Avian Influenza Pandemic Preparedness at an International Nonprofit Organization

Client: Helen Keller International
Faculty: Lucille Pilling
Team: "Qaisia Ali, Jonathan Bandel, Jackline Oluoch, Meredith Sather "
Year: 2008
"Helen Keller International (HKI) is a non­profit organization devoted to fighting and treating preventable blindness and malnutrition, with programs in 22 countries. HKI sought the assistance of the Capstone team to develop a business continuity plan for its New York headquarters and country offices should business opera­tions be interrupted due to rapid onset of an avian influenza pandemic. To address this critical issue, the Capstone team devised a four­stage methodology which consists of: 1) Background research on avian influenza, including the World Health Organization's (WHO) six phases of pandemic alert, and identification of best practices for continuity planning; 2) quali­tative data derived from interviews with key administrators from comparable organizations and HKI country directors; 3) model scenarios for pandemic pre­paredness based on the WHO's six phases; and 4) a focus group at the HKI Indonesia office to identify key questions and concerns for pandemic preparedness planning. From research findings and interviews, the Capstone team devised a preparedness plan and human resource policy recommendations for business continuity. "