INSARAG: Structure

INSARAG is composed of a Steering Group, three Regional Groups (Africa-Europe-Middle East, Americas, Asia- Pacific) and a Secretariat (Field Coordination Support Section in ESB, OCHA Geneva).  It holds annual worldwide international USAR team leaders meetings and has ad-hoc working groups to deal with specialized issues.

The role of the Steering Group is to determine INSARAG policy.  It meets annually to define INSARAG strategy, review achievements and identify areas for improvement.  It is composed of representatives from INSARAG’s Regional Groups, the chairpersons of INSARAG ad-hoc working groups, the IFRC and representatives from the INSARAG Secretariat in OCHA-Geneva.

INSARAG is organized into three Regional Groups in order to facilitate worldwide participation.  The Regional Groups in Africa-Europe-Middle East, Americas, and Asia-Pacific meet annually to exchange experiences drawn from previous response operations. They discuss concepts for improved cooperation and coordination between international response teams in the region and present recommendations concerning worldwide issues to the INSARAG Steering Group.

INSARAG ad-hoc working groups develop solutions to identified problems.  All INSARAG members are encouraged to participate in these working groups.  Results of the working groups need to be reviewed by the INSARAG Regional Groups and endorsed in the Steering Group before implementation.

At INSARAG annual USAR team leaders meetings, international USAR team leaders discuss operational and technical issues regarding collapsed structure rescue.

The Field Coordination Support Section (FCSS) within the Emergencies Services Branch (ESB) of OCHA Geneva functions as the INSARAG Secretariat.


INSARAG Secretariat: Field Coordination Support Section (FCSS)/ Emergency Services Branch, OCHA-Geneva

FCSS Duty Officer (Emergencies Only) +41-22-917-1600
FCSS Fax Number +41-22-917-0023/ 0190 

Secretary of INSARAG
Terje Skavdal
Office: +41-22 917 1758
Mobile: +41-79 500 0085

INSARAG Worldwide

Winston Chang
Office +41-22 917 1173
Mobile +41-79 469 8588
Hanako Kataoka Hafiz (Administrative support)
Office +41-22 917 2385
Mobile +41-76 691 0018

INSARAG Americas region

Christophe Schmachtel 
Office +41-22 917 1684
Mobile +41-79 444 4223