ETC Global Preparedness

To ensure that the ETC has sufficient capacity to support an ever-increasing number of national and global emergencies, the ETC builds global partnerships, ensures global coordination of emergencies and preparedness activities, coordinates global emergency stocks, and builds the capacity of its partners.

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The ETC establishes effective partnerships as part of emergency preparedness, with the ETC and partners working in close coordination to support resource mobilization, capacity building and solution development, keeping pace with changing user expectations, and ensuring there is sufficient global capacity including staff and equipment to support an ever-increasing number of emergencies.

Global Coordination

The ETC engages with partners at a global level focusing on preparedness in numerous ways, including:

  • Hosting the Global Preparedness Working Group for ETC partners
  • Developing and sending preparedness materials, such as the ETC-ITU Emergency Telecommunications Tabletop Simulation Guide and the ETC-ITU Emergency Telecommunications Preparedness Checklist.
  • Coordinating with partner organizations.
  • Engaging in the establishment of emergency telecommunications standards.
  • Engaging in development and management of emergency response rosters and surge capacity.
  • Development of products and tools that provide relevant ICT information to stakeholders including ICT country profiles and connectivity maps.
  • Monitoring of forums and early warning platforms including the Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System (GDACS).

Emergency equipment stocks

  • Prepositioning emergency equipment at the global level at UNHRD warehouses (Brindisi, Dubai and Panama) and in some partners’ hosting countries (i.e. Sweden, Luxembourg).
  • Regional and country pre-positioning of equipment takes place on a case by case basis.

Country Prioritization Methodology

There is an increase in the frequency of disasters across the world and emergency preparedness is a powerful way to mitigate risks and improve the capacity of communities. However, it is not always easy to identify the countries that would most benefit from the assistance of the Global ETC and its preparedness operations, especially when there are countries with multiple disasters and varying hazard types. 

The Global ETC has developed a methodology to prioritize those countries most at risk. This model, to be used annually, will entail a thorough analysis of countries at risk as well as their Information and Communications Technology (ICT) capabilities. This list will be used as a tool to inform the judgments regarding local ETC activation, while the ETC supports establishing partnerships with countries which are not included in the final listing. The country prioritization methodology presented in this brief illustrates the considered quantitative and qualitative assessments as well as the weight distribution.  

Access the Country Prioritization Methodology.


Return on Investment (ROI) Model

The ETC has developed a model to assess the benefits of investment in emergency telecommunications preparedness. This will build a pool of evidence to promote preparedness, ultimately encouraging stakeholders to build disaster-resilient telecommunications in high-risk countries across the globe. The Return on Investment (ROI) model aims to quantify and qualify the benefits of investments in emergency telecommunications preparedness. It can be used by all humanitarian partners engaged in emergency telecommunications preparedness. It is built on the practical emergency preparedness expertise and experiences of the ETC in different countries.

Access the Return on Investment (ROI) Model.

Return On Investment model cover

Global ETC Training and Simulations for Humanitarian Responders

The ETC works on building the capacity of humanitarian responders through trainings and simulations. ETC training and exercises target different skill sets and are scheduled regularly to meet the capacity building needs on the ground and keep pace with evolving technologies. Simulations put participants through intensive field conditions over the course of several days and reinforce skills covered in other ETC training courses, putting them into practice in a true-to-life emergency simulation.

The ETC currently supports the following global training and exercises:

  • ETC Coordination Course: The ETC Coordination Course is designed to equip humanitarian responders with the knowledge and tools to coordinate or support the coordination of inter-agency ICT emergency response operations.
  • Let's Net: Let's Net provides humanitarian ICT staff with the skills to deploy, manage and support the ETC Internet connectivity and telephony services during emergency operations.
  • Let's Comm:  Let's Comm training provides humanitarian ICT staff with skills to deploy radio-based security communications systems.
  • Services for Affected Populations: This training equips humanitarian responders with the tools and an awareness of the technologies for delivering and sustaining ETC services for the affected population in an emergency context. (Name pending)
  • Preparedness: This is designed to equip humanitarian actors with the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and tools to enable them to undertake ETC preparedness activities in-country. (Name pending)
  • gear.UP: This is a large-scale inter-agency simulation which is designed to further advance the emergency response capabilities of the ETC, where participants work in teams to deploy the ETC services under challenging conditions and timeframes. The exercise is held jointly with the Logistics Cluster to strengthen the cooperation between the Clusters and to foster joint approaches in inter-Cluster coordination and access to funding mechanisms.

Guidance on the Tampere Convention

Following a disaster, telecommunications services are vital to coordinating emergency response to better aid affected populations. To facilitate faster and more effective disaster response efforts, the Tampere Convention sets out guidelines for cooperation among States to provide and manage telecommunication resources, such as satellites and mobile networks, during times of crisis. By removing regulatory barriers that hinder rapid deployment of telecommunications equipment, it aims to ensure that effective communication is maintained during disaster scenarios and that response efforts are not impeded by lack of communication resources. The ETC in partnership with ITU developed the following introductory slides on the Tampere Convention in English, Spanish, and French to advocate for, and emphasize, the significance of the treaty.

The Tampere Convention was signed on 18 June 1998 in the Tampere Hall of Finland. It has been ratified by a total of 49 parties and another 31 parties have signed the convention. The list of States signed/ratified the Tampere Convention is available at the United Nations Treaty Collection (UNTC) website.


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