Remote Humanitarian Management and Programming: Guidance Note (May 2020)



Many organisations are establishing or scaling up remote humanitarian management and programming practices in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic. Access constraints, infection risks and travel restrictions are requiring both international and national humanitarian actors to think about adapting existing programming models.
Access is significantly reduced for international agencies due to staff evacuations and border closures, and many are shifting towards remote management with partners at the national and local levels. National actors are also increasingly adopting remote programming models, including involving communities in managing program activities.

Supporting locally led response and remote management

In recent years there has been considerable research around the challenges and opportunities offered by remote management and programming.1 The COVID-19 context amplifies these challenges, whilst offering new ways for humanitarian actors to mitigate risks and continue to meet ongoing humanitarian needs. There is an opportunity to support localisation commitments through enabling increased decision-making and program management by national organisations, staff and communities.

Why this note?

Ensuring the safety and protection of all staff, partners and program participants, whilst providing life-saving assistance in transitioning to remote management and programming models, is vital.
This note is intended to guide international and national operational actors on how to adapt and think about remote management in the context of COVID-19. It provides a snapshot of key takeaways from previous research, and draws together emerging learning and guidance. Humanitarian Advisory Group and CARE have collaborated on this guidance note. It is part of a guidance series on remote working produced as part of our Humanitarian Horizons research program.