Moving to more localised surge mechanisms in Pakistan – Future outlook

Project: Transforming Surge Capacity 23rd February 2018

On 19th February 2018 the National Humanitarian Network (NHN) and Transforming Surge Capacity Platform (TSCP) members organised a 4-day national training course on Surge Emergency Response Teams (SERT) in Islamabad, Pakistan, under the leadership of the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA). This is part of the Transforming Surge Capacity project initiative to strengthen local response capacity and contribute to the country’s disaster management system by developing collaborative rosters of experts.

Sana Zulfiqar, the National Humanitarian Coordinator of the NHN states, This pool of trained experts called the SERT will help in timely and appropriate deployments to cover immediate needs of local, and provincial and national organisations

Last year in April 2017, NHN and TSCP signed a MoU to support one of the priority areas of the NHN Digital Resource Centre, a database of information for humanitarian experts in Pakistan, by linking the national rosters to ensure sustainability and continuum of the rosters, and for potential deployments beyond the Transforming Surge Capacity project. Another aspect was to extend outreach of the Transforming Surge project competencies to local organisations, which also complements the Government of Pakistan’s National Disaster Management Plan (2012).

NHN contributed in developing linkages between the TSC Platform and NDMA and helped to make this roster sustainable beyond the project. However, [there is] still a long way to go for female enrolment and involvement in the roster during peace time as well as  in emergencies and there should be continued follow up plans for roster members to make it active.”  says Hamad Latif, Asia Regional Platform coordinator and Trainer

It would be great to have more females in SERT, I feel this is very important for addressing women and girls’ needs during emergency crises. Being a SERT member and FSL Cluster Coordinator, we will support this as we trickle down trainings to provinces.” says Saifa Asif, FAO

Against the background of SERT and aligned with the objectives of the Surge Emergency Response Team, the four specific objectives of the plan to engage members are to:

  • Empower members to strengthen their present capacity so that they can become strong candidates for deployment;
  • Encourage and enable the SERT members to take a proactive role in supporting local, provincial and national actors, NHN and its partners on surge capacity related priorities;
  • Identify, develop and facilitate members’ leadership and engagement in the strategic objectives of the NHN and its partner’s national agenda for surge capacity; and
  • Collectively maintain the surge capacity focus and achieve results by adding value to the work of NHN and its partners and holding each other accountable.

I am excited being part of this roster as I feel there are learning opportunities, to learn new approaches and work in collaboration with other organisations and partners during response.” says Khairul Bashir, FSL SERT member.

“DEPP Projects were positioning new tools and techniques in humanitarian programming,, NHN is taking this to the next level and making sure the NDMA and Provincial Disaster Management Authorities are on board, and context-specific thematic expertise are available in country” says Sana Zulfiqar, National Humanitarian Coordinator NHN

Future outlook for this roster could be that it is localised and a community-led humanitarian response mechanisms (specifically focus on women involvement) that can effectively and efficiently respond to any emergency situation in a more organised manne.r says Asim Jaleel, Project Manager Shifting the Power Pakistan.


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