TSF is expanding its reinforcement programme of Haiti's DRS





Télécoms Sans Frontières is taking part in the government strategy for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) so as to reduce the vulnerability of the population who is often affected by devastating disaster, and one of the most devastating was the 2010 earthquake. 

Haiti is a country regularly hit by natural disasters. In addition to the immediate response, emergency preparedness is an essential component. Télécoms Sans Frontières, thanks to its partnership with the National Association of the Scouts of Haiti (NASH), reinforcing the emergency system and creating a national early-warning and response capacity. By providing emergency telecommunication equipment and training, TSF aims to accelerate the emergency response and thus to better meet the needs of local communities.

Read our press release.

In collaboration with the National Association of the Scouts of Haiti (NASH), TSF is involved in the national disaster response system of Haiti

The location of TSF's emergency telecoms equipment in Haiti



To learn more about our long term commitment and experience in Haiti, watch the new video, available here!

Within the framework of a two-year collaboration, in November 2010 TSF began a capacity building program in the field of emergency telecommunications for the benefit of the National Association of the Scouts of Haiti (NASH).

The National Association of the Scouts of Haiti (NASH) conducts youth and educational programmes. It counts more than 45,000 members in all the regions of the country and has wide popular support. During the last natural disasters that occurred in Haiti, NASH demonstrated its capacity to react and intervene rapidly and efficiently, notably after the earthquake of January 12th 2010.


This project follows numerous missions and needs assessments carried out by TSF on the ground in Haiti. Since 2003, TSF has deployed teams on five separate occasions in response to natural disasters (in 2003, 2004, 2008, and January 2010) to aid the affected population by reconnecting families, and to provide technological support to emergency responders (local authorities, the international humanitarian community and UN agencies).
Eight months after the January earthquake, in September 2010, a TSF team conducted an evaluation mission in Port-au-Prince and Cap Haitian. This mission highlighted that there was a crucial need to reinforce the national disaster response system in emergency telecommunications. Thousands of people are still living in highly precarious conditions; staying in the numerous temporary camps settled at the heart of the capital. Many others moved toward the Northern area, which suffered the consequences of a mass exodus.
With Haiti being regularly threatened by natural catastrophes, this collaboration works towards creating an efficient emergency response strategy.



2010 – Pre-positioning of three emergency telecom kits in three strategic towns of the island (Port-au-Prince, les Cayes, Cap Haïtien) + training
2011 – Donation of 10 Isatphones to 10 department Commissioners + training + practical exercises using the emergency kits
2012 – Monitoring of practical exercises + test of the equipment with each of the departments + integration to the national emergency network (UNICEF, Red Cross, Directorate of Civil Defence)




The training session conducted by Télécoms Sans Frontières in March 2013 proceeded in two times, with a view to an autonomous management of the project by the National Association of the Scouts of Haiti.

haitiavril1Review of achievements for the two Scout trainers:

TSF first organised a technical refresher with the two Scouts responsible for the follow-up of the project so that they in turn become trainers. Topics included satellite and ICT equipment, Isatphone Pro, Bgan, GPS, administration of networks based on a Wi-Fi router, as well as management and creation of automatic messaging via Frontline SMS.


Training of department Commissioners and operators:

Each department Commissioner is the administrative manager responsible for the equipment. He ensures good equipment management and sends regular reports to the NASH National Bureau. Bearing in mind the frequent trips inherent in working as department Commissioner, TSF decided to train to additional operators per department. They are in charge of the technical tests and maintenance of the equipment, and ensure its proper functioning in case of emergency.

The 40 Commissioner and operators thus participated in the emergency telecom training session conducted by the two Scout trainers, under the supervision of TSF, who answered technical questions and allowed the exercises to run smoothly. Each of the participants had the opportunity to use the equipment.





So as to ensure an efficient response across the country, TSF will institute regular practical training sessions for the Scouts in departments not equipped with kits. Similarly, to ensure optimum coordination between all of the emergency workers in case of crisis, the NASH will conduct a wide-ranging information campaign about the project and the possible provision of telecommunication means in case of emergency.

The training session for department Commissioner conducted by two of their members testifies to a growing investment of the NASH in the project. A natural disaster simulation exercise has, for the first time, brought together the 40 newly-trained Scouts and some NASH management representatives. As a result of that exercise, the role of each person involved was clearly spelled out and the procedures to be followed with respect to the equipment were confirmed. 


Transfer of skills in emergency telecommunications for better local response

IMG 1221accueilBetween the 8th and 21st November 2010, in consultation with the NASH, three emergency telecommunications kits have been strategically pre-positioned on the island. (Port-au-Prince, les Cayes, Cap Haïtien). 
Beyond the provision of the emergency telecommunications kits, TSF has also provided training for regional structures of the NASH.
Members of the NASH, from the three regions, were identified and have since acquired the indispensable expertise necessary for emergency deployments and the use of the telecoms equipment. Theoretical courses, hands-on sessions and a simulation exercise enabled them to acquire the skills and the know-how to apply them autonomously in the field.
















Responsible for these kits, the scouts are capable of installing, in all emergency situations, anytime and anywhere on the island, rapid and reliable Internet and telephone connections, which they place at the disposal of national and international disaster response organizations, including the Haitian Civil Protection Agency.

Since the start of the collaboration, the Scouts of Haiti regularly carry out simulation exercises at each of the 3 sites to test the equipment and their technical knowledge.


The program has continued in 2011. Throughout the year, from TSF Europe Headquarters and the regional base for the Americas, TSF has continued to provide technical responses and advice to the personnel of the NASH. Then in August and October 2011, TSF carried out two missions in Haiti to strengthen the reinforcement of the capacities of the NASH by donating new ICT equipment and training them in their use, and to check their competencies and the equipment with the Scout teams.

Watch our video on the emergency telecommunications kits used in Haiti


website9Extension of the satellite communications to the rest of the territory

TSF also provided the 12 Scout Department Commissioners and the General Commissioner with a satellite phone in 2010. The Department Commissioner is the highest scout officer at the departmental level: a reliable person, elected by the members in the Department. The Department Commissioner will be able to broadcast an order at the national or departmental level in the event of an emergency in order to mobilize the relief workers to the affected zone. Thus, all the regions of the island will benefit from appropriate means of communication, allowing them to remain connected and provide the national emergency system with alerts during future disasters.


Communicating via SMS in the event of disasters


As well as this, TSF has implemented a system within the central server of the NASH to send mass SMSs in order to improve the coordination between the different groups of scouts and support emergency actions (clearance operations, tent protection, road security). In particular, SMS cell broadcasting is a quick mean for the national office to collect data from various delegates all over the territory (alert levels, number of scouts in the field, scouts availability, undertaken actions, needs, etc).
The impact of disasters can be greatly reduced by preparing and being involved in efficient emergency response mechanisms at regional and national levels. Through this program for disaster relief and preparedness, TSF reinforces the capability of other relief organizations in Haiti in terms of emergency telecommunications to ensure they can respond appropriately to an emergency and are as self sufficient as possible.