1. Introduction

The CARE Emergency Toolkit (CET) collects what CARE knows about humanitarian response – particularly in acute emergencies, but also in long-term situations. The CET helps you to respond more effectively, to more people, faster. It uses lessons that we’ve learned from past responses, and good practice from others, to provide you with guidance on what you need to do. It contains forms that you might need (many developed for previous responses) so that you don’t need to reinvent the wheel. It also contains information on policies and protocols that CARE’s staff must follow. As well as improving how our operations work now, CARE hopes that regular use of the toolkit will harmonize the systems and processes we use, allowing us to be even more efficient…


The CET is a broad resource and at different times will be useful for anyone who works for CARE – from field officers leading focus group discussions to Country Directors and CARE Member staff.

The primary audience is staff in Country Offices or emergency personnel deployed to an operation, as you will have the most to gain from understanding how CARE works on a particular theme, or from getting access to a template or form.  The CET is huge, and you should dip into it for the information you need. For individuals, you might want to read just about your specific job area, or search for guidance on one specific topic. If your job means working on emergencies every day, then you might need or want to read about CARE’s structures, protocols and policies for emergency response.  The CET is for use by Country Offices, CARE International Members and regional offices.

The CET is open-access and available to the whole world. We particularly hope that people working with CARE’s partner organizations will make use of it. It will help you to understand CARE’s systems and how we can work better together, and hopefully give you inspiration or ideas for what you want to do in your own organization to respond to humanitarian crisis more effectively. CARE is particularly proud of its work on programs that promote gender equality in emergencies, and our work on accountability to affected people, so perhaps you want to look at that. Please make use of whatever is helpful for you.

The CET also allows our supporters and stakeholders from all over the world to see how we work and the systems we have in place to ensure that women, men, boys and girls affected by crisis get the support they need.

In the CET you will find:


  • are mandatory
  • establish the policy and process for managing an emergency response
  • are brief statements with step-by-step instructions
  • outline the roles of all the involved actors across CARE International (COs, Members, CEG).


  • provide detailed practical detail on what to do and how to do it
  • focus on Country Office or non-presence operations as the primary user (except for specific CARE International Member guidelines)
  • guide COs as to how procedures should be amended for emergency situations
  • are not mandatory but highly recommended to ensure standards are being met.


  • are annexed to each chapter
  • provide templates, formats, samples and other resources that can be used directly during a response
  • provide copies of other technical handbooks and manuals.