PROFILE: IFRC’s Resource Management System (RMS) built with Sahana Eden

Since 2010, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) has been working with AidIQ on the development of a pioneering platform called the “Resource Management System” or “RMS”.

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This integrated system uses Sahana Eden to register national societies’ resources and includes geographical data such as hazard risks, population density, rainfall frequency and topography to allow for a more informed planning of humanitarian relief. The main purpose of the system is to support Red Cross and Red Crescent national societies to manage their material and human resources, to inform longer-term development planning and help in more effective disaster response operations.

“The RMS isn’t just a piece of software. For the first time in the history of the Red Cross and Red Crescent, RMS enables National Societies to view and analyse hazards and vulnerabilities together with their material and human resources like volunteers, staff, offices and warehouses on a digital up to date map to examine how well its people and resources are positioned.”

John Gwynn, Head of Organisational Development IFRC Asia Pacific zone

In October 2010, the RMS project started after the senior leadership of Asia Pacific national societies requested the system from the IFRC secretariat. The system responds to the needs of harmonizing the national societies’ databases and information management practices. The pilot phase of the project is being developed in the Asia-Pacific region where the IFRC is working very actively given a frequent occurrence of natural disasters affecting vulnerable populations.

Engaging the National Societies

From its initial stages, the Red Cross and Red Crescent national societies have been actively involved in the development of RMS through a consultative process. Indeed one of the aims has been to ensure that targeted users make the new integrated platform their own.

“It is the programme and admin staff that use the system and benefit from it, e.g. it’s the volunteer managers in the branches that change to RMS from their current speadsheets, the program managers who track the projects’ key information and the Human Resources staff who update key staff information through RMS – basically all the staff that manage information relevant to running a NS [national society] are potential users of RMS.”

Eero Sario, RMS Coordinator

RMS helps national society staff and volunteers in their day-to-day work in various ways:

  • Supports integrated programming (e.g. Health, DM, WatSan, Logistics…)
  • Easier and faster access to resource information (time-saving)
  • Easy to share information
  • Information is backed up daily, no loss of data
  • Development is funded by IFRC secretariat
  • Development of new features is guided on national societies’ needs and requests

The innovative aspects of RMS are the assessment reports database, the communities’ vulnerability tracking module and the possibility of reporting incidents online, along with the original Sahana Eden features (management of offices, staff, volunteers, warehouses, etc.).

The result is a comprehensive integrated information management platform supporting the daily and long-term needs of IFRC.

[Editor’s Note: Features and enhancements developed within Sahana Eden for the RMS platform have been generously donated back to the Sahana Software Foundation for inclusion in the core Sahana Eden product.]

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