Projects Latin America & The Caribbean

Situational Emergency Training (SET)

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) | Jun 2015


InterWorks conducted a Situational Emergency Training (SET) workshop from 22 – 26 June 2015 in Port-au-Prince, Haiti for thirty-two participants from Haiti, the Dominican Republic and various UNHCR offices in Latin America. The UNHCR Haiti Office identified a need for the national authorities, other emergency organizations and their own staff to have a better understanding of international standards for assistance and protection in emergencies given a potential influx of deportees from the Dominican Republic in the coming weeks. UNHCR Haiti requested the assistance of the UNHCR Global Learning Centre (GLC) and InterWorks to develop a Situational Emergency Training (SET) specifically to provide instruction and guidance in contingency planning for emergency response to government agencies and partners. The workshop covered the basics of international humanitarian response as well as aspects of the various technical sectors, e.g. protection, WASH, food and nutrition, health and shelter.

This Workshop was highly practical and participatory, demonstrating the importance of contingency planning, various models of emergency preparedness (including the IASC and UNHCR models and how to avoid typical pitfalls in the contingency planning process. It was designed to introduce the following aspects:

  • Illustrate best practices in contingency planning for humanitarian emergencies, drawing upon UNHCR and partner experiences from the field, in addition to Inter- Agency Standing Committee (IASC) guidance;
  • Show the importance of linking planning with international standards in sectoral response (food, water, sanitation, health, shelter, protection, etc);
  • Demonstrate through practical exercises what is meant by scenario-based contingency planning;
  • Introduce practical tools, e.g. the Risk Analysis Matrix, to assess the risk of possible emergency scenarios and to prioritize planning for various emergency situations.
  • Share tools and techniques to assess organizational capacities and resources in relation to humanitarian needs, identify gaps and then determine who will do what in an actual emergency.

The workshop audience consisted of thirty-two participants, primarily Haitian government authorities from different ministries, who are involved with various types of emergency responses, as well as officials from IFRC, the Red Cross, several NGOs and UNHCR staff.


Vous avez fait un travail impeccable qui changerait peut-être la vie de beaucoup d’entre nous. (“You have done an impeccable job that might change the lives of many of us.”)

– Workshop participant