3. Organisational planning and staffing requirements


  • Develop a clear staffing structure for the emergency operation requirements that identifies staff needs and reporting lines.
  • Ensure sufficient HR management capacity in the CO to manage emergency HR needs.
  • Ensure the HR manager is involved in planning processes from the outset.
  • Use the staffing matrix to track and communicate staffing needs with CI.

The CO emergency team should define the staffing structure required for the emergency response operation as soon as possible. The staffing structure should:

  • be appropriate to the scale of the response and demonstrate the size of team required
  • clearly identify positions required to implement the response (for all areas including programming and operational support)
  • provide a clear structure and reporting lines to aid management and decision-making.

Based on the staffing structure, the CO can then identify gaps in staffing and prepare a list of staffing requirements (positions and numbers of staff required) that need to be filled.

Annex 16.5a        Sample staffing structure

Annex 16.5b        Sample staffing structure

Annex 16.6        CARE Emergency Response Team job summaries

The Human Resources Manager should use the emergency staffing matrix to track and communicate staffing needs. An emergency staffing matrix is used to:

  • keep track of incoming and departing emergency international staff members
  • communicate, monitor and review international staffing vacancies as they arise.

This is essential for international staffing. It may also be a useful tool for national recruitment. The emergency staffing matrix (for international staff) should be updated regularly and shared with CI by annexing to the sitrep (refer to Information management).

Annex 21.7        Sample emergency staffing matrix

When planning for staffing needs to implement the emergency operation, it is essential to ensure there is sufficient human resource management capacity. It is a common mistake in emergencies to overlook the need to increase human resources staff-a mistake that results in delays in meeting the staffing needs of all other functions. At a minimum, all emergencies must have a team member clearly designated with responsibility for human resource management. In large emergencies, it is common for a dedicated and experienced Emergency Human Resources Manager and associated HR support staff to be required.

Human resource management must participate in operational planning for the response from the outset and be notified of any staff requirements as early as possible. The Country Director or Emergency Coordinator is responsible for ensuring the HR manager or focal point is involved appropriately.

The CO must also be in contact with the CI Surge Capacity Coordinator and the Lead Member Human Resources Unit as soon as possible to coordinate any international staffing requirements.