4. Situation reports (sitreps)
The sitrep is the main vehicle for communication between the CO and other parts of CARE International, so it is critically important that the CO ensures that sitreps are of a high quality. The sitrep is often the only tool that CARE International stakeholders have to monitor the appropriateness and effectiveness of the response. Rightly or wrongly, a poor-quality sitrep will be seen as an indication that the overall response may not be effective. It is therefore important to get the sitrep right and make sure it is an accurate reflection of CARE’s response on the ground.
It is important that the IMO liaises with other members of the emergency team to gather inputs for the sitrep in time for its release. All critical CO information must be included. Other team members are responsible for assisting the IMO with information from their areas of responsibility.
- Put in place a system to prepare regular situation reports.
- Establish and agree with the CCG the frequency of situation reports.
- Follow the CARE International situation report format.
- Include key annexes with each situation report.
- Ensure the situation report is approved by the Country Director.
- Distribute the situation report to key stakeholders on agreed dates.
After sending an initial alert, the CO should begin sending regular sitreps to update on the humanitarian situation, and CARE’s planning and response.
The frequency of sitreps will be decided at the outset of the emergency in consultation by the CCG, usually during the first CCG call (refer to Protocol A2 Emergency typology). The frequency of sitreps should also be revised as time progresses, with sitreps commonly being more frequent in the first four weeks of the emergency.
The CO should advise the recipients as mentioned in the paragraph 3. 2.about the agreed frequency and on what days that sitreps can be expected. When the frequency is revised the same recipients should be advised of the new schedule.
The following gives a basic guide to the typical frequency of situation reports:
- Beginning of a quickly-evolving emergency: daily or once every two days;
- Emergency and response settle into a more predictable pattern: twice a week (typically Monday and Thursday);
- Emergency gradually stabilises: once a week, and then once a fortnight;
- Protracted emergency: once a month.
The sitrep is drafted by the IMO, reviewed and cleared by the Emergency Coordinator, and authorised by the Country Director. Where there is no IMO, usually the Emergency Coordinator or Assistant Country Director/Programme prepares the sitrep although other roles (such as the Media or Communications Office) can also undertake this task. However, in any large emergency, the Country Director and ACD P will be quickly overwhelmed and an IMO must be in place as soon as possible. The responsibility of preparing the sitrep should be allocated to an ERT member as early as possible.
The sitrep should include up-to-date, accurate and specific data about the humanitarian situation, and about CARE’s response. It is particularly important that the sitrep provides details of CARE’s response and of the actual relief delivered to beneficiaries. It should be concise and straight to the point. Please also ensure to highlight how the response is addressing gender and the specific needs of men, women, girls and boys.
For a type 4 emergency or a type 2 when requested, the sitrep should be sent with the following attachments:
- Funding Matrix which includes secured and proposal pipeline funding prepared and maintained by proposal writer or grant management team (CEG will provide an initial draft);
- Staffing Matrix prepared and maintained by Human Resources Manager (CEG will support on initial draft).
The IMO should coordinate with the proposal writer/grant management team and Human Resources Manager to ensure updated annexes are prepared in time for each sitrep.
Emergency alerts and sitreps must be sent to the CARE International network in English. If the CO operates in a language other than English, the CO should arrange rapid and immediate translation of situation reports before distributing them.