Building capacity of local experts in post disaster needs assessment and disaster recovery

Apr 26, 2018

Port Vila, Vanuatu – A country challenged with disasters triggered by various types of natural hazards, the Government of Vanuatu welcomes the opportunity to strengthen strategic planning for the recovery phase of natural disasters while introducing concepts to increase the overall resilience of affected communities.

This week, Vanuatu is host to a national Post Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA) and Disaster Recovery Framework (DRF) training.

Representatives from the government, private sector and non-government agencies from the productive, social and infrastructure sectors, as well as its sub-sectors, will contribute to the training. The exercise will include relevant cross-cutting issues, such as governance, disaster risk reduction, environment, gender and livelihoods.

The PDNA is an assessment used in the aftermath of a disaster to inform the recovery efforts. It details the effects, impacts and needs of a country after a disaster to inform resilient recovery and reconstruction. A process initiated and coordinated by government it can be supported by the United Nations, the European Union,the World Bank and others.

PDNA technical experts from UNDP and the European Union will facilitate the technical sessions and participants will have the opportunity to apply the learnings through a hands-on application, using current data from Tropical Cyclone (TC) Hola and the Ambae volcanic ash fall, to develop PDNA and DRF reports to support the government in its recovery plan.

In a second stage, officials can adapt the PDNA methodology to national or sector damage assessment tools.

The Acting Prime Minister of Vanuatu, Hon. Jean Pierre Nirua, officially launched the training stating, “The training is rather timely as Vanuatu is currently swamped with natural disasters of various types posing major challenges in terms of finance and technical capacity to respond to the current recovery needs, the recent TC Hola and Ambae volcanic eruption. We need the local capacity to develop credible PDNAs to assist the government moving forward with its recovery plans”.

The Team Leader for the Resilience and Sustainable Development Unit at the UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji, Mr Kevin Petrini said, “The national PDNA training in Vanuatu is the start of plans to develop a cadre of national and regional PDNA and Disaster Recovery Framework experts. Following last week’s regional Training of Trainers event in Fiji two ToT trainees will support the lead facilitator at this week’s training in Vanuatu. UNDP recognizes the value of mutual support in the time of need and how we can further sustain, grow and share capacities for conducting such assessments and post-disaster planning activities in the region.”

At the end of the four-day training, it is expected that a pool of national experts across each sector can be rostered by the Department of Strategic Planning Policy and Aid Coordination (DSPPAC), which is the lead focal agency for recovery, to conduct PDNAs upon request from the Government of Vanuatu. 

The Government of Vanuatu acknowledges the continuous support from the development partners, the European Union, UN Development Group and World Bank and the support from UNDP/RESPAC (Disaster Resilience for Pacific Small Island Developing States) project towards the PDNA training roll out in the Pacific region and at country level. 

The RESPAC Project, works with 15 Pacific Island countries to improve resilience to natural, including climate related hazards. Its work includes strengthening early warning systems, climate monitoring abilities; preparedness and builds capacity in the use of planning instruments to manage disaster recovery processes at regional, national and local level; increase use of financial instruments to manage and share disaster related risk and fund post disaster recovery efforts. Likewise, the global project PDNA Rollout II, implemented with the support of the EU and UNDP, in coordination with the World Bank, has contributed to this important exercise.

The PDNA training is being conducted from the 23rd to the 26th April at the Holiday Inn in Port Vila with funding from the Russian Federation.

Contact information

Merana Kitione, Communications Officer, Resilience and Sustainable Development Team, UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji, Tel: +679 3227 579; Email: merana.kitione@undp.org

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