Thursday, September 25, 2008

ISDR Global NGO Network Publicatiom

This summer, the second publication of the 'Global network of NGOs for DRR' was launched. The first pub is available here. It's definitely worth a look to gain more information on initiatives which link disasters, development and particularly poverty reduction.

Katrina revisited

A posted response by Ilan Kelman this summer in the NGOFL-L emails on Katrina offers some interesting insights on standard challenges of relief operations.
Ilan's response is copied from the email here:

CNN Report - Supplies for Katrina Victims

The original report appears to have been basically factual, but does not tell the entire story. See other details at and plus links from those pages to other items on this story--keeping in mind that these reports are still from CNN. However, I could not find any note of this incident on FEMA's website which could have given their side of the story.

The issues raised here are standard challenges of relief operations, which all NGOs need to be aware of, including:
-Inappropriate donations. See also
-Corruption in relief operations.
-Inefficiency in relief operations--getting people what they need when they need it.
-The logistics challenges of bringing in, checking, and distributing appropriate and needed supplies. Perhaps PAHO's SUMA tool and is useful?

We must never become complacent regarding relief operations, because especially as you note, despite its resources, transportation infrastructure, and experience with domestic and overseas disasters, the USA ought to be setting a better example. The task is not easy and does require training, planning, and dedication. As you write, it "Teaches us that emergency managers need to be, above all, humanitarians". With best wishes to everyone for continually trying to do better,

(Risk Reduction Education for Disasters)

Publication: Indigenous Knowledge for Disaster Risk Reduction

A new publication on Indigenous Knowledge for Disaster Risk Reduction is available from ISDR. As they write:
"Even before we came up with high technology based early warning
systems, or standard operating procedures for response, numerous
local communities worldwide have prepared, operated, acted, and
responded to natural disasters using indigenous methods passed on
from one generation to the next.

The publication "Indigenous Knowledge for Disaster Risk Reduction:
Good Practices and Lessons Learned from experiences in the Asia-
pacific Region", produced with the assistance of the European Union,
aims to build awareness for indigenous knowledge as an effective tool
for reducing risk from natural disasters. By improving the
understanding of indigenous knowledge and providing concrete
examples of how it can be successfully used, this publication can help
all practitioners and policy makers to consider the knowledge hold by
local communities and act to integrate this wealth of knowledge into
future disaster-related work. "

The publication is available on their website here.

Subscribing to UNISDR HIghlights

ISDR's monthly highlights newsletter outlines activity announcements in the field of DRR. You can subscribe, send inputs, or just get information on this publication by contacting: