SIMS Remote Coordination Checklist
SIMS Remote Coordination

SIMS Remote Coordination Checklist

Stage 1: Initial Setup

Set up Trello board in SIMS 2022-2023 Workspace

  • Find and duplicate the SIMS Template Board – v3. If you need access to this board or the SIMS 2022-2023 Workspace, please message Ashley Schmeltzer (
  • Rename this board: “SIMS” + “Emergency Name (GO emergency page name)” + “Year” [i.e. SIMS – Sudan Complex Emergency 2023].
  • Add/edit columns:
    • Processes: Link to SIMS Portal Resources and Tools
    • Data Sources
    • To Do
    • On hold/Waiting for more information
    • Doing
    • Done + “Month Year” [i.e. “Done – March 2023”]. Consider adding a new “Done” column for each passing month.
    • Additional columns can be added based on the response.
  • Add/edit standard cards to processes column:
    • Product Request Template: This card provides a current template for how product requests/tasks should be formatted for pushing requests to the Slack channel.
      • What [type of product requested, i.e. map, dashboard, analysis]
      • Category align to SIMS remote support profiles]
      • Outcome [purpose of product, i.e. identifying beneficiary numbers]
      • Target audience, and whether the product is internal-only or if public dissemination is acceptable
      • Format [i.e. poster-sized printout, A4 handout, web]
      • Priority level relative to other requests [urgent, medium, low]
      • Deadline
      • Data sources
    • Product Approvals: This card provides relevant detail and parameters around how products should be approved and any limitations on sharing.
    • Visual Styling Guidance and Resources: This card provides the current links to current approved versions of visual materials. Include a link to SIMS Portal Style Guidance.
    • Survey Consent Language: This card provides the recommended consent language that should be integrated into any surveys created for the response.
    • Map Disclaimers: This card provides the disclaimers and standard elements that should be included on any map products. Include a link to the SIMS Portal Disclaimer Text.
    • Accounts (SIMS Portal, Slack channel, Dropbox, Zoom, Kobo, etc.): The card includes the log-in details and links to any shared accounts/platforms as needed. For accounts that store data, it is recommended to keep access limited. Rather than including the account password on the card, note, “Ask SIMS Remote Coordinator”.

Set up Slack channel

  • Set up and name operation: “Year” + “_” + “ISO Code” + “_” + “Emergency Name”.
    • Set the Slack channel to open and not private. Therefore, anyone in the sims-irc Slack workspace can join the channel.
  • In the #general Slack channel, link to the new operation Slack channel you just set up. Introduce yourself as the SIMS Coordinator in the channel that you have just created.

Set up Dropbox

  • Dropbox is intended for sharing data and working files with other remote members of SIMS for task sharing and easy handover.
  • Set up and name the operation Dropbox: “SIMS” + “_” + “Emergency Name” + “_” + “Year”.
  • Set up standard folder structure to ensure files can be easily found and easily shared. Separate Data and Product folders. Data folders are for storing data. Product folders are for using the data to create products. If the data (shape files, reports, population demographics, etc.) is going to be used to create a product (map, gap analysis, dashboard, etc.), copy it from the Data folder into the Product folder to preserve the original data set.
    • Label folders with a D or P respectively.
    • Label with increasing numeric values [D01, D02, D03, P01, P02, P03].
  • Files within folders:
    • Use clear labeling. It should be clear from reading the file/folder name what it contains.
    • Use Japanese format for dates [YYYYMMDD]. This will ensure files order sequentially.
    • Some products may go through several versions/iterations. Apply clear version labels so everyone knows which is the most up to date version [file_name_v1, file_name_v2]. This is especially important with output files like maps.
    • Create an archive folder. If a folder contains files which are no longer required (old shape files, previous data sets, earlier versions of infographics, etc.), place these outdated versions in an archive folder to ensure they aren’t used by mistake.

Set up SIMS Portal for Activation

  • When a SIMS Alert is created an Admin will create a SIMS Portal Emergency Page. Coordinate with the assigned SIMS Admin to ensure links to Trello, Slack, and Dropbox are added.
  • The SIMS Admin is responsible for assigning the SIMS Remote Coordinator (to you). The SIMS Remote Coordinator is then in control of the SIMS Portal Emergency Page.
  • Encourage remote supporters to log into the portal and submit their availability. Individuals can submit their availability for the current week. They can also submit their availability for the following week if the individual logs in to the SIMS Portal on or after the Wednesday of that week. You can share the link to the reporting form by clicking on “Report for Current Week” and copy/pasting the URL into the Slack channel. The URL will look like [] with the emergency ID at the end of the URL.
  • As tasks are triaged, you can reference the availability data on the SIMS Portal and/or check for availability by posting in the Slack channel.
  • As tasks are assigned to a Trello card in the “To Do” column, open tasks will also appear on the Response Operation page on the SIMS Portal (on the Trello Tasks tab).
  • For more guidance on using the SIMS Portal during your activation, view the SIMS Portal Documentation resources.
  • Review the Response Story from the previous operation for any helpful learning or tips that may be useful for your activation [i.e. Sudan Complex Emergency].

Stage 2: Initial Tasks

  • Data Scramble: Search online for relevant data sources.
    • Download and read all SitReps from RC and outside the Movement. These will be useful for figuring out likely priorities and needs.
    • The IFRC GO and IFRC IM teams may have already completed a secondary analysis. Check on the GO website ( or check with an IFRC IM team member.
    • Access key datasets. Track where you located the data and any comments around it.
      • Admin boundaries: Use the GO shape files for country borders if maps will be used on the GO Platform.
      • Population data
      • Points of interest relevant to the response (health centers, roads, airports, etc.)
      • National Society local unit branch locations
      • Response specific data (disease cases, shake maps, typhoon tracking data, etc.)
      • Available satellite imagery (further information is on the GO Surge Catalogue).
      • Humanitarian Data Exchange Common Operational Datasets
    • Add relevant data to the Data folders (D01_, D02, etc.) on Dropbox.

Initial Products

  • Create OSM base maps for areas identified to be a priority, either by the operation team or through the data scramble. Use available QGIS templates and use National Society branch location data if available.
  • Create admin atlases of the affected region/country or countries. Use available QGIS templates.

Establish connections with the field team and SIMS remote supporters

  • Establish communication with IM Coordinator and establish meeting cadence. In the absence of an IM Coordinator, establish communication and meeting cadence with the field focal point.
  • Establish daily or bi-weekly “SIMS Stand-Up” calls (if needed). Frequent stand-up calls, especially at the start of an activation, can help to set priorities, assign tasks, and motivate additional support from the SIMS community.
    • Create a Zoom link and post it in the SIMS operation Slack channel, along with dates and times (and time zone) when the Stand-Ups will be held.
    • Remember to note that these calls are optional but a great way to stay informed about SIMS requests.

Stage 3: Managing Requests

  • Clarify task requests from the field team, including the data, purpose, deadline, and if the product will be shared internally or externally. Use the Trello Product Request Template to guide getting details on the request.
    • Add as many details as possible to the Trello card, including links to the Dropbox or any relevant data sets.
  • Tag cards with specific labels. Highlight Trello cards with relevant profiles/tags, such as the type of product requested or priority.
  • After you create a task card on Trello, highlight that task in the operation channel in Slack.
    • Example message:
      • Request: uMap showing locations of ATMs and shops
      • What: TRC and WFP are working together to assess ATMs and shops that are open or closed in the earthquake-affected areas. ESSN is scraping the locations of these various shops and ATMs from Google and would like us to put these locations on a uMap.
      • Outcome: To understand the locations of shops and ATMs to be able to conduct an assessment as to their status.
      • Who for (audience): TRC and WFP colleagues working on assessments.
      • Format: uMap (interactive)
      • Priority level relative to other requests: High
      • Deadline: Thursday, 23 February at 12pm Ankara time.
      • Link to Trello card: [insert link]
    • For more information on using the SIMS Slack during your activation, view the Using the SIMS Slack documentation.
    • Individuals interested in supporting that task should comment on that task in the Slack post.
  • Assign responsible individuals to the task. After you have determined that the individual who offered to support the task is a good match (in that they have the right skill set and are able to meet the deadline), tag that individual on the related Trello card. Only individuals responsible for a task are assigned to a card! This will prevent confusion over who is actually working on a task.
  • Comment on the task’s Slack post that the task has been assigned.
  • Make sure that the individual has access to the relevant Dropbox folders and/or datasets needed to complete the task request. Only individuals actively working on tasks should be assigned to Dropbox folders! This will prevent unnecessary sharing of information and data.

Stage 4: Reviewing products submitted by remote supporters

  • Monitor the progress of remote supporters working on tasks to see if they need any support in order to meet their deadline. If your attempts to reach that remote supporter are unsuccessful, you may need to consider identifying a backup plan to ensure the task is completed on time.
  • It is very important to review any work submitted by remote supporters before you submit it to the IM Coordinator or field team. Use the Final Product Checklist as a guide to ensure the product meets SIMS-quality standards.
  • If necessary, provide constructive feedback to the remote supporter to help them improve their product and build their skills.
  • After the IM Coordinator or field team has accepted the product as final, be sure to thank the remote supporter(s) who worked on the product! You can create an appreciation post on the operation Slack channel tagging those individuals. During the regular SIMS weekly call, you may want to shout out all the individuals who provided remote support that week. You can also assign badges in the SIMS Portal for individuals who provided outstanding support during your activation. Refer to SIMS Badge Overview for guidance on assigning badges.

Stage 5: Handover and deactivation

  • Handover: Review the SIMS Remote Coordinator Handover Guidance to understand the steps and timeline for handing over SIMS Remote Coordination responsibilities to the next SIMS Remote Coordinator rotation.
  • Deactivation: If you are the third/final rotation SIMS Remote Coordinator, review the SIMS Deactivation Guidance.
    • Draft a response story for the SIMS activation, to be posted on the SIMS Portal. This is the responsibility of the third/final rotation SIMS Remote Coordinator, in collaboration with previous rotations. Review the Response Story Guidance on the SIMS Portal for instructions.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *