As the education, research, and publication department of the Turkish Red Crescent (TRC), TRC Academy operates in disaster, migration, social service, volunteering, international aid, humanitarian law, public health, and so on. Turkish Red Crescent Academy favors the unity of theory and practice in “humanitarian action,” which it sees as a framework concept that “covers all fields of activity aimed at alleviating suffering and protecting dignity.”
TRC Academy aims to produce information for all humanitarian stakeholders, especially TRC advocates, relevant NGOs, and public institutions, and to make this information available to those concerned. TRC Academy has introduced its principles for education and research studies by sharing its “Education Policy” and “Scientific Research and Publication Policy” with the public.
In 2022, as the TRC Academy, we were in close relation with the main actors in our field of operation, which are universities, think tanks, educational institutions, TRC branches, NGOs, United Nations agencies, members of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, international humanitarian organizations, volunteers, teachers, researchers, and students. In addition, we diversified and improved our educational activities, increased the quality and quantity of our academic studies, institutionalized our publications, and carried our activities to an international level.
Within the scope of our face-to-face and online training activities establishing interaction between programs, materials, trainers, and learners, we continued our efforts for different segments of society thanks to 19 newly developed training programs and 18 updated training modules. In this context, we reached 578,947 people through our trainers and the distance learning system in 2022.
Aiming to provide education to all segments of society through its distance learning system, the TRC Academy has been offering educational content for different social groups. Thanks to our efforts for distance learning, we have promoted the knowledge of our volunteers and colleagues in humanitarian aid. In addition, we have ensured that the relevant people benefit from our training activities in cooperation with various institutions.
The academic studies carried out by the TRC Academy can be listed as follows: Independent research projects, research collaborations with institutions, academic events, researcher support programs, academic publishing, and building a research network. In this context, we formed new project collaborations while contributing to the implementation process of 2 TÜBİTAK projects (The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Türkiye) on disasters in 2022. In addition, we built project consortiums to submit to various international calls for projects, especially Horizon Europe and Erasmus. Thanks to the funding we received within the context of the Vocational Education Mobility Accreditation, our colleagues attended international training programs to increase their professional knowledge, skills, and competence.
In cooperation with the Turkish Red Crescent Culture and Arts Publishing House, we conducted the publishing process of 15 works, consisting of copyrights and translations, in various genres, from research/analysis, biography, and oral history, to memoirs, documents, narratives, and art. These works are available in print and digital format. In addition to the TRC Journal of Humanitarian Action and the TRC Journal of Medicine, we made Hilal-i Ahmer (TRC) Periodicals, congress proceedings, research reports, and facsimiles available to readers and researchers.
As the TRC Academy, we maintain active and sustainable research collaborations by building research consortiums with universities and think tanks to share TRC’s knowledge with the academia. Within the scope of researcher support programs, we provide content support to researchers who request data and field access support from TRC. We also carry out networking activities among researchers working in similar fields. As part of support for academic activities, we provided data and field access support to 40 researchers, including postgraduate studies. We held search conferences and acquaintance workshops to strengthen the relationship and cooperation between humanitarian researchers. We also ensured that the TRC staff attended the courses of the postgraduate programs on humanitarian aid, disaster, migration, and social services as guest lecturers and guest speakers, and we organized field visits for students enrolled in these programs.
We joined the steering committee of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Research Consortium (RC3), so we took our international partnerships to a new level. This development, which institutionalizes our relationship with the research structures within the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, aligns with our goal of laying out our education and research agenda per the international agenda.
TRC Academy organizes national and international congresses, symposiums, and workshops and attends events organized by different institutions to contribute to the academic literature on humanitarian studies, establish an agenda, and advocate. Aside from the International Disaster and Humanitarian Aid Logistics Congress, the 2nd International Mineral Water Congress, and the 4th International Disasters and Resilience Congresses, of which we are the main stakeholder, we also contributed to the International Public Health Congress. In addition, we contributed to the academic discussions at these events by encouraging our colleagues to participate in these congresses. We organized the “Provincial Centers Convention” and the “Branch Personnel Training Program and Training Skills Update Workshop” to discuss strategies and policies developed within the framework of the TRC Strategy 2030, and in turn, we improved our interaction with our branches, which is our greatest strength in spreading our activities to the entire society. With the participation of international actors, we organized search conferences on zakat, which is a significant resource in humanitarian aid financing. We also coordinated the work of the TRC Zakat Advisory Board, which will provide consultancy to TRC and relevant humanitarian aid actors.
In 2023, we aim to increase our cooperation in education, research, and publication at local, national, and international levels. We will add new training content and training programs to our distance learning platform and implement these programs in cooperation with our branches and other NGOs. We will continue to contribute to academic activities in humanitarian action and national and international workshops and symposiums.
As the TRC Academy, we have made a good-intentioned team. Together with all our stakeholders, we continue to develop and diversify our education, research, and publication activities in line with the principle of resilient individuals and resilient society in the face of disasters.