Capacity building
Thailand / Nicaragua

Enhanced Response Capacity

2009 - 2010
Published on Mar 13, 2009 01:00 AM  -  Updated on Jul 09, 2019 05:35 PM
In July and August 2009, in partnership with the European Commission, TSF led an emergency telecommunications training programme for 40 representatives of humanitarian organisations from 8 Asian countries and 4 Central American countries vulnerable to natural disasters

Context: Capacity building
Start date: 23/08/2009
End date: 31/03/2010
Areas of intervention:

  • South and Southeast Asia
  • Caribbean, Central and South America

Activities: Capacity building

2 trainings over 2 continents
78 organisations trained
142 participants


During a humanitarian crisis, besides of food and medical assistance, the need for reliable telecommunication services are also crucial for civilians and humanitarian workers.

As part of the programme funding decision to improve the quality and effectiveness of the European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO), TSF provides humanitarian organisations with its experience in telecommunications to strengthen their ability to deploy telecom equipments in the field. Additionally, the goal is to build a network of trained emergency telecommunication specialists to coordinate their efforts and increase the effectiveness of relief operations.

The need for increased skills in field-based telecommunications was identified based on ten years of experience in emergency response. After more than 80 missions, TSF collected feedback from beneficiary organisations (humanitarians involved in crisis situations), many of whom expressed the need for self-sufficiency in telecommunications.

TSF has been maintaining regional bases in Nicaragua and Thailand, since 2003 and 2004 respectively, allowing for constant contacts and cooperation with other humanitarian actors in these two countries. Based on the information provided by the organisations that benefited from TSF's telecom centres in the field, it was considered necessary to transfer useful technical knowledge to other organisations in order to reach a larger number of beneficiaries.


The training was made especially for organisations operating in Central America, the Caribbean, South and Southeast Asia. Yet, it indirectly benefited a large number of emergency actors through partnerships and sharing of information. The participants were selected in close cooperation with ECHO's regional experts, considering their profile, their technical training and the relevance of their role within the organisation.

Participating organisations were trained to respond to telecom issues in crisis situations. The training programme included a module on emergency environment, an overview and teaching of telecom computing equipments and services available for emergency, practical works and a simulation exercise. The NGOs had the opportunity to acquire the skills and know-how needed to set up fast and reliable internet and telephone connections. The TSF teams trained the beneficiaries in the installation and use of various satellite equipments, and helped them to find solutions adapted to their real needs.

Each of the organisations’ representatives whom benefited from the training in Information and Communication Technologies provided by TSF also became trainers to their own organisation and local partners. Through this program, TSF confirms its policy of knowledge transfer.

In order to help the participants in spreading the knowledge and skills they acquired during the training, TSF set up a web portal gathering training documents, articles on telecommunication-related technologies and emergency as well as a forum to foster direct exchange between participants. Continuous technical support is provided by TSF and all relevant technical documents are also available on the web portal.

First Training Session: South Asia and Central America

The initial Bangkok session was held at the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) from 19th to 24th July 2009 for organisations operating in the Southeast Asia region: Concern Worldwide, Oxfam, Action Contre la Faim, Islamic Relief Indonesia, YDSA, Plan International, Mercy Malaysia, World Vision, MSF CH, ADPC (Asian Disaster Preparedness Center), Thai Red Cross and Malteser International.

The session in Managua was held from August 2nd to 7th, 2009 and was delivered to NGOs working in Central America: ACSUR Las Segovias, CARE, CISP, Mercy Corps, Agencia Católica Irlandesa para el Desarrollo TROCAIRE, Acción contra el Hambre, GOAL, Acción Médica Cristiana (AMC), ACTED, Agro Acción Alemana (Welthungerhilfe), Oikos, CRIC, Grupo de Voluntariado Civil (GVC), Handicap Internacional, Oxfam GB, Oxfam Intermon, Visión Mundial, Plan Internacional (RO) and PADRU (Red Cross Federation).

Nine months after the initial training, the participants were invited to a reinforcement session to consolidate their learnings by going over the important concepts previously learned through a new practical workshop. These "refreshers" took place in Bangkok from 17th to 19th February, 2010 and in Managua from March 23rd to 26th, 2010.

Second Training Session: South Asia, Caribbean and Latin America

From 23rd to 27th August 2010, as part of the second phase of this training commitment, TSF strengthened the capacities of the following 25 Latin American humanitarian organisations: Dirección Nacional de Protección Civil, Cruz Roja, Protección Civíl (Defensa Civil), Oxfam GB /Fundepco, Acción contra el Hambre, Acción contra el Hambre, Dirección Nacional del Riesgo, Fundación de Gestión del Riesgo, Diakonie - Apoyo en emergencias, SCF Regional, ECHO, Cruz Roja Chilena, Protección Civil (Secretaría Gestión de Riesgos), Cruz Roja Ecuatoriana, COOPI, CRIC, ECHO Quito, Protección Civíl (Secretaría de Emergencia Nacional), Secretariado de Emergencia Nacional, Protección civíl (INDECI), PREDES Agro Acción Alemana, ITDG, CARE, Municipalidad Metropolitana Local, Cruz Roja and Protección Civíl.

TSF then worked with emergency response organisations in Central and South Asia. The training programme began on 7th February, at the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) in Bangkok, and ended on 11th February.

The 23 participating organisations were selected in close cooperation with ECHO's regional experts, considering their profile, technical training and the relevance of their role within their organisation. Organisations benefiting from the training in Bangkok were: Action Aid International, Madera, ECHO, Islamic Relief, Save the Children USA, Plan International, Oxfam GB, IFRC, ICRC, Oxfam GB, Mission East, World Vision, Concern Worldwide, IMC, Merlin, UNHCR, OCHA, Save the Children, Plan International, Care Pakistan, MSF, ZOA Refugee Care, Canadian Red Cross, OCHA, ECHO and Care International.

Following the training in Managua, and to get more benefit from TSF’s experience in the field, World Vision solicited more simulation exercises.

A special session was organised on 29th and 30th March for this NGO that already owned satellite equipments (telephony and Internet). The training provided by TSF to 14 technicians enabled them to improve communication and coordination on crisis environments.

With the support of