Franquin’s calling appears to be improving himself so that he can improve circumstances for others. With a string of qualifications already behind his name he is now busy with a doctorate thesis addressing disaster management co-ordination.
Franquin’s key responsibility is co-ordinating and driving the response of the many diverse players which need to respond decisively to a disaster. This is never an easy task – especially in the heat of a disaster – as you need to manage par ties which do not report functionally to you. It requires substantial people management skills. Within the framework of regulations, a code of conduct and sometimes skewed agendas of parties, it is an elevated ‘think-on-you-feet’ job.
- Preparedness: Having approved stakeholders, partners, networks, resources, donors, responders, plans, budgets, and processes in place in anticipation of a disaster.
- Activation: In the event of a disaster unfolding, co-ordinating all of the responding parties and focusing their resources and activities.
- Humanitarian: This can range from sourcing and distributing food, clothing, electricity, housing, blankets etc. During the floods, we needed to arrange aviation support as some areas were cut-off.
A debriefing will always follow an emergency and focus on areas of improvement at co-ordination level as well as the many different parties which responded. Could we have improved our response to the recent floods? Of course, yes. In such an operation where there are so many moving parts there is always room for improvement.
This pretty much sums up Franquin. Always learning, always gaining new knowledge.