The Seven Transformations

Your Strategy

Discover the trends that are influencing our world changes

Seven potential transformations  to rise to the five global challenges

The consultations indicate seven potential transformations that the IFRC network will need to embrace in order to rise to the 5 global challenges.

Strong and local actors

National Societies need to have a stronger role in setting its own priorities and in being involved in the decision-making about operations in its territory. This translates to National Societies having clear strategies and plans in place that articulate their priorities, choose where and how they need support, and they have a seat at the table for decision making in terms of resource allocation and investments. This aims to ensure that decisions and actions are led by National Societies in their own spaces, and by the people and communities they have at the centre of their organisation.

The broader RCRC network will experiment with greater coordination and coalition mechanisms to reduce bureaucracy, streamlining reporting and administration, and multiple competing pressures imposed on local organisations.

National Societies and the global network will seek to transform themselves to be more anticipatory and adjust to the rapid and significant changes occurring throughout the world. They will focus on building more foresight and agility in their systems and more investment into innovation. To achieve this requires dismantling rigid bureaucracies, overt hierarchies, vertical programming, control and competition.

It will involve more inclusive decision-making – recognizing the crucial contributions of volunteers, staff and communities to generate ideas and drive change It requires us to become more accessible and to better integrate different viewpoints and experiences.

National Societies will also value the role that organisational culture plays in promoting these changes, by demonstrating visionary leadership that inspires all, encourages creativity, is relational and prioritises adaptive capacity. Leadership that fosters safe, inclusive cultures.

A distributed network

The humanitarian system has significantly widened in recent years to embrace new types of action, and this expanded community is connected to, and interacts with, many other global systems. The Red Cross and Red Crescent is an important part of this process, but our system does not stand alone. In the coming decade the Red Cross and Red Crescent will significantly widen our network, partnering and aligning with a wide range of diverse actors locally, regionally and globally and particularly opening ourselves up to those that have traditionally been on the ‘outside’ of the mainstream humanitarian network.

We will strive to be a good partner and enter into purposeful partnerships, coalitions and alignment with others for impact and joint problem solving. 

Our distributed network will prioritise shared knowledge and find ways to build collective intelligence. This will require learning from and partnering with others how to maximise knowledge systems across a highly distributed network, and more open approaches and innovation that can connect people and make knowledge accessible.

A trusted organization

On accountability to communities

We will ensure that communities are designing and driving initiatives themselves and are supported by the Red Cross and Red Crescent in a way that meets their needs, capacities and priorities. We seek true transparent, needs driven design and we move from participatory approaches to user-led approaches where possible. We aim to ensure communities are involved in decision-making about the allocation of resources we make in their names.

We rigorously monitor and evaluate our work including seeking feedback from the communities we are working with using a variety of mechanisms to ensure diverse and ethical input. The information we collect will be consensual with all people understanding how their data will be used, stored and what implications of these data collection mechanisms might be.

The safety and wellbeing of the people who come into contact with our services and initiatives is of paramount concern to the network. We have channels where communities can easily and confidentially make complaints or give feedback. Serious complaints related to staff misconduct, corruption, sexual exploitation and abuse are treated with high priority and in a framework centred on the affected person, survivor or community.

We recognise that in order to support people to thrive we require approaches that are respectful of all people, that do not make assumptions about their needs or desires, and which builds two-way trust between institutions and people.

On accountability to donors and partners

We recognise that financial supporters place their trust in us to use their funds and resources to help drive a better life for affected people, and we take seriously the obligations to use this wisely and efficiently. The network’s accountability is based on being transparent about our decision making, processes and results, and how our funds and other resources are managed and spent.

Our financial management is open and available for scrutiny by communities and the wider public. We publish audited accounts and regularly communicate about how funds are being allocated and why, and whether they are achieving their purpose.

On accountability to ourselves

We strive to be accountable to each other: to build a culture of trust, safety, integrity, hold each other to account and recognise the power that peer relationships can play within the network at transforming behaviour and promoting ethical conduct.

Leaders in the Red Cross and Red Crescent will embody the principles of the Movement, they will build cultures of respect and trust within the network and implement strategies to ensure integrity is maintained – including ensuring the practices, the way we act and culture reflect our values and our active codes of conduct.

Our leadership – including governance – will be diverse and reflective of the communities we work in partnership with. There will be a focused effort to promote equality in gender representation at governance and senior leadership roles. Our Governance will be highly effective and transparent ensuring open oversight into the organisation.

We will invest in our staff and volunteers, take responsibility for their wellbeing and growth, and will ensure they have the skills and resources needed to achieve their work. We will ensure our workplaces are safe, inclusive and that our human resources systems are fair. We will develop talent in order to ensure organisational effectiveness and individual high performance.

Volunteering and youth

On volunteers

Over the 2030 period, the Red Cross and Red Crescent will re-imagine volunteering and civic action in the 21st century, to open up and ensure a much larger and more effective network of humanitarians working for global good. Our commitment to this reimagination means that we will have an open mind of what volunteering means and develop different approaches to voluntary service.

Strategy 2030 re-imagines volunteering that capitalises on the opportunities of self-organising, and networked groups. The Red Cross and Red Crescent will find creative ways to connect volunteers across countries, and regions expanding from rigid national volunteer models to a distributed network of volunteers across borders co-creating and driving impact together. This will require a mutually transformative shift from utilising volunteers purely to deliver service, but rather to expand and support people in their own efforts to drive the change they seek in the world.

Re-imagined volunteering will use innovation, and digital engagement tools.

Re-imagined volunteering will be much more inclusive and diverse across multiple domains and of different identity and demographic groups.

On youth

Strategy 2030 envisages a network that embraces young people as enablers of people led resilience

  • Embrace the strategy’s “platform for change” philosophy, with National Societies placing their focus on how to catalyse or support young people to generate their own ideas and mobilise for change.
  • Build cultures and spaces that are designed by and driven by young people. A reduced bureaucracy will feature as a key component, approaches that are flatter and more direct and that enable quicker pathways to action and impact.
  • Demonstrate a passion for innovation and experimentation and have more appetite for risk
  • Help young people develop the skills and values needed to thrive in the 21st century, including new skillsets for work, entrepreneurialism, conflict resolution, creative thinking, problem solving and communication.
  • Be cause-driven in our communications and marketing efforts, clearly proclaiming what we believe in, what change we are seeking, and the success we are having.
Influencing humanitarian action

In Strategy 2030, we understand the vital importance of our neutrality but do not believe that neutrality should mean silence. Individually, and collectively, the Red Cross and Red Crescent should have the courage to speak out in support of the communities we work with, and for the wider cause of humanity.

We recognise that the challenges facing our world are complex and multi-faceted. We will need a systemic approach to addressing these – and this will involve advocacy, humanitarian diplomacy, and communicating about what we do.

We will continue to promote and defend International Humanitarian Law; ensure global laws and standards are evolving alongside the changing contexts; and expand research, thought leadership and advocacy into global standards and laws governing disaster and crisis response, both domestically and globally.

As the Red Cross and Red Crescent shifts its focus to include catalysing, mobilising and convening citizen-led action as a potent mechanism for civic volunteerism, we must understand that this allows volunteers and young people to find their voice and stand up for the values we believe in and the causes they are passionate about. This will involve mobilising behind a cause that is of most concern to our collective humanity. An organisation of our kind, with our unique potential to exert considerable influence on decision makers across the world, has a manifest responsibility to do so.

Digital transformation

A more effective integration of digital and emerging technology, skills and digital culture will enable the organization to harness the collective intelligence of the network and democratize access to information. It will allow us to experiment with a wider range of emerging technology that can drive greater efficiency and impact in our work. It will allow us to develop into a learning organization and network, benefit from its experience and insight, powered by innovative leaders and partners who are committed to promoting cultures of experimentation and learning.

The tremendous potential of emerging technologies and information sources can drive greater social change and impact through new functionalities and services, better predictive modelling, greater insights into emerging vulnerability and risks, and enhanced performance,

These opportunities are accompanied by important, emerging risks that the network must be aware of and seek joint solutions to. Emerging risks include digital ethics, data protection, information security, data access and rights, digital poverty, digital isolation, cyberwarfare, inherent biases in technological tools and the reality of the digital divide. Implications of these emerging risks on people, communities, and the organisational infrastructure will be far-reaching, and require a concentrated effort to mitigate risks across the private sector, governments, and civil society.

Financing the future

This focus performance is underpinned by two major drivers.

  1. The urgent need to attract, develop and diversify sources of funding for National Societies who are at risk of being left behind.
  2. The need for an independence of agenda. If an organisation is over-reliant on any one source of funding, there is a risk that its work can become driven by the body providing the money.

Resource mobilisation efforts will be developed in coordination with and in complementarity to wider efforts at National Society development. A revision of the principles around international cooperation on resource mobilisation to support more global and cross-border initiatives will also be required. As the financing landscape changes, along with technological advances and public/donor expectations for more direct and transparent impact giving, the national fortressing of resource mobilisation activities will need to open up

Second, the need to broaden the focus from fundraising to financing and investing in the exploration of a range of innovative and new financing mechanisms, including fintech opportunities

However, diversifying our financing approaches is a complex activity that will require substantial upfront investment and a recognition and effort that it will involve a change to who we partner with, the skills required and the way we partner, the way we design and manage services, and how we manage our finances.