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Using Standing Operating Procedures (SOP) for Humanitarian Responses During a Pandemic

Date added

27 May 2020

Summary

Start Fund Bangladesh developed standing operating procedures (SOP) after taking stock of current happenings and in-depth discussion with donors and humanitarian leaders. The SOP targeted safety measures at multiple levels to ensure the ultimate prevention of transmission at the community level. Some of these included:

  • Tracking physical health of staff and volunteers throughout the project period; In addition, all personnel involved in the project needed access to personal protective gear (masks and sanitizers)
  • Adopting new practices at the organisational level: providing accommodation facilities to staff and volunteers if needed; giving compensatory allowances to those working in direct response; increasing organisational cleanliness as per WHO standards
  • Following strict guidelines during response and: distributing relief items through door-to-door delivery and drawing distant circles.

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Uttaran's response in Satkhira and Barguna: Uttaran was awarded £48,577 by Start Fund Bangladesh to implement COVID-19 responses in 15 districts of Jessore and Satkhira combined. Their proposal aimed to:

  • Increase access to hygiene facilities targeting vulnerable and low-income households
  • Support community hospitals of 15 upazilas with essential equipment for COVID-19 treatment
  • Provide protective gear to front-line law enforcing officers who are at greater risk of becoming infected
  • Conduct rigorous mass awareness campaign on infection prevention and control

On a normal day, the above interventions would have been easily implemented within a week with minimal risks involved; but the times were different.

"We followed Start Fund’s SOP from day 1. We even included other measures to further complement the guidelines. Staff security was essential for this project’s success"

-Jahin Shams, Program Development Specialist, Uttaran

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