|Disaster Preparedness - 2nd Edition (Department of Humanitarian Affairs/United Nations Disaster Relief Office - Disaster Management Training Programme - United Nations Development Programme , 1994, 66 p.)|
|PART 2 - International collaboration for preparedness|
UNDPs Resident Representative (ResRep), as U.N. Resident Coordinator at the country level and chair of the UN DMT, has a central role to play in the field of disaster preparedness. As Resident Coordinator, this person will be in a position to promote linkages between disaster preparedness initiatives and development activities. He or she will be able to use this position to promote disaster preparedness planning at senior government levels. The effectiveness of the UN DMT depends upon the leadership ability of the Resident Coordinator.
To assist the disaster preparedness planning and implementation process, the Resident Coordinator, in close collaboration with sister agencies, will have to ensure that the UN DMT is established, and that regular meetings are organized in order to cover the types of issues listed above. The Resident Coordinator must also ensure that a secretariat is established for the UN DMT, with proper facilities and staffing to enable the general functioning of the secretariat. Key functions in this regard will include the collection and dissemination of information, reports and studies. The secretariat should serve as a focal point within the U.N. system for essential data on:
· National policies regarding acceptance and use of international assistance, including external teams or personnel; policies concerning the use of communications equipment; and policies concerning specific types of foods and medicines.
· Government structures, including relevant names, telephones/fax/telex numbers of key personnel within central, regional, and local authorities.
· Names and telephone/fax/telex numbers of institutions outside the country that could be of assistance in times of crises.
· Baseline data on each distinct disaster prone area, which should be part of the ongoing process for vulnerability assessments.
In close collaboration with the government and sister agencies, UNDP at the field level should review with the government the purpose and prospects for a disaster preparedness plan. If such a plan is already in place, UNDP should review with the government ways that such a plan might be enhanced. UNDP should also discuss with the government ways to sensitize its authorities at local, regional and central levels to the needs of disaster preparedness. Finally, UNDP should promote specific projects concerning disaster preparedness and disaster preparedness planning. There are a range of activities that such projects might include, such as:
· Disaster preparedness planning projects, intended to launch the entire process of disaster preparedness. Features of such a project might include aspects of sensitization, such as overseas study tours and conferences, technical assistance (including consultants who might be able to assist in the planning process), and workshops to enable formulation of the proposed plan.
· Essential studies as part of an overall plan, such as a transport capacity study or vulnerability assessments.
· Institution-building projects, designed to strengthen already existing disaster preparedness focal points or to develop more effective early warning systems.
· Training projects that develop appropriate disaster planning courses within country. These projects might enable key personnel to take advantage of overseas courses. They might be designed for vulnerable communities. The range and importance of training measures must never be overlooked.