Featherstone, learning from disasters presentation, ALNAP


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This study builds on a recent host governments’ forum on humanitarian response organised by ALNAP, which brought together senior representatives from governments across the globe to share experience and learning on responding to disasters. It explores the ways NDMAs and other state actors learn and improve their humanitarian response activities, with a view to identifying current practices, challenges that impede learning and improvement and ways in which collaboration with others has helped overcome these

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Featherstone, learning from disasters presentation, ALNAP

  1. 1. Learning from disaster Andy Featherstone 27 March, IFRC, Geneva
  2. 2. Purpose of the study To explore the ways NDMAs and other state actors learn about and improve their humanitarian response activities with a view to identifying: • Current practices • Challenges that exist • How collaboration has helped overcome these challenges
  3. 3. Approach • The research builds on ALNAP’s ongoing engagement with NDMAs • Participation of 5 NDMAs and input from representatives of international organisations and regional institutions • Extensive web-based literature review with a focus on NDMA websites
  4. 4. Context • Engagement of international organisations is dependent on the states willingness and capacity to respond • The international humanitarian system has a poor track record of engaging with the state but efforts are being taken to address this • The state has responsibility to respond to humanitarian crises
  5. 5. Cycle of Learning
  6. 6. Generating knowledge NDMA approaches • After action reviews and evaluations , formal and informal reflections and simulations Areas of collaboration  After action reviews, simulations  Evaluation
  7. 7. NDMA approaches • Capacity assessments and online knowledge repositories Areas of collaboration  Capacity assessment, knowledge repositories Organising knowledge
  8. 8. Sharing knowledge NDMA approaches • Staff capacity development, peer learning, Disaster Management Institutes, guidelines, codes of conduct and minimum standards Areas of collaboration  Staff capacity development, peer learning
  9. 9. Enablers & inhibitors of learning Inhibitors • Lack of resources • Competition for influence • Prioritisation of short-term planning horizons Enablers • Continuity of support • Shared agendas and trust • ‘windows of opportunity’ and profile
  10. 10. Recommendations for NDMAs • Strengthen capacity for and uptake of after action reviews and evaluation • Use the post-disaster window of opportunity to for legislative change • Use learning outputs to increase NDMA profile within government • Engage in peer support with other NDMAs
  11. 11. Recommendations for others • Strengthen links between NDMAs and the international humanitarian system • Promote joint humanitarian evaluation • Establish long-term strategic partnerships that develop capacity and enhance visibility • Learn from holistic, multi-stakeholder approaches to institutional strengthening of NDMAs
  12. 12. Thank you
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