International Strategy for Disaster Reduction
Latin America and the Caribbean   

Newsletter ISDR Inform - Latin America and the Caribbean
Issue: 13/2006- 12/2006 - 11/2005 - 10/2005 - 9/2004 - 8/2003 - 7/2003 - 6/2002 - 5/2002 - 4/2001- 3/2001


Partners in action


CRID’s workshop: training for facilitators on capacity
building for local disaster information management

As part of the activities carried out in the context of the project for creation and strengthening of a “Central American Network for Disaster and Health Information” (CANDHI), the Regional Disaster Information Center for Latin America and the Caribbean (CRID) held a workshop between October 31 and November 4, 2005 in San Salvador, El Salvador. This regional event was entitled “Training for facilitators on capacity building for local disaster information management.” The CANDHI project is managed by the Pan-American Health Organization, funded by the European Community Humanitarian Office (ECHO) and implemented by CRID with the technical assistance of the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UN/ISDR).

This second workshop contributed to strengthen the work that CRID has been carrying out in various Central American countries in the field of disaster information management. It also represents an important component of the training process that ECHO is funding in the context of CANDHI.
The workshop brought together all the centers that currently constitute CANDHI: Panama (SINAPROC), Costa Rica (CNE), Nicaragua (CIES), Honduras (UNAH), Guatemala (USAC) and El Salvador (CEPRODE). It also gathered representatives of Salvadoran institutions such as the Ministry of Health, the National Emergency Committee, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Ministry of the Interior, as well as delegates from various organizations such as PAHO/WHO in Guatemala and El Salvador, the Masferrer Salvadoran University, World Vision, International Plan, CARE and UNAN in Leon, Nicaragua.


Participants were trained using a participatory methodology that included techniques to be applied through their role as facilitators. The workshop also aimed at providing a space to exchange experiences related to other training processes that CANDHI information centers have carried out, and at planning the activities that each individual center must implement in their respective countries, as part of the project. During the workshop, CRID fostered the exchange of opinions and viewpoints, and collaborative efforts as a means for promoting work relationships within the network.

In addition, the training workshop contributed to strengthen the capacity of all participants in the use of methods and techniques that will enable them to play a pivotal role as facilitators during the next step of the project. During this next stage, all CANDHI centers will organize and hold workshops related to disaster information management in their respective countries. These training activities will be intended for government officials, associations and NGOs, among others. In this manner, the knowledge acquired by these participants will be replicated in their countries and at different organizational levels.

The agenda of this second workshop also included issues related to information for decision making in emergency and disaster situations; a toolkit for disaster information management, which included a discussion on its contents and its promotion in countries where CANDHI works; training for information users; the creation of printed material and digital collections; analysis and assessment of the capacities built during the digitalization process implemented by the CANDHI network; metadata management; document identification and sorting; access to and retrieval of information sources; the use of information and communication technologies (ICT) in information centers; criteria for and evaluation of open-source application to information source management; planning and organization of information services on the Internet; a web-based project; and best practices for successful projects.

At the end of the activity, the participants highlighted the importance for these countries to take on the responsibility of working together to build and strengthen their capacities, and to focus on joint efforts for the creation of a regional system. They also expressed the need to strengthen the commitment of each institution of the CANDHI network, so that specific goals are met, services are improved, knowledge is put into practice, and products are developed to support the work done by CANDHI and by people involved in disaster reduction and other related areas.

For additional information on the CANDHI project, please visit http://www.crid.or.cr/crid/Echo/proyectos_CRID.html. You may also send an email to crid@crid.or.cr or write to P.O. Box 1455-1011 Y griega, San José, Costa Rica.