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08 information management


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08 information management

  2. 2. 11. INFORMATION MANAGEMENT Achieving an effective plan of action depends on the efficient collection and analysis of a great amount of information. Information management during emergencies refers to the set of processes that, when applied properly, improve the efficiency of individual or group response actions. If we consider that all action is based on information, the best actions are taken when the information is quickly accessible, easily understandable, and reliable. Resolution 59/212 of the United Nations of March 2004 calls on Member States, UN agencies, and international organizations to act together to minimize gaps in disaster management. All humanitarian actors should identify ways to improve processes, systems, and information networks for data collection on the premise that appropriate analysis of accurate information facilitates sound decision-making. The absence of pre-established critical variables, common protocols, and standardized tools leads to the loss of resources, time and valuable opportunities in humanitarian response, which is most often reflected in the duplication of efforts. Several tools and services of OCHA are available to assist national authorities and the national and international humanitarian community in the management of information in emergencies. These good practices seek to harmonize actions and concepts related to the good management of information. We invite all humanitarian actors to learn about these products and services to improve efficiency in humanitarian response. The following are some key products and services available to the international and national humanitarian communities: HANNIA WOODMAN 61
  3. 3. Information Management Fact Sheet i. REDLAC Rapid Needs Assessment (RNA) What is it? In 2006, the regional interagency group REDLAC designed a methodology for rapid assessment of humanitarian needs for humanitarian teams in countries to facilitate the preliminary assessment of damage in the initial stages of an emergency. The methodology has been approved by over 27 humanitarian actors (UN, NGOs, IFRC, donors) from various technical specialties. Revised in 2008, the methodology offers a holistic humanitarian approach to response. What is its purpose? Whereas many organizations or institutions have their own tool of evaluation, none had been designed based on a holistic consensus of interagency concerns for rapid use. The RNA regional methodology proposes various tools (guide, questions, and verification short list) to facilitate the collection of data for analysis and decision-making. It covers comprehensive topics such as protection, shelter, and livelihoods, which are usually absent from traditional methodologies. The basic data collected through this methodology should be classified by sector to facilitate future operations of the specialized agencies. How can RNA materials and resources be accessed? All humanitarian agencies have access to RNA methodologies and tools, which can be found on Redhum. Support for training or the RNA application can be obtained from the HCT, REDLAC, or OCHA. HANNIA WOODMAN 62
  4. 4. ii. Post-disaster assessment Post-Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA) and Damage and Loss Assessment (DaLA) What is it? These two methodologies were developed by the international community to support the states in the multi-sectorial quantification of the economic impact of disasters and priorities that will be set during the rehabilitation and reconstruction phases. The Post-Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA) is a government-led exercise that gathers information on the disaster impact in a wide range of sectors, early and long-term recovery needs, and practices into a single and comprehensive report. The Damage and Loss Assessment (DaLA) of the Economic Commission for Latin America and Caribbean (ECLAC) conducts a detailed analysis of the damage to infrastructure and property, the loss of income and related costs, and macroeconomic and social side effects after an event. What is its purpose? The PDNA provides an estimate of the value of disaster related damages and of needs related to the human development of the affected population. The final product of the PDNA is and early recovery framework defining recovery needs and priorities. How can PDNA and DaLA be initiated? The affected government can request PDNA from the UNDP; DaLA, which costs USD 50,000, can be requested from ECLAC. HANNIA WOODMAN 63
  5. 5. iii. Emergency Situation Report (SITREP) What is it? SITREP is a UN system product produced by UNETT to report a situation after a disaster or natural event and consolidates information about response activities carried out during the event. It is must be completed in order t o r e c e i v e additional funding and response teams. What is its purpose? A SITREP summarizes quickly and accurately the overall situation of an emergency and the activities developed by humanitarian agencies. It advocate for less visible humanitarian issues or commonly overlooked emergencies such as droughts. HANNIA WOODMAN 64