Over the week of November 04 – 08 2019, a total of 24 regional participants (17 women and 7 men) selected by their respective governments from within Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean were trained as Post Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA) Trainers.
The 5-day PDNA Training of Trainers (ToT) took place at the Harbor Club, Curio Collection by Hilton in St. Lucia, and was a resounding success in execution, learning and participant feedback.
The PDNA training of trainers was delivered under the project “Improving Recovery Planning and Capacities for Resilience in the Caribbean”, a joint partnership between UNDP, as implementing agency, and The Government of Japan, who provided funding. The aim of the project was to improve the preparedness, response and recovery capacity of Caribbean countries facing multiple hazards by:
1) strengthening national recovery frameworks in the Eastern Caribbean and
2) improving community resilience in Dominica, while seeking to empower women to take a more proactive role in emergencies.
The project also sought to address, at the regional level, a weakness identified in the capacity of Caribbean countries to assess the full cost of the impact of hazards and the cost and benefits of Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) strategies, as in most instances, there is a dependence on external partners to define and conduct comprehensive impact assessments.
PDNA training in the region offers a sustainable means for further and continuous capacity development, which is needed to ensure each country has sufficient capacity to independently conduct post disaster needs assessment as a basis for post disaster recovery and rehabilitation.
The week of training was opened with by speeches given by Mr. Tommy Descartes, Chief Economist in the Department of Economic Development, Transport and Civil Aviation who offered,
“I would like to applaud the efforts and pro-activeness of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Barbados and the OECS Multi-Country Office (MCO) for hosting both the online course and the training of trainers here in Saint Lucia. For the Department of Economic Development, Transport and Civil Aviation, the utmost pressing assignment immediately after a catastrophe is to accurately, and I reemphasize the word accurately evaluate the humanitarian needs and provide some sort of recovery plan to aid those in need, which is what I envisage this Post-Disaster Need Assessment aims to do.”
Further opening remarks were offered by Jeannette Fernandez, Disaster Risk Reduction and Recovery Specialist CB/GPN, Sustainable Development and Resilience, UNDP, Panama Regional Hub and, too, by Chamberlain Emmanuel, Head of Environmental Sustainability Cluster, OECS Commission, the latter offering remarks on the OECS efforts in Disaster Preparedness, Response and Recovery in the context of the region.
Participants found the training insightful and informative, particularly the 5 Theoretical Modules of the PDNA, and 4 key themes in the Disaster Recovery Framework (DRF) which were deemed useful in building capacity and consistent with the objective to further strengthen the capacities of governments and regional inter-governmental organisations in the Eastern Caribbean region. The newly trained trainers stated that they will endeavor to be accredited PDNA and DRF trainers so that they can further support future PDNA and DRF trainings and in-country exercises.
Projects such as this provide much needed support to the region and allow Caribbean countries to continually build their capacity to mitigate the impact of hazards by implementing disaster recovery and resilience strategies.