Response Team Logistics Specialist (voluntary)
Commitment: Long-term: 3 weeks full-time at least once (preferably twice) per year, at short notice, for at least 5 years. See below for detail.
Participation in a monthly training webinar (1-hour).
Responsible to: Operations Department
Who are we?
ShelterBox is committed to working towards a future where no family goes without shelter, but we have our work cut out for us. In 2016, around 85 million people were displaced by conflict and natural disasters. Some projections suggest that this figure will grow to 200 million within 10 years.
ShelterBox is made up of people who believe in shelter as a human right – that shelter from the chaos of disaster and conflict is vital. No ifs. No buts. We're working to change this by providing emergency shelter.
We don’t believe that one size fits all. We work hard to understand the impact of each emergency and the need this creates within individual communities.
We deliver aid to the four corners of the earth, reaching people in need by standing on strong shoulders.
We are fortunate to have the help of an amazing network of global affiliates, partners like Rotary International, supporters worldwide, and an army of dedicated volunteers.
Our highly trained ShelterBox response teams then go the extra mile to find the people left most vulnerable after a disaster – to make sure that no one gets forgotten or left behind. Founded and based in the county of Cornwall, in only sixteen years ShelterBox has grown into a major force in international humanitarian aid.
Do you have the skills, personality and compassion to help us write our next chapter? This is an exciting time at ShelterBox as we grow our reach and the impact of our work. We are looking for people to help us expand, develop and excel. People with big hearts and big dreams.
We are impatient to see a world where no family is left without shelter. Are you?
Following a natural or manmade disaster, ShelterBox Response Teams undertake a crucial element of ShelterBox’s work – ensuring that emergency shelter and other humanitarian aid is delivered to families who need it most.
Response Team Logistics Specialists provide experienced logistics capacity to facilitate the movement and receipt of vital aid items into countries experiencing humanitarian disasters. This role is normally based in major cities of affected countries and provides a technical link between our UK logistics team, local-government officials, in-country logistics services, and other Response Team members responsible for distributing aid.
Whilst the specific activities required during each response will vary, the overall purpose is to ensure that our response supply chain presents value for money – defined by timeliness, efficiency, and cost effectiveness. You’ll carry out, support others in, and oversee various activities such as: identifying and applying local customs regulations; organising transport; warehouse management; stock control; relationship management; and, team capacity building.
What to expect
This is a mentally and physically demanding role, travelling at short notice and working under pressure in unfamiliar environments, with damaged or missing infrastructure and facilities. Living conditions may be of low quality and days long. You will need to rapidly adapt to unexpected changes in the work and physical environment. Your interactions will be with officials, service providers and other Response Team Members, ensuring that we’re doing the right things at the right time to meet demand.
You may be the only person focused on logistics and will rarely see the end delivery of aid items into communities, but you’ll be part of a small, tightknit team that needs to work together to successfully provide shelter to families in need after disaster. Without your activity and eye for detail the aid may not get to those communities at all.
We provide excellent and challenging training for the right people and will cover all the costs of your deployment. Joining the Response Team is a huge responsibility, but can be immensely rewarding.
Activities undertaken on deployment
Each deployment is unique, but you will variously undertake or enable the following:
• Customs / Importation
o Obtain and communicate local customs / importation procedure information.
o Monitor and communicate all charges related to customs, importation, ports/airports and cargo release from these facilities.
o Assess complexity of customs and importation procedure and provide specialist support if required.
o Collate relevant information as soon as possible to enable the request for aid, e.g. consignee information, shipping document requirements, and any specifics for arrival of cargo.
o Assess proposed consignees for importation / customs clearance experience; determine, and where relevant provide, the level of support needed.
o Ensure contractual documents appropriately protect ShelterBox and minimise risk.
o Ensure appropriate methods of international shipping are requested, based on stock volume request and anticipated distribution rates.
o Investigate and arrange in-country transport options.
o Assess distribution sites for access and determine maximum truck sizes where appropriate.
o Investigate appropriate warehousing options and arrange where necessary.
• Stock control
o Ensure distribution tracking records are well understood by all field team members.
o Ensure distribution tracking is reconciled after each distribution and updated daily.
Time and duration expected
For this role we look to recruit volunteers who are flexible and foresee that they can commit long-term. Due to the needs of the charity and the cost to train our response teams, we hope that our volunteers are available to help ShelterBox for a period of five years.
• One or more three-week deployment, at 24 to 48-hours’ notice each year.
• Flexibility across the year. For example, the ability to provide a 2-month window within which you could respond at short-notice for any three consecutive weeks. Due to the nature of disasters, deployments cannot be pre-booked; having a short window of availability will not match with operational needs.
• 1-hour per month to view a pre-recorded webinar to maintain currency.
• Occasionally short residential courses may be offered.
Who are we looking for?
Due to the time and cost of inducting new team members, this is not a short-term introduction to humanitarian work; you should be comfortable in your career and able to commit regularly over the long-term (see above).
We are looking for logistics professionals but the technical knowledge isn’t everything. Our diverse group of volunteers come from a range of specialisms and a variety of countries but what they have in common is their people skills, their availability, their passion for what we do, their capacity to deliver a variety of tasks in potentially unfavourable conditions, and most importantly the excellent way in which they approach and deal with their work.
Before applying, please read carefully all of the information available in order to make an informed decision.
Knowledge and experience
• At least three years practical and management experience in one or more of the following: freight forwarding, import/export, customs, warehousing, transport, or logistics.
• Demonstrate international, cultural and political awareness.
• Fluent in spoken and written English.
• Proven experience of delivering work on time and with little supervision.
• Proven experience of effective decision making under pressure, preferably in complex environments.
• Understanding of the value of good data.
• Experience of working effectively as part of a team.
• Experience of travel or work outside of Europe, North America, Australia and New Zealand.
• Experience of carrying out relevant activities in less economically developed countries or disaster contexts.
• Fluency in another language (Spanish, Arabic, and French particularly useful).
• Effective administrative and record keeping skills; high degree of accuracy in written and numerical work as well as the ability to write reports and reconcile expenses.
• An ability to understand the big picture and wider implications of decisions.
• Ability to analyse information effectively and present it in an accessible way, including communicating complex logistical information effectively to non-logistics specialists.
• Strong people management skills, negotiating and influencing skills.
• Comfortable speaking publicly.
• The persistence to achieve results.
• Strong ICT skills and comfortable and motivated to learn new technologies.
• Able to swim 50m unaided fully clothed.
• Knowledge of coaching and mentoring styles.
Behaviours and approach
These are the headings under which we consider practical deployment suitability during the residential assessment.
• Spoken and written communication
• Working collaboratively
• Achieving results
• Acting in pressured and uncertain environments
• Decision making and judgement
• Vision and action
ShelterBox takes the physical and psychological welfare of its staff and volunteers seriously. We send staff and volunteers to insecure and challenging environments. Whilst we seek to minimise the danger, please be aware that there is an inherent risk involved in this activity.
In the final stages of recruitment, applicants will be required to pass a fitness to deploy assessment (covering physical and mental health) linked to ShelterBox’s safety and security assistance provider.
Successful applicants will also be required to apply for and pass a basic police background check relevant to their country (paid for by ShelterBox).
Please note, travel expenses are not covered for participation in the recruitment process. If you are invited to Stage 6: pre-deployment training, then all expenses will be covered for attendance at that event.
Recruitment timetable 2018
You must be available to complete all stages of the recruitment process when you apply. If you cannot make a stage your application will not be able to proceed and will not be rolled-over to another year.
After the close of each stage applicants will be informed whether or not they have successfully progressed to the next round.
Stage 1: Online test 1 May – 28 May
Stage 2: Application form submission 29 May – 15 Jun
Stage 3: Online interviews 9 – 20 Jul
Stage 4: 4-day residential assessment *
Note: travel expenses are not covered at this stage Thu 2 – Sun 5 Aug, Truro, UK
Fri 10 – Mon 13 Aug, Truro, UK
Stage 5: Online pre-learning
(Approx. 30 hours over this period) 28 Aug – 5 Oct
Stage 6: Pre-deployment residential training *
Note: travel expenses are covered at this stage 8 – 14 Oct, Truro, UK
* Candidates will camp in ShelterBox tents as this can be required on deployment. Please do not purchase camping equipment especially for this event; we recommend borrowing equipment at this point if you do not have it. If you have no other access, please contact us as some equipment may be available to borrow depending on the event location. Experience of camping is not required to apply.
Please ensure that you have read and understood this information pack thoroughly and that you meet all of the requirements.
Ensure you are available for a long-term, regular commitment and that your family and employer are supportive.
Find out more about what we do, how we do it and what life is really like on deployment:
· Series of short films (1-5 minutes each): https://www.youtube.com/user/ShelterBoxUK
· An article about recent recruits’ experiences: www.rotary.org/en/shelterbox-daunting-final-exam-volunteers
How to Apply
Stage 1 of the application process is via an online Situational Judgement test here