UNOSAT and ADPC, the Asian Disaster Preparedness Centre based in Bangkok, took the decision to enter into a partnership to increase their ongoing collaboration in several domains in which both entities have common strategic interests and tangible output.
ADPC is a non-profit organization supporting the advancement of safer communities and sustainable development through implementing programs and projects that reduce the impact of disasters upon countries and communities in Asia and the Pacific. ADPC focuses primarily on institutional disaster risk management capacities, frameworks and mechanisms, supporting government policies, the dissemination and exchange of disaster risk management expertise, experience and information; and raising awareness and enhancing disaster risk management knowledge and skills.
UNOSAT since a few years develops modules and methodologies dedicated to leveraging GIS and satellite derived mapping for better strategic territorial planning. This includes the application of new technology in planning and implementing responsible disaster risk reduction and emergency preparedness measures starting from where vulnerability and hazards come to terms: territories and local communities. Olivier Senegas, a senior specialist with UNOSAT in charge of country projects and knowledge transfer explains that: “we package our experience and technology-based approach into various formats that we implement through country projects. Each case requires a different mix of skills and solutions but capacity development is basically the output we seek each time”.
By combining their experience and assets ADPC and UNOSAT are planning to launch a new series of capacity development initiatives which use training and knowledge transfer as a basis for larger national risk management projects. The first of such initiatives will begin already in March and will involve direct activities in one South-East Asia country. The next country activity will be initiated already in 2011. F. Pisano, Manager of UNOSAT, said “we signed a MoU based on the belief that we can make a greater difference by working together. We have the financial and knowledge assets to invest in this new cooperation already lined up for the next three years so we count on seeing results very early in the process”.
The partnership focuses on strengthening national disaster risk management systems in the region by mobilising methodologies and training resources focused on practical solutions, which is a view common to both ADPC and UNOSAT. A blend of training-of-trainers, collaborative training, and in-country capacity development is at foundations of the vision developed for the partnership by both institutions. UNOSAT is increasingly turning its attention to a number of high-performing non-profit players in the area of human security and disaster risk reduction. As Einar Bjorgo of UNOSAT says: “we share with these non-profit actors a certain vision of viewing results on the ground as the essential part of the work to be done; like us our partners want to use the opportunities given by high-level international agendas to produce change we can measure for populations at risk and people in need”.
ADPC develops and implements disaster risk management programs and projects by providing technical and professional services in a variety of areas including national disaster management policies, capacity building of disaster management institutions, program design for comprehensive disaster risk management, post-disaster assessment, public health and emergency management, land-use planning, disaster-resistant construction and the planning of immediate relief response and subsequent rehabilitation activities.