Reference centres

Reference centres provide specialized knowledge and services to members of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. There are many based all around the world, each offering expertise on specific humanitarian and development issues.

About our reference centres

Our reference centres promote collaboration, knowledge-sharing and innovation across our global network and with humanitarian partners.

In doing so, they help support strong and sustainable National Societies and improve the collective humanitarian impact and influence of our Movement.

Some reference centres are set up in partnership with the IFRC (referred to as IFRC reference centres). In other cases, one or more National Society may come together to create a National Society reference centre or network. 

You can find a full list of reference centres further down this page with links to their external websites.

What services do reference centres provide?

Italian Red Cross volunteers gather in Solferino, Italy for a training workshop on how to manage migrant reception centres

Knowledge management

Reference centres promote the sharing of information and support members through capacity building and training.

A medical worker from the Zimbabwe Red Cross looks through a microscope

Research and innovation

Reference centres produce new tools and methodologies to improve our work, and help National Societies to adopt them.

An IFRC staff member and volunteer from the Bangladesh Red Crescent hug each other as they walk to visit a new health centre set up in Cox's Bazar


Reference centres build partnerships and networks so our members can exchange technical expertise and support.

Watch: Our reference centres