Emergency Preparedness and Contingency Planning
Thursday, August 18, 2005
1. Leah Weinzimer
2. Pierre Gelas
3. Gerry McCarthy
4. Jeanine Cooper
5. Elizabeth Muthuma
6. Andy Featherstone
1. Discussion of IAWG/EPCP Subgroup
IAWG profile has been heightened, especially after the two day CAP workshop
(August 16-17). People perceive IAWG to be important.
Even with the heightened profile and stepping up of activities, IAWG still needs basic
secretariat and contributions from participating agencies to remain operational.
EPCP group needs to define its objectives, goals, ways in which it links with other
subgroups, ways it shares information during emergencies, etc.
1. Redevelop summary of subgroup (Andy), to include the following:
EPCP subgroup will work under the following circumstances:
1. Emergencies in areas without good, existing infrastructure of NGOs
2. Cross Border Emergencies
3. Major Crises (subgroup would need an on-site office with regular admin
support and short, periodic meetings)
How will EPCP group function during an emergency?
Define added value of subgroup in responding to emergencies –
1. How could EPCP group shape an interagency assessment team? What is
needed for a good assessment team? How will IAWG members share
information from individual assessments? Key areas for assessments: 1.
Skills capacity of team, 2. Determination of greatest needs, 3. Balanced
Note: not all EPCP subgroup members have the managerial power within their
organizations to shape what country offices do; regional joint assessments would
only have value in certain places, where effective structures for assessments don’t
2. Different agencies will have to contribute some resources, for example,
increased admin support.
3. In a complex emergency with serious political implications, IAWG would
bring value through a joint voice, which may make it easier to put pressure
on government, related parties.
4. Some element of recovery should be built into response. This relates to
preparedness, in that it is thinking through the whole plan from:
pre-emergency coordination response (development, which is a
distinction, though artificial. Needs to be thought through: the quality of
the emergency response will directly relate to quality of development)
5. Part of functioning of EPCP group in emergencies is to ensure: 1.
Parameters are understood, 2. Components put in place, 3. Everything
possible is being done
2. Early Warning Systems
For natural disasters EWS are easier to use, for political conflicts, more difficult
How do you make the call that emergency exists?
Need to define different types of emergencies, that warrant different responses –
Tsunami simulation applied only to large scale, rapid onset, natural disaster
Now there are endemic emergencies like HIV/AIDS, these point towards the need for
focus on long term response and development as opposed to just relief.
If there is an imminent cross boarder emergency: a local problem with potential to
grow into an emergency, there are two different forums for discussion:
1. National offices that discuss operational issues
2. EPCP sub group: regional actors should discuss what to do IF these become
1. EPCP subgroup should simulate other types of emergencies
2. Rolling agenda item for subgroup meetings: are there any imminent cross
3. EPCP subgroup/ IAWG core group: suggested link
EPCP group should link with the core group. The first part (half hour?) of the meeting
will be devoted to core group issues (relating to Logistics, IT, Training). The rest of
the meeting will turn into the EPCP group meeting.
Core group should be able to upscale the secretariat of the IAWG in emergencies, for
on-site assistance, sharing information and updates to other members.
4. IAWG Website info
Key documents: OCHA reports, NGO/Red Cross order of conduct, OCHA IDP
guidelines, links to humanitarian practice network, ODI, SACB, Fuse Net…
Subgroup feature: will come out of subgroup meetings. May be asking too much to
have someone write this each month. Should be secretariat responsibility.
1. Andy will send Leah documents, suggested links
NEXT MEETING: Thursday, October 29th, 9:30 a.m., OCHA