READY posts updates here—news, announcements, and other updates on the initiative.

A COVID-19 isolation and treatment center in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh (Sonali Chakma / Save the Children)

Integrating Technical Sectors in a COVID-19 Response: A framework and expert panel discussion

May 6, 2021 | Speakers: Maria Tsolka, Kathryn Bertram, Lori Murray

This webinar is part of READY’s roll-out of the new Integrated Framework for Isolation and Quarantine as Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions Against COVID-19. The webinar explained how the tool can be used and featured experts discussing some of the challenges and solutions to integrated programming. READY’s Sexual and Reproductive Health Advisor Maria Tsolka, Social and Behavior Change Advisor Kathryn Bertram, and Senior Humanitarian Child Protection Specialist Lori Murray were our panelists for this exciting launch.

Liberian scientists and community members discuss zoonotic disease risk reduction, including tips on living safely with bats. (Image credit: Catherine Machalaba / EcoHealth Alliance)

Operationalizing One Health to Support Humanitarian Sector Outbreak Response

April 16, 2021 | 08:00-09:00 Washington (GMT-4) // 13:00-14:00 London (GMT+1) | Speakers: Dr. Catherine Malachaba, EcoHealth Alliance; Dr. William Karesh, EcoHealth Alliance; Dr. Katherine Newell, Save the Children; Emma Diggle, Save the Children

Please note: Due to a technical error, this recording is missing the first ten minutes of the webinar. | View presentation slides

The One Health approach has gained interest at intergovernmental and national levels as a key focus of COVID-19 recovery efforts. However, operationalization remains limited in practice, and to date there has been poor integration of the humanitarian sector in One Health initiatives.

This webinar provided an overview of the One Health concept and practical guidance on entry points for One Health approaches targeted to humanitarian sector operations for outbreak response. Tools and case studies showcased how One Health approaches are advancing multi-sectoral coordination in community-based surveillance and risk communication, development and implementation of plans and response measures, and design and use of information management systems. A key goal of the webinar is to promote dialogue on how One Health strategies can be best leveraged to add value to existing humanitarian operations to improve readiness for health threats and emergencies at the human-animal-environment interface.

This event was hosted by the USAID Bureau of Humanitarian Assistance-supported READY initiative. Live interpretation was provided in French for this event/La traduction en direct était fournie en français.


Dr. Catherine Machalaba serves as senior policy advisor and a senior scientist at EcoHealth Alliance, a scientific non-profit organization working at the nexus of conservation, global health, and capacity strengthening. She was a lead author of the World Bank Operational Framework for Strengthening Human, Animal and Environmental Public Health Systems at their Interface (“One Health Operational Framework”) published in 2018 to assist countries and donor institutions in implementing One Health approaches. She chaired the American Public Health Association (APHA) Veterinary Public Health group, where she led development of APHA’s One Health policy statement. She holds degrees in Biology and Public Health and a PhD in Environmental and Planetary Health Sciences.

Dr. William B. Karesh is the Executive Vice President for Health and Policy for EcoHealth Alliance. He served as the inter-project liaison for the USAID Emerging Pandemic Threats PREDICT-2 program (a $140M effort to prevent infectious diseases in 30 countries) and is a member of World Health Organization’s IHR Roster of Experts. Dr. Karesh also serves as the President of the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) Working Group on Wildlife and a Co-chair of the IUCN Species Survival Commission Wildlife Health Specialist Group. In 2016, he was appointed as a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Dr. Katherine Newell is an Epidemiologist at Save the Children, focusing on epidemics and global outbreaks of infectious diseases. Katherine has also worked on strengthening disease surveillance systems in South Africa and Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, for the World Health Organization. She has diverse public health experience and, prior to her position at Save the Children, worked for the University of Oxford in collaboration with WHO to develop the clinical case report forms for COVID-19 used to inform public health and clinical operational response. She holds degrees in Public Health and a PhD in Epidemiology.

Emma Diggle is a Senior Health Advisor at Save the Children, focusing on vaccine, epidemic, and pandemic preparedness and response. She holds a clinical degree in nursing and a degree in public health. Emma has extensive field experience, in particular responding to a number of different infectious disease outbreaks in different humanitarian settings. She has a particular interest in the role public health information and surveillance can play in outbreak detection. In addition to supporting various country programs, Emma sits on a number of global working and academic groups.

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Josephine, 9 years old, walking with her mother Celina in Lodwar, Kenya. (Image credit: Allan Gichigi / Save the Children)

Introducing Guidance for Alternative Care Provision during COVID-19

Jan. 27, Jan. 28, and Feb. 2, 2021: READY and Child Protection Advisors Lauren Murray and Rebecca Smith hosted two child protection webinars, introducing health practitioners and policy makers to the newly developed Guidance for Alternative Care Provision during COVID-19, coordinated by the Better Care Network, Save the Children, The Alliance for Child Protection in Humanitarian Action, and UNICEF.

The first webinar, hosted on January 27th*, is aimed at health practitioners with the goal of introducing the guidance and helping practitioners understand their role in preventing family separation and supporting unaccompanied and separated children. (*To support attendance across timezones, we will offer an alternative date for the Practitioner’s Session on February 2. Register for the February 2 session.)

First session: For Health Practitioners


The second webinar, hosted on January 28th, is aimed at policy makers and will explain their role in developing policies and guidance to prevent family separation during an outbreak.

Second session: For Policy Makers

Both webinars include a practical component: Participants walked through a scenario and answered a series of questions balancing public health guidance and the best interest of the child.


Lauren Murray, Senior Humanitarian Child Protection Specialist, Save the Children: Lori is a senior specialist with Save the Children, specializing in humanitarian child protection. Following her MSW from Columbia University, Lori began her career in the child protection sector working as a social worker for resettled refugee youth in New York City. Since then Lori has deployed to 10+ humanitarian responses in a child protection capacity, working closely with health colleagues. Over the past nine years, Lori has worked on the development of both global initiatives and alternative care guidance, and provided direct support to alternative care programming in countries including Bangladesh, Iraq, Mozambique, and Syria. Lori has been collaborating with health colleagues throughout her career to promote shared understanding and to joint advocacy for children’s rights.

Rebecca Smith, Senior Child Protection Advisor, Save the Children: Rebecca is an experienced social worker with over 15 years working in children protection in humanitarian and development contexts. She has provided direct support as a technical advisor to governments and civil societies in Albania, Bosnia, Cambodia, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Kenya, Liberia, Tanzania, and Sri Lanka. She has also supported the UN Resolution on the Rights of the Child on alternative care, publishing guidance to support policy makers and practitioners. Prior to working with Save the Children, Rebecca lived and worked in DRC, Chad, and Mongolia, and has been deployed to humanitarian disasters all over the world. She holds an MSW and an MPH, both from Columbia University.

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