25 February 2015 (Manila, Philippines)
"Preparatory Meeting for Resilience Conference on Earthquake", hosted by the Carlos P. Romulo Foundation for Peace and Development, co-hosted by the Zuellig Family Foundation and the Manila Observatory, was held in Manila, Philippines on 25 February 2015. As a cooperation of this meeting, the ADRC sent one representative from IRP secretariat to attend. The meeting's over 90 participants included government officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Philippines, managers from private sector and experts from international organizations.
During his presentation titled "Reconstruction, Recovery and Preparedness: Lessons Learned from Japan's Experience--Towards Comprehensive Disaster Management in the Philippines and Japan--", Mr. Shingo Kouchi, ADRC Senior Expert as well as IRP Senior Recovery Expert, highly appreciated every effort made by both public and private sectors toward possible earthquakes in the Metro Manila. Similar to Japan's situation, it has been widely recognized in the Philippines that the Government and local enterprises need to promote the public-private partnership and multi-stakeholder approach towards effective regional disaster mitigation/prevention and reconstruction/recovery. Mr. Kouchi also stressed that IRP have been working closely with many stakeholders in the Philippines, and ADRC/IRP will seek possibilities of providing technical assistance for the Philippines' preparation efforts towards future earthquakes.
With the concept of "Building Back Better than Before", IRP would like to make continuous efforts for realization of disaster-resilient society and communities in the Metro Manila region, by sharing Japanese technologies, experiences, and lessons learned from the past. For more information, please contact Kouchi (email@example.com).
Since 2009, ADRC has been conducting DRR Policy Peer Reviews to help develop the DRR capacity of ADRC-member countries through the promotion of information sharing and the strengthening of relationships among member countries. The target project selected for review this year, the sixth since the Peer Review process was launched, is a project titled "Integrating Cultural Heritage and Disaster Risk Reduction (Disaster Preparedness and Sensitization Training program on Dzong (Fortress) Safety at Dagana)". After the country report was submitted, a reviewer team comprised of the following two individuals visited Bhutan to conduct interviews: Ms. Yuko Nakagawa (Executive Director, NPO SEEDS Asia), and Mr. Junji Moriwaki (ADRC Researcher).
The team visited the Ministry of Home & Culture Affairs Department of Disaster Management (DDM) and so on, which is involved in DRR activities, to examine its DRR development efforts in Bhutan. The team also conducted inspections of Dagana District, where is a place of DRR drills were carried out, after which it prepared a draft report of its survey results highlighting its specific findings (e.g., "5 days training increased the awareness and knowledge on fire safety and DRR to monks and administrative officers in Dagana Dzong which was not there.", "Good coordination among relevant agencies such as DDM, fire division, and district administration made smooth implementation." and "Well understanding of the Governor and Disaster Focal person of the district office for the need of DRR and willingness for their continuous efforts.") and recommendations (e.g., "Fire is not the only hazard in Dagana. Training and raising awareness on multi hazard, especially on earthquake should be sought." and "Collaboration between school and community on DRR drills can be sought."). A workshop was also held to gather opinions and comments used in finalizing the report as well as to introduce the importance of community involvements and education in schools for enhancing the DRR, with local participants. This proved to be a very good opportunity for participants to share information and ideas with one another.
After its survey mission ends, the reviewer team compiles a survey report, which it sends to the countries examined as well as to other ADRC member countries, so as to enhance cross-fertilization.
ADRC would like to express its sincerest gratitude to all of those who have made such important contributions to this project.
9-10 December 2014 (Dhaka, Bangladesh)
Considering that "disasters are inevitable in Bangladesh due to its high vulnerability index", the Government, specifically the Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief (MoDMR), recognized the need for strategic options to further reduce the impacts of disaster. The principle of "build back better" is one particular option that the Government wants to promote by seizing the opportunity to correct the limitations and failures of previous practices, policies, and programs during the recovery phase. It further recognized that recovery offers opportunity to make infrastructures, communities, and livelihoods resilient.
In view of this, the MoDMR, in cooperation with the Institute of Strategic Recovery Studies for Disaster Resilience and Research (ISRSDRR) and the Interational Recovery Platform/Asian Disaster Reduction Center (IRP/ADRC), had jointly organized a Stakeholders Consultation Workshop on Disaster Recovery Planning, 9-10 December 2014 at CIRDAP Auditorium in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The workshop was supported by local partners, namely: UNDP, Australian Aid, Islamic Relief, and Christian Aid.
Participated by over 50 stakeholder representatives, the consultation was generally aimed at creating the foundation for promoting resilient recovery and paving the way for sustainable development in Bangladesh. Specifically, the consultation was expected to achieve the following: (i) introduced recovery agenda to key stakeholders, (ii) prepared the ground works for establishing a National Recovery Platform, and (iii) discussed and endorsed a Roadmap for Disaster Recovery Planning.
At the opening, IRP/ADRC delivered the keynote speech which introduced the key principles of disaster recovery, including knowledge products, case studies, tools, and guidance. After the keynote, the following key officials from the Government delivered their respective speeches: Mr. Mohammed Abdul Wazed, Director-General of the Department of Disaster Management; Dr. Mesbah ul Alam, Secretary of the Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief; Hon. Mofazzal Hossain Chowdhury Maya Bir Bikram, Minister of Disaster Management and Relief; and Mr. Dhirendra Debnath Shambhuh, Member of Parliament and Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Disaster Risk Reduction. The key message of all the speeches was that recovery is gap in disaster risk reduction (DRR) that Bangladesh needs to address.
At the end of the workshop, the stakeholders identified the following key recommendations: (i) institutionalization of recovery functions at the national and local governments; (ii) establishment of predictable funding for recovery at the government agencies; (iii) adoption of mechanisms for cooperation in areas of recovery; and (iv) formulation of disaster recovery framework for readiness and capacity. As way forward, the Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief laid the ground works for establishing the National Recovery Platform with further consultations with key stakeholders, including UNDP, Islamic Relief, Christian, ISRSDRR, and IRP/ADRC.
ADRC/IRP, in collaboration Central America's Center for Disaster Prevention (CEPREDENAC), had organized an Intergovernmental Dialogue on Recovery Processes, 11-12 November 2014 at Hilton Princess Hotel in San Salvador, El Salvador. The event was also strongly supported by UNISDR and UNDP. The main objective of the dialogue was to facilitate knowledge exchange so that government organizations and cities can improve their programs based on the sharing of experiences. The discussions dwelt on: How have recovery processes been institutionalized at the country and local levels? What institutional and policy arrangements were commonly adopted? What types of tools were adopted for assessment and framework development? Do governments secure necessary financial, administrative, and political resources for recovery? Are there mechanisms in place to monitor recovery processes? Answers to these questions inform the recommendations for next steps such as galvanizing national efforts on recovery and institutionalizing recovery processes.
Over 40 government officials and heads of development organizations participated in the dialogue. Among those represented included Paraguay, Honduras, Japan, Guatemala, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Colombia, and Panama. The cities of Santa Tecla, Bogota, and Curundu were also represented. Moreover, the World Bank, the Swiss Development Council (SDC), and the Global Education and Training Institute (GETI) of UNISDR had representations. Participants to the dialogue were high-level with El Salvador Vice President Sr. Oscar Ortiz inaugurating the event.
ADRC/IRP shared available tools and guidance on recovery as well as global case studies on recovery processes. The sharing adds value to the ongoing initiatives in Central America by offering wide array of options concerning strategies and actions for 'build back better'. In particular, Mr. Shingo Kochi, senior recovery expert at IRP, shared Japan's experience by highlighting the advances, needs, and requirements for a more effective recovery process.
Several recommended next steps were outlined at the dialogue. These include efforts to further (i) disseminate best practices and lessons on recovery and reconstruction processes implemented in recent years; (ii) share the results of the dialogue processes to other regions and countries; (iii) inform the post-2015 framework for disaster risk reduction on recovery and reconstruction issues that should be taken into account.
Some specific actions were also mentioned such as the following: (i) recovery frameworks/plans may be prepared, discussed, and approved before the disaster happens; (ii) recovery process shall incorporate DRR and integrated into development; and (iii) evaluation and monitoring mechanisms of recovery projects to be implemented. It was also observed that there is so much recovery experience in Central America that should be documented, analyzed, and shared to other regions and countries.