Team Rubicon Norway was WAID’s first pilot customer, and we have worked closely with them since the spring of 2019. As a new organization in the Norwegian market, they experienced many of the same challenges as other Norwegian organizations associated with the use of digital tools. In this text, Frank Sandbye-Ruud, COO of Team Rubicon Norway, talks about the collaboration with us at WAID and how it has affected their operations.

Background for collaboration

My name is Frank Sandbye-Ruud. I am the operational manager for Team Rubicon Norway.

As a relatively new organization, we previously used Google Sheet and other manual solutions for registering volunteers and organizing during missions. We were looking for a solution for an organizational operating system, and checked out several possibilities for this. It was a narrow market, but no existing solutions fit our needs completely, or entailed a large cost. It was in this connection that we came in contact with WAID.

They have built up a voluntary register in collaboration with us, and we have ended up with a voluntary register that we use almost daily.

Operation Viking – Beirut 2020

Norway participated in the UN Operation in Lebanon for 20 years through UNIFIL. Team Rubicon Norway is a veteran-based organization. About 75% of the volunteers in our organization are military veterans with experience from operations abroad. From the beginning in 2018, it has been a long-term goal to set up an operation in Lebanon. On August 4, 2020, the massive explosion occurred at the port of Beirut. At least 204 were killed and nearly 300,000 were made homeless. We decided to set up an operation, departure no later than November 2020. The operation was named Operation Viking.

Operation planning

WAID has been a very important part of this operation. Through WAID, we sent out alert orders to all our volunteers. The response was great, over 100 volunteers signed up for the operation. It was important for us to include veterans who had served in the UNIFIL force. We used the system to select potential candidates. WAID contains all the necessary data. We ended up with a force of 30 volunteers. WAID was then used to re-register information about vaccines and other essential and sensitive information in order to carry out the operation.

WAID in the field

During the operation in Beirut, we used WAID daily. For reports, registration of tasks and planning of new tasks. WAID became a very important tool, and with local smartphones it became a tool everyone could use in the field. We had few serious medical episodes, but this was also registered in the system so that everyone in Beirut and at home in Norway had access to the same information.

After the operation, WAID was used to evaluate the operation, obtain a detailed overview of the operation and show what we actually did externally to sponsors and partners. This was the first independent operation set up by Team Rubicon Norway, and it would have been much more difficult to carry out without a well-functioning system behind it. The feedback from our volunteers is very good on how the system worked, and it made the working days much easier administratively.

Experience of WAID

As chief operating officer, I depend on working and good tools at home and in the field. WAID has proven to meet our needs. The collaboration with WAID is great, and technical solutions/challenges are solved very quickly. We got the field-tested system in Beirut, and it was improved along the way. With this system we have been able to carry out an operation in a much more efficient way, and not least secure as the system contains all the information we need. I am very happy with the system and it is under continuous development.

Written by Frank Sandbye-Ruud, 17.02.21