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A man reading through a document folder in a office desk, to help visualize the importance of standard operating procedures.

As the COVID-19 virus continues to disrupt lives around the world, it has single-handedly demonstrated the importance of technical writers and standard operating procedures (SOPs) amidst an emergency. In recent news, India’s rapid rise in COVID cases has dismantled their healthcare system to the point where they are asking for medical assistance due to the lack of antiviral drugs and oxygen. While many countries around the world have sent aid, due to a lack of SOPs and distribution protocols, the emergency relief remained in a warehouse for seven days, and during that time more than 23,000 Indians died.

In every industry there are SOPs. They are essential to making sure a company or an organization functions properly. Employees and departments within a company require SOPs so they know and understand how to perform daily tasks. But what happens when there is an emergency your organization has never faced? What is the point of reference? In the case of India, where there were no SOPs to begin with, how do you develop a new set of procedures? With the help and guidance of technical writers, organizations can minimize the kind of delays that took place in India.

International Technical Communication

Technical writers can handle both SOPs for traditional business settings as well as documentation that meets important requirements on a global scale. Some of the logistical discrepancies in India were due to updating the different specifications of the foreign aid, which slowed down the distribution process.

By hiring technical writers, businesses can ensure that their documents are clear, understandable, and informative, as technical writers will understand all the intricate details necessary when creating documentation for an international audience. This includes knowing the appropriate units of measurement, geographical names variant spelling, racial and ethnic group names, and so on.

As a result of technical communication, developing products and services can easily become standards for a specific language or culture, though the need to identify where the aid is needed and who needs it can be difficult, costing valuable time. After technical writers provide the necessary information on an emergency, they can design several custom SOPs to guide daily operations. These SOPs will comply with various levels of government and other tasks, ensuring that they are both tailored to the situation or need at hand and do not risk conflicting with any laws or regulations.

Distribution Management Plan and Standard Operating Procedures

Properly documenting foreign aid is necessary to develop an effective course of action. This includes effectively and efficiently distributing supplies from suppliers to healthcare facilities or a centralized location. In addition, the demand for medical supplies is higher during an emergency.

Therefore, technical writers and standard operating procedures can create and develop a distribution management plan that (a) details appropriate distribution methods, whether recipients will receive resources directly or at a specific location, (b) implement inventory systems that keep track and maintain the amount of emergency aid and equipment being used and (c) explain the transportation rules and regulations on how foreign aid be distributed such as by airways, roadways. Technical writers can develop an extensive distribution management plan that minimizes any discrepancies that may prevent relief from reaching the citizens who are in need.

In the event of an emergency that has happened before, standard operating procedures provide a way to quickly develop a response plan and figure out what needs to be done to enact the plan. Specifically, standard operating procedures act as clear, accessible instructions that can be referred back to by employees whenever they face a specific type of emergency.

After an emergency is encountered for the first time, documentation should be created to determine what to do if that kind of emergency happens again. This will ensure that organizations always have a strategy on hand to respond to a repeat of an emergency.


Since standard operating procedures are a part of every business transaction, it is imperative to have the right people, like technical writers who can develop useful documentation in a time of crisis. Whether you are a business organization or a country providing foreign aid, it is impossible to plan for every emergency. However, the solution lies in how well you assess the current problem when it arises, so you can respond accordingly.

Technical writers can plan and implement SOPs that are usable on an international level making it easier to get a handle on an emergency in any country. As the world continues to fight the threat of the COVID-19 virus, the logistical challenges in India should be a cautionary tale for all countries that are providing foreign aid for the next global health crisis.

How can EDC help?

No matter your business needs, at EDC there are trained technical writers experienced in creating standard operating procedures. Including management plans for both traditional business operations and the government sector. In the workplace, we automate and streamline workflow and job production. Through this, employees can perform routine tasks without errors.

Essential Data Corporation’s technical writers have experience in a wide range of topics and fields and can help clients in nearly any industry.  They are capable of creating standard operating procedures, or numerous other kinds of documentation an organization might need.  Furthermore, EDC’s technical writers can provide advice or guidance on the subjects they are experienced in, in addition to documentation.

Within the government, we can change the way international countries accept and handle foreign relief assistance. By creating and communicating thorough distribution management plans that comply with all foreign government levels. In comparison, effectively maintain, and transport critical emergency supplies and address all distribution requirements. At EDC, we will establish functional strategies so citizens in need can receive foreign aid directly and immediately begin making use of it.

Whether you need a team of consultants to produce a complete line of documentation or a single technical writer for a brief project, Essential Data’s Engagement Manager will lead the project from start to finish. Essential Data Corporation guarantees the quality of our work. Contact us today to get started. (800) 221-0093 or

Written by Kimberly Jones