New report: Nepal Earthquake 2015 - Review of surge practices

This report presents the results of the first tracking mechanism of the humanitarian surge response to the Nepal earthquake (2015) as part of the Start Network Transforming Surge Capacity Project. The aim of the mechanism is to track changes to surge practices by examining instances of surge deployment by the 11 operational consortium members in the course of the project.

Key findings:

  • The surge response was shaped by the severity of the disaster, combined with poverty, poor infrastructure and a difficult policy environment.
  • National and regional staff played a key role in the surge response. Citizens, local businesses and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) were the first to respond, and were later largely replaced by international mechanisms and actors. Internal rosters and standing teams helped mobilise staff for the Nepal response rapidly, with eight out of 11 agencies deploying within 24 hours.
  • Collaboration among surge actors was shaped by the nature of the disaster and the government’s requirement for international non-governmental organisations (INGOs) to work through local partners. A high proportion (70%) of agencies worked mainly in collaboration with others, ranging from local partners, village development committees, government authorities and other INGOs.
  • Challenges in the response included finding expert staff and qualified Nepali staff, difficulties in procurement resulting from a lack of infrastructure and changing government import policies, and ensuring inclusivity in the response through the participation of local NGOs and women’s needs.

The report also identifies best practices, lessons learned and innovations in the fields of information management, humanitarian communication, collaboration, materials and staff set-up.

Download the full report here.