1. Role of information management in an emergency

Information management is required in an emergency to ensure that everyone working for CARE gets the precise information that they need, and for communicating essential information to CARE International, donors, UN coordinating agencies and other humanitarian organisations.

This includes alerts, sitreps, donor reports, assessment reports, rapid gender assessments, gender in briefs, response strategy, disaggregated data and tables of beneficiaries, and targeted information bulletins. Information management is vital in an emergency. It allows sharing of information and coordination between different parts of CARE. It also ensures essential information is shared as appropriate with the media, the public, donors, UN agencies, local government and other humanitarian organizations.

In a crisis or disaster situation, information management ensures the accuracy of the information that managers rely on to make critical decisions. Clear and timely information is also vital for every part of CARE to be able to provide timely and effective life-saving support.

Information needs are often underestimated in a large scale emergency, but it is proven that an effective information management system is a critical factor in determining the quality and effectiveness of the overall response.

Position Key responsibilities
Information Management Officer (CO level)
  • Design and implement a structure to manage the information flow and draw a dissemination plan for all information products.
  • Manage and maintain flow of external and internal information.
  • Identify new information data requirements to support operation and provide information management support.
  • Gather and report time critical/information/data.
  • Address information gaps.
  • Coordinate information inputs from other ERT members to guarantee complete and accurate information.
  • Work closely with project managers, partners, M&E focal points to ensure across consistency and accuracy.
  • Ensure communications support (in line with CARE’s HAF/CHS) to CO Focal Point for Programme Quality and Accountability to ensure effective information sharing with communities and local stakeholders.
  • Attend to information requests that can come from different stakeholders (external and internal).
  • Develop and implement an information management strategy.
IT and Telecommunications
  • Guarantee the physical and technical conditions that permit the transfer of timely and fluid information.
Emergency Coordinator
  • Supervise and assure the quality and accuracy of information emerging from the country.
  • Maintain overall responsibility for transparency and information sharing with communities and other local stakeholders in line with CARE’s HAF/CHS.
Country Director
  • Approve information and reporting released by the CO.
CI Emergency Information Coordinator
  • Receive country information (particularly sitreps and alerts) at the level of CARE International as focal point; review and share the information with relevant stakeholders at CI level (e.g. through CI Emergency Information list or to CI – ERWG , CI Fundraisers, COMWG and other interested parties in CARE International).
  • Aggregate quantitative data (e.g. number of responses and people reached, funding information) for a global overview of CI emergency operations for internal and external reporting purposes.
  • Coordinate information between CIMs and the CO in high profile emergencies.
  • Support After Action Review by providing the timeline of the response and other relevant feedback.
  • Monitor progress and inform stakeholders on issues or support requirements.
CI Media and Communications Coordinator
  • Raise awareness of CARE’s emergency responses and ongoing emergencies through all available media channels.
  • Provide support as needed for the production of media and communications materials.
  • In coordination with the Emergency Communications Officer, prepare media materials for their own national market.
CI Member ERWG representative or nominated delegate
  • Responsible for keeping their respective National Director and staff informed about the disaster, and to provide as needed: fundraising, media, staffing, proposal and other support to the CO.

The Information Manager Officer (IMO) is responsible for developing and implementing an information management strategy, which ensures that:

  • All parts of the CO report critical data on a timely basis;
  • Information reaches everyone in the CO who needs it;
  • Information management gaps are addressed;
  • New information and data requirements are identified to support the management in decision making and early action;
  • Information is gathered from internal sources, external peer agencies, government, donors, UN agencies, implementing partners and any other relevant sources and organises the information in a way that could help the management in  decision making;
  • Useful and timely information about the emergency and CARE’s response is provided to all key CARE international and external stakeholders (including donors, host government, beneficiaries, UN, clusters and peer agencies);
  • Information requests are responded to in a timely manner;
  • Coordination meetings are attended as needed;
  • A filing and a repository system is put in place to allow easy access to information and  data.

Information management needs are routinely underestimated in large emergencies and this has a detrimental effect on the overall effectiveness of the response. In particular, if there is no Information Management Officer (IMO) in place, the Country Director will quickly become overwhelmed by information requests and/or critical information needs will not be met. Therefore, in any large emergency the CO must put in place adequate, dedicated information management capacity as soon as possible. Once an IMO is in place, the Country Director should only approve communications, not prepare them. If the CO does not already have an appropriately skilled IMO, the deployment of an IMO should be requested immediately from the CARE International Roster for Emergency Deployment (CI RED).

Annex 42.1 Terms of Reference for Information Management Officer