ISDR Informs - The Americas
 
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Central American Probabilistic Risk Assessment (CAPRA):
Developing a Tool to Assess the Probability of Disaster Risk in Central America

The workshop also reinforced the notion that CAPRA should repeatedly make reference to the efforts already carried out under the Inter-American Development Bank’s Risk Indicator project, which includes three of the countries covered by CAPRA. Mention was also made of the Natural Hazard Atlas project and other regional proposals developed in coordination with CEPREDENAC. These activities should be “mapped” and included within CAPRA’s overall working strategy.

The importance of CEPREDENAC was highlighted as a key actor for linking national efforts to the CAPRA process. Participants also voiced concerns about how each country would be involved in the process, beyond the data collection phase. Specifically, participants questioned the way in which the CAPRA concept paper was developed without consulting the countries involved.

Representatives of the World Bank and the UN/ISDR responded by assuring participants that the CAPRA process is open to these countries and that the concept paper is a draft document that should be strengthened by the contributions of both CEPREDENAC and the national representatives. They also reiterated that the workshop held in Managua marks the beginning of the CAPRA process, with the participation of relevant national actors and regional institutions.

There were some reservations about the scope of the study. Suggestions were made to explore the possibility of establishing priorities based on strategic sectors per country or on criteria relating to critical infrastructure (schools, water and sanitation, hospitals, etc.). In general terms, participants mentioned the need to make CAPRA’s proposed scope more explicit and concrete, as it still appears very general as presented in the concept paper. It was also noted that the timeline included in the concept paper for implementing CAPRA is very ambitious and should be reviewed and evaluated in light of the region’s realities.

The workshop also reinforced the notion that CAPRA should repeatedly make reference to the efforts already carried out under the Inter-American Development Bank’s Risk Indicator project, which includes three of the countries covered by CAPRA. Mention was also made of the Natural Hazard Atlas project and other regional proposals developed in coordination with CEPREDENAC. These activities should be “mapped” and included within CAPRA’s overall working strategy.

The importance of CEPREDENAC was highlighted as a key actor for linking national efforts to the CAPRA process. Participants also voiced concerns about how each country would be involved in the process, beyond the data collection phase. Specifically, participants questioned the way in which the CAPRA concept paper was developed without consulting the countries involved.

Representatives of the World Bank and the UN/ISDR responded by assuring participants that the CAPRA process is open to these countries and that the concept paper is a draft document that should be strengthened by the contributions of both CEPREDENAC and the national representatives. They also reiterated that the workshop held in Managua marks the beginning of the CAPRA process, with the participation of relevant national actors and regional institutions.

There were some reservations about the scope of the study. Suggestions were made to explore the possibility of establishing priorities based on strategic sectors per country or on criteria relating to critical infrastructure (schools, water and sanitation, hospitals, etc.). In general terms, participants mentioned the need to make CAPRA’s proposed scope more explicit and concrete, as it still appears very general as presented in the concept paper. It was also noted that the timeline included in the concept paper for implementing CAPRA is very ambitious and should be reviewed and evaluated in light of the region’s realities.

One issue the workshop organizers posed to the participants was the identification of the institution that will maintain and administer the database required for developing the probabilistic assessment tool. Participants unanimously agreed that there should be one institution per country, rather than one single institution for the entire region, and that their selection will depend on the institutional context of each country. The main challenge will be to harmonize procedures and protocols so that each responsible institution can access the different primary sources maintained by the other institutions.

With regards to CAPRA’s institutional counterparts at the national level, there was a general consensus that the national CEPREDENAC commissions and the Ministries of Economy and Finance should be the logical focal points for CAPRA. Thus, participants pointed out the importance of developing an adequate strategy for marketing the proposal among the countries’ financial sectors, starting with getting the proposal into the hands of decision-makers within each country’s Ministry of Economy and Finance.

The World Bank representatives recognized the importance of using local consultants and responded positively to this concern as voiced by workshop participants. They also pointed out the importance of using national human resources when given the availability of local candidates with ideal profiles, turning to candidates from other countries of the region when no suitable local candidates are found, and using candidates from outside the region only as a last resort.

It was proposed that one of the first activities to be carried out by national consultants should be to assess the availability in each country of information relevant to CAPRA.

The workshop organizers (World Bank, CEPREDENAC, and the UN/ISDR regional unit for the Americas) committed to updating the concept paper to reflect the concerns voiced at the workshop held in Managua.This updated version will be available in the near future.

The UN/ISDR committed to maintaining a space on its website where general information on the CAPRA process and the results of the regional workshops can be found:
www.eird.org/esp/cdcapra/index.html (the information available at this website is in Spanish).


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