Over 50 authors, including two MapAction team members, have contributed their expertise and insight about working in health emergencies to a new handbook for humanitarian professionals.
Spearheaded by the Robert Koch Institute, In Control: A Practical Handbook for Professionals Working in Health Emergencies Internationally is aimed at preparing and supporting those deploying internationally during humanitarian crises.
Addressing the multi-faceted challenges of an international deployment, the book provides technical medical information as well as insights into the challenging environments volunteers often work in and the cultural differences that influence risk communication.
The book is divided into two halves, with the first providing an overview of the international architecture and inter-disciplinary environment within which health emergency responses occur. These include the organisations, principles, frameworks and themes that every health professional deploying aboard should be aware of. The second half of the book provides practical advice to help professionals survive and thrive during their mission. Chapters include how to prepare for a deployment, such as arrangements that should be taken care of ahead of departure, and suggestions on what to pack.
Information management & visualisation
As part of their contribution (in chapter 3, starting at page 200), MapAction’s Matt Sims and Alan Mills shared how important data visualisations are in making well-informed decisions and the importance of identifying information gaps to ensure those who may need assistance are not overlooked.
Also covered in their chapter are the questions that responders should be asking themselves when handling data, such as whether it identifies the location of vulnerable individuals or groups; how the data is stored and protected; and what will be produced from the data, among other considerations.
Hard copies of the book can be requested by emailing the Robert Koch Institut.