Pushing Back the Tide: A Case Study of On Call Surge Philippines

Project: Transforming Surge Capacity 29th August 2017

On Call Surge Philippines is an innovative project that uses technology, through its web-based platform, to quickly respond to the affected communities during humanitarian action. This is most relevant for small and medium-sized responses when organisations try to find skilled and experienced humanitarian aid workers at short notice. Currently, On Call Surge Philippines have 30 member organisations with access to a pool of 400 humanitarian aid workers. The project is a step towards radically changing how the humanitarian ecosystem works. Humanitarian personnel in the roster and closest to the affected population can quickly assess the assistance needed since they already are familiar with the terrain and context. In the recent Typhoon Nock-Ten emergency response, assessment data were transmitted two days after the typhoon as soon as electricity and internet came back because a roster member was in the area. Costs associated with surge capacity are significantly reduced as local personnel are deployed while language and culture are no longer barriers in the conduct of a humanitarian response. More importantly, On Call nurtures a community where humanitarian aid workers know each other. This is very important in any emergency response.

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