1. Role of administration in an emergency
Administration plays a vital role in providing support services to all activities and staff in an emergency relief operation. In an emergency response, administration and programme support services need to be established first to mobilise the rest of the operation. Administration is responsible for providing the basic conditions for the emergency team to be able to work, including office and accommodation set-up, staff travel and logistics, provisioning of equipment and supplies, vehicle management, procurement and local government coordination.
In addition, the administration unit helps with management of assets, and compliance with legal and donor requirements in the emergency. Administration should ensure compliance with key policies and procedures, while also allowing an acceptable level of flexibility to meet the emergency demands efficiently.
Many sub-units within administration play a coordinated role and together provide the needed support. Administration and support services oversee the business aspects of the emergency response and coordinate activities including procurement, logistics, inventory management, telecommunications and security within established policies and procedures. For specific guidelines on these topics, see also Chapter 15 Logistics, Chapter 16 Procurement, Chapter 20 Telecommunications and IT, and Chapter 14 Safety and security.
|Inventory and property maintenance||
|Travel and liaison||
|Office cleaning and maintenance||
|Vehicle management and maintenance||
|Emergency Team Leader/ACD Programme Support||
The administration unit should be headed by an Administration Manager who will usually report to either the ACD Programme Support or the Emergency Team Leader. The key functions of the Administration Manager in an emergency are to:
- manage overall administration unit and staff in close coordination with other support units
- ensure effective administrative support to emergency teams including travel, logistics, office and equipment emergency staff
- establish systems for daily administration, filing, receipt and dispatch of mail and secretarial needs of the emergency response
- establish an effective standardised filing system that can provide easy access to information and proper documentation of all mission correspondence
- select an office building/residential accommodation and secure lease/rental agreement
- ensure office premises, accommodation and the compound are managed and maintained
- work closely with other emergency team members to assess the needs and oversee the installation of office equipment, supplies, utilities (stationery, filing systems, photocopier, furniture, water, electricity, etc.)
- ensure equipment and systems are managed and maintained
- ensure appropriate levels of controls and accountability are in place for use of property and supplies including vehicles and fuel
- work closely with the Security Officer to ensure appropriate steps to safeguard office premises and residential property (guards, locks, lighting, alarms, fire equipment)
- work closely with the Telecommunications Officer to organise the installation of office communications/information management facilities and systems
- establish effective vehicle management systems that allow safe and effective use of vehicles for the emergency response
- assist in government liaison including registration.
In addition to the Administration Manager, there are a number of administrative support positions required in an emergency. The exact size of the administration team will depend on the scale of the emergency, but should be sufficient to cover the functions described in section 1.1. See also Annex 18.1 Terms of Reference Administration Manager, and Annex 18.2 Job summaries-Administration support.
Effective coordination between administration, procurement, logistics, security and human resources in an emergency response is critical. All four units are interdependent in the delivery of effective support services. Often these functions will report to one manager (ACD programme support). The Administration Manager must coordinate very effectively with:
- procurement for the timely and effective purchase of equipment and supplies, and contracting of service providers
- logistics for the effective management of transport and vehicle management
- the Safety and Security Officer to ensure buildings and vehicles comply with safety and security standards
- HR to provide the right support to incoming personnel.