The UNDP in the field
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
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
· Baseline data on each distinct
disaster prone area, which should be part of the ongoing process for
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:
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
· 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