Overall Guidance for IFRC and National Societies
In support of National Societies’ collective preparedness, containment, and mitigation activities for the current COVID-19 outbreak, the following technical guidance is recommended by IFRC. Please refer to IFRC GO for all appeal and response documents relating to the Global Coronavirus operations. Complementary or urgent advice can be obtained from IFRC’s Regional Offices or from the Geneva Emergency Health team at firstname.lastname@example.org. Additional documents and translations will continue to be added as they become available. Please use this form to provide feedback or request different information or analyses in future guidance notes and annexes.
- Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) supplies for COVID-19 – specifications and users (2/3/20) – EN
- WHO: Rational use of personal protective equipment for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) (27/2/20) – EN
Duty of Care
Options for ensuring coverage for uninsured Red Cross and Red Crescent volunteers impacted by COVID-19:
Federation-wide Databank and Reporting System – Death reporting form
The COVID-19 pandemic is not only threatening communities around the world, it is also having a major impact on the carers and frontline, including volunteers. Some Red Cross and Red Crescent (RCRC) volunteers have contracted the virus and there will likely be many more in the months to come, even as precautions are taken. Sadly, some have already died due to the disease. Consistent with the IFRC Policy on Volunteering, National Societies (NS) have a well-acknowledged duty of care to their volunteers. This includes the responsibility to reduce the risks volunteers face and to find solutions for those who fall ill but lack access to medical care or other critical support. It is essential that the NS leadership champions and strongly advocates for the duty of care toward volunteers, both through implementation of consistent actions and solutions throughout the organization (including HQ and branches) as well as through rallying support from partners, such as government authorities.
Risk communication and community engagement
Guidance note and key resources
- IFRC Risk communication guides and assets EN
- COVID-19 RCCE Strategy Africa – EN FR
- Presentation for NS leadership, Effective Risk communication and community engagement in Epidemics (ppt, 11 February 2020) EN
- Social Stigma associated with COVID-19 (20 February 2020) EN FR SP AR
- Key tips and discussion points for community workers, volunteers and community networks (23 February 2020) EN FR SP
- COVID-19: How to include marginalized and vulnerable people in risk communication and community engagement EN
- Including migrants and displaced people in preparedness and response activities for COVID-19, guidance for MENA NS – EN
- Collecting community feedback
- A guide to run focus group discussions (FGD) with communities on COVID-19 – EN FR
- A guide to run focus group discussions with community volunteers on COVID-19 – EN FR
- Rapid assessment tool: KAP – EN, Short version (adapted for South Africa Red Cross)
- Community feedback collection form – EN SP
- Community feedback log sheet – EN (NS) EN (IFRC)
- IFRC Feedback Starter Kit – EN
- Risk register COVID-19 (24 February 2020) – EN
- How to do polling on social media – EN
- Tips on using social media for COVID-19 – EN
- How to Use Social Media to Better Engage People Affected by Crises – EN
- Radio guide: The purpose of this risk communication and community engagement (RCCE) guide is to help Red Cross Red Crescent run an interactive radio chat show programme to provide communities with timely, accurate information about the new coronavirus EN FR
- A guide for the media on communicating in public health emergencies– EN FR Bahasa
- Manuals for humanitarians on working with broadcasters and on media programming for communities affected by humanitarian crises – various languages
- COVID-19 Mobile cinema guide and running order (coming soon)
IFRC/NS business continuity planning
The overall goal of the planning guidelines you can download below is to provide guidance to the Federation Secretariat and Red Cross/Red Crescent Societies about the importance of Business Continuity Planning, which establishes the basis for the organization to continue functioning during the crises, and recover and resume business processes when programs have been disrupted unexpectedly. Because RC/RC societies play a crucial role in the overall emergency disaster response, disruptions in service should be minimized in order to maintain public trust and confidence in the RC/RC emergency response capabilities. As such, RC/RC management should incorporate business continuity considerations into the overall design of their emergency response model to proactively mitigate the risk of program disruptions.
This planning guide is an assembly of existing standard operating procedures, plans and best practices that will explore the key components of a Business Continuity planning process. It will also provide a high-level framework for the creation, implementation, and maintenance of a business Continuity Plan (BCP).
Business continuity planning guidelines
- Business continuity planning guidelines (February 2020) – EN FR SP AR RU ZH
- Business Continuity Checklist (February 2020) – EN FR SP AR RU ZH
- Business Continuity Delegation of Responsibilities and Assignments (February 2020) – EN FR SP AR RU ZH
- Operational Business Continuity Plan – Organizational Critical Functions and Service (February 2020) – EN FR SP AR RU ZH
- Operational Business Continuity Plan – Critical Incident Staff Matrix (February 2020) – EN FR SP AR RU ZH
- Operational Business Continuity Plan – Risk assessment Matrix (February 2020) – EN FR SP AR RU ZH
Contingency plans provide an outline of decisions and measures to be taken if circumstances should occur in relation to a specific activity. They generally relate to a planned event, while the business continuity plans relate to programs and assets that are already operational. Even though the risks are different, the development of the contingency plan is relatively uniformed. Although policies will not always cover every eventuality, having contingency plans and regularly updating them to work through ‘what if?’ scenarios, as well as having effective crisis management procedures in place, will go a long way towards keeping a situation under control and maintaining safe operations.
IFRC’s Critical Incident Management Protocol is used in situations that, threatens, or has impact on, the safety / security of personnel, assets or operations to the extent that there is the potential to be a significant disruption or even incapacity to continue to operate.
The term critical incident is used in situations that affect the organizsation directly as opposed to the organization responding to situations that affect others. For more information on IFRC’s security procedures, see the security management webpage
Monitoring and Evaluation, and Quality Assurance
The Sphere standards and the Coronavirus response
“A financially sustainable National Society attracts and manages the financial resources it needs to deliver humanitarian services in a transparent and accountable manner.
It manages financial risk and opportunities balancing the humanitarian strategy to respond to present and emerging needs with the adaptive organizational structure and processes that enable delivery on that strategy. “
Building Financial Sustainability is not only about increasing financial income. While attracting and managing resources are key elements for NS Financial Sustainability, it goes hand-in-hand with an effective positioning (based on its core business and mandate) of the NS, and sustainable business models and structures. Along with it, the organisation’s ability to manage risks and opportunities are essential.
The study on NS Financial Sustainability made clear that there are three interlinked domains that contribute to strengthening a National Society’s Financial Sustainability, and an underpinning fourth domain:
- Positioning the National Society within the national humanitarian ecosystem, and designing National Society programmes and structures in the light of the National Society’s mission and strategy, as well as realistically available resources,
- Attracting financial resources into the National Society, in particular building revenue streams that will remain stable into the future,
- Managing financial resources accountably and transparently, and sharing data to enable effective strategic decision-making and financial risk management, and
- Strategic National Society leadership involvement is critical to enable the efforts in these three areas to collectively contribute and result in becoming more financially sustainable.
NS Financial Sustainability Guide and Toolkit for COVID-19
These Guidance and the Toolkits are intended to assist National Societies to reflect on its short-term and long-term Financial Sustainability in response to COVID-19 and its economic impact. It is recommended to use this Guidance and the Toolkits as a suggested reflection point and adapting them to the needs of each National Societies.
- Executive Summary: EN, FR, SP, AR, RU
- Guidance: EN, FR, SP, AR, RU
- Toolkit (would link you to FedNet): EN, FR, SP, AR, RU (as these are some sensitive documents and not for the public, we decided not to post it on Sokoni, but instead I appreciate if you could share the link to FedNet)
Please use the toolkits to help get started in your planning, preparation and action.
If you need more support, please contact either your regional office or the Geneva office of the IFRC.
Also, platforms are set up to facilitate discussion and co-creation of approaches for this topic.