 25 April tremor that ravaged the central and western regions of Nepal and parts of northern India, Deloitte US professionals created an internal Yammer group encouraging their colleagues and the Deloitte US member firm to donate much-needed funds. Deloitte US contributed US$200,000 and opened an employee-match contribution fund. Many other Deloitte member firms also made donations and ran employee-giving campaigns to raise funds for charitable organizations working on the relief efforts. In total, DTTL and Deloitte member firms donated more than US$760,000 to charitable organizations working on relief efforts in Nepal.

“In recent years, the Deloitte network has contributed generously to support those in need following humanitarian disasters,” Pearson says. “But, the initiative from Deloitte people to take action and support those affected in the aftermath of the Nepal earthquake was truly inspiring.”

“Deloitte”, “we”, “us”, and “our” refer to one or more of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, a UK private company limited by guarantee (“DTTL”), its network of member firms, and their related entities. DTTL and each of its member firms are legally separate and independent entities. DTTL (also referred to as “Deloitte Global”) does not provide services to clients. See additional information.

Figures are aggregate across DTTL and its member firms.

Deloitte named a leader in Supply Chain Strategy & Planning by Kennedy.
Source: Kennedy Consulting Research & Advisory; Supply Chain Strategy & Planning Consulting 2014. © 2014 Kennedy Information, LLC. Reproduced under license.

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