Armenia is at high risk of natural disasters, owing to high levels of exposure and vulnerability, as well as insufficient capacity to manage risks. Natural and technological hazards threatening Armenia urge the need of development and strengthening of Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) system in Armenia. Thus, in response to the interest expressed by the Government of Armenia, the Ministry of Emergency Situations (MoES) and UNDP Armenia engaged UNDP experts to work with MoES to design and facilitate a Capacity Development process for the national Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) system in Armenia in January 2010. Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA) 2005-2015 was selected as a basis for designing actionable indicators to measure the current baseline and identify the desired level of capacity for the DRR system.
Disaster Risk Reduction Capacity Development process in Armenia has been an innovative exercise for number of reasons: I) it adapted the UNDP Capacity Development Methodology for DRR; which was the first time in the region; II) the assessment process established a measurable base line of DRR capacity in Armenia; and III) it directly engaged 6 key DRR organizations and was verified with a wide range of DRR stakeholders, at a national and local level.
Based on the results of the DRR capacity development process, an Action Plan for capacity development has been recommended to strengthen the DRR system in Armenia. The Action Plan focuses on three capacity areas:
1) Core organizational capacities;
2) Technical capacities; and
3) Community engagement and cooperation.
National platform was one of the priority recommendations and as a result of the joint efforts of the Ministry of Emergency Situations, UNDP and UNISDR and other DRR interested partners In December 2010, the Government of Armenia adopted a decision on formation of "ARNAP" (DRR National Platform) Foundation. Being a non-governmental organization, it provides opportunities for state, non-governmental, private and international institutions to participate in decision-making and consultation processes. At the same time, it provides opportunities for organizing and controlling day-to-day operational activities, implementing long-term projects; it also provides necessary flexibility to respond to new challenges.
Structure of the DRR NP presented below
Main players of the DRR NP are government authorities of Armenia, Ministry of Emergency Situations, and international and donor organizations working in the field of DRR, UN, Armenian Red Cross society, as well as scientific institutions, civil societies and experts.
At different stages, other participants may be involved in the process, including representatives of various state and public agencies and organizations, private sector and religious institutions.
Advisory Council (AC) The AC as external Body is the main forum of the DRR NP where regular discussions are held on main issues of the DRR system, recommendations are developed which become guidelines for the activities of the NP. Decisions on quantity and quality of the AC members are decided by the Board of Trustees (BoT). AC sessions are advisable to hold on quarterly basis, and call for special sessions, as required.
Board of Trustees (Board) is consists in 15 people, and manages the activity of the DRR NP in compliance with the legislation of the Republic of Armenia. The Board consists of -
1) eight representatives from the Ministry of Emergency Situations of the Republic of Armenia;
2) two representatives from the staff of the National Security Council of the Republic of Armenia (with the consent).
3) one representative from:
- Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Armenia;
- Ministry of Territorial Administration of the Republic of Armenia;
- Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Armenia;
- Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Armenia;
- Republic of Armenia Police Adjunct to the Government of the Republic of Armenia.
Board sessions are held, as required, at least twice a year. The Board assigns Director of the DRR NP who reports to the Board of Trustees.
The Board members perform their responsibilities without remuneration and on non-profit basis.
Director, administrative staff – a small staff headed by the Director works on organizing ongoing activities of the DRR NP. Organizational and financial decisions of the administrative staff are made by the Board of Trustees. The Director and the administrative staff assist in organization of the works of experts and thematic groups, and also initiate programs and services in accordance with the DRR NP objectives.
Thematic groups (TGs) – main functions of the DRR NP require formation of TGs and organization of their work. This will assist in effective use of human and other resources for overcoming long-term and short-term issues of the system.
Experts – one of the objectives of the DRR NP is to involve local and international experts for strengthening the DRR system in the country. In this sense, the DRR NP may expect active participation and assistance of international and donor organizations.
Programs – based on the DRR NP goals and objectives, special programs may be initiated and implemented to strengthen the DRR system and the DRR NP. Programs must be approved by the Board of Trustees.
Services – In accordance with its goals, the DRR NP can perform the following types of services:
1) Prevention of natural and technological disasters (preventive activities for collapsing and landslide phenomena);
2) Implementation of rescue activities in mountainous areas and other territories, accompanying groups, provision of water rescue services, implementation of anti-fire protection as ordered by organizations, installation and servicing of anti-fire, air conditioning and other systems in high and other buildings.
3) Conducting scientific and research studies, development and introduction of new technologies.
Objectives of the DRR NP
- Elaboration of DRR strategy and coordination of implementation. Improvement and development of the legislative field.
- Clarification of roles and responsibilities of DRR NP stakeholders, harmonization of agency interests, provision of functioning and cooperation between and among DRR NP stakeholders, efficient use of resources.
- Development of knowledge and learning, raising public awareness, strengthening of analytical skills.
- Development of DRR methodology, including improvement of monitoring system.
- Integration of DRR into development policies, program and planning.
- Foster Partnership and environment for developing a culture of preparedness and advocacy for disaster resilient communities.
Expected outputs of DRR NP
- Advocacy of DRR issues, DRR strategy and improvement of DRR sector legislative field.
- Increase the effectiveness of decision-making in DRR NP system.
- Introduction of DRR NP mechanisms, application of common methodology and creation of databases.
- Strengthening DRR NP capacities and knowledge in all levels, introduction of DRR studies in education system, as well as raising awareness.
- Inclusion of DRR in all development programs for empowering sustainable development of the country.
- Establishment of gender-sensitive DRR system.
- Expansion of integration into international cooperation, promoting implementation of HFA, implementation of Millennium Development Goals and provision of transparency, and assistance in regional development in DRR cooperation.
- Improvement of conditions for effective use of natural resources and protection of the environment.
- Capacity Building of various stakeholders for integrating DRR into the development planning, policy and programs
- Linking DRR into other sectored interventions and ensuring disaster proof development in any developmental initiatives
The goal of the DRR NP is to support in the establishment of multi-sectorial mechanism for DRR in the Republic of Armenia, reduction of risks of technological and natural emergency situations and reduction of and early recovery from implications of emergencies.
- ARNAP Advisory Board established based on negotiations and discussions.
- ARNAP short term working plan was developed and approved.
- The internal, administrative procedures and documents was developed and adopted.
- Donor mapping was conducted to identify potential donors to support the function and activities of ARNAP.
- ARNAP short-term (startup) strategy was developed to ensure the sustainability of the Foundations.
- ARNAP long term strategy was developed.
- Resource mobilization and partnership roadmap for ARNAP was developed with the involvement of an international consultant.
- DRR National Strategy and action plan were adopted by the Government of RA.
- 10 DRR regional teams were established for the decentralization of HFA and DRR National Strategy implementation in the local level.
- Bilateral partnership has been initiated with German Red Cross BW branch and German Federal Civil Defense System (BBK).
- Study tour to Germany to get exposed with the German experience in crises management and DRR at federal and regional levels.
- Local Level Risk Management concept was developed and tested in 40 communities.
- Memorandum of understanding on cooperation was signed with the Kyrgyz national platform.
- Community risk Certificate is developed and being tested in 12 communities.
- Local Level Risk Management educational common package has been developed in cooperation with MoES, UNDP and DRR stakeholders and distributed to 915 communities. Different thematic groups have been established (see the organogram).
- Several meetings, workshops and DRR events are being organized in cooperation with local and international organizations, Civil Societies, Ministries etc. Support is being provided to the people with disabilities related to (Employment, adaptation of working premises to their special needs, transportation etc.).
- Assist Armenian Delegation in preparation and participation of DRR VI Global Platform in Geneva.
- Assist in development of HFA Country Report.
Promote the implementation of priority actions of “Mainstreaming Adaptation and Disaster Reduction into Development” (MADRiD) program in Armenia in cooperation with UNDP, UNISDR, MoES and Global Education and Training Institute for Disaster Risk Reduction (GETI).