Moving forward from day one of Synergizing Resilience, in which participants learnt about basic terminologies related to resilience, the objective in day two was to build on the learning, and apply assessment methodologies and tools. Experts on DRR were invited to train participants about these tools in relation to hazards, vulnerabilities and capacities.
The first session acknowledged that multiple factors contribute to disasters including a fragile physical environment, social systems, local customs and power dynamics. To reduce the impact of these disasters, it was agreed the development of advocacy work was essential for mitigation and disaster preparedness.
While leading the sessions, Qaswar Abbas of ICRC Pakistan, presented DRR models and Vulnerability Capacity Assessment (VCA) tools. VCA is a participatory tool to assess people’s exposure and capacity to deal with natural hazards. It contributes towards community-based disaster preparedness programmes at the rural level.
DRR Coordinator for IR Pakistan Syed Shahid Kazmi told the participants that VCA itself is best geared to addressing issues at the local and community level. It is a tool for designing DRR and resilience building projects. The more people within a community are involved with the VCA process, the less chance of surprise and the better chance of success. The objectives of VCA are critical as it requires commitment and should not be carried out without the agreement of people who will be most involved – especially communities, he said.
It is vital that time is taken to explain to communities what is involved in the VCA process in a way that they understand. Stakeholders involved in conducting VCA should own the whole process, Shahid explained at the event.
When asked about the resources for VCA, Shahid explained “The resources most needed to carry out a VCA are time, energy and commitment of staff and volunteers who are conducting it. But what is required the most is the spirit of putting it into practice,” participants of the event were told at the end of day.