The ICRC is a ‘independent, impartial organization which provides humanitarian aid and support to victims of armed conflict and violence’ (ICRC, 2017c, para. 1). It responds to different worldwide emergencies and is actively engaged in promoting international humanitarian law (Forsythe, 2007). The roots of its work lie in the Geneva Convention of 1949. Its mission is to “protect and assist the lives and dignity of victims of armed conflict and other violence situations” (ICRC, 2017b, para.2). The first reason why I chose ICRC is that it has a compelling purpose: to promote the dignity and well-being of people living in armed-conflict regions. The ICRC offers protection to civilians living in these areas and assists in the form of emergency aid and health services. In this respect, the organization has had a massive impact in these regions. For the year 2016, it organized visits to 987,200 detainees, offered aid in the form of support to 33.8 Million people worldwide, and supported 441 hospitals (ICRC Annual Report, 2016, p.80-81). The organization can connect people in these conflicts affected areas and offer them protection, assistance, and give them a hope in life (Forsythe, 1996).
Secondly, I chose the ICRC because it is a non-governmental organization. Being a non-governmental organization enables them to maintain impartiality and be independent in its operations, (Curtis, 2001). The humanitarian assistance that is provided as service to the people has a great influence by a politician. For example, humanitarian activity in Afghanistan is under the influence of western countries political ideologies rather than being guided by the actual conditions on the ground. Most importantly, principles such as independence, neutrality, and impartiality govern the humanitarian action. As a non-governmental organization, the ICRC can steer away from political pressure (Lambert, 2014). To steer away from political pressure, the organization should change its focus to its mandate (Forsythe, 2007). Also, its mandate to help the victims of armed conflict is rooted in international law, as agreed in the Geneva Convention. Therefore, the ICRC can follow the guidelines of neutrality, independence, and impartiality in its global operations.
Thirdly, I chose ICRC because it allows ordinary citizens all over the world to leave a legacy by contributing to a noble cause. Concerned individuals can remember the ICRC by making a will, that is, a contribution to its cause. Under this initiative, ordinary people can offer hope and love to victims of conflict and violence. It recognizes that a movement is needed, and it also works with other societies with a common goal. The movement communicates that humanity is a supreme principle and no person, should be denied this right. By working with various stakeholders, the company reaches the most desperate places worldwide. I am motivated to be a member of such a movement which provides help in the most hopeless of situations.
The ICRC was formed in February 1863 in Geneva, Switzerland (Forsythe & Rieffer-Flanagan, 2016). In the beginning, the primary purpose for the existence was to improve the care of the wounded soldiers during the war as well as providing medical services to the military. With time, the ICRC made several advancements. For example, during the First World War of 1914 to 1918, the ICRC opened a Central Prisoners of War Agency in Geneva (Forsythe & Rieffer-Flanagan, 2016). The purpose was to ensure that communication between captured soldiers and their families remained open, (Maurer, 2016). Additionally, the era was marked by the introduction of several ambulances with volunteers who were able to extend their services to the battlefields.
After the First World War, the formation of the League of Red Cross Societies took place in 1919 to coordinate and support the activities of the ICRC. In 1929, the association started to provide more protection to the prisoners of war (Forsythe & Rieffer-Flanagan, 2016). During the Second World War, the ICRC worked jointly with the league to provide relief supplies through shipping across the globe to reach both civilians and prisoners of war (ICRC, 2010b). When the strife was over, the organization settled on helping the families find their loved ones.
From 1945 henceforth, the ICRC has been continually appealing to the international governments to reinforce their humanitarian laws as well as abide by it (Walker & Maxwell, 2014). Hence, it has been dealing with the conflicts revolving around the charitable aspects. To date, the association actively takes part in the internal and international conflicts and natural calamities like disasters.
Since its formation, the ICRC has been dedicated to shielding and providing aid who suffer from armed conflicts and other brutal situations (ICRC, 2009). Over time, the mission has transformed to provide humanitarian services by upholding the lives and dignities of armed conflict and other casualties of strife. The structure of the ICRC at the formation year in 1963 was comprised of a committee of five individuals headed by Henry Dunant. Notably, the team was known as Geneva families, investigatory commission, and Geneva Society for Public Welfare (ICRC, 2010b). The membership gradually advanced to representatives of the official delegates from the International Governments, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and foreign officials. Currently, the configuration entails an assembly with 25 co-opted members with Swiss nationality, assembly council with delegated powers, and the directorate where executives are found (ICRC, 2014a).
The management consists of the assembly (committee) that defines the aims, strategies, and guidelines for overseeing financial matters (ICRC, 2017a). In a departure from the past when only Genevan members sat on the committee, the other Red Cross actors now have equal chances to take part in the commission (ICRC, 2010c). Additionally, the delegates and integrated partnership have been actively managing the Red Cross activities in the entire 80 operating countries, and thus expanding beyond the original scope of Swiss-centered administration (ICRC, 2009).
Structure of the Organization and the Summary of the Leadership Framework
The organization has five governing bodies (ICRC, 2017a). The assembly, for instance, is the supreme administrator that is overseeing all the ICRC’s activities. It formulates policies, defines general objectives, and approves the budgets and accounts. The assembly also appoints the key management officials such as the directors, director general, and the head of internal audit.
Assembly Council and the Office of the President
The assembly council is the subsidiary body of ICRC that prepares the activities of the assembly while taking decisions on matters of strategic financial and human resources, management concerns, and communications (ICRC, 2017a). Likewise, the office of the president maintains the external relations, ensuring that there is a smooth running of the organization. Additionally, agency carries out ICRC humanitarian diplomacy.
The Directorate and Internal Audit Unit
Being an executive body, the Directorate is in charge of implementation and overseeing the institutional strategies of attaining the general objectives as proposed by the assembly and the council (ICRC, 2017b). Also, the officials are in charge of managing the ICRC’s staff and the overall smooth running of the establishment. The internal audit, on the other hand, monitors, assess the efficiency and the performance of the ICRC.
Overall, the ICRC’s leadership framework has the topmost board that assembles with the president and the vice president. Both offices jointly make decisions as well as fostering effectiveness of the operation of the entire organization (ICRC, 2017d). With the input from the assembly council and internal audit leaders, the organization can strategize on various matters and better management. The directorate department, headed by the Director-General ensures that the staff is running well. It also ensures that it implants strategies of achieving set goals (ICRC, 2017d). Notably, the department obtains assistance from various sections such as the human resources, financial resources, and logistics, operations, international law, and policy, as well as the communication and information management.
Procedures for Strategic Planning
Strategic Management and Performance
The ICR’s plan is brief and in harmony with the organization’s mandate. The ICR’s governance structures work with the unified purpose of informing and guiding the organization to achieve its goals and policies in addition to proper decision making.
The ICRC’s monitoring and performance reporting framework has been upgraded. As of now, the system provides comprehensive and detailed information on all its processes that includes results that are achieved. There are efforts to improve results-based management and use the best indicators. In this manner, information on performance will be used in a systematic manner in making decisions. There is strong leadership and management application that puts international human resource principles in practice, (ICRC, 2012). All employees have access to training and career progression opportunities. Additionally, they can retrieve their personal information including data on health.
Clear Mandate, Strategy, and Plans Effectively Implemented
The 2011-2014 strategy is congruent with organizational mission. It lays the background to plans in place that are important in responding to crises in that may occur, (Vincent, 2011) the four main strategic areas are response, partnership, expertise, coordination, (ICRC, 2012). These are further broken down into objectives, each one of which is unique with its own standards which are indicated in the annual appeal document. The annual report also highlights arising issues that go contrary to expectations. The management framework also has annual plans that help in processing results. In each member country, objectives and action plans complete with result indicators for each target population in program covered areas. Skills and competencies that matter are recognized and appropriate allocations from the budget made.
Governing Body Effective in Guiding Management
The governing structures of the ICRC have an adequate ability in informing and assisting in the direction of strategies, objectives, decisions, and policies. All activities are overseen at the headquarters. In particular, filed activities, their objectives, and budgets are approved there, (ICRC, 2017e).
The ICRC relates well with the International Federation of the Red Cross and National Societies in member nations. The organization also has effective cooperation with international organizations and stakeholders in regard to the international humanitarian law. Such organizations include the Commonwealth, international NGO’s, National Societies and the United Nations Organization. This relationship is aimed at interpreting treaties with regard to how they affect domestic legislation. Through this collaboration, the ICRC’s relationship with partners is properly maintained.
As an institution that extends the relief services to the victims of warfare and natural disasters, the ICRC has been intermingling with other organizations to reach out to those in distress and offer critical support in line with the organization’s mandate (Flaherty, 2017). For instance, the organization collaborated with the UN to deliver relief foods and other assistance after the Second World War. Also, since 1994, the ICRC has been engaging the UN to enable it to take part in the international debates and accessing deliberation and negotiation with the international organizations. (Standoz, 1998)
In addition, the ICRC works together with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHR) to develop and implement the first AID training programs to in the entire areas of operation (Parliamentary Assembly, 2002). Further, the association works closely with research institutions and the private sector to monitor the trends of humanitarian assistance including methodologies, funding, and standard intervention procedures used in dealing with crises.
Focusing on the Legal Policy Issues Related to the ICRC’s Mission
In the meeting with other humanitarian institutions, the ICRC has been cautious to commission experts who deliberate on the agendas of the association (ICRC, 2014b). The action rewards by increasing the effectiveness and impartiality of the operation. The assembly is the body in charge of the definition and implementation of the strategic plans. The body has the mandate of running every activity of the organization. Notably, the role of planning in the international organization is that it enables such institutions to have the procedures of exploring activities to realize the goals (ICRC, 2014b). Similarly, the merits apply to the domestic establishments.
How ICRC Follows the Result-Based Model
The ICRC proceeds to define the objectives with the action plan as well as the indicators needed to tackle the goals (ICRC, 2014a). In this process, the target population and the list of activities based on the program define the level of organizing aims and plans of actions. Also, the annual report provides descriptive, quantitative and financial information. The results-based management model assists the international organizations to operate in multiple countries since it allows them to coordinate activities with all the actors in different countries (ICRC, 2016). Likewise, the methodology gives more insight on a proper understanding of the target group as well as boosting both internal and external interaction.
Strategy for Transformational Change
Creating Awareness for Change.
Creating awareness is the first stage for initiating transformational change in any organization. Research shows that being aware of knowledge structures improves collaborative knowledge solving (Engelmann, Kozlov, Kolodziej & Clariana, 2014). Therefore, new management should focus on imaginative and interactive ways to communicate critical aspects of its functions. Through such, the organization will secure broader support for ICRC action. The scope of ICRC intervention requires that it responds to a challenging environment that is rapidly changing at national, regional and international levels (Standoz, 1998). Awareness, therefore, will enable strengthening and expanding processes and seizing opportunities for effective action.
Prepare and Plan for Change Required
To achieve success, required change has to be planned for and prepared so that all the structures work harmoniously. Leaders need to align behavior with change by using the ‘TRY’ model – (test, calibrate, yes) to succeed (Moran & Brightman, 2000). A useful strategy would be to adjust and reinforce organizational ability to encourage and promote the significance of actions undertaken by the ICRC, (ICRC, 2017). To guarantee this, there is a need to progressively enhance good leadership. In addition, there is a need to identify and invest in technologies that will play a critical role in organizational progress.
Implement the Change
The final phase in bringing change is the execution of specified policies. Change is a process of unfreezing, moving and refreezing (Cummings & Worley, 2013). It is a joint process that requires all to succeed. The ICRC knows what is expected of it and will, therefore, use available staff to implement its agenda, (ICRC, 2017b). To guarantee success, efforts will be made to regularly release progress reports that indicate progress recorded by monitoring systems.
Alignment of Strategy and Organizational Goals
The ICRC’s planning aspect is the most important in indicating and giving direction that will help achieve structural goals. Therefore, stakeholders and other professional bodies have to be involved in this process. The assembly cannot approve a strategy document that fails to meet this threshold. The strategy agreed on therefore will refer to the ICRC policy document to ensure that it is appropriate and that its application will provide genuine change, (ICRC, 2009).
The System Used for Evaluation of the Performance
Transparency and Accountability
“ICRC publishes an extensive amount of information on its programs and analyses and reports on country situations on a range of issues relating to its mandate and concerns. Where legal arrangements allow access to confidential or sensitive material, ICRC provides donors with access since it has suitable protections in place” (ICRC, 2012, pp16). The ICRC’s financial plan is often undermined by volatility of situations that occur and funding constraints. The organization is thus hindered from effectively planning and allocating resources in line with its set main concerns and needs. However, as a Swiss-registered organization, it ensures compliance with all financial and legal accountability requirements. There are regular and operational budget review systems that help meet this high criterion, (ICRC, 2017f). The systems used therefore help to maintain and protect the integrity and processes used by the organization.
Routinely publishes comprehensive operational information, subject to justifiable confidentiality.
The ICRC provides information about its work through publications in an effort to ensure openness and transparency. Reports on country situations and analyses are published to give insight on issues that affect its obligations, (ICRC, 2012). In circumstances where legal provisions are available, donors are given access to confidential materials that are gathered by the organization. However, protective measures are put in place to ensure that data integrity is maintained. The tradition of respect for confidentiality enables the ICRC to effectively assist people facing violence, insecurity or armed conflict. Through this, the organization is able to develop trust, communicate and inspire change.
The ICRC in July 2010 ICRC set up another office for correspondence and data administration, (ICRC, 2014a). It built up a scope of correspondence systems and instruments to pass on the primary messages identifying with its command. Priority is also given to advancing the standards of global humanitarian law.
The ICRC site for donors is secret key secured and an extranet site purposed for contributor related exercises. All records issued by the ICRC’s Outer Assets Division are posted on the site, (ICRC, 2012). Donors get prompt access to ICRC reports and other financing-related records.
Is transparent in resource allocation, budget management, and operational planning
ICRC executes its projects as per needs, yet the inconsistency of funding affects asset designation and operational arrangements. The 2010 Yearly Report emphasized the significance of staying adaptable in its funding policies to keep up with the ICRC’s independence and ability to quickly react to situations.
ICRC has noticed an expansion in the number of particular solicitations from donors for special reports, (Standoz, 1998). It has endeavored to meet these requests but contends solidly that it needs to keep up a high level of adaptability in its venture administration to keep on meeting the requirements of the population that rely on it.
Adheres to high standards of financial management, audit, risk management and fraud prevention.
ICRC has a strong review and consistency frameworks set up. Swiss law oversees ICRC, so it needs to meet the elevated expectations for money related administration and protection. There are two prerequisites and these require conclusions for every outer and inner review to be taken, (ICRC, 2012, p.3). In the first place, auditors are changed every five years and contributors likewise review the ICRC.
ICRC’s Present-Day Organizational Structure
The International Committee of the Red Cross was organized in 1863 (Forsythe & Rieffer-Flanagan, 2016). Its operations are spread over every one of the main lands. It gives help to people facing war, internal turmoil, and catastrophic events. The structure of the ICRC is portrayed by three main divisions: the directorate, assembly, and the staff. The directorate takes care of the day to day administration requirements of the organization. A Director General heads the organization. Five different executives run their individual departments and answer to the Director General, (Forsythe et al., 2016). The departments include Human Asset, Operations, Financial Resources and Logistics, International Law and Cooperation and Communication and Information Management (Forsythe et al., 2016). The assembly interrogates candidates who join the directorate.
Those named serve for four-year terms. At first, the Director-General served in an equivalent manner as the other four directors and reported to the assembly. The current Director General takes a more critical obligation with regard to the directorate, going about as the CEO. The assembly meets after a defined period to ponder on the missions and techniques to use in executing these missions. Every individual from the assembly should be acquainted with French, English or German. A person who dominates in voting by getting at least three-quarter of the votes serves for a renewable four-year term. The Swiss lack of bias in many international conflicts has made the Swiss-strength in the assembly more. Because of this trademark, different nations feel satisfied with the Swiss and are prepared to work with the committee to enable it to accomplish its goals.
There are five members in the Assembly Council who meet no less than ten times annually to arrange for assembly gatherings and address crises. The president drives the council and is chosen by the entire assembly for a residency of four years. Volunteers at first controlled the ICRC operations. Because of its development, the organization began employing proficient staff, (Forsythe et al., 2016). Today, ICRC has workers utilized at the nationally in every one of the nations wherein which its appointments are found.
Generally, the organizational structure is steady in achieving a significant number of the achievements of the committee. The ICRC relies upon the altruism of different countries and therefore depends on better methodology and clear objectives to empower it to keep up its high expectations. These objectives are accomplished through straightforwardness, responsibility and routine distribution of exhaustive operational data. They are likewise subject to reasonable classification, straightforward allocations, spending administration and operational planning and adherence to financial administration, review, hazard management, and fraud prevention, (ICRC, 2017f). These achievements result from an organizational structure that strives to inspire confidence in donors and their benefactors that everything is going on as required.
ICRC’s Current Mission
In the view of Hafner-Catch et al., (2009) contradiction and association are impacted vigorously by concerns such as chronicled differences and complaints that may not be deciphered in an expected manner. The committee strives to protect those whose lives are interfered with by brutality and clashes. The statutes of the ICRC require those working with it to stay impartial and free when managing casualties of clashes and savagery (Stibbe, 2006). The organization should dependably be in a position to react to crises. The ICRC, in this manner, advances most extreme regard for international law by guaranteeing that the same is executed at the national level.
The numerous engagements that have been conducted between the ICRC and member countries have been effective. This success can be credited to the organization’s accomplishment in depicting itself as impartial and one that respects secret arrangements. The ICRC has shown its ability to secure access to prisoners of war and enhance their everyday comfort. They have done this by abstaining from uncovering certain crimes and or using the public to force governments into valuing international law. Rather, they pursue low-key engagements, (Dahlgren et al., 2009). This helps avoid unnecessary confrontation.
Challenges Facing the Organization and Factors Tied to them
To get to casualties of different circumstances of brutality remains to be the greatest test of ICRC. By and large, those who propagate savagery and senior individuals in organizations fear being uncovered (ICRC, 2017g). They consider any type of intercession with international law as a rebuff to the culprits. In this way, ICRC has issues persuading both the culprits and those in authority that organization is an unbiased body.
The ICRC is considered respectable in many parts of the world. Subsequently, its aim to mediate in any contention attracts considerable hopes among the populace. However, meeting the desires remains a test in the light of various challenges including those that are logistical and resource related. Soothing the agony of people in war zones is fundamental in improving the acceptability of the ICRC’s support mechanisms, (Bugnion, 2004). Be that as it may, these people expect that the organization will ease every one of their issues, including those that are not identified with the issue at hand.
The safety of staff is a test in many locations globally. The ICRC has continually been interceding in places where the aggressors are still seeking for the casualties (Forsythe, 2005). Representatives of the ICRC and those of its partner organizations may become victims in such circumstances. In this way, there is a reality of not meeting expectation due to fear.
Potential Areas of Transformational Change in the Organization
Human compassion and reaction is currently a relatively complex issue. The needs of victims have dramatically increased and this has attracted different actors, (World Health Organization, 2009). While the general mission viability could be enhanced by teaming up with new partners, an alert has to be there to guarantee no appearance of biased conduct from the ICRC. Nonetheless, the procedure of joint effort ought to be directed with care since relations with specific organizations may portray the ICRC as divided and in this manner break the confidence given to it by others. The general result would be whereby the organization is frustrated in conducting its duty.
Though there are significant difficulties in securing staff, the ICRC can include science and innovation into its operations. Restriction of staff numbers while utilizing innovation will help in reducing this hazard. This may include instructing the majority on their rights and remotely utilizing innovation. The process of gathering data and information can likewise use the most recent technological advancements.
ICRC contributes to the Millennium Development Goals indirectly through its programs of assistance to individuals and communities. It also manages health programs, which target vulnerable areas and individuals, particularly women and girls, (ICRC, 2012). ICRC implements results-based management through all its programs, although not in a standard way, (ICRC, 2012). Standard reporting already provides common outcome indicators, but ICRC is strengthening its results-based monitoring and reporting by moving from a narrative reporting approach to one based more specifically on documented evidence of results. (ICRC, 2017h) ICRC is introducing measures to collect higher level indicators, which should improve its capacity to report on organization-wide results. ICRC works efficiently in many low-income countries and among communities most affected by poverty and the consequences of conflict. It has developed a strong tracking record of effectively targeting people in need and delivering efficient operations in these contexts, (ICRC, 2010a). As a result, the organization has earned its place in humanitarian service.
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