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How Diversity determined responses to COVID-19 within the International Red Cross Red Crescent Movement

Presentation Description

In 2020, the world faced a global health emergency with the COVID-19 pandemic. Humanitarian actors had to prepare for, and respond to, the impact of COVID-19 within existing humanitarian crises and simultaneously deal with a new health crisis. Leadership teams have been faced with unprecedented decisions and have had to lead with no clear roadmap. It has demanded a great deal of leadership teams including enormous resilience, clear communication and consistent decision making. In the absence of a clear roadmap, leadership teams needed to create a space for contested ideas, ensure different perspectives were heard and reaching informed decisions. Having different people from different walks of life involved, results in better management of risk and more effective decision making. This presentation will explore the outcomes of a research collaboration between IFRC, ICRC, GLOW Red Network and Humanitarian Advisory Group. We were interested in understanding what leadership within the Movement looked like in one of the most challenging humanitarian response contexts of the century. We set out to understand what decisions were made and actions taken in response to COVID, as well as what areas were prioritised. We looked behing curtains at the different voices and opinions different leaders brought to the critical decisions made. During the presentation, we will also hear from Ilisapeci Rokotunidau Director General, Fiji Red Cross Society- to hear her stories of leadership during the COVID-19 response, and how her own personal identity, as well as having a diverse range of leaders, impacted her decision making.

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