Projects Asia & The Pacific

Protection and the Contingency Planning Process: Preparing to Assist Populations at Risk in Disasters

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) | Jun 2011

InterWorks facilitated a workshop on contingency planning from 7-9 June 2011 in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea. The workshop was organized by the PNG’s National Disaster Centre. Staff from the UN Development Programme and the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) also assisted with the three-day programme. The event, supported by UNHCR’s Japan-based regional centre for emergency training, was attended by senior officials charged with handling disaster management at the national and provincial levels.

During the workshop, participants dealt with simulated emergency situations such as a volcanic eruption in eastern Papua New Guinea, spewing clouds of ash and a flood of lava that threatened to engulf nearby villages. The managers had to prepare a response, aware that their decisions would affect the lives of thousands of people. The participants analyzed hazards, assessed strengths and weaknesses and developed response plans, gaining skills and confidence to conduct the process with local stakeholders back in their respective provinces.

The workshop also provided participants with better understanding and enhanced skills with which they can facilitate the process of contingency planning, while also assisting contingency plans to be developed in each of the provinces represented at the workshop. The strengthened capacity to conduct planning at the local level is expected to translate into greater preparedness and, ultimately, more effective response for people affected by disasters.

Outstanding Contingency Planning workshop! It was delivered in a general perspective that could be applied to all fields /expertise areas.

– Workshop participant