Field Response Surge Training in New York
OCHA Field Response Surge Training (FIRST) for OCHA’s Coordination and Response Division took place from 12 to 16 June in New York. The bespoke course aims to prepare headquarters staff to deploy on surge missions at very short notice. Fifteen participants from Geneva and New York were present this year. A range of specialist sessions were led by subject matter experts, including on Community Engagement and Reporting. Sessions updated participants’ knowledge on OCHA’s core business such as cluster coordination and the humanitarian programme cycle and surge support tools and mechanisms. Colleagues from the Civil Military Coordination Section supported the desktop exercise. For the first time, OCHA’s Staff Counselors delivered a well-received session on personal and team stress management. The four-day course culminated with a simulation exercise held on the grounds of Glen Cove Mansion, which focused on negotiation techniques, dealing with the media and meeting management.