Interview with Daniel Heed, Swedish Red Cross Advisor and DCoP Member

Swedish Red Cross Advisor for Community Engagement, Gender and Diversity Daniel Heed shares his experience of taking part in the DARWIN Community of Practitioners.

The Swedish Red Cross is one of 146 organisations across Europe participating in the DARWIN Community of Practitioners.

The DARWIN Community of Practitioners consists of crisis and resilience practitioners from across Europe including first responders, civil society representatives and critical infrastructure providers.

This group has been testing and evaluating the DARWIN Resilience Management Guidelines since the beginning of the project and regularly gives feedback, ensuring the guidelines are practical and relevant to their needs on the ground.

1. What is the Swedish Red Cross?
The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is the world’s largest humanitarian network that reaches 150 million people in 191 National Societies through the work of over 17 million volunteers.

Together, we act before, during and after disasters and health emergencies to meet the needs and improve the lives of vulnerable people.

The Swedish Red Cross has over 30,000 volunteers. One of our priorities is to strengthen crisis management and community resilience within Swedish society.

2. Why did you decide to join the DARWIN Community of Practitioners?
We have many different community resilience methods and tools in our organisation and we wanted to take part in the learning process. It’s great being part of the development of new guidelines and are we are very interested in sharing our experiences and challenges with the other practitioners. Being part of this community will hopefully make our community resilience stronger.

3. How will you adopt the Darwin Guidelines or Concept Cards in your organisation?
We are currently in the process of developing our own strategies and crisis plans within the Swedish Red Cross. I am involved in the development of a guide about need assessment in crisis. I have found the DARWIN guidelines, especially the concept card about noticing brittleness very helpful.

4. How will the DARWIN guidelines benefit your organisation?
Sharing information with others working in the crisis management arena has many benefits: knowledge, networking, and sharing of practical experience. In the long run we are interested in strengthening our strategies and our work in crisis management, community resilience building, community engagement and accountability and with gender and diversity.

5. Will it be easy to adopt the guidelines in your organisation?
It is never easy to implement new knowledge, guidelines and methods within a big organization. This process will take time, but hopefully it will be possible to adapt new strategies in line with these guidelines.

6. What advice would you have for any organisation thinking of adopting the DARWIN guidelines?
The guidelines are designed to work for all organizations. They are also designed to ask the right questions. These checklists are easy-to-use. What is especially useful is that all cards are designed with a set of questions with the perspective, before, during and after the crisis.

Daniel Heed is Advisor for Community Engagement, Gender and Diversity with the Swedish Red Cross. If your organisation would like to take part in the DARWIN Community of Practitioners and learn how you can adopt the DARWIN Resilience Management Guidelines for your organisation, email DARWIN Community of Practitioners Coordinator Euan Morin euan.morin@regionostergotland.se 

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