A regional resource center in community-based disaster risk reduction and management, the Center for Disaster Preparedness (CDP) has again been involved in providing some valid insights on DRRM knowledge and skill sets to the Govt. of Bihar, India in corporation with the Asian Disaster Preparedness Center (ADPC) for their current program, “Strengthening Institutional Leadership Capacity for Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Response”, which is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF). The program specifically responds to priority needs identified under the Bihar DRR Roadmap and is under implementation from 2016 until 2018.
From April 15 to April 19, 2018, a study visit was held in Manila for the delegation of ADPC and Govt. of Bihar officials, their respective Disaster Management experts as well as a representative from the BMGF. The purpose of the study tour was to expand and contribute to activities related to “monitoring and evaluation (M&E) and advisory committee meetings” as well as “knowledge management and learning” within the DRRM framework of the Philippines.
The study tour incorporated several field visits for all attendees, which were all supported and organized by CDP. Divided up into different clusters, namely Disaster Management, Agriculture and Health to cover the main fields of interest during the visit, all participants had the chance to gain relevant information from, inter alia, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), Quezon City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (QCDRRMO) and the people’s organization Buklod Tao in Rizal. The range of institutional visits equipped the attendees with new perspectives on disaster management during emergencies, legal and NDRRM frameworks as well as the different phases within the phases of a human-induced or natural disaster. Additionally, the weather station PAGASA provided valuable insights on the Philippines’ exposure to climatic factors and geographical conditions and the early warning system that keeps track of weather and atmospherical changes. The Quezon City office for Disaster Risk Reduction and Management focussed more on the emergency response part during disasters, as it is the most populous city in the Philippines. This included various documentation and discussions on local action plans, risk assessments, communication structures and interoperability as well as capacity development tactics. The final field tour incorporated a special visit to Buklod Tao, a people’s organization that reinforces the capacities of communities at the ground to prepare for and respond to disasters through community-led trainings, which ultimately enhance the relationship of the communities with their environments and their own fundamental needs.
The aim of this study tour was to further enhance the participants’ understanding of DRRM best practices in the Philippines. Since CDP’s focus is on Disaster Preparedness and building resilient communities, the institutional insights on the study tour highlighted certain aspects of DRRM systems that were of particular interest to the participants in order to further enhance and sharpen their own program implementation with a focus on their needs for M&E, knowledge management and learning.
Further, sustainable ideas for future endeavours by the Indian Disaster Management Department (DMD) were established throughout the activities and the PAC meeting, which will hopefully see CDP, the ADPC and the Govt. of Bihar officials involved in more knowledge sharing events over time. All participants agreed that building a strong and mutually beneficial transboundary DRRM network to support the affected and most vulnerable communities with a local and national lens is of great importance.