Catalogue of Surge services - Health

Community-based Surveillance (CBS)

(To be ready by end of 2020)


The purpose Public Health ERU CBS is to reduce the loss of lives by preventing or contributing to reduction of disease outbreaks or potential disease outbreaks or their negative impacts in sudden-onset disasters, protracted crisis or health emergencies/outbreaks, where there is a defined need for surveillance of health risks or events. PH ERU CBS establish a CBS system for detecting and reporting of events of public health significance within a community by community members, to strengthen the response during an emergency.

Emergency Services

Specific objectives: assess the need for a PH ERU CBS module in the specific context; determine the configuration of the data collection, flow, protection and response, and other components of the CBS system that will be put into place; set up the data collection and analysis tools; train delegates, NS staff and volunteers who will support data collection, analysis and response; maintain ongoing analysis and use data for decision-making; ensure monitoring of data collection, analysis and response; early detection of cases of disease at community level, and appropriate preventive responses and referral, as necessary. Activities include: assessment of needs, feasibility and capacity for response of the CBS based on initial request by NS or IFRC; design of CBS system; set up of CBS system adapted to context and need; coordination with all relevant stakeholders; training of RC volunteers in CBS methodology; depending on the situation; support epidemic control for volunteers training; development of exit strategy/plan.

Designed for

A public health ERU CBS module should be considered for deployment very early where there is a risk of disease outbreak. Examples include sudden onset disasters and protracted crises in areas with endemic diseases with epidemic potential, along with deployment to public health emergencies (i.e. epidemics). Emergency operations should not wait for an outbreak to begin before requesting a CBS module.


Total: 2 people (advanced), 5-6 people (full deployment).

Composition (advanced team): Team lead, field epidemiologist or data/information manager.

Composition (full deployment): Team lead, field epidemiologist or data/information manager, public health, ICT and/or logistics, finance/admin.

An advanced CBS assessment team can be deployed for 1-2 weeks within 48 hours upon receiving a deployment request. If the assessment team determines that implementation of a CBS system is feasible, the remaining team members and equipment are deployed.

Standard components

  • Digital data gathering kit
  • Training kit
  • Vehicles (rent or supply)
  • Field accommodation preferred


Weight: 10 to 15 kg

Volume: Carry-on baggage

Cost (indicative): CHF 5,000 (equipment only)

National societies providing this service: Norwegian

Additional resources

  • Community based surveillance (CBS) website