When a crisis hits, all humanitarian actors need to respond quickly by having the right human resources on the ground quickly. The Danish Refugee Council (DRC) Standby Roster works to enhance and improve the United Nations’ (UN) emergency response to humanitarian displacement crises and as such enables faster and more effective support to people in need. This is achieved through both capacity building and the deployment of high-quality experts and specialists to UN’s humanitarian relief operations all over the world.
The DRC Standby Roster is an instrument to support and boost UN agencies with specialized professionals to their humanitarian operations for a limited time, thereby allowing time for the UN agencies to upgrade their own staff capacity. The DRC deployments are not a substitute for regular staffing arrangements within the UN, rather it is a short-term means to support and augment existing resources when necessary.
The DRC Standby Roster is managing three deployment schemes: The Humanitarian Response Roster, the Resettlement Roster and the Registration Roster. The term roster implies a list of carefully recruited and trained professionals awaiting their periods of duty while being ready to be deployed to international operations within 72 hours, when available.
The aim of the DRC Standby Roster is to strengthen the UN’s capacity to deliver a timely, effective, and accountable humanitarian response to the people in need. Since 1991, the DRC Stand-by Roster has successfully worked towards this objective by filling human resource gaps of UN organizations with specialist staff while a secondary objective is to influence and actively engage with UN organizations to pursue positive changes within the UN system. Since 1991 the DRC Standby Roster has achieved significant growth in terms of donor funding, number of the UN partners, as well as the number of rosters managed and their members.
The DRC Standby Roster operates on the basis of DRC’s protection mandate and prioritizes deployments that have the largest potential for protective outcomes for people in need. This means that every time the DRC Standby Roster deploys an expert to the UN agency to improve their response capacity, the aim is to increase the protection of people affected by conflicts and disasters. Profiles matching the DRC core sectors are furthermore prioritized while support is also given to global coordination by deploying members to cluster coordination positions both in the field and at head quarter level, and by strengthening the members’ capacity to engage in cluster coordination.
Human resource development is a cornerstone of the DRC Standby Roster’s operations, with a strong focus on preparation, capacity building, and monitoring. Deployees are carefully briefed and debriefed, and all members of our rosters are offered opportunities for personal and professional development through participation in various trainings and workshops.
The DRC Standby Roster not only continues to strengthen the capacity of the UN to meet the increasing number of humanitarian emergencies around the world, but also works to strengthen the strategic relationship between the DRC and UN partners through the standby arrangement, through the DRC country operations, as well as through the work of DRC specialists in various global clusters. Hence, in addition to activities directly related to deployments of short-term expert personnel, the DRC Standby Roster also facilitates deployment with a longer-term strategic purpose to UN partners and DRC operations.