UNHCR Syria in cooperation with UNHCR Global Learning Centre designed a one-week Workshop on Emergency Management specifically for Syria called the Syria Emergency Training (SET), which is an emergency preparedness training for its national staff.
To cope with the rapid changes and increasing complexity of humanitarian emergencies globally, UNHCR has always been keen on equipping its staff with methods and tools to effectively manage large-scale and complex emergencies. The organization is determined on disseminating good practices and state of the art knowledge and techniques so that it can deliver efficiently and effectively to people in need in humanitarian emergencies, where and when this is needed most.
To that end, taking into consideration the complexity and particularities of the Syria emergency operation, a one-week Workshop on Emergency Management, specifically designed for Syria, called the Syria Emergency Training (SET), was designed and implemented with the support of UNHCR Global Learning Centre (GLC). This emergency preparedness training offered a chance for 38 participants from among national colleagues to undergo an intensive Emergency Management learning experience throughout the week. The training workshop was preceded by interactive training sessions through GLC’s online platform Learn & Connect that are mandatory for the participants covering Emergency Response in areas like Protection, Health and Shelter, the AGD approach, SGBV and Cash –Based Intervention.
The information presented during the workshop was intensive; participants could live the urgency, through a real life simulation of having to plan for the first two weeks of an emergency response operation, and to obtain an in depth knowledge about the so often faced by emergency respondents coordination challenges and opportunities; these being demonstrated through a coordination role-play exercise. Multiple team building exercises were conducted to strengthening the team formation and coordination among participants.
Knowledge about Emergency Standards was disseminated covering several topics: UNHCR Handbook & Sphere Project, Non-camp based assistance and response, Emergency Shelter and site planning (urban planning), Livelihoods, Cash-based interventions (CBIs) and Vouchers system, Food Security, Community-Based Protection, Health and Nutrition, and Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH).
On the subject of Delivering in Emergencies, among others, the training covered Response Analysis and UNHCR’s risk analysis, and the concepts, techniques and methods of delivery and other emergency response aspects, including Administration in Emergencies, Humanitarian Negotiation and Decision-making mechanisms.
The Planning Exercise was the highlight of the training, where participants were divided into four groups, each group had to work on a comprehensive emergency plan for a real life scenario, namely the influx of Nigerian Refugees to Cameroon on 28th of February 2015. The teams found it exceptionally interesting that the case they worked on was inspired by a real-life emergency.
“I felt like I had really met the Nigerian Refugees!”
“I felt like I had really met the Nigerian Refugees!” Said Dr. Riwa Dahman after submitting her team’s plan on the 6th day of the workshop.
Feeling the rush and urgency to meet the deadline, the participants spent a few sleepless nights consulting and coordinating to identify and benefit from the different skills and expertise available within each of the four teams, with a view to draw the best plan that guarantees the protection and well-being of the refugees. The coherent, inclusive and comprehensive exercise expanded the knowledge of participants outside their fields of expertise, thus empowering them with the so often required nowadays professional emergency preparedness and response skills.
UNHCR Syria brought together 38 staff members from UNHCR offices in Syria and one Syrian Arab Red Crescent employee. To bring in staff members to Tartous from all other parts of Syria by land is a most challenging task, taking into consideration the existing numerous logistical and security challenges. Trainers from within the Syria operation and from the UNHCR Global Learning Centre did an excellent job in facilitating learning, delivering knowledge and sharing experiences with the staff. We say to them: congratulations on a job well done!
“We came out of this intensive workshop wiser, more prepared and in a better shape to handle emergencies”
“We came out of this intensive workshop wiser, more prepared and in a better shape to handle emergencies”, said one of the participants.