Capacity building

In emergencies, information management and sharing is critical for an effective humanitarian response for affected populations. When crisis strikes, teams on the ground need to assess the situation and communicate vital information as fast as possible with other emergency responders in the country, but also mobilise donors and manage visibility and promote advocacy. But in emergencies - where the need for telecommunications is greatest - telecommunications are often unavailable, disrupted or over-saturated, slowing down the ability to communicate, share information and assist affected communities.

It is thus crucial that emergency responders know how to use and troubleshoot telecom equipment and are capable of setting up reliable and rapid telecom connections in emergency situations.

TSF's experience in humanitarian crisis has shown that certain organisations could benefit from guidance on technical skills and the use of equipment necessary to establish communications at the heart of the crisis zone in support of their relief efforts. It is also beneficial for NGOs and governments to monitor the constant rapid evolution of ICT and satellite communications in order to be informed of the latest in operation-enhancing solutions. Many NGOs are interested in bridging gaps in knowledge and gain telecoms capacities to be more effective in the field, and many regularly contact TSF to obtain advice on equipment and services.

Emergency Preparedness

We believe that training the response community is vital in globalising the assets of technology and improving best practices for an effective humanitarian response. Recognised as leaders in our domain, our technology and communications specialists lead workshops across the world to build the self-sufficiency of local government agencies, iNGOs and international bodies to train them in the application of technology for several aspects of rapid response. The technologies that TSF uses are amongst the most reliable in the world, and ensure that communications are never a hindering issue when disaster strikes. We give theoretical and practical workshops on the use of satellite communications technology, bandwidth optimisation, networks, GPS and tracking and security communications. We ensure that the agencies we train have the capacity to be self-sufficient in telecommunications within the first emergency phase of a humanitarian crisis. It is also important for TSF to ensure that certain government mechanisms have the necessary equipment to safeguard a national response in the country’s different regions or provinces, providing them with a comprehensive national telecoms response.

Within the framework of our collaboration with the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, we are regularly called upon to provide training exercises and participate in simulation exercises (SIMEX) alongside UN Disaster Coordination and Assessment teams and the International Search and Rescue Advisory Group (INSARAG) network. The system brings together international disaster management professionals from more than 80 countries and organisations to improve preparedness through capacity building.

Having a network of operational ICT-trained humanitarian professionals not only contributes to reducing the impact of disasters for populations, but also helps them to better protect themselves, whilst building resilience and sparing lives.