In collaboration with the World Bank and European Union, UNDP this week trained 40 disaster experts in how to conduct critical post-disaster needs assessments.
Launched this year at the World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in Sendai, Japan, the post-disaster needs assessment (PDNA) tool was designed specifically to aid disaster-stricken countries in assessing socio-economic damages and planning for recovery.
The aim of the Panama workshop was to expand the ranks of trained professionals able to carry out the assessment, critically important in the wake of recent disasters in Vanuatu and Nepal.
“The Latin American and Caribbean region is no stranger to disasters,” notes Geraldine Becchi, UNDP’s Regional Advisor in Panama. “From major disasters, such as Haiti, to smaller but chronic disasters, such as those borne of the yearly hurricane season, the region is regularly impacted by natural hazards that devastate lives and livelihoods, that undermine prosperity and push back socio economic gains which have helped people overcome poverty. This training will help create a team of experts that can support governments in conducting post-disaster field assessments and be available to facilitate trainings in the use of this methodology.”
The experts involved included national representatives on disaster risk reduction, as well as staff from UN agencies, the World Bank and the EU.
About the post-disaster assessment tool
The United Nations Development Group (UNDG), the European Union and the World Bank signed a joint declaration in 2008 on post-crisis coordination. This has resulted in both the PDNA tool, as well as the corresponding Disaster Recovery Guidelines, which help countries use the findings of the assessment to develop a long-term recovery plan. Together, the tools are intended to avoid confusing and parallel recovery processes and coalesce partner and international support behind a single, nationally led process.
The training in Panama is the first of several planned initiatives; UNDP is undertaking the “PDNA Implementation” project, which plans to train hundreds of professionals in five regions: Latin America, Eastern Europe, the Arab States, Asia and Africa, as well as 13 countries: Angola, Barbados, Bolivia, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Ecuador, El Salvador, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, and Rwanda. The end result of the initiative is the creation of a sizeable pool of global experts able to be deployed quickly and effectively following a disaster.