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  • in reply to: DRM Module 2: Exercise 2.9. Media Exposure #1141
    Keymaster

    Thanks for your various comments here. Interesting that when TC Pam hit Vanuatu, all the communications went down (I was in Tonga at the time), and I received a phone call from a colleague in Fiji saying they were worried about the DRM Adviser in Port Vila, as no-one had heard from him. We were able to activate Humanity Road – http://www.humanityroad.org, , which mobilises social media to draw down on the situation in the ground. In fact the first sitrep (before OCHA & the Vanuatu NDMO !) was brought out by Humanity Road. As a postcript, the NDMO team was of course OK (although part of the office roof was torn off), and they were back in communications within 24 hours.
    2. It would be interesting to see how media in both North America and South America is handling the Haiti Hurricane Matthew aftermath there. This situation (where poverty, and possibly corruption) is endemic, might make some people/media outlets almost sub-consciously put this in the ‘too hard basket’, and they shy away from the situation in the medium/long term. Note that ACAPS – http://www.acaps.org/country/haiti/special-reports is bring out some brilliant material.

    Keymaster

    Some more input, responding to Michael Buckley’s comments:
    1. You’re correct, in that DRM/EM practitioners need to prepare for events which could happened 24/7. The 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami (see Mod 1.12.5) of course occurred on Boxing day, and, because of the holiday, this did impact on responses at various level. The module 3.4. includes work on the Otway fires which occurred over the 2015 Christmas/New Year period along the Great Ocean road (which is a key time for thousands of holiday makers), the Inspector General’s Emergency Management (IGEM) report on this Wye River event makes fascinating (!?) reading. It did highlight the challenges of balancing fighting the fires, and not disrupting (by multiple evacuations) the holiday season too much. I personally think the stakeholders involved did a tremendous job, and no lives were lost. see also comments below on the Tonga volcanic eruption.
    2. One of the challenges of the volcanic eruptions was the potential for dangerous (to both planes and humans) dust to be put into the air…and this was one of the jobs of the NZ experts (they found the eruptions was mainly steam rather than heavier dust, fortunately). An air charter (using a plane from the local airline) was planned, and this would have been able to fly upwind and view the activity from the air. What sunk this option however was an extremely high insurance premium demanded by the airline insurers..this meant that further surveys would need to be taken by sea). The first sea-trip was carried out by a privately-contracted launch, but in their excitement in leaving the harbour for the second trip, they ran over rocks, and damaged their propeller. That was why the Tongan navy launch was used for the second trip
    3. The first eruptions were noticed over the Christmas/New year period, but all the stakeholders involved worked around this holiday period to ensure there was the minimum of delay. I personally thought the NZ high commission in Tonga, together with the relevant government offices in wellington, did a great job in getting finances and resources rapidly mobilised.

    Keymaster

    hi Michael (and others),The fact that the communities in both countries were relatively well prepared; meant that the death rates (< 20 in Vanuatu; < 50 in Fiji) were relatively slight, although the numbers (and percentages) of people in both countries was high - eg 166,000 affected in Vanuatu, and around 350,000 in Fiji. The emergency response, and subsequent recovery operations, were well supported by mixture of local communities, national resources, supported by the international community. The situation in these two countries contrasts with Haiti, hit by Hurricane Matthew in early October. The number of deaths is proportionally higher (over 1,000 as at end Oct), and the number of people affected around 2.1 million. I'm not sure whether a proportion of these deaths were caused by storm surges around the coast. The situation is probably more challenging due to greater poverty, and cries of corruption/nepotism/inefficiency (leading to some growing security problems) relating to the forthcoming elections due on the 20 Nov 2016. .

    Keymaster

    Hi Matt,
    Apologies for the delay in replying to this…the PHT is primarily made up of UN agencies. They recently (19-21 Oct) had their annual Pacific Humanitarian Partnership Meeting in Suva, Fiji, and more information about this (as well as the PHT) can be found on http://pacifichumanitarian.info. The PHT is primarily to support host countries (such as Vanuatu affected by TC Pam, or Fiji affected by TC Winston). The challenge for the PHT is to incorporate international DRM principles into the Emergency Management (EM) framework around which host governments base their EM Plans..these being developed from the Australian/NZ model.

    in reply to: 4.4. Teach Like a Champion #1091
    Keymaster

    Hi Mardi & Matt,
    Thanks for your comments here. Some thoughts from my end:
    – Interesting, Mardi, you making the link between the ELD, LINGOs & TorqAid material. Not sure about the comment ‘ ‘training should not be hard work’. In my experience the best teachers I’ve seen all work hard (there is no substitute for this). However if they’re well planned, much of the stress can be taken out of it, so they can ideally enjoy at least most of this ! Teaching (certainly in a classroom of kids) is somewhat like being on stage..it’s a bit of an act/bluff, so that you’re ultimately in control of them 9rather than vice versa!)
    – In future DRM Module 4’s (Teach like a Champion) I will make a reference to both andragogy (adult learning), and pedagogy (which strictly is learning for children). I have now included in the DRM bibliography at https://www.torqaid.com/resources/ a reference by the Educational Technology and Mobile Learning, on Pedagogy vs Andragogy…
    – There are of course times when things go flat (however well prepared you might be)..those awful silences, and time when the clock seems to grind to a halt. The challenge I think is recognising this as soon as possible, and changing tack. in Vanuatu, when we started off using the diagrams, my wife, who was there, pointed out that they weren’t really getting it (the overall concepts). I was able to therefore switch into a much more participatory exercise (the TST discussing key challenges arising out of the recent drought), which the group was better able to engage with
    – In planning out teaching, it’s important to try and think ahead to the classroom room situation..In many (developing country) overseas locations, it’s much too light to use technology such as data projectors/ power-points. This was why in Vanuatu, we didn’t even bother bringing these, and beforehand had those large diagrams (DRMC/DRR) prepared in Australia (and they at first didn’t work very well as just mentioned !), together with lots of flip-chart paper, markers, Officeworks dots (for the TST), blu-tack etc. That’s why sometimes evening teaching is better, but you then have to check power-supplies, security, mosquitoes & selected bugs/vermin, as well as some people not turning up because of logistics or being too pooped !
    – It’s really important where possible to get to a teaching location the day before, establish good relationships, check everything in the room (so you can deal then with major shocks!), and then have a good feed/sleep before starting the next day reasonably refreshed. Things like this minimise the stress
    – It is important of course to plan out lessons (and student teachers of course have to go thru’ this). There’s obviously a balance between some decent planning, and not making this too mechanistic. With experience individuals will be able to slim this down
    – Interesting comment about teaching things we may or may not like. School teachers of course have to teach some subjects they have less interest in..the good ones (teachers) will look at ways of making these interesting. As development practitioners, we’re probably lucky in that we’re normally called to teach something we have a passion about. Had a thought here to refer people to http://www.gapminder.org site which is a simply brilliant site looking at data sources/statistics (eh GNI per capita; under 5 mortality rate etc) ….really helpful for someone like me who finds stats a bit dull normally….
    – Important to have good discipline..not so much a behavioural problem in our development work (fortunately), but time-discipline certain is (eg people saying they are used to ‘Pacific’ time). I think it’s really important not to go down this track (without being over-rigid on this). Anybody can turn up on time if they really wanted to..we found this in Bangladesh on my first project as a Save the Children Field director), where we had to cycle around our five locations each month to pay people (we did monitor more than that I hasten to add !). When their pay was involved, it’s amazing how people can keep to time !
    – Thanks, Mardi, for your comments about teaching in the Solomons, and to you, Matt, for the challenges of cross-cultural teaching. It’s obviously more challenging teaching than in our normal western setting. Using national staff (as long as they’re skilled) can really help here. In our Indian (West Bengal) project as you may have seen from the video clips, our Bangladeshi colleague Rana did such a brilliant job of teaching (all in Bengali) that he ended up doing 90% of it….Similarly in Vanuatu, I was able to involve some of the ACOM staff to help in the facilitation and group work. . .

    in reply to: 4.2. A Selection of Participatory Techniques and Tools #1069
    Keymaster

    Hi Mardi,
    Thanks for these comments. To briefly answer some of your points:
    1. The TST is probably the best single tool I’ve come across…and of course it can be used in different variations. As used in the West Bengal and Vanuatu examples, it can be utilised to draw out 9relatively quickly) quite complex factors…
    2. Yes, the strength of the PMC is in the planning stage, rather than the implementation or post implementation stage.
    3. Depending on the project, different stakeholders can be involved at the Planning, Implementation, & Post-Implementation Stage. It’s probably relatively rare than an agency such as World Vision might be involved in all three. That’s no real problem that stakeholders may just be involved in one area (eg a consultant for the planning stage), as long as he/she can see his/her role in perspective. With regards evaluations, it’s obviously better objectively if the team leader can be from outside of the organisation

    in reply to: 4.2. A Selection of Participatory Techniques and Tools #1068
    Keymaster

    Hi Mardi,
    Thanks for these comments. To briefly answer some of your points:
    1. The TST is probably the best single tool I’ve come across…and of course it can be used in different variations. As used in the West Bengal and Vanuatu examples, it can be utilised to draw out 9relatively quickly) quite complex factors…
    2. Yes, the strength of the PMC is in the planning stage, rather than the implementation or post implementation stage.
    3. Depending on the project, different stakeholders can be involved at the Planning, Implementation, & Post-Implementation Stage. It’s probably relatively rare than an agency such as World Vision might be involved in all three. That’s no real problem that stakeholders may just be involved in one area (eg a consultant for the planning stage), as long as he/she can see his/her role in perspective. With regards evaluations, it’s obviously better objectively if the team leader can be from outside of the organisation

    Keymaster

    Hi Michael, yes, you’re correct. the national Bangladesh CDMP model includes a whole range of initiatives across the DRMC. The local government Surf Coast Shire focuses more on DRR initiatives, although it would also have plans for recovery initiatives should there be a major incident. Emergency response would mainly be the responsibility of the police, CFA, SES etc.

    Keymaster

    Catherine, when you have time, it would be good to get your perspective on this from the Vanuatu situation. I understand that in that country there is a week’s pre-disaster awareness in October (?), particularly related to the incoming cyclone season (Oct-March). Is this program coordinated thru’ the Red Cross ? I was also wondering, Matt, whether the government in Vietnam organises something similar prior to the annual typhoon season ?

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 4 months ago by Chris Piper.
    in reply to: DRM Module 3: Exercise 3.3.8. Capacity Building and Training #1022
    Keymaster

    Hi Matt, I agree…I think the ELRHA reading is particularly pertinent. I sometimes worry that all this good work regarding humanitarian professionalism is somewhat undone by all the aid cuts over the past few years. I also teach (as Unit Chair) on the Charles Sturt University (CSU) Emergency Management program, EMG 309 (Humanitarian relief). For one exercise we get the students to measure (thru’ self-assessment) their existing competencies against the humanitarian ones as mentioned from about p.34 onwards…interesting ! There are also some useful teaching tips in the reading ‘Teach like a Champion’ in Module 4.4.

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 4 months ago by Chris Piper.
    Keymaster

    Yes, Matt, this does show that all countries are beginning to work off similar frameworks. I understand that the first two overall DRM advisers for CDMP were Australians, who brought best practice Emergency Management from Australia into this new government system. There are enormous challenges in countries like Bangladesh..not only do their natural disasters (eg tropical cyclones; flooding; river erosion) tend to dwarf Australia’s, there is also a huge range of extra stakeholders to coordinate..these including large numbers of national (eg BRAC) and international agencies; UN agencies; and donors. All that being said however, things are generally improving as the loss if lives from tropical cyclones (where the storm surge is the killer) have dramatically decreased over the past 20-30 years. ie the Bangladesh Government is increasingly carrying out those six key DR interventions better, as well as the 12 DRM initiatives…..

    in reply to: DRM Module 3: Exercise 3.2. Six Key Components of the DRR diagram #1020
    Keymaster

    Thanks for some fascinating comments. A couple more additions from here:
    1. I mentioned in my email a few days ago the Sentry Report on ‘War crimes shouldn’t pay – stopping the looting and destruction in S.Sudan’ . This highlights the need for good governance at the highest levels of administration.
    2. The Weekend Australian Inquirer (17/18 dec 2016) had a brilliant article by David Kilcullen (one of his books is down on the DRM/PPM bibliography) about the current situation in Afghanistan. it was called ‘fragile Kabul takes a hard and soft approach to fight Taliban resurgence’. The first two issues he mentioned were essentially good governance and security …

    Keymaster

    Hi Michael,
    Thanks for your comments here….just to clarify a few points:
    1. Overall the diagrams work pretty well because they’ve been quite participatory. Students from DRM and PPM workshops have made comments over the years, and we’ve duly taken note of these suggestions
    2. The DRR diagrams both indicate that without DRR initiatives beforehand, then the impact/likelihood of any disaster will be correspondingly higher (than would have been the case if these DRR initiatives were in place). Also the recovery process for non-DRR situations will be more long and drawn out than those where corresponding disasters hit places where there were good DRR initiatives in place. The diagrams don’t necessarily mean that the recovery process for fast-impact disasters are more drawn out than for slow-onset disasters however….
    3. In the Pacific region there is good cooperation between the various islands. The Emergency Management framework for all of these was introduced by Australia/NZ, so they should be working off the same framework. National governments are also supported by a strong Pacific Humanitarian Team (PHT) based out of Fiji.
    4. There is also some good coordination across Asia. In the UNOCHA document ‘Disaster Response in Asia and the Pacific – A guide to international tools and services’ – see DRM/PPM bibliography, you will note there are some binding regulatory agreements between ASEAN and SAARC countries, namely AADMER and NDRRM respectively.
    5. In practice of course, when there is a major disaster in either the Pacific or Asia, things sometimes work less than perfectly…!!

    in reply to: DRM Module 1: Exercise 1.10: Funding Issues #1012
    Keymaster

    It’ll be interesting to see whether funding commitments increase should the latest ‘peace agreement; hold (mid-Sept 2016)

    in reply to: DRM Module 1: Exercise 1.10: Funding Issues #1011
    Keymaster

    It’ll be interesting to see whether funding commitments increase should the latest ‘peace agreement; hold (mid-Sept 2016)

Viewing 15 posts - 61 through 75 (of 100 total)