Short-term consultancy - Prevention of entry of weapons into health facilities

  • Added Date: Tuesday, 12 October 2021
  • Deadline Date: Sunday, 31 October 2021

The ICRC is looking for a consultant to carry out a short-term consultancy on documentation of no-weapon policies in hospitals and to produce recommendations on the topic

About the ICRC and the Health Care in Danger initiative

The ICRC is an independent, neutral organization ensuring humanitarian protection and assistance for victims of war and armed violence. It takes action in response to emergencies and promotes respect for international humanitarian law and its implementation in national law.

In many parts of the world violence continues to disrupt or paralyze health-care services when they are most neededโ€“ particularly during armed conflicts and other emergencies. As a result, staggering numbers of wounded and sick civilians, combatants or fighters die of injuries that they would normally survive, while many others suffer unnecessarily from easily treatable health problems. Yet, despite its devastating impact, this violence is a problem that evades effective solutions at the global scale.

Concerned by the lack of respect for the protection afforded to health-care providers and their beneficiaries under international humanitarian law (IHL) and other applicable bodies of law, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) launched a comprehensive Health Care in Danger (HCID) initiative in August 2011. The HCiD initiative is aimed at addressing the issue of violence and attacks against medical personnel by engaging widely with weapon bearers, policymakers, health-care workers and the general public.


Throughout the lifespan of its Health Care in Danger initiative the ICRC has recommended hospitals in areas affected by conflict and other emergencies to implement no-weapon policies. This recommendation has been based on the operational observations by the ICRC that the presence of weapons in health facilities undermines their character of neutral and safe spaces, creates an atmosphere non-conducive to respect of medical ethics and is a precursor for threats and security incidents as the presence of weapons inside of health-care facilities may also lead to perceptions and mistrust that a health-care facilities is being involved in military operations and has thus lost its protection under IHL.

Based on this recommendation, ICRC delegations throughout the years have worked with hospital facilities they operate and support in order to introduce and implement such policies. This has led to the creation of a significant body of practice which now calls for consolidation and extraction of lessons learnt.

Objectives and deliverables

The ICRC embarks on this consultancy with two specific objectives:

ยท To describe the existing operational practice pertaining to prevention of entry of weapons into health facilities

ยท To strengthen operational implementation moving forward through issuance of consolidated guidance

These two objectives will be achieved through the completion of the following deliverables:

ยท Three to four studies of scenarios pertaining to mechanics and consequences of weapon infiltration into health facilities have been developed based on open sources, review of ICRC internal/external documents and interviews of ICRC key informants.

ยท Three to four case studies of hospital facilities and/or health systems that have successfully implemented no-weapon policies have been developed based on review of internal documents, open sources and interviews with ICRC field staff.

ยท A set of detailed guidelines on implementing measures aimed at preventing the entry of weapons into health facilities spanning national law and policy, facility-level regulations, communication and signage, structural adjustments, intra- and inter-institutional coordination, impact measurement of such policies and staff capacity-building have been developed.

ยท The findings of the above-mentioned studies, as well as the guidelines, will be laid out in a document of up to 30 pages destined for public consumption.

Resources and approach to implementation

ยท A consultant will be hired to carry out the work described above

ยท The selected consultant will be asked to provide an inception paper outlining in broad strokes the methodology and workflow

ยท In the process of analysis, the consultant will be overseen by and work closely with the Head of HCiD, who will liaise with internal stakeholders, facilitate the sharing of relevant documentation and provide ongoing feedback on the process

ยท Timeframe: to be completed by end of 2021 with a maximum of 28 working days invested

Desired profile:

  • Background preferably in public health, health facility management, health-related services or security, with a relevant masterโ€™s degree.

  • Working experience in the area of health emergencies would be an asset

  • Experience in analyzing qualitative data and development of case studies, previous experience conducting situational analyses

  • Proven knowledge and skills in writing and preparation of reports

  • Expert knowledge of English, other languages an asset

  • Registration as consultancy services provider in Switzerland or willingness to provide consulting services through a human resources agency

Interested parties are invited to submit their CVs along with a brief explanation of their suitability to carry out the task and the fees they charge by 31 October using the address

This vacancy is archived.

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