4.3 Telecommunications and IT capacity for the assessment team

Initial pre-planning and equipping must be done before the assessment, so that the assessment team has adequate communications and back-up systems to ensure their safety and facilitate an effective assessment. Before deploying an assessment team, do the  following:

  • Conduct an initial assessment of telecommunications and IT requirements with available information to determine the equipment requirements suitable for the assessment and the initial response stages of the emergency.
  • Determine what is immediately available to the assessment team. Consider existing CO resources as well as CARE International, Regional Management Units (RMUs) and CARE International Member resources available for loan, or possibilities for immediate procurement.
  • In an emergency where there is no CARE presence, assume there are no operational telecoms available to the assessment team. Some national telephone services may be available to the team when in the base office. When assessing the availability of telecoms, satellite telephones would be the minimum requirements for each group within the assessment team. This is a basic requirement that does not require an in-country assessment (see section 12 Additional guidelines for non-presence operations).
  • Satellite phones for use by the assessment mission should be hand-carried by team members into the country and to the assessment location. Be aware that in some countries, there are restrictions on bringing in satphones and similar equipment. Check with the Country Office about regulations and how they are enforced.
  • Ensure all assessment team members have telecoms equipment and are trained in its use before deploying the team to the field.
  • Programme all required contact numbers into phones, and ensure all assessment team members are aware of the communications protocols and contacts.