Decision-Making in Disaster Response: A Guide for Aid Workers

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RedR Member and Mission Ready Content Author John Tipper has recently published his guide to ‘Decision Making in Disaster Response’.

Borrowing from the format of classic ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ novels, the handbook aims to teach aid workers how to make impossible choices. Readers are faced with vivid descriptions of difficult situations and are directed to different sections of the book based on which decision they consider most appropriate.

In one scenario, you are stopped en route to deliver essential medicines to a clinic in a war-torn region by an aggressive armed militia member demanding a $50 bribe. Your agency prohibits bribes, but the population’s lives depend on those medicines. You must decide what to do.

The scenarios draw from John’s 15-years of experience working at the frontline of humanitarian response in Iraq, Jordan, South Sudan, the Balkans, the Philippines and elsewhere.

John Tipper says: “At the frontline of complex emergencies, good response is both a science and an art. The science is knowing your rights, and understanding how to use useful tools such as risk assessments. The art is knowing how to apply these to the situation as it unfolds in front of you, especially under high pressure.”

John also authored the content of RedR’s Mission Ready Remote Security Management course, released in October 2016. The course, too, is based on under-pressure decision-making.

This course aims to bridge the gap between HQ, regional and field staff communications on security challenges, decisions and practical actions throughout the project life cycle, using the innovative video game technology of the Mission Ready e-learning platform. "I am a firm believer in learning through experience – and by putting the reader right in the middle of a story, responsible for its outcomes, the book supports this approach."

All proceeds from the sale of this book go to support Confident Children Out of Conflict (CCC),  a South Sudanese charity for vulnerable children.

John Tipper speaks at the launch of Mission Ready: Remote Security Management