Country offices and national partners continue to be inadequately prepared to respond effectively immediately after a disaster strikes. The ALERT project aims to develop an emergency preparedness process (systems, software, tools and manuals) that is easy to use, appropriate and adaptable, thus enabling increased levels of preparedness for national and international NGOs. This increased preparedness will result in an improvement in the speed, appropriateness and effectiveness of humanitarian response.The development of this preparedness system involves engagement with a wide spectrum of stakeholders, including national and international NGOs, the UN, private sector organisations, donors and academia. In particular, NGO country offices and partners contribute to a collaborative process of research, design, consultation and critical review of the ALERT preparedness package.
The project also developed a partnership with a software company, which will develop the platform for ALERT’s preparedness system.When the preparedness package is approved it will be tested in various countries. Based on learning developed out of this pilot (from training workshops and other review processes), the tools and software will be upgraded. This upgraded package will then be implemented in additional countries and the same learning, redesign and review process will be followed. Finally the upgraded package will be presented to the wider stakeholder group and disseminated.How prepared agencies are to respond to a disaster can often mean the difference between life and death for those affected. Improving preparedness through the ALERT system will mean that when a disaster strikes, agencies will have the necessary resources for an immediate, effective, appropriate response.