The International Rescue Committee (IRC) is a global humanitarian organization that has been in operation since the year 1930 (International Rescue Committee, 2017). The voluntary agency provides emergency relief, advocacy, rehabilitation, and resettlement assistance to many victims. The association uses its resources to ensure lifesaving aid and financial support are available to many people worldwide. The organization also focuses on at-risk individuals’ educational and health needs in troubled regions across the world (James & Gilliland, 2013). The agency establishes schools in different countries, offers social support, empowers local organizations, and promotes positive governance. Citizens affected by war and refugees receive long-term care and assistance from the IRC. Individuals facing persecution or affected by natural disasters such as typhoons benefit from the agency’s initiatives.
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The agency attracts professionals and volunteers to ensure the targeted goals are realized. Some of these professionals include human service workers, healthcare practitioners, humanitarian experts, responders, educators, and caregivers. Since its establishment in 1933, IRC has managed to deliver quality assistance and care to millions of human beings in different parts of the world (International Rescue Committee, 2017). The international non-governmental organization (NGO) has its headquartered in New York City. The current president of the organization is David Miliband. Through the continuous use of effective crisis intervention strategies, the IRC has realized its goals.
Crisis Intervention Models for the American Red Cross and the IRC: Similarities and Differences
The American Red Cross is one of the humanitarian agencies in the United States. The organization focuses on several areas to provide humanitarian support to more victims. For instance, the agency focuses on educational programs on preparedness, safety and health, and international relief (American Red Cross, 2013). The agency has established a decisive Crisis and Disaster Management (CDM) model to respond to different events. The first aspect of the intervention strategy is known as preparedness. This means that the disaster management team examines the significant hazards and risks that might affect many people’s outcomes (James & Gilliland, 2013). The association has a department known as the National Society. The role of the department is to collaborate with different communities in an attempt to train them. The agency believes that preparedness is the first approach needed to deal with a disaster.
The second step or element of the intervention can be described as the response process. The responders will act swiftly after learning about a disaster. Volunteers, responders, and local organizations come together to engage in lifesaving strategies. The responders will go further “to search and rescue, offer first aid, and engage in the evacuation” (Crandall, Parnell, & Spillan, 2012, p. 38). Training can also be done during this stage to ensure the individuals can respond to the disaster effectively. During the same phase, sanitary conditions, clean water, shelter, and healthcare are considered by the responders.
The third stage is the emergency phase and focuses on continuous support. The process goes further to ensure there is recovery assistance (American Red Cross, 2013). Action plans are linked to restore livelihoods and support the needs of the targeted individuals. During the period, the targeted victims are provided with long-term support. Psychosocial health, protection, and shelter are presented to the affected individuals. The agency embraces these measures to minimize dependency and ensure long-term results are realized (Crandall et al., 2012).
The last phase focuses on the best approaches to promote normalization. The agency’s National Society liaises with community members to support the victims’ long-term needs and engage in reconstruction. The agency uses its disaster management approach to establish extensive networks that focus on the individuals’ changing needs. Lifesaving strategies are used in order to deliver positive results. Issues such as wellbeing, security, and safety are taken seriously throughout the implementation process (American Red Cross, 2013). The organization supports the needs of both the responders and the targeted victims. In the recent past, the American Red Cross has embraced the use of Disaster Management Information Systems (DMISs) in order to analyze every situation or conflict.
The lessons gained throughout the crisis intervention process are used to improve future practices. This is the case because the ideas can be used to deliver positive outcomes and avoid mistakes committed in the past. The crisis response strategy is always taken seriously in order to achieve better results (Framingham & Teasley, 2012). The collaboration with community members is a powerful initiative that makes it easier for the organization to complete safer and reliable results.
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On the other hand, the International Rescue Committee (IRC) follows a totally different approach to respond to various humanitarian crises. The process is known as the Crisis Intervention Strategy (CIS). At the helm of the strategy is the organization’s mission. This is treated as a powerful element that dictates the outcomes of different crisis intervention strategies (Schneider, 2014). The task is to help human beings whose lives have been disoriented by conflicts or disasters and eventually make it easier for them to take control of their future. After a disaster or crisis is identified, the model guides different responders to identify the most appropriate strategic approaches. This is the case because disasters are categorized into several groups. These include health, safety, wellbeing, or education.
The second element focuses on the best approaches to deliver the intended objectives. The agency presents adequate resources and human professionals to respond to the identified crisis. The concepts of speed and responsiveness are taken seriously in order to deliver positive results. The relevant resources are presented in order to support the crisis intervention process. The other element of the IRC’s model is identifying the intended goals or priorities (Framingham & Teasley, 2012). For instance, the responders and crisis managers can determine the best measures to ensure the targeted people are protected from harm. Every affected individual receives quality treatment from different human service professionals. Education is taken seriously in an attempt to empower the targeted people.
The other aspect that is unique to this organization is that there is a powerful strategy aimed at supporting the effectiveness of the disaster response model. The leaders in the targeted region begin by acquiring the right resources that can deal with the problem. Responsiveness is achieved by bringing together different players and establishing new relationships (Schneider, 2014). The issue of timeliness and speed is also considered whenever there is a disaster. The strategy is embraced in order to ensure every disaster is addressed in a timely manner.
The last element focuses on research and development (R&D). This initiative is considered in an attempt to identify the unique gaps and processes that have the potential to transform the situation. The responders and responsible personnel use training programs to ensure the targeted individuals can lead everyday lives (Schneider, 2014). The agency goes further to offer continuous support before withdrawing its services. This measure is embraced to ensure the targeted people lead everyday lives.
This discussion shows conclusively that the American Red Cross and the IRC use different models in an attempt to deliver humanitarian support. The ARC uses a rigid plan or model that focuses on the needs of the targeted people while IRC customizes its intervention based on the targeted results. There are unique similarities, such as the provision of training, empowerment of victims, and aftermath services (James & Gilliland, 2013). These strategies or elements are usually embraced in order to meet the needs of affected people.
Recommendations to Aid Counselors
It is also notable that the models can be adjusted depending on the nature of the needed humanitarian support. Aid counselors should be aware of the unique needs of their clients in order to identify and apply different models adequately. To begin with, the aid counselors should consider the nature of the targeted disaster. For instance, a natural disaster will require a rigorous and complex model that can deliver positive results in a timely manner. The second recommendation that should be considered by aid counselors is the intended results (Schneider, 2014). Individuals who want to transform the experiences and outcomes of their clients or community members will require an evidence-based intervention model.
A model that offers long-term support can, therefore, be needed to provide counseling and psychotherapy to the affected individuals (James & Gilliland, 2013). The final recommendation is embracing a crisis intervention model that brings together many players, resources, and support systems in order to meet the needs of the targeted people. These recommendations will guide more aid counselors to select the best models that can deliver the desired humanitarian support.
American Red Cross. (, 2013). Disaster response. Web.
Crandall, W., Parnell, J., & Spillan, J. (2012). Crisis management: Leading in the new strategy landscape. New York, NY: Sage.
Framingham, J., & Teasley, M. (2012). Behavioral health response to disasters. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press.
International Rescue Committee. (, 2017). Help rescue lives. Web.
James, R., & Gilliland, B. (2013). Crisis intervention strategies. Belmont, CA: Cengage Learning.
Schneider, S. (2014). Dealing with disaster: Public management in crisis situations. New York, NY: Routledge.