This short but critical deployment was at the start of the emergency, and was tasked with direct oversight of the detailed assessment process, the development of the strategic framework for the response, and the revision of the initial Plan of Action. It included response option development and comparison, and the management of technical sector teams including shelter and livelihoods.
The innovative aspects of this deployment were in the management of the detailed assessment team, each technical expert working with a national counterpart, insisting on detailed secondary data and contextual analysis, with a formal framework in place to record and disaggregate assessment findings. Teams went to the field aware of the gaps in their knowledge and primed to fill them, the whole group had mandatory regroup and reflection time. We also used knowledge management specialists for the first time (IM is now a key plank in the IFRC surge capacity).
Reflection from this mission, and from the previous deployment to Haiti the same year led to a further piece of work in 2011 to document the processes and procedures developed, which fed into a larger development process for ER Surge Capacity within IFRC, described here.