Quarterly Program Performance Report






Caribbean Disaster Mitigation Project

First Quarter, 1995

(January 1, 1995 - March 31, 1995)





Prepared For:

Cooperative Agreement No. 940-1008-A-00-3522-00







Issued By:

Organization of American States

Department of Regional Development and Environment

1889 F Street N.W.

Washington, DC 20011

April 30, 1995



A. Project Description

Based on exploratory work started in early 1991 by the USAID Offices of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) and Regional Housing and Urban Development Office of the Caribbean (RHUDO/CAR), and subsequent participation of the Housing and Urban Programs (PRE/H), the Caribbean Disaster Mitigation Project (CDMP) was formulated, and the Organization of American States was selected as the lead international agency responsible for its implementation. In September 1993, the General Secretariat of the Organization of American States and the US Agency for International Development signed a $5.0 million OFDA-funded agreement to provide technical assistance for disaster mitigation in selected nations of the Wider Caribbean Region. The CDMP is scheduled to be implemented over a five-year period. The purpose of the project is to establish sustainable public/private sector mechanisms which measurably lessen loss of life, reduce the potential for physical and economic damage, and shorten the disaster recovery period in the project area. Participant nations include the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica, Belize and the Eastern Caribbean countries that are receiving ongoing assistance from USAID.

The CDMP is being implemented by the OAS Department of Regional Development and Environment (DRDE), in conjunction with RHUDO/CAR, located in the USAID/Jamaica Mission, and USAID missions in the region. A Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) is providing policy guidance and periodic review of the project. This committee includes representatives from CARICOM, the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Response Agency (CDERA), RHUDO, OFDA, the USAID Missions in the region, the OAS, and the last coordinator of the Pan-Caribbean Disaster Preparedness and Prevention Project (PCDPPP).

B. Problems Addressed by the Program/Project:

unsafe location and construction of the built environment;

limited ability to identify hazard-prone areas;

inadequate technology transfer and institutional development required for disaster mitigation;

insufficient preparedness and prevention in the non-governmental sectors and lack of coordination with the public sector;

inadequate insurance underwriting practices region-wide.

C. Project Objectives and Outcomes, and How They Will Be Achieved

The CDMP focuses on major issues in the disaster/development linkage in the Caribbean, which include:

achieving sustainable development by reducing natural hazard vulnerability in existing and planned development;

improving public awareness and development decision-making, by accurately mapping hazard-prone areas; and

better managing natural hazard risk and maintaining adequate catastrophe protection for the region.

The six project outputs are:

1. Community Preparedness -- or "community adoption of self-sustained preparedness practices"

2. Hazard Mapping -- or "providing improved information for risk management"

3. Risk Audits & Lifeline Loss Reduction -- or "reduction of vulnerability of basic infrastructure and critical public facilities"

4. Improved Building Standards and Practices -- or "establishment of appropriate safer building guidelines and applications"

5. Property Insurers' Risk Management -- or "linking insurance prices to risk and improving availability of coverage"

6. Post-Disaster Mitigation -- or "incorporating mitigation measures in reconstruction efforts"

Inputs to the project consist of:

* technical assistance

* technology transfer

* public information

* demonstrations

* training

* studies



A. Project Management and Administration Functions

1. Accomplishments in the current quarter

In accordance with the recommendations resulting from the third Technical Advisory Committee meeting in Kingston, Jamaica, on Dec 12-14, 1994, a final CDMP project budget and rolling workplan for 1995 were prepared and circulated to all TAC member.

2. Accomplishments to-date since program initiation

The CDMP has established a project management office at Headquarters, a regional coordinating office in Jamaica, and a project office in the Dominican Republic.

The project has convened three meetings of the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC), established to provide policy guidance and periodic review of the project.

Pilot activities were initiated in all areas of the project, in accordance with the detailed workplan for October 93 - December 94.

Working with the Regional Coordinator and in consultation with RHUDO/CAR, the Project Director completed budgeting and program planning for the calendar year 1995.

An evaluation specialist has been contracted by OAS to design and implement a project monitoring and evaluation system. The specialist, working with CDMP and RHUDO/CAR staff and consultants, has produced a final draft of the performance "logframes", now called "monitoring and evaluation matrices".

CDMP staff and the project's evaluation specialist attended an OFDA reporting seminar and revised the project quarterly reporting format, as directed, to reflect the structure and content of these matrices.

CDMP reformatted its financial reporting to reflect recorded expenditures.

CDMP reported on its activities to the new OAS Secretary-General.

B. Risk Audits and Lifeline/Critical Facility Loss Reduction

1. Accomplishments in the current quarter

After review and comments by all parties involved, the report on the vulnerability audit of the hydroelectric installations of the Dominica Electric Utility (DOMLEC) was finalized during this quarter. A project team meeting was held at the offices of CARILEC on February 8, 1995, with the participation of CEP Engineering and the CDMP project manager to review the progress on the vulnerability audit of the facilities operated by the St. Lucia Electricity Services Ltd. (LUCELEC). The report on the transmission and distribution prepared by McLean Engineering was found to raise questions regarding design standards which could not be addressed by the consultant. Arrangements were made to have these questions addressed by another consultant. The draft report of CEP was reviewed in light of the damages experienced under tropical storm Debby. Additional investigations were identified, which were completed during this quarter by CEP Engineering. CEP will present its final report during the 2nd quarter of 1995.

2. Accomplishments to-date since program initiation

In the first quarter of 1994, CDMP and the Caribbean Electric Utility Services Corporation (CARILEC) agreed to collaborate on a pilot vulnerability assessment of an electrical utility.

The St. Lucia Electricity Services Ltd. (LUCELEC) was selected as a pilot site and, in February 1994, an OAS/USAID CDMP team undertook a programming mission to the site and prepared a scope of work for a pilot utility vulnerability audit of the facilities owned and operated by LUCELEC.

To ensure that the study would be representative of all types of installation in the Caribbean, an assessment of the hydroelectric installations of the Dominica Electric Utility (DOMLEC) was included.

An inception report, including a preliminary assessment of the vulnerability of LUCELEC's facilities and recommendations for mitigation measures, was presented and discussed in a meeting with the consultants, CARILEC, LUCELEC and the CDMP team on Sept. 30.

Field work was completed on the hydroelectric installations in Dominica.

C. Risk Assessment/Hazard Mapping

1. Accomplishments in the current quarter

a) The Jamaica Office of Disaster Preparedness (ODP) and the Jamaica Institution of Engineers collaborated in an analysis of available information on historical storm surge events in the Montego Bay, Sav La Mar and St. Mary areas. CDMP conducted a series of TAOS runs to compare model outputs to actual observations made by Conliffe-Wilmot-Simpson following Hurricane Allen and historical records of the 1912 and 1933 hurricanes which affected Sav la Mar and Montego Bay. Model outputs are being transferred to digital maps. A workshop with the technical agencies and engineers is scheduled for May 15-16, to review the results and validate the model.

b) The Jamaica Town Planning Dept., ODP, CDMP regional coordinator and Seismic Research Unit of UWI/Trinidad have prepared draft scopes of work for the different components of the Kingston multi-hazard assessment, an activity scheduled for initiation in 1995.

c) A memorandum of understanding was signed between the OAS and the Caribbean Meteorological Institute (CMI) whereby CMI is licensed to use the TAOS RTFS (Real Time Forecasting System) model software for training purposes, and to install it in selected national meteorological offices after staff of such offices have been duly trained. CDMP has completed the revision of the users' manual based on feedback received from CMI staff.

d) From January 22 to 26, CDMP staff of OAS and RHUDO/CAR visited Belize to program a storm surge and flood hazard assessment for the country. The team met with the Cabinet Secretary, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Natural Resources, and officials of the Ministries of Science and Technology, Housing and Urban Planning, and the Land Information Council. Mr. Frank Panton, Head of the Hydrology Department, was appointed as coordinator of the government inter-agency which will be counterpart to the CDMP. The team visited the area between Belmopan and San Ignacio, which was selected for the riverine flood assessment. The storm surge assessment will be carried out for the entire coastal area. During the visit, the team also reviewed existing databases, and learned of the USAID-funded Natural Resources Management Plan (NARMAP) and allocation of $50,000 under this program as counterpart to the CDMP activity. A draft workplan was prepared and submitted for review to the national team.

e) During this quarter, CDMP prepared a series of national-scale wind hazard and storm surge hazard maps for each one of the Saffir-Simpson classes for the island of Hispaniola. These maps were produced at the request of the Camera de Aseguradoras de la Republica Dominicana (CADOAR), which will use the maps as inputs to a national-level PML study.


2. Accomplishments to-date since program initiation

CDMP developed a PC-based numerical storm hazard assessment model (TAOS), and conducted a quantitative assessment of the tropical storm hazards affecting Jamaica.

A Technical Working Group (TWG) was formed from among the agencies directly interested in the hazard mapping and its applications. CDMP made available a GIS software package and GIS training to members of the TWG.

Coastal flooding hazard maps of the Montego Bay area were completed in late May. The maps were presented to the Mayor of the City of Montego Bay, and to the public at a seminar attended by 48 professionals, held on June 2, 1994, in Kingston.

The Montego Bay hazard maps are available to be used by the local Parish Council to identify safe evacuation routes and to sensitize residents in the identified risk areas, and by the Greater Montego Bay Development Company to identify vulnerable locations and the hazards which would threaten potential development sites.

The Portland Parish Disaster Committee received copies of these maps and requested that the coastline and river valleys of their parish also be mapped for natural hazards. The CDMP determined that requests like these would be best answered by Technical Working Group members once they have assimilated the training and have developed the capacity to operate the model.

The staff meteorologist of the Jamaica Broadcast Corporation (JBC - Television) was invited to participate in the storm hazard modelling training activities.

The TAOS Storm Hazard Assessment Model was installed at the Jamaica Office of Disaster Preparedness (ODP) and staff members of ODP, the Meteorological Office, and a representative of the Jamaica Broadcast Corporation (JBC) were trained in its use.

CDMP co-sponsored a Regional Floodplain Hazard Mapping Workshop in collaboration with the Hydrological Support Unit of the Underground Water Authority, a member-institution of the Jamaica TWG.

The Real Time Forecasting (RTFS) application of the TAOS storm hazard assessment model was installed in the Caribbean Meteorological Institute (CMI), Barbados, and staff of CMI, the National Meteorological Service and CDERA were trained in its application.

A one-week GIS training course in IDRISI was held at the Jamaica College of Arts and Sciences (CAST), attended by 16 participants selected by CDMP from institutions participating in the project's technical working group.

D. Improved Building Standards, Codes and Practices

1. Joint Building Code Strengthening Exercise for OECS Countries with UNDP/UNCHS

a) Accomplishments in the current quarter

Comments on the draft building code prepared under a UNCHS-sponsored program for the OECS were received from Antigua & Barbuda and from Dominica. Arrangements were made to start activities in these two countries under the joint UNDP/UNCHS -- USAID/OAS CDMP program. The project proposes to refine and strengthen the institutional and administrative capability to implement building codes, and includes substantive private sector participation and consultation. An international consultant and an Antigua & Barbuda-based consultant were contracted to carry out the exercise. A project start-up workshop was scheduled for Antigua & Barbuda for early April.

b) Accomplishments to-date since program initiation

Following CDMP participation in a workshop held in Barbados, January 1994, on harmonization of building code legislation (organized by UNDP/UNCHS and the OECS - Natural Resources Management Unit), a joint effort between UNCHS and USAID/OAS CDMP was planned in improving building standards and codes in the region.

A Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the General Secretariat of the OAS, the United Nations Development Program, and the UN Centre for Human Settlements (Habitat) which commits the signatories to a joint pilot project for Antigua & Barbuda, Dominica, and St. Lucia.

2. St. Lucia and Dominica Low-Income Housing Retrofit Pilot Projects

a) Accomplishments in the current quarter

1) Mr. Franck Daphnis took over from Mr. Elliot Smith as CHF project officer for the CDMP project.

2) The CDMP team visited St. Lucia twice during this period: a first visit by the CDMP project manager, and the CHF president and project officer; and a second visit by the CDMP evaluator and the CHF project officer. From these visits it became clear that the earlier-than-anticipated capitalization of the project's loan fund by local financial institutions had imparted a new dynamic to the project's activities in St. Lucia. With the commitment of more than EC$300,000 by local banks to the project's revolving loan fund managed by NRDF, and the substantial demand for housing improvement in the lower income areas, NRDF saw an opportunity to expand the project to a larger home improvement project of which vulnerability reduction will constitute a part. Following a series of meetings and consultations, the new configuration for the CDMP Safe Roof activities in St. Lucia is as follows:

. NRDF would operate a home improvement and retrofitting program largely with its own technical resources and a 100% locally-generated loan fund, with limited assistance from CDMP.

. CARITAS would continue to implement the existing low-income housing retrofit program as originally designed, with CHF contributing to the revolving loan fund, and with technical support from CDMP.

. Both NRDF and CARITAS agreed to cooperate in areas such as community outreach, training of builders, exchange of information, and cross-referrals.

Meetings between the two parties to further detail cooperation and coordination are being facilitated by the OAS Office in St. Lucia, and are expected to continue through April 1995. Market-sharing will likely be based on the loan amounts, with CARITAS taking on retrofitting jobs below EC$3,000, and NRDF taking on housing improvement/retrofitting jobs above EC$3,000.

CARITAS is preparing a work plan taking into account its new and expanded responsibilities in the continuation of the project. The work plan is expected to be finalized during April 1995.

3) In February 1995, the CDMP regional coordinator, the CHF president and project officer visited Dominica to monitor the progress made by the project. The National Development Foundation of Dominica (NDFD has made substantial progress. One-day training/outreach programs were completed in the target communities of Carib Territory, Petite Savanne and Soufriere/Scotts Head. As the project proceeds, nine additional communities will receive the same program. As of March 31, NDFD had received applications from six households in these three communities. Technical appraisal of the projects is awaiting the conclusion of the five-day training workshop for building artisans by the Safe Shelter Initiative (SSI), scheduled for April 1995. NDFD also planned a publicity campaign in the form of a local TV call-in program with staff from NDFD, SSI, the director of the OAS Office, and the National Disaster Coordinator. In late March, the CDMP evaluator visited the project and worked with NDFD staff on setting performance standards for the project.

b) Accomplishments to date since program initiation

CDMP, in association with the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Response Agency (CDERA) and USAID's Caribbean Regional Housing & Urban Development Office (RHUDO/CAR) conducted a region-wide inventory of NGOs and private sector institutions which could be effective agents in the promotion of hurricane vulnerability reduction for low income housing. Based on the analysis of this inventory, St. Lucia and Dominica were selected as pilot project countries.

The Cooperative Housing Foundation (CHF) was contracted by the OAS to work with these NGOs to advance this process and to negotiate the terms by which they will extend credit to seed a revolving loan fund over a three-year period.

In April 1994, representatives of each of the selected countries attended a one-week Regional Workshop in Jamaica, where they focused on the design, development and funding of National Hurricane Vulnerability Retrofitting and Safe Construction Programs.

In June 1994, a CDMP team travelled to these countries to facilitate formation of National Project Advisory Committees (NPAC) and selection of non-governmental lead agencies for the programs.

In August 1994, the lead NGOs were contracted for each country (CARITAS in St. Lucia, and the National Development Foundation of Dominica in Dominica) to develop and institutionalize the retrofit and safe construction programs, and to design and implement technical training programs, small revolving loan programs and publicity programs to promote retrofitting and safer construction practices.

In St. Lucia, CARITAS and the National Research and Development Foundation (NRDF) surveyed five communities and selected two (Dennery, Gros Islet) for intensive outreach campaigns and selection of participating households. Fourteen households were selected in Dennery, and 10 in Gros Islet.

The Sir Arthur Lewis Community College (SALCC) was contracted by CARITAS to train artisans and builders. Fifteen artisans of the participating communities were trained in time to start retrofitting activities in early January 1995.

The NRDF prepared loan approval criteria and loan application questionnaires, and decided to place its own capital into the revolving loan fund to supplement CHF's contribution of approximately US$ 30,000, at the target level of 1 EC Dollar to every US Dollar invested.

In Dominica, the National Development Foundation of Dominica (NDFD) completed community surveys and credit studies in 12 villages, and held outreach programs in 3 communities.

The Safe Shelter Initiative (SSI) was contracted to design training workshops and train estimators and builders in the selected communities.

A project management committee consisting of NDFD, SSI and the National Disaster Coordinator was set up.

E. Property Insurers' Risk Management

1. Accomplishments in the current quarter

a) Following the joint USAID/OAS-CDMP and JAGIC workshop held in the Fall of 1994, a technical committee has been established by JAGIC to explore ways of implementing the recommendations from the workshop. A meeting was held with the head of this committee and representatives from the Jamaica Institution of Engineers and RHUDO/CAR to discuss the engineering aspects. It was agreed that there needs to be a closer collaboration between the insurance industry and local engineers. In this respect, the following actions were identified for possible assistance from CDMP:

(1) A workshop aimed at the sensitization of architects, engineers, builders

and the insurance industry be undertaken. This workshop should facilitate

discussions on the training of underwriters in basic vulnerability assessment

and a training format for conducting training exercises.

(2) A series of technical manuals for the training of underwriters along with a

more technically oriented set for engineers and architects. These manuals

would utilize CUBIC as a reference document wherever possible.

Follow-up meetings to discuss the above with architects and builders are planned for the next quarter.

b) CDMP worked with the Camera de Aseguradoras de la Republica Dominicana (CADOAR) on the preparation of a high-level workshop on the methodologies for and contracting of Probable Maximum Loss (PML) studies. A resource person was contracted to prepare materials for the workshop, and several private-sector risk management firms were invited to make presentations in the workshop.

c) During this quarter, information exchange took place between CDMP and the CARICOM working party on insurance and reinsurance, and a request was received from the chairman of the working party for assistance in preparing an issue paper on insurance and reinsurance for the CARICOM Heads of Government.

2. Accomplishments to date since program initiation

Attempts were made to initiate collaboration between the CDMP and the Barbados-based Insurance Association of the Caribbean (IAC) in preparing a risk management strategy and workplan addressing issues of regional insurance. A proposal was made to facilitate the establishment of a data bank for the Caribbean insurance industry, to formulate policy and technical orientation, to develop training materials that might improve property risk underwriting practices, and to assist with a probable maximum loss assessment for the region.

CDMP began discussions with a variety of insurance groups based in the United States who could act as technical resources in assisting the Caribbean insurance industry. Included were the recently-created Insurance Institute for Property Loss Reduction (IIPLR), the Applied Insurance Institute, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and the American Institute of Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriters of the United States. The Boston-based IIPLR was selected as the lead resource since its mission is strongly related to the objectives of CDMP.

In association with the Insurance College of Jamaica (ICOJ) and the Jamaica Association of General Insurance Companies (JAGIC), CDMP convened a two-day seminar for Senior Insurance Management Executives on "Sector Initiatives in Underwriting and Probable Maximum Loss Calculation for Improved Reinsurance Availability", held in Kingston, Jamaica, November 17-18, 1995. The conference featured presentations by the Insurance Institute for Property Loss Reduction (IIPLR) and by experts from the region, and was attended by approximately 60 participants from seven countries (Jamaica, Bahamas, Barbados, Cayman Islands, Dominican Republic, Belize and the USA) representing individual insurance companies, brokers, industry associations and training institutions, government officials, and the directors of CDERA and the Insurance Association of the Caribbean (IAC).


F. Community Disaster Preparedness: Dominican Republic Pilot

1. Accomplishments in the current this quarter

The Permanent Committee and Operational Unit prepared detailed workplans and budgets for the project's five strategic areas. They also drafted statutes governing the structure and administration of the CDMP Project and its Permanent Committee in the Dominican Republic, and programmed activities for the next 4 years. Progress in each one of the strategic areas during this quarter was as follows:

. Training: An Instructors' Training Course was held February 12-18, 1995, for 28 trainees using local professionals trained and certified by OFDA/Costa Rica. The local trainers decided to establish a local NGO (CEPREMID) which will formalize their efforts in future training. OFDA/Costa Rica training materials are to be revised and adapted, as well as other materials (CII/Vivienda and Canadian).

. Coordination and Communication: The Permanent Committee prepared a draft CDMP Disaster Coordination Mechanism structure and policies based on a model developed for NGO's in Costa Rica. Several newspaper articles and television appearances were made to inform and integrate members of the NGO's and private sector.

. Information: Compilation of existing hazard information, including maps, continued. For the purpose of facilitating coordination, CARE, a major Dominican University - INTEC, and the UNDP disaster project initiated a detailed survey disaster related interests and capacities. An informational bulletin of the project's activities has been prepared and will be distributed before the end of May.

. Public Education: Informational materials are being collected from successful programs in Central and South American countries in strengthening local communities at risk from natural phenomena. The team designed a national campaign of presentations and lectures to reach threatened communities.

. Community Initiatives: The Permanent Committee drafted procedural guidelines for the promotion, selection and financing of community initiatives related to disaster mitigation and preparedness.

2. Accomplishments to date since program initiation

Following the project start-up workshop in February 1994, a temporary project advisory committee of 11 institutions was established.

The committee identified as a first priority for the project the establishment of a coordination and communication mechanism for effective involvement of the NGO and private sector communities in disaster management in the country.

Systematic interviews were held with interested NGOs and private companies to establish an inventory of their skills and resources and to identify focal points for emergency management.

On September 1, at the request of the committee, OAS contracted a local project officer for one year to support the committee and coordinate project activities. The project officer operates from the local OAS Office.

Several public awareness and information campaigns were organized.

A Permanent Advisory Committee was constituted for the project with five NGO members, five private sector members, and two representatives of public sector agencies.

The Committee held a major public seminar on November 10 to present the project strategy to more than 175 representatives of the private sector, the public sector and NGO community.

CDMP, CARE-Dominicana and USAID/OFDA-Costa Rica co-sponsored the first of five training courses in disaster management attended by 28 people, representing member organization of the CDMP Advisory Committee such as the Red Cross, Civil Defense, and several national NGOs and private companies.


G. Post-Disaster Mitigation Missions

1. Accomplishments in the current quarter

The CDMP completed an updated landslide hazard map and recommendations which describe methods for using post-Debby information to promote landslide-resistant design of roads and infrastructure, landslide avoidance through land use controls, and farm practices that ensure greater hillside stability. The report and maps were forwarded to the Government of St. Lucia and the World Bank. Follow-up is scheduled for early April to assist the World Bank in incorporating the recommendations in their Post-Debby Reconstruction Program, which includes the creation of a National Watershed Management Plan.

2. Accomplishments to date since program initiation

The Post-Disaster Mitigation activity was added to the set of CDMP program activities following the March 1994 meeting of the Technical Advisory Committee, which was held in New Orleans concurrently with the US National Hurricane Symposium. The activity was designed and budgeted prior to onset of the 1994 hurricane season.

CDMP has made provisions to assist countries affected by disasters in incorporating mitigation activities into reconstruction projects. These provisions have included contacting disaster focal point officers within the multilateral reconstruction/disaster relief donor/technical assistance community for the purpose of coordinating efforts.

Following Tropical Storm Debby, which caused approximately $37 million in damage to St. Lucia, the CDMP located specialists in hydrology and landslide hazards who are able to assess these damages and provide mitigation recommendations to the reconstruction effort.

A CDMP post-disaster team of two experts (a US Forest Service landslide specialist and a geotechnical engineering consultant) was dispatched to St. Lucia to carry out an inventory and analysis of the impacts of the landslides caused by the storm. The team worked closely with a World Bank Mission studying a loan application for reconstruction.


H. Regional Workshops

1. Accomplishments in the current quarter

a) The CDMP collaborated with PAHO and the University of the West Indies in sponsoring a regional workshop on "Disaster Mitigation for Medium-Sized Institutional Buildings" in Trinidad on March 13-17. This workshop involved participants from all the English speaking territories along with representatives from Venezuela, Costa Rica and Guadeloupe. The primary aim of the workshop was to:

(1) Identify key players responsible for the implementation of building

programmes (new construction, maintenance or retrofitting).

(2) Identify the important concepts to be implemented in order to reduce the

vulnerability of buildings to natural hazards.

(3) Identify where the major failures/problems exist in the implementation of

appropriate construction, mitigation procedures.

(4) Propose an action plan which will ensure proper and timely implementation.

CDMP supported the participation of 12 specialists from the region and one resource person. The CDMP regional coordinator and the RHUDO/CAR disaster manager also participated.

b) On February 7-8, the CDMP project manager and GIS consultant participated, by invitation, in a NOAA sponsored workshop on Atlantic Hurricane Vulnerability on Decadal Time Scales: Nature, Causes and Socio-Economic Impact, held in Coral gables February 7-8, 1995. CDMP presented the methodology and preliminary results of the storm surge assessment in Jamaica.

c) The CDMP was invited to participate in the Ninth Applied Climatology Conference of the American Meteorological Society, in Dallas, January 15-20,1995. The CDMP project manager presented a paper on Engaging Planners and Investors in the Assessment of Storm Risk in Jamaica.

d) The CDMP regional coordinator participated in the French sponsored ICAROS workshop held in Dominica over the period March 27-29. Based on the presentation of the Coordinator, two resolutions were moved by the Prime Minister, Dame Eugenia Charles, these were:

(1) That a meeting of all the countries currently undertaking a review of their

building codes or implementation mechanisms be convened. That

participants should include engineers, architects, government policy makers,

disaster managers and environmentalists. That these persons focus on ways

of implementing the various codes in their territory, bearing in mind other

outputs from the CDMP and other projects.

(2) That the CDMP be mandated to work closely with regional insurance

companies and associations and explore the possibility of establishing a

regional insurance company.


Programming, Planning, and the Technical Advisory Committee

In its first year of operation, the CDMP has progressed as planned. On June 29, 1993, prior to official initiation of the project, representatives of RHUDO/CAR, OAS, OFDA, and BHM (all members of the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) met to discuss a planning and evaluation strategy. Based on their discussions, the eight original project "outputs" noted in the project agreement were consolidated to produce five project "outputs" (See Section I - "Program Overview"). A sixth output, "Post Disaster Mitigation", was added by the expanded regional membership of TAC. This flexibility in programming and planning as determined by review and collaboration of TAC members has been essential in streamlining operations and focussing resources towards opportunities which have proven to be the most productive.

Achieving the Project Purpose

Progress in advancing the project purpose of "establishing sustainable public/private sector mechanisms which measurably lessen loss of life, reduce the potential for physical and economic damage, and shorten the recovery period in the project area" is clearly contingent on the adoption of mitigation and preparedness practices by governments, private organizations, investors, insurers, and communities. This may not be measurable during the project period, especially if significant natural hazard events do not occur after such mechanisms have been established. Such region-wide adoption is in turn contingent on the success of pilot project activities.

Achieving Project Objectives

The project objective of "increasing the number of governments, private organizations and communities adopting and investing in recommended mitigation and preparedness practices" is measurably progressing. Common obstacles to this progress have been the lack of commitment of national agency counterparts and their inability to provide essential staff time and support resources -- a situation often caused by the inter-agency political process. This has most notably been observed in the "Risk Assessment/Hazard Mapping" activities in Jamaica, where counterparts have been unable to dedicate the necessary staff time and hardware platforms as was agreed when collaboration with CDMP started. To overcome this, the CDMP has contracted individual lead agencies to produce specific outputs or lead regional workshops. Another strategy has been to increase efforts to obtain support for the project from the political directorate of the country.

Collaboration Between the Private and Public Sectors

A strategy for increasing effective collaboration between the private and public sectors has emerged: given the limited resources available through the CDMP, project information is targeted at senior level management in the context of joint exercises and workshops. This insures broad, industry-wide project dissemination and provides formal opportunities for private and public sector officials to meet and interact. To increase the number of communities which plan to invest in vulnerability preparedness and mitigation, the CDMP approach identifies government agencies and private sector organizations that have already established a working relationship with existing communities, and seeks to direct their joint efforts towards project objectives. This has involved the funding of regional and national surveys and the establishment of national-level Planning and Advisory Committees to develop mechanisms to respond to community-based initiatives.

Technical Working Groups and National Planning Advisory Committees: Abilities and Limits

The preferred means of overcoming obstacles to project performance and progress has been to negotiate solutions through the establishment of Technical Working Groups (TWG) and National Advisory Committees, which serve as fora for government agency and private sector representatives to meet, collaborate, exchange expertise and share resources. While this approach has proved to be effective, it has limitations: TWG's have been observed to disintegrate despite the best efforts of the members and the CDMP, often because member institutions may be experiencing organizational changes and financial stress for reasons unrelated to the CDMP. This results in their inability to maintain necessary participation in project activities. In these events the CDMP has dedicated extra resources to strengthening existing institutions to achieve project objectives. In the long-term, the CDMP may have to collaborate with other international donor agencies or well-funded private sector institutions who are willing to underwrite more extensive hiring of dedicated national project staff and the purchase of necessary equipment. The best test of the commitment of a collaborating government agency is its ability to contribute the needed human resources and equipment.


The CDMP's potential for achieving long-term measurable results lies in its ability, over the relatively short-term of the project period, to enable the disaster management and development planning communities in the region to develop an economy of scale for training activities and technology transfer, and to collaborate and share their expertise with those working in other sectors. The current project budget can only support careful selection and oversight of a limited number of pilot projects. However, the pilot projects have been designed to yield easily replicable methods and mechanisms for wide-spread dissemination of disaster preparedness and mitigation practices at the local, sectoral, national and regional scales. If the overall project continues along its current course, clearly-identified pilot project milestones will continue to be met, information on pilot project success (or failure) will continue to be clearly documented and disseminated, and essential gaps in disaster mitigation will continue to be addressed by well-trained and equipped professionals, and well-informed and empowered communities. The ultimate test of the success of the CDMP will be the measurement of reduced impacts after the occurrence of significant natural hazard events in the project area -- events which may not occur until long after the project has achieved its short-term objectives.