By Ariela Mcdonald and Nazereth Fikru Gemta
SICPERE program baseline study validation workshop participants pose for a group picture
In early 2018, approximately 7.88 million people were affected by drought, flood and conflicts in Ethiopia. The Government of Ethiopia has been taking increasing action to mitigate the impact of such disasters through National Disaster Risk Management Commission (NDRMC). The NDRMC is working with partners to build the resilience of key sectors including forest and health to better prepare for disaster response at sectoral and local level.
NDRMC and Asian Disaster Preparedness Center has developed a sector-specific action plan under the Strengthening Institutional Capacity and Preparedness for Emergency Response in Ethiopia (SICPERE) project with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF). Produced by 60 participants, on the 14 – 15 January 2019, from key departments in a comprehensive baseline study validation and stakeholder’s joint action planning workshop, the action plan was further validated and approved during the Program Advisory Committee (PAC) meeting. During the PAC meeting, 2 pilot sectors, health and agriculture, also assisted in reviewing the action plan.
The PAC meeting is a higher level body representing senior leadership from key stakeholder organizations responsible for overseeing and providing strategic guidance to the program implementation. Participants gathered at the PAC meeting on 16 January, 2019, to collectively discuss and approve the proposed sector specific plan of action. The meeting also facilitates a progress review of the Strengthening Institutional Capacity and Preparedness for Emergency Response in Ethiopia (SICPERE) project in order to set forward implementing mechanisms.
Participants reflected on the development of disaster risk management (DRM) ecosystems in Ethiopia during 2018. Areas for improvement were identified as participants discussed the need to further address major humanitarian crises’ and establish stronger coordination within the inter-sectoral organization.
Participants reflect on facilitated discussions on the development of Ethiopia's disaster risk management ecosystem
Participants found existing political commitments and organizational support from the NDRMC to be key accelerators for the institutional strengthening of the program. “capacity is the key to delivering the change we want to see,” His Excellency, Mr. Matiku Kassa, Commissioner to the NDRMC, stated. Upon identifying key progress and areas for improvement, the PAC mechanism acts as a tool to facilitate strategic action. Stakeholders exchanged views, analyzed the implementation progress, identified risks and opportunities and discussed ways to ensure an effective and efficient direction is adopted in moving forward the capacity building program. During which, Mr. Hans Guttman, Executive Director of ADPC, discussed the importance of building on existing initiatives throughout the program implementation process. The meeting also ensured follow up action from recommendations made during the first PAC meeting were implemented.
The meeting is a stepping stone towards strengthening the institutional capacity of Ethiopia through a partnership between ADPC, the NDRMC and the BMGF.