Tongan national, Viliami, helps coordinate emergency management through his work as Cluster Coordinator at Tonga's National Emergency Management Office (NEMO). Photo: Josua Ake and The Greenhouse Studio.

A man stands on the right of frame, smiling at the camera. Out of focus behind and below him are some large buildings, a very large tree, and a street with cars, in front of a large body of water.


Program Summary

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Deployment Months
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Host Organisations

While the program has focused on localisation since its inception, FY21 marked a milestone with the development of the Australia Assists Localisation Action Plan (LAP); 2020-2024. In line with relevant global and regional frameworks including the Grand Bargain and Sendai Framework, RedR made significant progress against LAP commitments, reaching 40 per cent (12/30) of targets in the first nine months.

LAP Priorities: 

1. New and existing partnerships build on and support the capacity of local and national actors working across the humanitarian continuum. 

2. Training and the Roster are responsive to, and representative of, the needs and priorities of local and national humanitarian actors.

3. RedR Australia offers an enabling environment that reflects and supports organisational commitments to localisation.

Deploying national experts

The COVID-19 pandemic has provided an opportunity for RedR Australia to accelerate local ownership and leadership of humanitarian action. Recent efforts to export training and bolster partnerships within RedR International has resulted in more local inclusion and leadership in the program than in any previous year. After successfully completing RedR’s Essentials of Humanitarian Practice (EHP) Pilot in the Pacific, three deployees were added to the roster and within months, began long-term deployments assisting the governments of Vanuatu, Fiji and Samoa. Overall, the program deployed 12 specialists from their home countries, and three from neighbouring countries.

“RedR Australia roster members consistently rated amongst the highest in performance evaluations, integrating immediately into local cultures, sensitive towards needs by local communities, taking into account modus operandi on the ground while contributing substantively to the humanitarian response operation at hand.”
Office of the Assistant Secretary-General for Development Coordination.

LAP Highlights

Priority One - New and existing partnerships

  • Agreements to enable RedR organisations to share roster members have been operationally implemented with RedR Indonesia and RedR India.
  • 22 per cent of deployments across the program directly support partner governments, including both government ministries and national disaster management authorities.
  • A RedR pitch to Rotary International resulted in a commitment to fund two Pacific Islanders to participate in an EHP course in FY22.

See Partnerships.

Priority Two - Training and roster

  • RedR contextualised its inaugural EHP training course for Pacific Islanders with leadership qualities for regional emergency management responses. National training experts were involved in designing and delivering the course, including the Course Coordinator and several guest speakers.
  • RedR extended online Disability Inclusion and Child Safeguarding training outside Australia to RedR India and Indonesia staff.
  • The program is planning to align deployee salary scales in a remuneration review to reduce pull factors that can undermine local organisations when staff are lured away by higher salaries. See Program Management, Leadership and Responsiveness.
  • RedR formalised new agreements with three universities, allowing students to receive course credits for completing RedR training courses. This builds on the Young Humanitarian Professionals initiative that aims to deliver a pipeline of young talent to the roster on an annual basis, ensuring the capability remains fresh and replenished to offset retiring members. See Training & Capability.
Six men stand around a long table. One man is wearing a shirt with “redr australia” and “Australia Assists” logos, and is shaking hands with another of the men. On the table are some laptops, a projector, and some notebooks and pens.
Rowan, a Logistics Specialist (WASH Cluster) with the Vanuatu Department of Water Resources (DoWR), shakes hands with the DoWR Director after presenting the Standard Operating Procedures on Warehousing and Transport.

Applying a localisation lens – deployees at work

Partnership – Forging closer connections with RedR International partners, the program has deployed four referrals from RedR Indonesia to assist with COVID-19 response activities, plus the first referral from RedR India to improve capacity in disaster-resilient infrastructure.

Policy – A Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability and Learning Specialist developed a national level, gender-responsive framework in Jordan that commits national and international humanitarian actors to involve crisis-affected populations in determining what assistance is provided to them, and how.

Participation – Involving affected communities, host organisation colleagues, local leaders and national actors was a core tenant of deployments. Examples include staff training workshops on incident control systems in Vanuatu, simulation exercises with emergency services at Kiribati’s airport, and household consultations on sanitation initiatives planned for 300 Solomon Islands communities.

“Great opportunity to learn by doing … an amazing overview of Pacific disaster and humanitarian settings.”
— Participant, Pacific EHP Pilot.

Piloting the Pacific EHP course

RedR delivered its first EHP course in the Pacific (Suva, Fiji) in collaboration with a local network of experts. By contextualising the course, RedR was able to strengthen the capacity of local humanitarian and disaster management specialists, while also sharing a wealth of knowledge and experience on climate crises.

Post-course evaluations revealed strong participant satisfaction with an overall course rating of 92 per cent, while six-month follow-up interviews revealed examples of applied learning and behavioural adjustments.

“EHP has broadened my skills in negotiating and problem solving to overcome problems at provincial level."  
“During proposals or talking to partners, I have lately been aware of standards, so I was reviewing through the lens of minimum standards and gave recommendations accordingly. The course reinforced these and showed I can apply them at different levels of response. Credit to the course."
“I now have a much better appreciation of the pressures these countries are under, and why, when I reach out to the Director during an emergency, they are often busy!”

Although the second Pacific EHP course was postponed due to COVID-19, RedR expects to deliver further courses in the region in FY22 and beyond.

What challenges emerged?  

  • COVID-19 presents both opportunities and challenges. While international travel restrictions have meant that international staff have played a remote support role this has enabled local actors to step up.
  • Although RedR has laid foundations, progressing LAP Priority Three (regarding the enabling environment to support organisational commitments) has yet to be realised. Activities largely rely on the development of an internal communications plan to support the rollout of actions and responsibilities. This is currently in planning.

Program Snapshots

Download FY21 Deployment Data