our activation criteria

Any requests to activate the Standby Task Force are assessed against the activation criteria below.

If you do not meet the activation criteria you can still request a side deployment.


The Standby Task Force (SBTF) activates on a case-by-case basis at the request of international agencies and/or local actors operating in a disaster or complex emergency setting.

The SBTF can also contribute with support to organizations in the humanitarian, human rights, environment, election monitoring and media space, with a focus on local organizations.

In order for the SBTF to mobilize for a deployment each Activating Organization (AO) request must meet operational criteria as listed below. The SBTF can also be activated directly on request from the Digital Humanitarian Network (DHN).

The SBTF is activated only if the request if found to be in compliance with SBTF mission and principles: To provide humanitarian organisations with real-time Crisis Mapping and situational awareness support.


The SBTF typically activates in a humanitarian emergency declared under the International Charter Space & Major Disaster (disasterscharter.org), or in a political situation that may lead to a major humanitarian disaster.

Activating organisations

The SBTF evaluates the activation on a case by case basis. The SBTF will activate only under the request of a third party, and will give preference to organizations that

  • Are already present on the ground;
  • Are locally led
  • Have capacity to respond

The activating organisation must demonstrate:

  • Clear & pressing need for SBTF support;
  • Concrete explanation detailing data collection, sharing & privacy protocols;
  • Sustainability strategy if it is to be a long term project;
  • Monitoring & evaluation plan for SBTF support;
  • Demonstrated understanding of any potential security risks for the local population & SBTF volunteers, including mitigating measures.

A point of contact for the activating organisation has to be identified and available for consultation on daily basis.

Requests for activation have to clearly specify the challenges/tasks to be addressed through SBTF participation and an estimated timeline of requested participation.

The duration of the requested activation period should typically be no more than 2 weeks. If a longer activation is required, a meeting will be scheduled on day 10 between SBTF Coordinators and the AO to determine feasibility for extension.

The SBTF will typically activate if the above criteria are met and if the requested services are within the capacity of the Task Force. That said, if some but not all of the criteria are met, the SBTF Core Team may still consider activation. Members are also encouraged to volunteer in deployments as individuals without any official engagement from SBTF, and we actively promote numerous projects in our General Forum.

The SBTF does not communicate with crisis affected communities.

The SBTF does not deploy in non-permissive environments.

For any questions on the activation criteria, don’t hesitate to contact the core team.