The Guyana Red Cross Society hosted the Caribbean Community Resilience to Disaster Risk (CCRDR) regional Steering Committee meeting during 12-14 January. Partners from Dominica Red Cross, Jamaica Red Cross, Canadian Red Cross, International Federation of Red Cross Red Crescent Societies, the Red Cross DRM Resource Center in Barbados and CIDA met to review work done during the first 8 months of the project, and approve the second year work plan and budget.
The CCRDR project endeavors to impact disaster risk reduction (DRR) programming at regional, state and community levels. At the regional level, the project will research the targeting mechanisms used by CDEMA and civil society organizations and recommend an approach that can be standardized and piloted to determine vulnerable communities. In addition, the project will contribute to and advance a key regional priority: to overcome a lack of consolidated CBDRR knowledge available to both government agencies and civil society organization through the establishment of a Caribbean Disaster Risk Management Resource Centre in Barbados. At the state and community levels, the Red Cross National Societies (Dominica, Jamaica and Guyana) will continue to collaborate with National Disaster Management Agencies (NDMAs) and other partners in the implementation of the community activities.
Although the project had a late start, the Guyana Red Cross Society began implementation of community disaster risk reduction activities in 5 communities in Regions 5 and 6; namely Broken-Water Land, Straatcampbell-Chance, Perth, Mara and Baracara. These communities were selected using a community selection tool, which rated various indicators of vulnerability, in collaboration with the Civil Defense Commission and the Ministry of Local Government. Although implementation is at various stages in each community, activities include facilitating of Vulnerability and Capacity Assessments (VCAs), training of community disaster response teams, facilitating the developments of community (linked to regional and national) and family disaster preparedness and response plans, and implementation of a community risk reduction micro-project.
A key characteristic of this project is the implementation of a monitoring and evaluation tool, in order to assess the level of impact of the activities on the community. The tool has been developed in collaboration with the John Hopkins University.
Partners at this meeting also observed a simulation exercise carried out in the community of Mara, located on the East Bank Berbice River. The community of Mara has recently completed the community disaster response team training, and used the simulation to test their knowledge and capacity to respond within their