News

Humanitarian HowTo's: 5 top tips for aid workers

  • Home
  • News
  • Humanitarian HowTo's: 5 top tips for aid workers

One hundred ‘HowTo’ guides for humanitarians are being added to online technical Q&A forum KnowledgePoint by carefully selected experts.

KnowledgePoint was set-up by RedR UK, WaterAid UK, Practical Action and IRC Wash in 2012 with the support of Elhra's Humanitarian Innovation Fund.

The ‘HowTo’ series offers aid workers practical tips to solve key problems across 11 thematic areas, including water engineering, logistics, health and cash programming. 

Among those contributing expertise are cash programming consulting group Key Aid Consulting, sanitation NGO BORDA and the Humanitarian Logistics Association.

Each of these contributors is being asked to draw upon their experience working in the field to write clear and concise guides to some of the toughest challenges they have faced. 

Here is a selection of five of our favourite questions asked so far:

What must you consider when planning a large movement of internally displaced people by road?

"...how good are the buses available to hire?"
"...do the IDPs have a lot of luggage/domestic goods?"
"...do they have any livestock?" 

Read the full answer
Contributor: Humanitarian Logistics Association

What must you consider when planning a large movement of internally displaced people by road?

What tool should you use for market assessment and analysis?

"All existing market assessment and analysis tools and guidance rely on the same approach: the examination of certain commodities or services. What varies is the scope and depth of the assessment, which should be based on the objectives of the market analysis exercise..."

Read the full answer 
Contributor: Key Aid Consulting

How do I set up a solar photovoltaic panel to get best energy output?

"The simple, and obvious, answer is ‘by pointing it at the sun’! However, this can be more involved than it first appears (...) the simplest approach is to mount the panel pointing towards the equator tilted at an angle from the horizontal equal to the latitude of the site. So, in Zimbabwe, this would be facing North at an angle of about 20 degrees, and in Pakistan it would be South at about 30 degrees."

Read the full answer
Contributor: Duncan Kerridge  

How do I set up a solar photovoltaic panel to get best energy output?

How do you design a rainwater harvesting system?

"Rainwater collection is often a good option in areas with regular rainfall and where traditional water sources (i.e. groundwater, surface water) are not available or contaminated. The following ‘how to’ guide comes from my experience implementing Rain Water Harvesting Systems (RWHS) in the Solomon Islands, where many coastal communities don’t have others options for water supply..."

Read the full answer
Contributor: William Berbon

What devices are available to empty out hard-to-reach latrines containing difficult sludge?

"The emptying and transportation of sludge from pit latrines in hard to reach areas is a common dilemma as narrow pathways or other obstacles make access by larger sludge emptying vehicles impossible. There are now a few motorized vehicles or machines that have been developed for densely populated areas with difficult or limited access."

Read the full answer
Contributor: BORDA Bremen 

What devices are available to empty out hard-to-reach latrines containing difficult sludge?

The 'go-to' place for technical advice

Since launch in 2012, KnowledgePoint has gained 1157 registered users, more than 150 technical experts and an encyclopaedic bank more than 900 questions and answers.

The ‘How To’ series - part of a transformation project supported by Elhra’s Humanitarian Innovation Fund - will see the bank of Q&As grow to more than one thousand.

These guides aim to bolster KnowledgePoint as the go-to place for reliable and accessible technical advice for humanitarian and development workers worldwide.

KnowledgePoint is supported by Elrha’s Humanitarian Innovation Fund (HIF) programme, a grant-making facility supporting organisations and individuals to identify, nurture and share innovative and scalable solutions to the most pressing challenges facing effective humanitarian assistance.
 
The HIF programme is funded by the UK Government and the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA).
 
Visit www.elrha.org for more information about Elrha’s work to improve humanitarian outcomes through research, innovation and partnership.

 

 The 'go-to' place for technical advice