Quarterly Program Performance Report






Caribbean Disaster Mitigation Project

Second Quarter, 1995

(April 1, 1995 - June, 30 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

July 31, 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

The Monitoring and Evaluation Consultant visited Jamaica, Dominica, Saint Lucia and the Dominican Republic to introduce the "Managing for Results" methodology and review the draft M & E matrices with RHUDO/CAR and project managers. Recommendations were made concerning additional data needs and development of forms to detect changes attributable to project activities. Where needed, more specific workplans are being developed by project managers to support their decision-making needs as well as the evaluation process.

A Public Education, Information and Training Strategy was developed by the RHUDO/CAR Regional Disaster Advisor and submitted for comments to the CDMP and USAID. The CDMP Regional Coordinator prepared a scope of work for implementation of the strategy, and contracted the Caribbean Institute for Media Communication to develop an overall media plan for the CDMP.

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.

The 1995 CDMP project budget and rolling workplan were circulated to all TAC members in January 1995.

B. Risk Audits and Lifeline/Critical Facility Loss Reduction

1. Accomplishments in the current quarter

CEP completed the final report on the LUCELEC facilities vulnerability audit, and the report was circulated for review. CEP has started work on the Manual and Guidelines which will incorporate elements from all three consultancies.

Contact was made with Applied Research Associates, the leader in wind risk studies to T&D installations. A proposal to undertake a pilot wind risk management study and produce recommendations for the entire region is under study.

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 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.

A project review meeting was held at the offices of CARILEC in February 1995, to review the work of all consultants (CEP Engineering: LUCELEC facility audit; McLean Engineering: LUCELEC T&D audit; USFS Jerry DeGraff: DOMLEC Hydroelectric audit)

C. Risk Assessment/Hazard Mapping

1. Accomplishments in the current quarter

a) Jamaica: Montego Bay Coastal Flooding: A meeting was held with the Jamaican Institute of Engineers on May 15-16 to review the first set of Montego Bay flood maps. The engineers questioned the selection of the "100 year storm" and were concerned that the single 100 year flood line might be translated by government in a strict zoning restriction. It was agreed that CDMP would produce a range of maximum flood lines corresponding to different storm categories and angles of approach. This it was felt would provide government with better information on which to base any planning or building legislation.

b) Jamaica: Kingston Multihazard Mapping. The CDMP regional coordinator and the RHUDO/CAR regional disaster advisor completed scopes of work for the various components of this activity. These have been reviewed by the different implementing agencies, and several meetings have been held to discuss their concerns. Each agency has been asked to submit a detailed work program and time-line. These will be reviewed by the CDMP team and integrated into a comprehensive work program. There exists no large scale cartographic base for the Kingston Metropolitan Area. CDMP therefore will have to include its production in this activity. Arrangements have been explored with the University to produce these maps in digital form.

c) The CDMP regional coordinator submitted a proposal to the National Land Policy Committee at the Office of the Prime Minister recommending the incorporation of various disaster management policies and techniques. These have been accepted by the Committee and will be submitted to the Cabinet.

d) The Caribbean Meteorological Institute (CMI) has received an update of the TAOS RTFS (Real Time Forecasting System) model software and users manual, based on recommendations that emerged from using the first version installed in December 1994.

e) Belize: Flood Hazard Assessment. A national GIS base for the flood hazard assessment was constructed using Landsat TM Imagery acquired from the Land Information Council (LIC) in Belize. A coastal flood hazard assessment was undertaken by producing maximum envelopes of water (MEOW) for various storm categories. Arrangements were made for a 10 day mission of the CDMP GIS consultant in September to review the results with the local technical agencies, to install the coastal flood data base in the LIC and to develop applications for land use planning. CMI approval was sought to install the updated TAOS RTFS model in the Belize National Meteorological Office during the same mission.

f) Dominican Republic. A meeting was held with the Director of the National Meteorological Service and the Military Cartographic Institute to review the earlier prepared national-scale wind hazard and storm surge hazard maps for each one of the Saffir-Simpson categories for the island of Hispaniola. These maps are now being modified to incorporate the comments of these institutions. It was established that there were no tidal gauge readings available to calibrate the storm surge model.

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.

CDMP project staff of OAS and RHUDO/CAR visited Belize in January 1995 at government's invitation to program a storm surge and flood hazard assessment for the country.

CDMP prepared wind and storm surge hazard maps for Hispaniola

D. Improved Building Standards, Codes and Practices

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

a) Accomplishments in the current quarter

In April the CDMP regional coordinator and consultants held a series of meetings in Antigua and Barbuda with public and private sector representatives to review the draft code. Support for the project was obtained from the Prime Minister's office. Comments from the public meetings are being incorporated in the code. Consultations were held with Dominica regarding start-up of activities in that Island.

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.

Antigua & Barbuda and Dominica commented on a model building code prepared under a UNCHS-sponsored program for the OECS countries, and thus qualified for assistance.

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

a) Accomplishments in the current quarter

1) Saint Lucia: With the break-up of the CARITAS-NRDF partnership, a new contract was prepared for CARITAS, enabling it to continue the project as originally designed, including the operation of a revolving loan fund. During this quarter, CARITAS completed new market surveys in targeted communities to identify participants in the project. NRDF organized a training course for builders, and continued its home improvement program which incorporates a safety upgrade/retrofitting component.

2) Dominica: As of June 30, NDFD had conducted four training workshops and started retrofitting activities with the disbursement of 4 loans. Eleven loan applicants were put on the waiting list as the loan seed fund was exhausted. Negotiations were started to speed up access to the CHF loan fund, and to identify possible local funding.

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.

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.

NRDF was successful in attracting substantial local funding for a revolving loan, and to start its own housing improvement program with a safety upgrade/retrofit component.

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) On May 23-24, CDMP and the Camera de Aseguradoras de la Republica Dominicana (CADOAR) held a two day workshop on Probable Maximum Loss (PML) calculation. Five US based risk management firms were invited to make presentations on the second day to give participating insurance companies an opportunity to gain information about conditions for contracting PML study services.

b) In Jamaica, little progress was noted in following up on the recommendations of the workshop held in the Fall of 1994. JAGIC and the Principal of the Insurance College are still interested in organizing a training course for underwriters in basic vulnerability assessment. CDMP is exploring how CAST can be used as technical resource for such course.

c) CDMP contracted Mr. Arthur Evans as lead consultant for the preparation of a working paper on catastrophe protection in the Caribbean. The objectives and outline of the paper were prepared in consultation with the Chairman of the CARICOM working party on insurance and reinsurance. At the invitation of the OAS, the World Bank has joined the effort. Consultants from CDMP and the World Bank visited Trinidad during the IAC Annual General Meeting, and Jamaica to consult with the chairman of the CARICOM working party.

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:

1. Dominican Republic

a) Accomplishments in the current quarter

The Permanent Committee and Operational Unit reviewed and revised the "Plan de Preparacion para Desastres del Comite Dominicano del Proyecto de Mitigacion de Desastres en el Caribe", setting out detailed procedures for coordination and collaboration among the private, NGO and public sectors.

A detailed workplan for implementation of the CDMP strategy in the Dominican Republic is now complete.

A national training course on Disaster Administration was held April 2-7, 1995 for 26 representatives of major NGOs, businesses and government institutions. On OFDA scholarships, three members attended the April 29-June 3 CPI workshop in Nicaragua, to be certified as facilitators; 3 others attended the May 17-21 Damage Assessment and Needs Evaluation course in Mexico.

Trainees are initiating informational campaigns in their communities to raise awareness about hurricanes and safety measures.

TV presentations, interviews and public speaking commitments continue. All CDMP TV appearances have been videotaped for future reference, use.

The News Bulletin was written, printed and distributed to more than 1000 offices and individuals.

The CDMP storm hazard assessment methodology/model was reviewed by the Director, National Meteorological Office, and Director, Military Cartographic Institute. Local data is being collected to validate local maps. The Military Cartographic Institute has provided a map of part of the island's north coast showing the potential for tsunami-induced flooding.

b) 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.

Media presentations were initiated to inform the private sector and NGOs and to generate interest in CDMP objectives and activities.

The Permanent Advisory Committee established working groups for each strategic element of the project (Training, Coordination/Communication, Information, Public Education, Community Initiatives) to prepare detailed workplans and budgets for implementation.

2. Haiti

a) Accomplishments in the current quarter

The CDMP project director and the Director of RHUDO/CAR went on a programming mission to Haiti from

June 12 to 15, 1995. Meetings were held with the USAID Mission, the OAS office, the Ministry of the Environment, the Office for Disaster Preparedness (OPDES), the Red Cross, Catholic Relief Services, Care International, and the UNDP. Based on the information gained from these meetings, four objectives were identified as guiding principles for CDMP activities in Haiti:

Strengthen the capacity of government planning and environmental management agencies to assess natural hazards and identify hazard prone areas

Promote the incorporation of hazard mitigation and loss reduction in the design and implementation of infrastructure construction and rehabilitation

Introduce community based disaster preparedness in ongoing humanitarian assistance and rural development projects

Assist the Office of Disaster preparedness (OPDES) in mobilizing resources of the NGO community for disaster preparedness and prevention.

It was agreed that CDMP would hire a local project coordinator to oversee all CDMP activities. A draft project description and a scope of work for the project coordinator were prepared and are under review by the interested agencies in Haiti. (See Annex 1 and 2 to this report). The search for candidates for the position of project coordinator was initiated.

G. Post-Disaster Mitigation Missions

1. Accomplishments in the current quarter

The World Bank has incorporated the recommendations of the CDMP post-Debby landslide hazard assessment in their Reconstruction Program, which includes the creation of a National Watershed Management Plan. No new activities took place this quarter

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.

An updated landslide hazard map and recommendations for landslide-resistant design of roads and infrastructure, landslide avoidance through land use controls, and farm practices that ensure greater hillside stability were submitted to the Government of St. Lucia and the World Bank.


H. Regional Workshops

1. Accomplishments in the current quarter

The CDMP was invited to the 17th Session of the RAIV Hurricane Committee of the World Meteorological Organization in Guadeloupe, April 4 - 8, 1995. The CDMP project director and GIS consultant presented the TAOS storm hazard assessment model and the pilot applications that are presently under development: the coastal flood hazard mapping application in Montego Bay, and the storm impact projection model using live weather forecasts, installed in the Caribbean Meteorological Institute (CMI). The presentation was followed by extensive questions demonstrating great interest on the part of the participants. Dr. Bob Sheets, chairman of the committee, warned that the model still needs to be tested, and suggested that it be evaluated by the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Agency (NOAA). The representative of NOAA suggested that the CDMP model and the French model, developed by Meteo France and presented at last year's committee meeting, be run on the same test data, provided by NOAA. The test took place in June. NOAA has communicated its satisfaction with the results, and has scheduled an extensive further study of the TAOS model, to be carried out during the next quarter. A report by NOAA is expected at that point.

OAS was invited by the Caribbean Development Bank to assist the Bank with addressing natural hazard concerns in its project preparation and appraisal procedures. It was agreed that this could best be achieved through a training course for Bank staff. Using the experience gained from similar courses offered in Central and South America, and more recent experiences from CDMP activities, a proposal was made to CDB for a three day training course on incorporating natural hazard considerations in the project preparation process. The course is scheduled for July 24-26, 1995 at the CDB offices in Barbados.

2. Accomplishments to date since program initiation

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 Port of Spain, March 1995.

The CDMP project director 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 1995.

The CDMP project director presented a paper on "Engaging Planners and Investors in the Assessment of Storm Risk in Jamaica" at the Ninth Applied Climatology Conference of the American Meteorological Society, in Dallas, January 1995.

The CDMP regional coordinator participated in the French sponsored ICAROS workshop in Dominica, March 1995.


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.