This plan summarizes the risk mitigation measures that ALG has put in place for its teams and country-based branches when preparing for and conducting project assignments and regular functioning. Please note that as ALG’s risk mitigation guidance may evolve overtime as new or updated information becomes available either globally or within a specific country context.
ALG has adopted a telework and remote work policy for all staff members, field and Washington D.C. for the foreseeable future. This policy will remain in place until which time country-specific restrictions are lifted and the ALG COVID-19 task Force has approved a phased re-opening. To ensure programmatic and operational continuity and to respond to beneficiary needs, ALG has engaged with donors, and program beneficiaries using remote technology. In-country leadership maintains regular communication with staff both on a professional and personal basis.
Throughout a phased reopening, ALG will maintain robust telework and remote work policies that consider not only individual staff member concerns over health and safety, but also their ongoing responsibilities and obligations to family and friends who may be affected by the pandemic. No staff person will be unreasonably required to re-enter a worksite unless and until they feel comfortable in doing so.
Staff and project participants safety
ALG will follow country-specific World Health Organization (WHO) guidance to inform its decision-making, as well as to ensure appropriate safety measures are put in place.
In addition, it is important that personnel understand the safety requirements, protocols, and expectations to ensure everyone and their communities stay safe and prevent the spread of COVID-19. Part of this assessment process will be identifying what materials are available, as well as the most viable procurement plan to obtain required health and safety supplies. Supply inventories should be equivalent to the staffing numbers for the office and supplies should be restocked as needed. The recommended health and safety supplies list can be found below.
The ALG COVID-19 Task Force, in coordination with regional leadership, will evaluate the specific-country context and risk mitigation plan for each field office to determine if and when an office can begin the phased re-opening process.
Field operations guidelines
In consultation with the ALG COVID-19 task Force, other or remaining staff may be authorized to return to work at the office during Phase II. ALG may recommend that staff work in the office on a rotational basis. For example, half the staff may come into the office on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and the other half on Tuesdays and Thursdays, as appropriate.
- So fewer distractions from their current telework or remote work environment enable focus or where better infrastructure is available over the telework location.
- To access people needed for work-related tasks
- To streamline communications by replacing virtual with real time interactions
During Phase II limited internal face-face meetings may commence, with a requirement that masks be worn to limit the spread of COVID-19.
At all times, guidelines for social distancing for seated staff in the office, cleaning and good hygiene practices will apply.
Risk Mitigation Checklist
In addition to the abovementioned cleaning and procurement protocols, the following protocols will be put in place to ensure the safety of all ALG staff:
Vehicle use Checklist:
- All drivers must wear a mask
- Passengers in the vehicle must wear a mask
- One rider in the vehicle at any one time, if feasible
- Disinfectant wipes and sanitizer are to be kept in the vehicle
- Use vented, rather than recirculated air in the vehicle
- The vehicle must be cleaned by the driver, using disinfectant wipes at regular times during the day, with emphasis on both internal and external surfaces
- Staff are not permitted to take public transport to work. Arrangements will be made to transport essential staff members who do not have their own transport in office vehicles. Non-essential staff will be required to continue to tele-work until further notice. Staff members who can walk to work must observe 6ft social distancing.
- Arrival and departure as well as lunch breaks will be staggered to allow for social distancing.
- Provide disinfectant, antibacterial wipes and sanitizer to each workstation, entrance of office
- Staff to ONLY use their own phone, office products, etc.,
- Staff are encouraged to sanitize their workspace appliances regularly during the day.
- At all times guidelines for social distancing for staff in the office will apply (6 feet of separation or distance).
- Signage and posters will be erected to remind staff how to stay safe and healthy to keep others safe and healthy in the workplace, hand washing and social distancing.
- All staff should wear their own mask and bring each day.
- Establish alternate delivery and payment strategies with vendors for social distancing.
- It will be mandatory for vendors to wear a mask while in office.
- Staff should keep only items on their desks that are essential for business use and other items should be removed or stored in enclosed cabinets or drawers.
- Staff should not congregate in the kitchen area and ensure disinfectant wipes/antibacterial cleaner available
- Meals should be eaten privately; no communal meals.
- Keep food in refrigerators. This will be limited to only unopened/unused food and no replacing leftovers. Staff members are encouraged to take their own food to the office rather than going outside/food delivery services to reduce the risk of exposure/reduce the number of visitors to the office.
- Use napkins while operating microwaves and boilers or wash your hands before using.
- Staff displaying cold/flu like symptoms or who have come in contact with persons displaying symptoms will not be permitted into the office and should inform the Senior Finance & Administrative Manager/supervisor immediately.
Toilet use checklist
- Occupied / Unoccupied signs will be placed on the doors to bathrooms. Staff are not to enter an occupied bathroom and must wear a mask while in the bathroom.
- Maintain 6 feet distance with occupied bathroom
- Mark out on the floor in front of the door a 6 ft distance indicator.
Office meeting – disinfection
- No face-to-face meetings conducted in the office and external guests will be prohibited from entering the office in Phase I.
- In consultation with headquarters, in-country management will decide when a face-to-face meeting can resume based on the situation.
- During Phase I all meetings will continue to be conducted using remote technology, with no face-to-face meetings conducted in the office. External guests will continue to be prohibited from entering the office.
- Limited internal face-to-face meetings may commence in Phase II.
- Visitors must have prior appointment for visit.
- Orientation to security guards to screen and brief visitors on COVID-19 mitigation protocols prior to entering the office space.
- Record the temperature of visitors with non-contact thermometer and if temperature is on or above 100 degrees Fahrenheit/38 degrees Celsius, provide notice to visitors that access to the office will not be granted.
- Observe the safety and health of staff and visitors.
- Visitor must use face mask- do not allow for entry without face mask
- Hand sanitizer easily accessible at entrance.
- Reminding staff and visitors how to stay safe at Elevator (access to entry at elevator max. 2 person at each time) and must wear a mask. (Encourage visitors and staff to take the stairs)
- Maintain a 6 feet distance with visitors.
- Make sure that visitors use hand sanitizer upon entry and confirm hand sanitizer was used.
- Face-to-face meetings will be conducted with external guests in accordance with social distancing guidelines and the numbers of guests in the building at any one time will be in line with the guidelines.
- Meeting organizers are responsible for informing guests in advance that they should not attend (come into the office), if they are experiencing any symptoms of illness.
- Meetings can only be held in rooms that allow for 6 feet of space between the participants. Participants at meetings will be limited to observe 6 feet of space.
- Guests will be reminded to bring their own mask and if they arrive without a mask, they will not be permitted to enter the office unless a supply of disposable masks for visitors is available.
- Avoid external face-to-face meetings if possible and continue to use remote technology. If external meetings are unavoidable, please adhere to the protocols regarding travel outlined in this document. Staff must wear a mask at external meetings, use hand-sanitizer provided by ALG and wash their hands following WHO/CDC guidelines immediately after the meeting and if not possible, on their return to the office.
Field Visits – ONLY IN PHASE II OBSERVING THE FOLLOWING PROTOCOLS:
- Use local resources or remote technology as much as possible to avoid visits.
- Justification that your field visits are essential – if possible, avoid field visits until further notice.
- NO field visits to worst affected areas until it is safe and permissible to do so.
- NO consultants/experts to join staff in the field for events. Consultants/experts will be required to join remotely.
- NO international consultants/experts until further notice and until such time as quarantine restrictions related to international travel are lifted. If international consultants/experts are required, they will join remotely.
- If field visits are essential for program implementation, office vehicles shall be used. Domestic flights will not be permitted until it is safe to resume (social distancing practices available at airports, on aircrafts, etc.)
- Only two members of staff will be allowed to travel – in separate vehicles. Drivers will be required to stay in the same venue as staff.
- Acquire necessary information of hotel and event to take place at the hotel. (Check venue is regularly sanitized; hotel staff members have undergone health-screening checks and they observe COVID-19 prevention protocols). Work with hotel management and staff to disinfect high touch areas before, regularly during and after the event.
- 6 feet social distancing protocols will apply to meeting venues. Participant numbers will be reduced to observe social distancing.
- Confirm you have essential health and safety supplies to complete your mission.
- Non-contact temperature screening for participants, hand sanitizer available for use by participants, and facemasks for participants.
- At the start of the event, share good hygiene practices with participants.
- NO participants from high risk/infected areas. Participants at events must only come from the area in which the event is taking place. NO inter-provincial travel for participants.
- Where possible, limit events to one day to avoid overnight stays for participants. If this is not possible, NO sharing of rooms by participants or staff. Staff will bring disinfectant with them and housekeeping services should be refused by staff and participants. Staff, drivers and participants will not be permitted to leave the hotel.
- Where feasible, staff should keep a record of contacts during travel. Staff should also request participants to do the same.
- If a staff member becomes unwell during travel with cold/flu like symptoms, they will be isolated, and arrangements will be made to transport them back by road in an office vehicle immediately. Staff will be required to wear a facemask and gloves immediately and avoid contact with other persons.
- Check with participants on how they will travel to the event. Ensure participants from the same area do not travel together. Participants are to be strongly discouraged from taking public transport to attend events. If participants do not have their own private transportation, they should not be permitted to attend. ALG will make arrangements to transport them safely to events, where practicable, following good hygiene protocols.
- If a participant becomes ill with cold/flu like symptoms during the event, they must leave immediately. Ensure there are face masks and gloves available to provide to participants who become ill.