In coordination with South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation Disaster Management Center (SAARC DMC), the International Recovery Platform / Asian Disaster Reduction Center (IRP/ADRC) has facilitated a Workshop on Disaster Recovery Planning held at SDMC Conference Hall, National Institute of Disaster Management (NIDM) Bldg., New Delhi, India on April 10 to 13, 2013. The event was part of the European Commission (EC) funded project "Strengthening Region-based Capacities in Disaster Recovery Planning". The workshop was aimed at creating a standby capacity for SDMC and SAARC member states to support any high risk country in the region desiring disaster recovery planning support. In particular, the workshop was intended to create a pool of experts on disaster recovery planning in SAARC region who will serve as resource persons when needed. Various aspects of recovery planning were discussed during the four-day workshop through the facilitation of IRP/ADRC and partner organizations, including WHO India, UNDP India, SEEDs India, and SDMC.
About 30 officials, primarily government officials, participated in the event. The participants were high-level, including Deputy Minister Fathimath Thasneem of Maldives along with other officials from Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Bhutan, and India. Participants have been engaged in recovery planning - from the national platform as well as from supporting ministries such as public works, health, education, and environment. In addition, staffers from international and other national agencies also participated, making sure that the policymaking process encapsulates local knowledge, regional experience, and international expertise.
The workshop resulted in potential cooperation for several planned activities. First, SDMC intends to facilitate the development of "Regional Recovery Framework for SAARC" with essential next step of initiating dialogues with other regional organizations, specifically with the Coordination for Natural Disaster Prevention in Central America (CEPREDENAC) and South Pacific Geoscience Commission (SOPAC) to share lessons and experiences. Secondly, SAARC Member States expressed some options on how to take recovery planning forward. The options include: (i) organizing a Training of Trainers (ToT) at the national level; (ii) developing a national recovery framework, using as reference the consolidated strategic recommendations for disaster recovery plans that came out from the workshop; and (iii) initiating specific projects such as pre-disaster agreements or identification of recovery support functions among various ministries (e.g. fast-tracking environmental impact assessments with support from Ministry of Environment in the reconstruction of infrastructures such as roads and bridges) in SAARC member states. Finally, IRP/ADRC, NIDM, and SDMC are discussing future cooperation in collecting and sharing more information on recovery as well as partnership in providing technical assistance and capacity building programs.