The main challenges
Due to its geographic location, the Dominican Republic is highly vulnerable to the impact of adverse events triggered by natural hazards or by human intervention. The project entitled ‘Strengthening the organizational and functional structures of Disaster Risk Management in the Dominican Republic’ sought to help reduce vulnerability and exposure to these threats.
Implementing actors and responsibilities
The project was coordinated by the National Emergency Commission and the Directorate-General for Multilateral Cooperation and financed by the European Union. It was carried out through the coordinated effort of the leaders and technicians of over thirteen institutions that participate in the National Emergency Commission.
A comprehensive project executed through more than twenty different actions
Over twenty actions have been carried out to achieve the three expected results of the project. In order to help foster a culture of disaster risk reduction, a national capacity-building plan for disaster risk management was developed for the National School of Risk Management, with a five-year implementation strategy. The project has enabled the execution of forty percent of this Plan, which translates into 30 training courses for over 1000 relevant actors at the local and national level.
Part of the project entailed the creation and launch of the National Integrated Information System (SINI), which aims to organize and leverage data about threats, vulnerabilities and risks in order to gage the capacity for response of institutions charged with managing disasters.
At the regional level, a regional Caribbean meeting welcomed 170 participants from 15 countries to exchange experiences and foster regional connections, collaboration and cooperation.
In order to strengthen resilience and local disaster risk management capabilities at the municipal level, as well as to promote sustainable development in vulnerable areas, an analysis was made of the Prevention, Mitigation and Response Committees, and high-risk human settlements were evaluated and prioritized. Furthermore, seven community networks were created, trained and ratified: 3 in Santiago de los Caballeros; 2 in San Juan de la Maguana and 2 in San Felipe de Puerto Plata.
In coordination with the National School of Risk Management, the Autonomous University of Santo Domingo and the Caribbean University, over 121 evaluators were trained in safety indicators for critical infrastructure. They carried out practical evaluations of vulnerability, security and resilience levels.
An innovative country tool developed to determine security indicators for aqueducts was applied to 20 major aqueducts by simultaneous multidisciplinary teams including geologists, engineers, administrators and technicians from the service providers.
Additionally, in collaboration with the National Office for Siesmic Evaluation and Vulnerabilities of Infrastructure and Buildings, a standard methodology was designed and validated to assess the seismic vulnerability of infrastructure and buildings.
Through its various actions and results, the project contributed to the strengthening, awareness, capacity building, equipping and empowerment of the actors involved in disaster risk reduction and of the institutions. This follows the Dominican government’s national policy, centered on territorial security with a sustainable, transformative and inclusive approach, to continue building a stronger and more resilient nation.
Year: 2014 – 2019
Implementing Agency: National Emergency Commission
Benefiting Zone: Dominican Republic
Funded by: The European Union through the Natural Disaster Risk Management Programme in the CARIFORUM.