Operation Cell (Ops Cell)

Background

The NRCS Operation Cell (Ops Cell) was established in the last quarter of 2004 with the following main objectives:

 

  • to coordinate NRCS response to conflict situations,
  • to oversee and ensure appropriate application of the NRCS conflict preparedness and response policy,
  • to develop and standardize various tools and working procedures of the NRCS in order to facilitate smooth operational responses to conflict situations,
  • to follow up the issues related the NRCS compliance to the Fundamental Principles within the scope of Safer Access Framework,
  • to work as the interface between the NRCS and the ICRC and to act as the focal point for the ICRC supported capacity building programme

The conflict which lasted almost 10 years has been over since mid 2006. Currently the country is progressing through a peace process. This period   be considered as the transition period, whereas, the direct results of a long lasting conflict are still visible. In spite of that, since the end of 2006, the country experiences a new type of security situation, particularly in the southern part, which is known as Tarai region. Sudden and sporadic break out of violence, in different cities and towns, between various ethnic population/groups, demands humanitarian responses on an emergency basis. Recent violent incidents showed that the safety and security of the Red Cross staff and volunteers and free movement of Red Cross ambulances and First Aiders are not yet fully guaranteed in some parts of the country. This suggests that still there is a need for the follow up of the Safer Access Framework and building capacity for emergency response. Continued efforts should be made to familiarize the relevant tools (i.e. Code of Conduct, Standard Operating Procedures, etc.) that are developed in order to operate in an emergency situation.

 

Based on the NRCS priorities, the NRCS, the Federation and the ICRC are working together in the areas of human resource development, volunteer management, communication strategy, strategic/development plan and earthquake contingency plan. The Movement partners have agreed that there is a need for a unit within the NRCS to continue to act as the interface between the NRCS and its Movement partners and bridge between the components of the Movement operational in Nepal as well as coordinate relevant NRCS programmes engaged in emergency response.

In the wake of changed situation in the country, the Operation Cell will have new set of objective and new roles and responsibilities as of March 01, 2007.

Objectives of the Operation Cell (Ops Cell)

  • to act as the interface between the NRCS and the ICRC, the Federation and other Movement partners,
  • to monitor and facilitate proper implementation of the Safer Access Framework by the NHQ and the District/Sub Chapters that includes the code of conduct, security rules, emblem regulations, standard operating procedures, compliance of the Fundamental Principles of the Movement etc.
  • to coordinate NRCS emergency response through District Chapter Operational Cells and Emergency Response Teams established at DC level (please see below for details),

Composition of the Operation Cell (Ops Cell)

The Ops Cell will be composed of three staff members:

  • In-charge of Ops Cell (Director)
  • Two Ops Cell Officers

The Cell will be supported by a three member team for consultation:

  • Executive Director
  • Director, Ops Cell
  • Director, Communication & Humanitarian Values

The Coordination & Operation Cell (Ops Cell) will:

  • keep regular contact with the ICRC, the Federation and other Movement partners present in Nepal;
  • act as the focal point for the ICRC supported capacity building programmes and the activities supported jointly by the Federation and the ICRC (i.e. human resource development, volunteer management, NS integrity, RC law, communication strategy etc.);
  • organize meetings of the 'Programme Coordination Group' on a monthly basis and 'Cooperation Coordination Meeting' (CMM) on a fortnightly basis;
  • help and facilitate DCs in establishing and proper functioning of their Operation Cells;
  • remind, from time to time, all NRCS departments and DCs/Sub Chapters their responsibilities to comply to the elements of the Safer Access Framework;
  • train NRCS members, staff and volunteers on Seville Agreement;
  • raise awareness amongst new members of the NRCS Central Executive Committee, DC/Sub Chapter  committees and other volunteers, members and staff about the Safer Access concept;
  • collect and up date DC profile with list of members, volunteers, staff, activities etc. and monitor the compliance of the Fundamental Principles and also take necessary action if required;
  • collect emergency/security related information and incident up date from all DCs on a regular basis and communicate to the NRCS management, the Federation, the ICRC and other Movement partners present in Nepal;
  • act rapidly to organize emergency response operations in time of need and keep all concerned informed on a daily basis;
  • act as the Focal Point for implementation of the NRCS code of conduct, security rules, emblem regulations, standard operating procedures, compliance of the Fundamental Principles of the Movement etc.;
  • establish and operate NRCS 'Operations Room' (Ops Room) in time of emergencies when necessary.

Coordination Mechanism

The Ops Cell will take proactive initiative to keep regular contact between the NRCS, the ICRC, the Federation and other Movement partners present in Nepal. The Ops Cell will also organize the 'Programme Coordination Group' meeting and CMM meetings.

Programme Coordination Group:

The Programme Coordination Group is the implementation level coordination mechanism. The Group will ensure proper harmony and coherence between all NRCS programmes, particularly supported by the ICRC and the Federation in order to avoid duplication of efforts and overlapping. It will oversee the implementation of activities and encourage all projects/programmes/departments to put their collective efforts to achieve the overall mission of the NRCS. Through regular meeting the Group will refer issues that need to be discussed at the CMM. The Group will be composed of the following person:

  • Secretary General (Chairman)
  • Executive Director
  • All Directors/Heads/Focal Persons from relevant project/programme/department
  • Director/In-charge of Ops Cell
  • Director, Finance
  • Federation Representative
  • ICRC Cooperation Deleg

Cooperation Coordination Meeting (CMM):

The CMM is the policy/strategy level coordination mechanism. The CMM will be organized on a fortnightly/monthly basis. It will deal broader issues related to policy and strategy of the Movement components present in Nepal. The Movement components (NRCS, ICRC & Federation) exchange institutional information and up date each other in the CMM. The CMM will oversee the operations/activities conducted jointly by the Movement and get an up date on major activities to ensure better knowledge and effective coordination.  

For more detail information, please contact at opcell@nrcs.org