Emergency Preparedness and Contingency Planning

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					            Emergency Preparedness and Contingency Planning
                          Subgroup Meeting
                               Thursday, August 18, 2005
                                       OCHA

Present:
   1. Leah Weinzimer
   2. Pierre Gelas
   3. Gerry McCarthy
   4. Jeanine Cooper
   5. Elizabeth Muthuma
   6. Andy Featherstone

Minutes:

1. Discussion of IAWG/EPCP Subgroup
 IAWG profile has been heightened, especially after the two day CAP workshop
    (August 16-17). People perceive IAWG to be important.
 Even with the heightened profile and stepping up of activities, IAWG still needs basic
    secretariat and contributions from participating agencies to remain operational.
 EPCP group needs to define its objectives, goals, ways in which it links with other
    subgroups, ways it shares information during emergencies, etc.
Action Point:
    1. Redevelop summary of subgroup (Andy), to include the following:
     EPCP subgroup will work under the following circumstances:
            1. Emergencies in areas without good, existing infrastructure of NGOs
            2. Cross Border Emergencies
            3. Major Crises (subgroup would need an on-site office with regular admin
                support and short, periodic meetings)
     How will EPCP group function during an emergency?
        Define added value of subgroup in responding to emergencies –
            1. How could EPCP group shape an interagency assessment team? What is
                needed for a good assessment team? How will IAWG members share
                information from individual assessments? Key areas for assessments: 1.
                Skills capacity of team, 2. Determination of greatest needs, 3. Balanced
                response.
        Note: not all EPCP subgroup members have the managerial power within their
        organizations to shape what country offices do; regional joint assessments would
        only have value in certain places, where effective structures for assessments don’t
        already exist.
            2. Different agencies will have to contribute some resources, for example,
                increased admin support.
            3. In a complex emergency with serious political implications, IAWG would
                bring value through a joint voice, which may make it easier to put pressure
                on government, related parties.
           4. Some element of recovery should be built into response. This relates to
              preparedness, in that it is thinking through the whole plan from:
              pre-emergency  coordination  response  (development, which is a
              distinction, though artificial. Needs to be thought through: the quality of
              the emergency response will directly relate to quality of development)
           5. Part of functioning of EPCP group in emergencies is to ensure: 1.
              Parameters are understood, 2. Components put in place, 3. Everything
              possible is being done

2. Early Warning Systems
 For natural disasters EWS are easier to use, for political conflicts, more difficult
 How do you make the call that emergency exists?
 Need to define different types of emergencies, that warrant different responses –
    Tsunami simulation applied only to large scale, rapid onset, natural disaster
    emergency
 Now there are endemic emergencies like HIV/AIDS, these point towards the need for
    focus on long term response and development as opposed to just relief.
 If there is an imminent cross boarder emergency: a local problem with potential to
    grow into an emergency, there are two different forums for discussion:
    1. National offices that discuss operational issues
    2. EPCP sub group: regional actors should discuss what to do IF these become
       emergencies.
Action Point:
    1. EPCP subgroup should simulate other types of emergencies
    2. Rolling agenda item for subgroup meetings: are there any imminent cross
       boarder emergencies?

3. EPCP subgroup/ IAWG core group: suggested link
 EPCP group should link with the core group. The first part (half hour?) of the meeting
    will be devoted to core group issues (relating to Logistics, IT, Training). The rest of
    the meeting will turn into the EPCP group meeting.
 Core group should be able to upscale the secretariat of the IAWG in emergencies, for
    on-site assistance, sharing information and updates to other members.

4. IAWG Website info
 Key documents: OCHA reports, NGO/Red Cross order of conduct, OCHA IDP
    guidelines, links to humanitarian practice network, ODI, SACB, Fuse Net…
 Subgroup feature: will come out of subgroup meetings. May be asking too much to
    have someone write this each month. Should be secretariat responsibility.
Action Point:
    1. Andy will send Leah documents, suggested links


NEXT MEETING: Thursday, October 29th, 9:30 a.m., OCHA