Our innovation expedition now leads us to the Pacific, where a unique project will facilitate a faster, better and cheaper emergency response delivered through partnerships with local and regional businesses and accessible using an easy web and mobile platform. A very clever combination, isn’t it?

What you need to know about Pacific Local Suppliers Engagement

Australian Red Cross was successful in winning The Pacific Humanitarian Challenge, a competition that sought the best ideas to test new technologies for improving disaster response in the Pacific. The Australian Red Cross project is testing an easier and faster way to deliver goods and services in the event of a disaster in the Pacific region. The proposal is that partnerships will start between local suppliers, humanitarian agencies and government partners to increase the capacity for local businesses to be engaged commercially through the first rapid response stage of an event, and in consequence, stimulate the local economy. Broadly speaking, the project will increase the use of local supplies to deliver aid in a more agile way when it is most needed.

Remarkable points of the project

The planning phase will feature a very complete research and documentation of Pacific Local Supplier capabilities related with commonly-needed products and services in the area of disaster response, particularly within the first 24-48 hours post disaster. Here is a brief example of the targeted industries;

To support this project, a platform is being developed that will be accessible, easy to navigate and rapidly updatable to facilitate the products and services exchange for humanitarian actors, disaster responders and suppliers. In addition to this, a contract innovation model (supplier agreement), with the capability to manage flexible disaster management programs and pricing is also being developed. This strategy will open connections from a local to a global magnitude to leverage opportunities where stream-lined supply chains and interoperability can be encouraged. The project works closely with the UN Connecting Business Initiative, as well as local Vanuatu Chamber of Commerce and Vanuatu National Disaster Management Office to ensure local design needs are driving the process.

Closely follow this project

The pilot of this programme will be running in Vanuatu and will test the procurement of local supplier goods/services by humanitarian actors, with the scope of scaling it to the whole region. The results will be shared with all Pacific Islands National Societies, the Pacific Logistics Cluster, other stakeholders and humanitarian agencies in an easy-to-replicate and lessons-learnt format to encourage local supplier engagement initiatives in other locations.

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