Groundhog Day: Getting Human Surge Capacity Right In Emergencies
“One of the great constants in emergency response is the difficulty of surging the right staff, at the right time, with the right skills sets.”
Humanitarian Groundhog Day, August, 2014, Iraq. One of the constants in emergency response for me has been the difficulty of recruiting the right staff, at the right time, with the right skill set. In this respect, Iraq was no different to any other emergency I had worked in. With one eye on ISIS encircling Yazidis on Mount Sinjar; my other eye was reading hundreds of surge candidate’s resumes. As an OCHA manager this became an almost daily chore for me throughout my time in Iraq; identify staffing needs, submit a surge request, receive a response, short list names, select a candidate, and then hope they arrived within a few days. Some arrived, some didn’t. Some of those who didn’t arrive eventually turned up; but working for someone else.
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