MapAction has signed the Standby Partnership Agreement with the World Health Organisation (WHO) which will allow the UK-based emergency response and disaster preparedness charity to have greater impact in health emergencies.
The agreement will see MapAction volunteers ready on standby to deploy to any health emergency operations at the request of the WHO. This will help bring the organisation’s unique data-driven approach to saving lives in even more health crises worldwide.
The Standby Partnership Agreement will streamline and simplify how MapAction can deploy to WHO emergency operations at short notice. The agreement states that MapAction will “maintain a roster of standby personnel….for the rapid mobilisation and deployment of pre-screened individuals…to WHO emergency operations.”
“We will provide some surge support that will be relevant to WHO emergency operations,” MapAction’s CEO Liz Hughes says of the agreement, noting that it is an important step to being able to deploy faster and more efficiently alongside WHO teams in emergency operations. “We have a growing knowledge of health needs through our own work” adds MapAction’s CEO.
MapAction has already lent data management, geospatial and mapping support in 13 health-related emergency deployments worldwide since 2014. Teams of volunteers from the Oxfordshire-based charity were involved in providing support in the Ebola crisis in West Africa, as well as during the more recent COVID-19 pandemic. A team of MapAction volunteers is also currently working on a project to reduce the impacts of cholera in Malawi.
MapAction personnel have also contributed to a leading sector title on how to respond to health emergencies (In Control: A Practical Handbook for Professionals Working in Health Emergencies Internationally).
Besides deployments to emergency health crises, MapAction has also developed, with partners, the Integrated Humanitarian Data Package (IHDP) tool, designed to aid final mile vaccine delivery planning and logistics. It contains selected data sets, information explaining the data (‘metadata’) as well as GIS and coding tools which allow users to easily develop situation-specific items such as maps and other graphics.
The IHDP was trialled during the roll out of COVID-19 vaccines in South Sudan.
It was adapted in Burundi in late 2022 to combat the impacts of malaria.