SAF4ERU 2018 exercise information

Emergency Response Unit (ERU)

What is this exercise about?

Participants will explore and learn to apply the principles underpinning the Safer Access Framework to identify related challenges and to improve their response when they deploy as ERU.

Click here to apply… | Download SAF4ERU 2018 announcement (PDF)

What is the Safer Access Framework?

National Societies, while often uniquely placed to reach people to whom access is otherwise restricted, often face considerable risks.

The Safer Access Framework (SAF) provides:

  • specific guidance on securing and maintaining safe humanitarian access in such circumstances;
  • tools to contribute to maintain and strengthen safe access to people and communities.

Learn more about Safer Access:

Who is offering this exercise

This digital (online) exercise is offered by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).

Who is this for?

This exercise is recommended by IFRC’s emergency health team prior to attending face-to-face health ERU (Emergency Response Unit) training. 

In addition, it is open to other Red Cross Red Crescent practitioners with an interest in safer humanitarian access, especially:

  • Current and future members of Emergency Response Unit (ERU) rosters and
  • National Society volunteers and staff involved in international deployments.


The exercise is free of charge. There is no cost for participants.

What will you gain?

By completing this exercise, you will:

  • rapidly develop your knowledge of the approach National Societies adopt to secure their safe access to affected communities;
  • improve your ability to cooperate with National Societies during an emergency response;
  • explore how to adapt elements of the National Society Safer Access Framework to the functioning of your ERU; and
  • connect with other humanitarian staff and volunteers from the Red Cross/Red Crescent with a shared interest in securing and maintaining safe access and principled humanitarian action.


The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) will issue a Certificate of Participation to all who complete the main project in a exercise. National Societies are encouraged to recognize the value of this certification, especially for health and other ERU delegates.


Apply until 8 April 2018. You are encouraged to apply early, as we will be admitting applicants on a rolling basis until we reach capacity.

  • The exercise starts 16 April and finishes 18 May (1 week for orientation followed by 4 weeks of exercise work).
  • You will receive an invitation to attend a 30-minute online briefing once your enrollment has been confirmed. Please carefully read and follow the instructions it contains.

Note: If you are deployed during this exercise, you will be asked to join the catch-up session in June 2018.

What to expect?

  • Entirely online, you can work at any time and then meet once a week with other participants.
  • Short and to the point for busy humanitarian staff and volunteers who already have full-time jobs.
  • Requires dedication and persistence to master a unique learning environment that supports peer learning.


  • Languages: The working language will be English.
  • Information technology: You will need a reliable Internet connection and a computer that is less than five years old. You will need one of these browsers: Safari, Firefox, or Chrome.
  • Availability: You will need to access the exercise web site on a daily basis. In addition, the group will meet online once a week for discussion and feedback.

What is the workload?

You will need to complete each week’s tasks by the end of the week. You should plan to:

  • dedicate at least 3-4 hours per week (at least 30-45 minutes per working day); and
  • take part in a weekly, 30-minute online discussion group.

If you are not fluent in English or in using digital tools you should allow an extra 2-3 hours per week.

What will you get to do in this exercise?

In this exercise, you will:

  • review Safer Access Framework guidelines, experiences, and cases;
  • identify the humanitarian access issues related to an emergency operation that you were directly involved in;
  • develop a project in which you analyze this operation with respect to securing and maintaining safe humanitarian access, using the Safer Access Framework (SAF); and
  • share your experience with your peers, giving and receiving feedback.

Some participant projects may be used by IFRC to develop a performance support package for use in face-to-face ERU training. (If this is the case, we will ask you to agree to this, taking account of any sensitive issues related to its content. We will then ask you to give the IFRC the right to use your project.)

Learning approach

This exercise will use the Scholar Approach, developed by the University of Illinois College of Education and the Geneva Learning Foundation and used by Learning Strategies International (LSi) to support effective learning for global health and humanitarian work. This proprietary peer learning methodology was first piloted in 2013 by IFRC to support humanitarian learning and has been used by the Norwegian Red Cross and the ICRC to document effective  violence prevention and mitigation practices for pre-hospital emergency care personnel since 2016.

Research and evaluation

Exercise participants may be invited to participate in research to evaluate its learning efficacy. Participation in this research is completely voluntary, and you may stop taking part at any time. In cases where participants do not consent to data collection, the research and evaluation team will collect no data. Participation/non-participation will have no effect on your present or future relationship with the any of the organizations involved in this initiative.

Questions or comments?

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