"The real barrier to responding quickly and on a large scale to crises comes mainly from the lack of available, qualified people in the field"
answered Claus Sorensen, former director of DG-ECHO (the European Commission's Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations) and member of Bioforce's Board of Trustees, when asked by Le Monde Afrique website about the effectiveness of the response to famine in Africa. Even in the poorest countries there are local institutions and NGOs taking action and civil society is in motion. But a lot also needs to be done to give them the means to make their work as effective as their commitment. Because these are the people directly impacted and involved in managing such crises and because they are often the first ones on-site to deal with a crisis, it is crucial to ensure they are better prepared to manage crisis response in their own right. Building the capacity of local institutions and organisations is a cornerstone of our work, as can be seen in our projects in the field in the DRC, Guinea, CAR and so on. However, with the growing number of crises and the rapidly changing contexts, particularly in terms of security, even
international organisations are having to change they way they work. This can be seen especially with the greater number of national staff in the workforce and the upsurge in programmes run remotely by country teams. More than ever, we are continuing to help international NGOs deal with these changes.
* Crise humanitaire : « Nous avons échoué à prévenir les famines en Afrique » (Humanitarian crisis: "we have failed to prevent famines in Africa,"), Le Monde Afrique, 21st March 2017
"Close to the front lines, with local knowledge and networks, local organisations are often the most effective first responders."
Building capacity on demand
Bioforce develops bespoke processes to help organisations improve their capacity to identify and overcome the challenges their own teams or their partners’ face when implementing their mandate. Following an initial assessment, the Institute puts forward a skills development strategy tailored to suit each organisation
- In accordance with its professional practice and operational environment (using its tools and procedures).
- In accordance with its requirements and limitations: dates, duration, place, language, on-site or 100% e-learning.
- With bespoke elements such as training, a progressive pathway, post-training support and expertise.
The training provision, which is designed together, is then implemented in line with the Bioforce Institute's teaching methodology
(case studies, group work, role play) and delivered by a multi-skilled team in HR, training of trainers, financial management, project management, safety and security, logistics, WASH, nutrition, etc. An evaluation is carried out during the course, and changes recommended if applicable. Following each stage, we offer to follow up with personalised support in the
workplace and to monitor the impact on any change in professional practice and skills recorded by managers and participants.
Building capacity in response to a crisis context
At the scene of a crisis, the reality of an emergency situation always seems far-removed from training. At Bioforce, however, we strongly believe that the latter is precisely more important than ever in order to improve the qualitative and quantitative response to needs: continual professional training needs to be developed for these specific situations, with the support of national partners, as the surveys we have conducted in various countries, with the cooperation of NGO coordination platforms, have demonstrated.