IASC Sub-Working Group on Emergency Telecommunications
The Sub-Working Group on Emergency Telecommunications (WGET) is an open forum to facilitate the operational use of telecommunications in the service of humanitarian assistance, and to increase the effectiveness of its participants related to regulatory, operational and technical aspects of telecommunications for disaster relief. After its first meeting on 16 November 1994, two plenary meetings are held every year and ad hoc meetings are organized as required.
OCHA chairs the WGET and serves as its secretariat. The membership consists of United Nations Agencies, IFRC, ICRC, governmental and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Experts from the private sector and academia with an interest in emergency telecommunications may also be invited to participate in the work of the WGET.
»The objectives of WGET include:
- facilitating the promotion and implementation of The Tampere Convention on the Provision of Telecommunication Resources for Disaster Mitigation and Relief Operations;
- encouraging measures applying the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) resolutions and recommendations on telecommunications for disaster relief;
- exchanging and disseminating information concerning emergency telecommunications;
- promoting cooperation and interoperability of telecommunications with and in the field.
- representing the humanitarian community at other fora such as IASMN (Inter Agency Security Management Network), GDIN (Global Disaster Information Network) and ITAG (UN Inter-Agency Telecommunications Advisory Group).
WGET is a body where most emergency telecommunications interoperability standards for disaster relief are being discussed, developed and disseminated in addition to issues related to regulatory, operational and technical aspects of telecommunications for disaster relief. WGET has also been instrumental in facilitating the work of the Emergency Telecommunications Cluster (ETC).
In 2008, WGET will a focus on priority ICT (information and communications technology) standards and activities related to support the humanitarian reform and the implementation of emergency telecommunications services for disaster preparedness and response.
More information on the WGET can be found under http://www.reliefweb.int/telecoms/intro/wget.html