The Disaster Management Centre (DMC) in Sri Lanka is currently conducting a comprehensive study to evaluate the preparedness and response of public, private, and community organizations at national, district, divisional and local level in Sri Lanka specializing in disaster management. The study aims to gather recommendations for improving disaster management in accordance with the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (SFDRR).
As part of this study, the DMC hosted a series of Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) from February 1st to 3rd, 2023, inviting key stakeholders representing Government, UN, the private sector and INGOs in disaster management. On February 3rd, 2023, a team representing A-PAD Sri Lanka participated in the 3rd FGD, which was held at the conference hall of the Disaster Management Centre.
The stakeholders representing INGOs, and the private sector were segregated into 3 groups where effective FGDs took place. During the discussion, the representatives of A-PAD Sri Lanka presented their insights on the lacunas of disaster response and preparedness in Sri Lanka and provided recommendations for improvement.
Some of the key takeaways from the FGDs included the importance of having a Flood map for insurance companies, the need for an efficient and accountable entity to disseminate accurate weather warnings, the need for forecast-based financing systems, the requirement of multi-sectoral working groups, the necessity of a heritage site response plan, insurance schemes for first responders such as life guards etc, and the need for a comprehensive literature review illustrating the success stories and the extensive work done by the DMC.
This national initiative enabled A-PAD to network with many stakeholders and provided the opportunity for potential partnerships with many organizations. While A-PAD SL’s contribution to disaster management was highlighted by the representatives of A-PAD, the team also forwarded several recommendations for improvement in the field of Disaster preparedness and management.
While the discussion concluded in a fruitful manner with groups presenting their individual outcomes to all participants, it was noted that the overall study by the DMC will be an important initiative towards enhancing disaster management in Sri Lanka, and the continuous participation of key stakeholders will play a critical role in achieving this goal.