Positive Impact of Consortium Mechanism via Project “Building Resilience to Natural Hazards in Central Vietnam

31/10/2023 - 05:10

Natural disaster is happening increasingly and complicatedly as a result from climate change, causing servere damages and losses on the land of Central Vietnam, but in the face of traumas and losses, the reception attitude of the local government and people today is very different.

In fact, urban area with rapid population growth, migration and urbanization is likely to increase disaster risk and are expected to be more complex due to global climate change. It is also an area with a high risk of natural disasters and people are even more vulnerable than rural area. As a result, the project has shifted interventions from rural to urban area.

Therefore, not only in rural area, but also in urban area, the awareness and thinking of the authorities and people about natural disasters have changed significantly, from passive to active; people always receive, follow up and update information regularly, fully.

Contributing to the positive change in the thinking, thanks to the project “Building Resilience to Natural Hazards in Central Vietnam” funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the joint effort of the Consortium of 5 partners include American Red Cross/Vietnam Red Cross, Catholic Relief Services, Plan International, Save the Children and HelpAge International in Vietnam, of which American Red Cross plays a coordination role. Based on the strength of each organization, the consortium model of co-operation is well suited to solving the shortage of resources and equipments. From there, it creates synergy in addressing the need of many vulnerable groups.

Wishing to support vulnerable communities, local governments are improving their capacity to withstand the risks of natural disasters and reduce the risk of human and property damage caused by extreme climatic events, the project “Building resilience to Natural Hazards in Central Vietnam” has shifted focus to disaster risk management from rural to urban areas.

This shift is reasonable because of the fact that community-based disaster risk management in urban Vietnam is still in its infancy and favorable location of the Provincial Red Cross Chapters’ offices big cities, will assist with government in this important area. Therefore, the project aims to increase the resilience and capacity of disaster-prone communities as well as community-based disaster risk management capacity for the Vietnamese Red Cross.

As a result, the project has supplemented the gaps that the National Program on Community-Based Disaster Risk Management has not covered, including communication on climate change and disaster risk reduction, intergration of people with disabilities, gender, education and school safety before disaster. At the same time, contributing to USAIDs mission in saving human life; livelihood, property, infrastructure before, during and after the disaster; and increasing the resilience of the community to frequent hazards.

Project was designed with models of 03 main components/interventions:

+ Policy advocacy model: The Consortium coordinates with Disaster Management Authority, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to implement guidelines for disaster management in urban areas, training of trainers , trainings for technical support groups and disaster risk assessment, natural disaster prevention and control planning, etc…; Coordinates with the Ministry of Planning and Investment to disseminate Circular 05 of the MPI, the integration skills training, the experience sharing workshops among the provinces; Coordinates with the Ministry of Education and Training to implement safe school framework. At the same time, the Consortium coordinates with local authorities at all levels to organize trainings, workshops, drills/silmulations…, building disaster risk mitigation projects. Partners of the Consortium will support local authorities to integrate the results from disaster risk assessments (CBDRAs) into their annual socio-economic development plans, seeking internal resources to implement the plans that has been built

+ The intervention model in the community: mainly towards the people through the change of awareness and skills to prevent and respond to risks caused by natural disasters. At local level, community emergency response teams have been established, trained with knowledge, skills of search and rescue, first aid, and ready to be mobilized in the event of disasters.

+ Safe School Model: towards student and teacher orientation, safe school modeling through safe school training for school management boards, teachers, and providing skills and knowledge on disaster risk management for primary school students.

 

Dramatic products for disaster reduction in schools have been shown many times not only at schools, but also in competitions, communication sessions and the project final review workshop by students of Huong An Primary School, Que Son District, Quang Nam province. Every time, playing a role not only creates excitement for children, but also equips them with the basic knowledge of disaster risk prevention as well as life skills, love…, ready to help people when disasters happen.

In addition to modeling, other activites in frame of the project were conducted including the development of urban community-based disaster risk management guideline, safe school, upgrading early warning systems, providing rescure equipments for emergency response teams at all levels and for high-risk neighborhoods, schools, that brings great benefits to the community

In particular, the project has built swimming pools, swimming skill training, and drowning prevention communication for primary school students, something that has never been done before.

Wishing to achieve the best results and widespread domino effect, the project has applied science and technology in many aspects of intervention. Instead of people mapping in rural areas like before, up to now, hazards maps have been mapped through OpenStreetMap software and extremely accurate global positioning system. In order to increase the efficiency of communication on facebook, facebook page “Managing urban disaster risk” has been established with 429 members and thousands of access per day and project activities are updated and posted timely. This facebook page is also expanded/connected to other partners, INGOs/government agencies working on urban risk mitigation.

After nearly 3 years implementing the project “Building resilience to Natural Hazards in Central Vietnam”, the Consortium of 5 partners has clearly demonstrated their role, supporting the project to achieve the positive results on all three goals: strengthening capacity on disaster prevention and control for local government, community and school.

With a budget of 4,038,550 USD, by the end of June, the project has achieved some outstanding results:

– 673,952 beneficiaries

– 61 communes/wards benefited with 2,717 local government staff trained on disaster prevention, mitigation and management

– 176 trainings to improve the capacity of local government staff and people with 9,939 participants.

– 57 community-based disaster risk assessments with 15,035 participants.

– 2,545 students being trained on disaster preparedness and response

– 19 drills/silmulations were conducted

The activities of Phase 1 mainly aimed at equipping the beneficiaries with knowledge, skills and tools through workshops, training courses and drills. The main activities of Phase 2 focused on policy advocacy and documenting the experiences/lessons learnt that have been drawn from the first phase with three areas:

+ Develop Policy Brief on urban community-based disaster risk management that contribute to the revision of Governments 1002 Program

+ Develop Policy Brief on integrating natural disaster prevention and control plan into socio-economic development plan, contributing to Ministry of Planning and Investments Circular No. 05 dated 06/6/2016 on guilding the integration of natural disaster prevention and control plan into socio-economic development plan

+ Develop Policy Brief on Safe School that will contribute to regulating the safe school framework with Ministry of Education and Training

 

At the same time, through the project, Vietnam Red Cross and its partners have learned valuable lessons such as:+ Appreciate the new model of Consoritium cooperation from the United States Agency for International Development, where partners have rich experience in climate change adaptation/disaster risk management; There are many strengths and experiences that can be complementary and supportive to each other during project implementation; Linkage and creating domino effects in the project areas; Diversity in activities, fields and intervention areas

+ Vietnam Red Cross has a network at all levels with experienced trainers and assessors in the field of disaster prevention and control; Has actively supported partners in the Consortium to implement some components of the project

+ With the participation of partners in the Consortium and its partners in the local community to share experiences in urban community-based disaster risk assessment/training, guilding the intergration of disaster prevention and control plan into socio-economic development plan, drawing experience and lessons learnt

Joy and happiness continue to exist in the lives of each people in Central Vietnam. With the knowledge and skills gained from the project “Building resilience to Natural Hazards in Central Vietnam”, they become active warriors fighting against the hardness of nature. From the pain of losses, life is always revived and developed. That is the biggest success that the project has achieved, thereby contributing to creating a safer and more sustainable life on the central land full of sunshine, wind and natural disasters for today and tomorrow …

Mr. Al Panico, Country Representative of American Red Cross and Project Management Board’s colleagues from Vietnam Red Cross are discussing digitalized hazards maps developed by OpenStreetMap

Mr Jonathan Baker, Program Officer of USAID is discussing with Leaders of Hoi An City on natural disaster updates.

Nguyen Vinh Hoa

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