Holistic and iterative approach to NS development in DM
1. A holistic and iterative approach to
National Society development in
2. ‘National Society Development is not a goal in
and of itself: The primary impact of a National
Society can be measured through the services
that it offers.’
- IFRC NS Development Framework
3. A service based approach: Why Disaster
National Societies share a number of characteristics that
position them uniquely in a country’s disaster management
– an established auxiliary role to government with a
mandate in the delivery of humanitarian assistance;
– an ability to mobilise trained and experienced volunteers
nationally, even in a country’s most remote regions, and;
– a connection to a global network of emergency-response
support: the Red Cross Red Crescent
4. Part of an international Movement with
Alongside their peers, National Societies discuss and approve
policies and procedures that determine how they and their
sister societies act.
- IFRC NS Development Framework
– Disaster Preparedness Policy (1997)
– Emergency Response Policy (1997)
– National Disaster Preparedness and Response Mechanism (2010)
– Principles and Rules for Humanitarian Assistance (2013)
5. Principles of Effective Organizational
Effective National Society Development:
•Is based on thorough analysis of an NS and its environment.
•It looks beyond immediate symptoms to identify and address
deeper organizational issues coherently.
•Is based on the involvement of stakeholders from across the
- IFRC NS Development Framework
8. The need for a service centered, holistic and
iterative approach to National Society
– It is the services a National Society delivers that determine their
internal and external identity as well as how they should be
structured and run.
– Building strong National Societies requires a holistic view: All its
parts interact in one way or another.
– Capacity building of a given service or system must be done in
alignment with the broader change process, and requires an
iterative approach - tailored to needs and priorities.
12. Well Prepared National Society (WPNS) survey
A1 A3 A3.4 A4.1 A5 A7 A9
Si No/En proceso/No se
13. Organisational Capacity Assessment and
Certification (OCAC) process: Phase I
Core capacities Attributes Indicators
A B C D E
A B C D E A - E 1 - 4
The NS has Statutes
that are available
at all levels of the
The Statutes have
been revised less
than 10 years ago.
The NS Statutes meet
the requirements of
The NS regularly discusses
and disseminates its
Statutes. It involves all
levels of the NS in this
18. “We now have a functional system that does not depend on individuals, rather
a structure effectively and efficiently managed… moving away from a person
based system to a plan based way of doing things”
“Change in the way the NS responds….integrating all sectors of the NS to provide holistic interventions…priority
has been given to the collective RC work as opposed to the individual or sectorial approach”
focus from reactive to proactive
“The levels of preparation are better coordinated from the national level to the local….
improved coordination amongst the various stakeholders
19. Moving Forward: National Society
Development in Disaster Management
• Afghanistan: baseline, analysis and planning completed,
implementation under way.
• Jamaica: start up in 2014.
• Africa: Engagement with approach and initiating with
• Americas: Second iteration with Nicaragua, Honduras, Haiti
and Dominican Republic.
20. Moving forward: Evaluating emergency
• Systematic evaluation of small-medium operations (DREF
operations) becoming a frequent practice.
• AZO aiming at standardizing the evaluations to facilitate
comparison across disasters: within the NS and among NSs
Why not use the DRCE?
22. Our vision and aspirations
Continual improvement to an approach that:
– Empowers NS to be more creative and innovative in the
way they accomplish their humanitarian mandate.
– Contributes to a stronger national and global DM system.
– Results in improved quality of disaster management
Notas do Editor
Whether we are looking strengthening our own National Society, or at how we can support other National Societies become stronger, we need first acknowledge that National Society Development is not a goal in and of itself. That our efforts to improve need to be in the interest of those we serve. The impact of our efforts must be improved services to the most vulnerable.
National Society services with and for vulnerable people are central to its identity. Identifying services that can be sustained and grow over time involves positioning the NS in relation to government and other actors, and above all else, identifying services that can be delivered at scale over time with resources that the NS can realistically attract and sustain. To do this, services offered must be relevant and visible.
Disaster Management, while not the only service a National Society can provide, is one of central focus of most for a number of reasons:
an established auxiliary role to delivery of humanitarian assistance;
an ability to mobilize volunteers even in a country’s most remote regions, and;
a connection to a global network of emergency-response support: the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement (RCM).
As articulated in the IFRC NS Development Framework, Any National Society will at times be called upon to respond to exceptional situations, such as natural disaster, epidemic or conflict. And all National Societies should prepare on an ongoing basis for such eventualities.
Furthermore, changes in the frequency and scale of disasters have put increased pressure on national domestic response capacities.
While National Societies take on a variety of organizational forms, and reflect different cultural values and environmental contexts, they are also bound together by common Movement standards and undertakings. Each NS must therefore develop its own way of working that allows it to meet its commitments to the Movement.
A number of these commitments pertain to Disaster Management, and are a useful starting point in helping guide National Soceites efforts to improve this service.
So for a National Society that has identified Disaster Management as a core service, and is motivated to improving in order to better meet their commitment to global standards, how can they do this?
Evidence of lessons and best practices found through the Global OD Study conducted by IFRC, and through a review of capacity building and organizational development initiatives, shows us that Effective National Society Development:
Is based on thorough analysis of an NS and its environment.
It looks beyond immediate symptoms to identify and address deeper organizational issues coherently.
Is based on the involvement of stakeholders from across the organization.
Figure 1 illustrates the complex and interrelated aspects of a National Society. The key point is that, behind the ultimate aim of NS development (a relevant, sustained service that meets the needs of vulnerable people) lies a complex interrelated series of capacities, processes, systems etc.
One implication of this is that NS development will likely take place at multiple organizational levels, across operational and support units, and may need to take into account many interlinked factors.
A second is that the responsibility for NS development work can not be limited to one organizational function – Instead it must be seen as an organization-wide process lead by leadership, engaging people across and outside the organization.
A third is that two processes often understood to be separate within the Movement, capacity building and organizational development, do not take place in isolation of one another. There is an ongoing interplay between capacity building in one area, and the broader organizational change processes.
National Society Development does not have an end point – It is a moving goal. There is always scope for National Societies to improve services, and a need to continually ensure their relevance and effectiveness within a changing external context.
These services should be regularly updated based on National Societies’ own assessments of both the internal and external context. The services a National Society delivers evolves from the analysis of the needs, gaps, weaknesses, and opportunities that are identified through assessment.
This analysis informs prioritization and planning, and the ongoing cycle allows for monitoring of progress and perpetual improvement.
So to summarize, based on the Movement’s lessons and best practices in National Society Development, we can identify the need for a service centered, holistic and iterative approach.
There are a number of global tools and processes within the Movement that can help enable this approach. Complimentary to one another, these are most useful to an NS when they can be consolidated (cross referenced) and focused towards coherent planning within the NS.
For an iterative approach it must be needs based, and needs must be determined through assessment.
For it to be service based approach, in the case of DM, it must look to assessments that can measure the DM system. (NSDPRM, WPNS and DRCE)
For it to be a holistic approach, it must also look to assessments that can measure the whole NS and its relationship with the environment. (OCAC)
To the extent possible, tools and processes standard to the Movement should be looked to for what they already provide.
The NDPRM components were drawn from the National Disaster Preparedness and Response Mechanism and linked to existing resources by the global DM working group.
They lay out the 31 components of a DM system in a clear and tangible way that allows for a quick ‘health-check’ of what should be in place.
It lends itself well to being the framework for assessment.
Well Prepared National Society survey is a self-assessment conducted every few years by each NS (most recently in 2011)
It provides a mix of quantitative and qualitative data that can help identify relative strengths and weaknesses.
When scored, and aligned against the NDPRM components, it serves as a useful planning, monitoring and evaluation tool.
The phase I externally facilitated self-assessment of the Organisational Capacity Assessment (OCAC) process, first piloted in 2009, has now been completed by more than 45 NS.
This assessment looks to the whole NS and its relationship with its external environment, based on core capacities and key attributes. It is a useful planning, monitoring and evaluation tool for a holistic approach to NS development.
When aligned with the NDPRM components, it provides complimentary data to the WPNS and DRCE.
First developed by IFRC CREPD (disaster response reference center based in El Salvador), with support of the IFRC Americas Zone and the Canadian Red Cross, it was piloted with 4 NS through the First Responder Initiative 2010-2013.
To date, has been primarily used to evaluate preparedness and response to a simulate event (enhanced table top, not drill), it is increasingly being looked to for its application in After Action review and real time evaluation.
Aligned to the NDPRM components, it provides strong quantitative and qualitative data that lends itself to planning, monitoring and evaluation of progress and that is complimentary to WPNS and OCAC as it measures performance (behavior change) based on verifiable evidence.
Drawing on the principles of adult-learning (learning by doing) it has also proven to be a strong driver of organizational change.
In order to cross reference and triangulate the information from these assessments, a matrix has been developed that enables analysis of results against the NDPR components.
Developed by the Canadian Red Cross, it has been validated and refined by a working group of DM and OD practitioners from each of the three IFRC Zones and from across CRC’s programs.
Indicators from each of the assessments are cited in line with the relevant component and are colored green, yellow, or red based on result according to the legend. This allows for a visual analysis of relative strength and weakness; pattern analysis of convergent and divergent results.
A methodology has been developed for guiding the analysis that enables processing (pattern analysis, alignment with current aims, quick wins, building blocks, etc.), prioritization, planning and resourcing. The outcome will be a list of actions that can/should be incorporated into existing or future plans, strategy, partnership agreement, etc.
Turning from the theoretical to the practical and putting this approach in action, we can look to the experience of 4 National Societies in the Americas, engaged through the First Responder Initiative (2011-2013).
Was based on:
A flexible and responsive process for planning interventions that harmonizes NS priorities with donor’s requirements
Providing the ‘whole package’ in order to achieve change- combination of Framework (strategies, policies, plans and procedures) infrastructure (EOCs), equipment (EOCs and emergency response), training, accompaniment and dissemination
Use of internal (WPNS) and external (DRCE) evaluations in determining needs (needs based, iterative approach)
Encouraged and facilitated peer-to-peer support; generated learning, sharing and a competitive spirit to ‘score’ well in the exercises
Generating senior leadership ownership and engagement (critical driver)
Step 1 – Establishing political will and comprehensive buy-in (from NS leadership, across units and departments, and with stakeholders)
Step 2 – Thorough needs assessment using WPNS and DRCE. Baseline established. Priorities identified. Needs based plans developed.
Step 3 – Implementation by relevant persons within NS. Oversight by cross-unit-cross department committee and NS leadership. Technical support provided through peer network, IFRC Zone, etc.
Step 4 – Re-assessment. Midline established. Plans revised.
Step 5 - Implementation by relevant persons within NS. Oversight by cross-unit-cross department committee and NS leadership. Technical support provided through peer network, IFRC Zone, etc.
Step 6 – Re-assessment. End line established.
Result: Significant improvement as seen through improved DRCE scores at base, mid and endline.
Further evidence of improvement and success... Statements from the 4 NS.
Have developed a service based, holistic and iterative approach to NS development in DM that is:
informed by the guiding principles of the NS development Framework;
aligned to the global Movement standards for DM;
drawn from existing and emerging Movement assessment tools and processes;
and that has demonstrated success with 4 NS, and generated interest across the Movement.
Further promotion of the approach with IFRC Zones, IFRC Geneva, and interested NSs and individuals.
Further piloting as a global approach (2014: 10 NS)