51 Stand-by Partners Deployed with ETC to 13 countries in 2015

Network of partners support ETC to carry out crucial work around the world

“Sometimes my colleagues ask me why I do it,” says Martin Falebrand from Ericsson Response. “My reply is usually a question back: Why not? If the company gives you the opportunity to contribute to something more, something bigger, something really important, why should you not?”

As a global network of organisations, the Emergency Telecommunications Cluster (ETC) relies on its partners to carry out its crucial work around the world. In 2015, 51 responders from Stand-by Partner organisations deployed to support eight ETC operations across 13 countries. Stand-by Partner personnel work under the management of the World Food Programme (WFP) – global lead of the ETC.

“I’ve been doing work like this for fifteen years but it was only in 2015 that I started working directly with the ETC,” says David Tagliani from NetHope, deployed as part of the ETC response team to West Africa for the Ebola crisis and Nepal after the earthquake. “I have to say the experience has been awesome. Every single person I had the pleasure of working with was technically astute and a consummate professional.”

“Everybody works long hours under difficult conditions and there are no weekends, but there is also great camaraderie and esprit de corps,” says David.  

Stand-by Partner organisations provide additional capacity in personnel, equipment and expertise to support the ETC in providing vital communications services in humanitarian emergencies. Their time is provided as ‘in-kind’ donations. Deployment profiles typically include ICT Specialists, Electricians and Project Managers. As the ETC works to realise its 2020 vision, the range of ETC profiles has expanded to include specialists in Communications with Communities and Partnership Management.

“Without the support of our Stand-by Partners, the ETC’s mission and work in the field would simply not be the same,” says Jalal Shah, Head of the Global ETC Support Cell. “Stand-by Partners are crucial to the success of the ETC.’’

 “Being on mission is not always very glorious, sometimes even close to dangerous,” says Martin who has deployed to numerous ETC operations over the years, including Nepal, Philippines, South Sudan, and West Africa. “But the services we provide, that enable the humanitarian community to work effectively with the help of good communications is so appreciated.

“Before they maybe had to travel for hours in car just to get Internet access to be able to send vital reports and to communicate for effective work or just to be able to keep in touch with family and friends. Now they can do it at the location and in real time. It just makes their work so much more efficient and in the end hopefully saves more lives.”

The ETC thanks responders from Canada's Civilian Reserve (Canadem), Crisis Management Centre (CMC) Finland, Ericsson Response, Government of Luxembourg, Swedish Contingencies Agency (MSB), Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), RedR Australia, NetHope and all its Stand-by Partners for their support in 2015. For more information, visit: ETC Stand-by Partners