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



News from CRID the Regional Disaster Information Center for Latin America and the Caribbean

CRID Supports Disaster Information Management

The Regional Disaster Information Center for Latin America and the Caribbean (CRID) is nurturing a Regional Disaster Information System aimed at helping institutions exchange disaster-related information throughout Latin America and the Caribbean.

With this goal in mind, CRID has organized several activities, some of them in 1999, others in 2000, in order to build national and local capacity in the compilation, processing, and dissemination of information on the subject.

The Regional Disaster Information System (SRID) met from 16 to 19 August 1999 in San José, Costa Rica. Its participants included representatives from 30 organizations and information units from 11 countries in Latin America. They agreed on a Declaration of Intentions for the Establishment of the Regional Disaster Information System; the document is available at One of the key products of that meeting was the expansion and validation of the Controlled Vocabulary on Disasters.

Between October and December 1999, CRID organized training workshops on Disaster Information Unit Management in three Central American countries: Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala. Subjects included disaster information management, description and analysis of bibliographic information, the use of MicroIsis software for automated information processing, the Controlled Vocabulary, and the use of the Internet for accessing sources of information. The workshops were designed to help disaster prevention managers and the staff responsible for disaster information units, and the intention was to generate a multiplying effect in participants’ countries of residence.

Costa Rica played host to several activities for strengthening the systematization and exchange of information about risk management. On 5 August 1999, the first National Meeting on Disaster Information Management was held in that country with the participation of government officials and academics. Participants recommended the establishment of a Disaster Information Network for Costa Rica comprised of representatives from all social sectors.

As a follow-up, the first Meeting of the Disaster Information Network for Costa Rica was held on 22 February 2000 in San José. The National Risk Prevention and Emergency Management Commission (CNE) coordinated the encounter, during which a document was presented to formalize the establishment of the network and secure financing for its development.

Another result of the meeting was the Pilot Project for a Disaster Information and Documentation Center in the Chorotega Region of Costa Rica, in the country’s northwest. The CNE and CRID sponsored meetings on the subject by the Local Emergency Committees and the Chorotega Regional Emergency Committee. The first Participatory Workshop on the Development of the Chorotega Disaster Information Center was held in March in order to carry out consultations among various organizations in the area. Information about this meeting can be found at Currently, the Center is compiling and processing information, but that has not stopped it from providing basic services to local committees and the general population.

These meetings have helped bring about positive results such as the following:

  • Awareness has been raised concerning the importance of information for risk management.
  • Experiences have been exchanged for identifying and exchanging existing information resources at the local and national levels.
  • The need to locate and organize risk management information has been acknowledged.
  • The knowledge has been appropriated by the relevant communities, in order to provide information services and products.

Extra-regional activities for mid-2000 will include a visit to the University of Cuyo in Mendoza, Argentina, and the Environmental and Disaster Research Institute of the University of Trujillo in Peru.

For more information, please contact:
Regional Disaster Information Center for Latin America and the Caribbean (CRID)
Apdo. 3745-1000 San José, Costa Rica
Tel: (506) 296-3952
Fax: (506) 231-5973