World Health Organization
Technical Officer, Emergency Preparedness and Response
November 2009 — Present
Within my present function in the emergency preparedness and humanitarian action unit, part of my responsibilities is planning, monitoring and evaluation. However, currently as a member of the Strategic Health Operation Centre (SHOC) team that is monitoring the events in the Middle East, and having been deployed to Pakistan (Southern Sindh) to support the flood relief efforts in 2010 for three months. In both experiences, the nature of work required a great deal of adaptation to changing priorities. This provided me with firsthand exposure to humanitarian assistance challenges and risks that impact on WHO’s performance. There are several key areas of mutual concern with partners and clusters, it is essential to map and better understand the relationships in order to develop a strategy that allows greater coordination and synergy of efforts.
My latest field experience was in Pakistan during the floods in 2010. My function was to support the establishment and operat.ion of a hub in southern Sindh province, which operated under aegis of the Inter Agency Standing Committee (IASC) cluster approach. Besides the usual representation of WHO in meetings, daily situation report writing, and the daily running of the hub. It became clear that information gathering and sharing within the cluster and among clusters was minimal. This made decision making difficult, delaying relief efforts.
Information management was required and a platform was developed using innovative means, through cyberspace (Google Documents). Centralized email accounts were used for the operations through Gmail, allowing all cluster partners to view the information in transparent manner. This method proved very efficient in having cluster meetings more targeted and specific to addressing gaps and challenges. In addition, key coordinated activities became easier to develop and manage for example, the Who, Where, What forms (3W), which also supported the development of maps.