Frequently Asked Questions

The toolkit is huge! How can one person even start to look at it?

  • The interim CARE Emergency Toolkit should be understood as a resource collection which provides a menu of guidelines for different users, like a library which caters for many different users.
  • It is not a single manual where all staff should use all parts of it!
  • Users of the toolkit should look for the guidelines which are relevant to their role within an emergency response, eg the HR manager = HR protocol and guidelines, Assessment team = Assessment protocol and guidelines.

Which parts are for which people?

The toolkit is divided into four parts which correspond to different user groups:

Box 1. CET User Reference Table
Part 1: Policy and Management Framework
User: Everyone, especially CDs/ Senior Managers
Part Two: Programming Guidelines
User: Program Managers, Technical Program Staff
  • Introduction
  • Policy Framework
  • Basic Guide to Emergency Response
  • Management Protocols
  • Key Policy Issues
  • General Programming Guidelines
  • Sector Guidelines
  • Cross Cutting Issues
  • Quality and Accountability
  • Advocacy
Part 3: Program Management Guidelines
User: Program Managers
Part Four: Operational Guidelines
User: Program support managers, functional staff
  • Emergency Preparedness Planning
  • Early Warning
  • Assessment
  • Proposal Design and Funds Mobilisation
  • Donor contract management
  • Implementation
  • Monitoring and Evaluation
  • Closure or transition
  • Information Management
  • Media
  • Human Resources
  • Finance
  • Logistics
  • Procurement
  • Administration
  • Telecommunications and IT
  • Safety and Security


Is it compulsory to use the toolkit?

  • All parts of CARE must comply with the Ch 2 Humanitarian Policy Framework and Ch 4 Management Protocols.
  • All other parts are ‘guidelines' to help manage a response. Except where specifically stated as policy, they are not compulsory but highly recommended to ensure program and operational standards are met.

At what stage of an emergency do I use different parts of the toolkit?

  • The overall toolkit is organised according to functional areas/ user groups rather than time sequencing.
  • Chapter 3 Basic Guide to Emergency Response and Chapter 4 Management Protocols follow time sequencing to guide the appropriate course of actions from the start of an emergency to the finish. Managers of an emergency response should use Chapters 3 and 4 to help you know what you should be doing when.
  • The rest of the guidelines in the CET apply throughout all stages of the emergency response and guide the functional manager on the steps that they should follow throughout the duration of emergency.

What MUST I know as a Country Director, Emergency Coordinator or Senior Manager?

  • All Country Directors, Emergency Coordinators and CO senior managers must be familiar with Ch 2 Humanitarian Policy Framework and Ch 4 Management protocols and ensure they are followed.
  • The most important protocols for CDs to be familiar with are: A1 Mandates, roles and responsibilities; A2 Emergency Typology; A3 Conditions and criteria for response; and C5 Response decision making.
  • Ch 3 Basic Guide for Emergency Response is designed to help Country Directors manage a response.

What are the Management Protocols? Which protocols are the most important?

  • The management protocols are brief statements of policy, roles and responsibilities and step by step instructions to guide the application of CARE policy within emergency operations.
  • Protocols apply to all parts of CARE International, including Country Offices, regional offices, CARE International Member offices, and the CI Secretariat.
  • Protocols cover the main phases of an emergency response, as described in the following Box:
Box 2. List of Emergency Management Protocols

A. Pre-conditions:
A.1. Mandates, roles and responsibilities
A.2. Emergency typology
A.3. Conditions and criteria for response

B. Preparedness:
B.1. Emergency preparedness planning
B.2. Early warning
B.3. Alerts
B.4. Pre-emergency readiness

C. Response initiation and start-up:
C.1. Needs assessment
C.2. Capacity assessment
C.3. Staff safety and security
C.4. Operational risk assessment
C.5. Response decision-making
C.6. Response initiation
C.7. Communications systems
C.8. Situation reports
C.9. Media management
C.10. CI coordination

C.11. External coordination

D. Resource mobilisation and management:
D.1. Emergency response funds (under development)
D.2. Fundraising (under development)
D.3. Staff deployment
D.4. Relief supplies (under development)
D.5. Equipment (under development)
D.6. Information management
D.7. Financial management (under development)
D.8. Human resources management (under development)
D.9. Registration and legal compliance (under development)

E. Response quality:
(Under Development)

F. Recovery and transition: (under development)

This whole thing weighs 3kg when I print it out. How am I supposed to take it to the field with me?

  • Because individual users are only expected to refer to the chapters most relevant to their specific role, you are not expected to print out and carry the whole toolkit. Make sure you just have the part most relevant to you.
  • The entire electronic website can be downloaded onto your computer or a disc to take with you.
  • We will also be putting together a small field guide book containing only the most critical information which will fit more easily in your pocket. This should be ready by mid 2008.

Will the toolkit be translated into other languages?

  • Arrangements are currently being made to translate key chapters into French and Spanish and Arabic
  • Other parts of the toolkit will be translated into other key CARE working languages once the final version is completed. The interim version is not yet being translated due to the fact that major changes are anticipated.

How does the toolkit relate to the Emergency Preparedness Planning (EPP) Guidelines?

  • The EPP guidelines provide instructions for how a CO should prepare in advance of an emergency. The Toolkit provides instructions on how to manage a response during an emergency.
  • An important part of the preparedness process is to learn about how to manage an emergency response by familiarizing yourself with the guidelines and protocols in the toolkit in advance of the emergency.
  • In the final version of the toolkit, planned for released April/May 2008, the EPP guidelines and annexes will be integrated so that all resources for preparedness and response are aligned and located in one place.

I need a visual diagram to help understand how this all fits together.

  • Please see the attached document CET and Protocols Flowchart. (Hyperlink to PDF of image/flowchart.

How can I provide feedback on the toolkit or ask for help?

  • You can ask the toolkit manager directly for help or provide feedback directly by filling out the feedback form
  • You can discuss feedback or questions with other CARE colleagues in the Discussion Forum