Exit strategy: closure planning guidance document

Exit strategy: closure planning guidance document

Planning closure for relief and recovery missions

Closing emergency relief and recover missions should be considered as a project in itself and is best planned when there is a certainty and clear schedules for closing a programme. This document, originally conceived for the British Red Cross Recovery Programme in the Maldives, can also be used as a practical guidance tool for others about to embark on a similar process. It should be considered as an office closure guide for all support services (finance, administration, human resources (HR), logistics and communications).

Some of the benefits of properly closing a programme include: 

  • the organisation closing the mission/programme may have to return to the area or country if another disaster occurs
  • government, authorities, the emerging new civil society and the programme’s beneficiaries will have a better memory of the organisation if the programme can be closed responsibly 
  • good archiving will enable institutional memory to facilitate recruitment of former staff with relevant experience and support procurement with supplier lists and supplier performance information 
  • there may be legal requirements on how the mission/programme is closed, and legal advisory company must be contracted to ensure that every step and communication is according to the local law and according to the laws of the organisation’s country of origin (for example, for UK contracted delegates, insurance from UK, etc.).

This document focuses on the following section areas: staff/HR, assets, contracts, finance and archiving/filing. For each section, a matrix has been provided which looks at steps for each process, actions to be taken within each step, recommended legal archiving, milestone dates and people responsible for achieving this, where relevant.

This document is accompanied by the following documents, available under Further Information on the right hand side of this page: 

  • Exit strategy: leaving responsibly guidance document (draft) 
  • Exit strategy: an introduction to sustainable exit presentation