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Development Account Projects

Capacity-building for risk and disaster management systems through the use of information and communications technologies in Africa

Background:

Africa is one of the regions most affected by man-made and natural disasters. Disasters affect most critical resources and services, including communications, transportation infrastructures, the water and electricity supply, housing; health-related services, the supply and/or availability of food and educational facilities. Depending on the severity, disasters can impact the economic development of nations and affect people’s lives.
Moreover, disasters are being recognized as resulting from unsustainable development practices, such as encroachment into high-risk areas owing to, inter alia, rapid urbanization, construction of unsafe shelters, pollution, loss of biodiversity and land degradation. This increased trend of disaster risks is jeopardizing the significant progress made towards meeting the United Nations Millennium Development Goals. Although some natural disasters, such as floods and droughts, cannot be prevented, the impact of disasters on communities, resources and infrastructure can be reduced or mitigated by promoting change in sustainable development practices. It is also evident that the poor suffer the most from the impact of disasters and are most likely to lose their lives and livelihoods. Disasters make food scarcer and destroy the already limited means the poor have to make a living. In this respect disaster risk reduction practices can help the poor become more disaster-resilient and food-secure. Hence, policymakers are becoming more aware of the need to link disaster risk reduction with poverty reduction strategies and programmes.
The project intends to build on the existing efforts of the Information Technology Centre for Africa by undertaking training of trainers who will provide support to African Governments and stakeholders in risk and disaster management and creating awareness of disaster risk reduction strategy-related policies. Communities of practice will be established as the result of interactions at the time of on site and online capacity-building and exchanges between the trainers and ECA staff to stimulate exchange of experiences and follow-up activities during and at the end of the project. An online risk-monitoring platform will also be developed.
The project therefore intends to build the capacity of trainers and policymakers in management, preparedness and early warning systems for disasters and risks related to the economic environment and natural hazards. Ten Government/stakeholder experts in disaster risk reduction, information and communications technologies and economic risk management in each of the four African subregions from East, North, Southern and West Africa will participate in the training of trainers activities, which will be conducted on site and online.

Objective:

To build the capacity of African policymakers, experts and stakeholders who work in the area of economic risk, disaster risk reduction and management, and emergency response-related research and activities, through exploitation of information and communications technologies and online platforms for risk and disaster management, and their integration into the national policies of Member States

Expected accomplishments:

  • Enhanced capacity of Member States to exploit information and communications technologies for economic risk and disaster management
  • Enhanced capacity of Member States regarding their preparedness to monitor risks and manage disaster
  • Disaster risk management and early warning systems developed by Member States

Implementation status:

In progress.