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AIT to Organize Disaster Workshops in India and Sri Lanka

AIT to Organize Disaster Workshops in India and Sri Lanka

Regional and Rural Development Planning field of study, School of Environment, Resources and Development, AIT, will organize a workshop on Local Institutions’ Response Towards Disaster and Risk Mitigation which will be held in Nagapattinam, India from 23 to 24 July 2007 and in Hambantota, Sri Lanka from 27 to 28 July 2007.


Disasters are on the rise and past two decades have witnessed the catastrophes across the world including the recent tsunamis. With the posing threat and persistent vulnerability to the frontier of the disaster, governments in Asia including India and Sri Lanka, have given special attention to institutionalize the disaster management into the development planning. Policies/programs are in place to prepare the community resilient towards natural disasters. Local institutions with varying capacities in terms of skills, knowledge and resources, are critical to implement the disaster management plans at all levels.

U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is implementing a U.S. Government (USG) program to support the development of the Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning System (IOTWS). The US IOTWS Program serves to support efforts to develop an “end-to-end” early warning system for tsunamis and other natural disasters in the Indian Ocean in coordination with the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commissions’ Intergovernmental Coordination Group for the India Ocean, which has the lead responsibility for coordinating the efforts of other donor nations and national governments in the regions and others.

In collaboration with the USAID under the Small Grant Program (SGP) of IOTWS, AIT is successfully implementing research programs to promote local preparedness and coastal mitigation for tsunamis in the Asian region.

This workshop is a part of the program designed to create awareness and identify the loose links/gaps to the national policies and local response in India and Sri Lanka. The sharing of experiences and the lessons learned would help the policy makers, practitioners, government agencies, communities to integrate the disaster management into development planning in the region.

Project Objective

The project aims to conduct an enquiry into the gap between the policies at the national level and practices at the local level in order to make the policy makers aware whether the policies are implemented in the manner envisaged and what are the gaps and lessons from earlier happenings. The project therefore, has specific objectives which are as follows:
1. To ascertain the level of awareness of the local institutions on the national policies on disaster preparedness and mitigation.
2. To enquire into the disaster preparedness level and competence of the local institutions towards post disaster rehabilitations
3. To identify the gaps between the policies at the national level and practices at the local level in two tsunami affected countries (India and Sri Lanka), compare them and draw some suggestions for the policy makers

Objectives of the Workshop

This workshop will provide the opportunity for the participants
i) To discuss and share the experience of pre and post disaster scenario in terms of evolving role of local institutions in disaster management.
ii) To showcase the perspective on disaster preparedness tools and materials
iii) To discuss the loose links/gaps between policies and practices

Workshop Participants: Government agencies, Non-Governmental Organizations, academic institutions, researchers, community based organizations, community leaders

For further details, please contact:
Dr. Mokbul Morshed Ahmad
Assistant Professor,
Regional and Rural Development Planning
School of Environment, Resources & Development
Asian Institute of Technology
P.O. Box 4, Klong Luang
Pathumthani 12120, THAILAND
Tel: (+66) (2) 524 5664
Fax: (+66) (2) 524 6431
E-mail: morshed@ait.ac.th

Project Manager
Dr.Mokbul Morshed Ahmad
Research Associates
Arvind Kumar
Anton Piyarathne

Please see further details: (pdf)