Once funding, staff and office space are secured, it is a good idea to write a checklist of what needs to be in place before opening your doors to your first refugee clients.
To draft your checklist, you may choose to adopt a template similar to the downloadable material at the bottom of the page. It suggests a way to plan out your activities according to your need, desired outcome, activities, date of completion and person in charge. This template also includes examples to illustrate how it can be filled in.
Whilst such a list may help you manage priorities, goals and deadlines, do not get hung up on making sure that everything is perfect before opening their doors. As there are many unpredictable factors, it is often the case that adjustment will have to be made once clients start walking in.
However, before you receive your first client, ensure the most important steps are completed. This might include:
- Having client attention protocols in place
- Having client intake documents drafted
- Establishing systems to track cases and to meet court deadlines
- Nairobi Code training completed with all staff and volunteers
- All legal registration requirements completed
It is also advisable to consider adopting a “pilot period” to test protocols, screening mechanisms and case management systems. This provides more freedom for your organization to experiment and adjust during the start-up process.