InterWorks facilitated the return of the long-running WEM workshop to a live in-person event after two years of remote WEM Online (WEMO) events. It was a component of the current overall WEM training package which, in this format, included, self-study, an online training and discussion component (WEMO) and field-based hands-on workshop. The WEMF2F was organized in Starum, Norway from 11 – 17 June 2022 for 40 WEMers. Hosting arrangements for the WEMF2F in Starum were financed by the Royal Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in direct arrangement with the host institution, the Norwegian Directorate for Civil Protection and Emergency Planning (Direktoratet for samfunnssikkerhet og beredskap – or DSB http://www.dsb.no/forside.asp).
Overall coordination, planning and administration of the workshops were managed by the UNHCR Global Learning & Development Centre (GLDC) which manages the WEM on behalf of the Division of Emergency, Security and Supply’s Emergency Services (DESS). Other UNHCR content experts from various Divisions and Services of UNHCR led sessions relating to their areas of expertise. Overall event facilitation and preparation of workshop materials in concert with UNHCR GLDC and content experts was done by InterWorks, LLC. The hostage-taking field scenario was supported by a private security consultant under supervision of UNHCR Security and HR staff.
The intensive and demanding course prepared participants for emergency deployment focusing on three areas of emergency management: managing yourself, managing relationships, and managing your operational role through all phases of the deployment. The course was interactive and work-oriented, and employed a variety of methodologies, including an online emergency simulation exercise, presentations and case study, as well as group and plenary discussions. The agenda included sessions on team-building, operations planning, financial and administrative systems, operational partnerships, communication and negotiation skills, security, coordination and information-sharing, telecommunications, and humanitarian protection.
In person hands-on learning this cannot be achieved through any other form. Thank you for the experience and lessons learned.– Workshop participant