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Alliance Manchester Business School develops standard for disaster volunteers

12 Apr 2017

Charities, businesses and community groups across the world will be able to streamline and improve their response to emergencies and disasters, thanks to a new International Standard

The standard, developed by an international team led by Duncan Shaw, Professor of Operations and Critical Systems, provides guidelines on how groups can make best use of the enthusiastic volunteers who jump to the assistance of emergency services, in the event of disasters such as flooding, hurricanes or man-made catastrophes.

The ISO 22319:2017 standard was based on research conducted at Alliance Manchester Business School for the UK government. The international group of experts further developed the work for International Organisation for Standardisation which has been officially adopted by the British Standards Institute. 

Professor Duncan Shaw said: “In recent times, we’ve seen incredible volunteer support turn out for catastrophes, whether it’s widespread flooding in the UK, tsunamis and nuclear disaster in Japan, or hurricanes across the United States. This new standard will make sure we’re better prepared than ever for the unforeseen events that can have untold impact on communities.”

There are six key areas which the standard covers:

· Understanding of spontaneous volunteers and their benefits

· Fundamentals of volunteer management

· Risks associated with management of volunteers

· Planning and implementation guidelines

· Communication strategies

· Assessment of the impact of volunteers and their engagement in the longer term