BT commits, as part of its relationship with the Red Cross, to support the development of three 'Beneficiary Registration Kits' (BRK) by providing $75,000 US in funding to enable the purchase of the hardware components. Each BRK will be comprised of 20 mobile devices (tablet or smart phones), 10,000 plastic cards, one bar-code printer, a back-end server and other associated supplies.
It is proposed to pre-position the BRKs in three designated strategic warehouse locations: Panama City (Panama) for the Americas, Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) for Asia Pacific and Nairobi (Kenya) for Africa. The BRKs will be dispatched from these 3 central locations whenever a disaster occurs. If disaster situations emerge in other geographies (e.g. Europe or the Middle East) the Red Cross might additionally decide to deploy the BRKs to those regions if it sees an operational benefit from doing so.
Using the BRKs, Red Cross teams will be able to register basic beneficiary information through the mobile devices, enabling collation of data in real time using 3G networks or via Wi-Fi or USB port, to a single and centralized database. This data can be accessed by the in-country Red Cross or Red Crescent National Society and monitored worldwide where necessary by the IFRC Disaster Response Units.
In addition to this, the BRKs will continue to support the development of the Red Cross' work in the area of disaster management to become more effective and efficient. The plastic cards issued to beneficiaries will include information such as the Red Cross support they are entitled to, the cash transfer value, non-food items or other Red Cross services. This information can be defined using the necessary software program and then assigned to the individual's card which ultimately helps the Red Cross Red Crescent National Societies to better manage the allocation of aid. A key benefit of this approach for beneficiaries is that it enables people to gain more control of how they can recover from an emergency which has shown to improve survival chances.
As the cards are a low cost 'consumable' associated with the solution (approximately $0.12 US each), it is expected that it may be possible to replenish some stocks of cards locally in some situations. Many of the cards will be distributed to heads of families and as such the Red Cross anticipates an average of 5 individuals may be supported through the distribution of one card and the associated relief aid.
September 2013 - January 2014: Roll Out Phase
The plan is to position the three BRKs in a phased roll out - initially in Panama and then Kuala Lumpur and Nairobi by January 2014.
September 2013 - January 2014: Hardware Procurement, Americas
Analysis and procurement of hardware in the Americas region will take place in September and towards the end of 2013.
December 2013/January 2014: Hardware Procurement, Asia Pacific & Africa
Hardware will be analyzed and procured in Asia Pacific and Africa. It is anticipated that all hardware will be procured at zone level to ensure regional suitability of all equipment.
When disaster hits, survival is a priority for those affected. Whilst the type of emergency assistance required after a disaster is often fairly easy to identify, how it is delivered can make a huge difference to the vulnerability of beneficiaries. Current Red Cross operations in disaster response situations are primarily paper based and this method of registration can be highly inefficient. BT is proposing to fund the development of 'Beneficiary Registration Kits' that will allow the Red Cross to distribute cards to beneficiaries affected by the disaster to provide access to a limited range of essential items, cash and/or services. This approach will not only be more flexible for beneficiaries and supportive of the local economy but will support robust and efficient management of beneficiary data and relief aid distribution.