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Man holds a megaphone used to alert people when disaster strikes

SEPS

The Strengthening Emergency Preparedness Systems (SEPS) project aims to strengthen the capacity of communities at risk to prepare for disasters in the south east of Myanmar.

SEPS also works towards improving national and sub-national systems to be more responsible to the vulnerabilities facing communities in government and non-state armed group controlled areas. 

Key information
Location

50 villages in Kayin State and Southern Shan State

Timescale

September 2015-March 2018

Target population

20,766

Implementing partners

Karen Baptist Convention (KBC), Dear Myanmar (DMM) and Karen Environmental and Social Action Network (KESAN)

Consortium partners

Christian Aid, Dan Church Aid (DCA) and Regional Integrated Multi Early-warning System (RIMES)

Funded by
UKaid

Our approach

The project uses participatory processes and technical inputs from RIMES working closely with government departments and communities at-risk. Some of the tools used include the participatory, vulnerability and capacity assessment (PVCA), conflict sensitivity tools, early warning audits (EWA's) and analysis on technical aspects of operational early warning. These tools are used in both government control and non-government controlled areas.

These tools have provided greater insights on power imbalances, ensuring meaningful participation, following no harm and accountability practices in the targeted communities. 

The use of participatory tools, combined with the involvement of local partner organisations, community groups and members, has helped to gather reliable information - leading the way for robust analysis on various aspects of project design such as community based end to end early warning systems, conflict sensitivity and natural hazard specific planning.

Using communities' perceptions on the local drivers of risk allows communities, practitioners and policy makers to directly address community impacts. A combination of qualitative and quantitative methods are used to understand how emergency preparedness and early warning systems respond to climate change. These insights directly feed into the technology and science of early warning systems being led by RIMES.

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Results

  • The project has established a strong relationship with the government as well as with ethnic armed groups and local communities. This has increased community ownership over the project and improved the quality of the project implementation and long-term sustainability. Using local resources to save cost and speed up the implementation project activities have been promoted wherever possible.
  • The insights from the EWS audits carried out to assess the functionality and readiness of community EWS, have helped to identify strengths and gaps and design location-specific early warning mechanisms. These are based on 4 inter-related and interconnected components: risk knowledge, monitoring and warning service, dissemination and communication and response capability.
  • The project has been instrumental in bringing priorities at the forefront of risk reduction and development discourse through various interface meetings and forums such as Monsoon forums with the government authorities and other actors.
  • The project has engaged communities to raise their concerns through participatory tools and has also initiated the implementation of some of their collective action plans developed to strengthen disaster preparedness. Find out how the project helps communities prepare for disasters in this story
  • Investing in people's knowledge to mitigate risk has resulted in resilience champions, particularly women who are instrumental in working with their communities in preparing for and coping with disasters. Read this story about a woman's involvement in preparations ahead of disasters.
  • Township 'Monsoon Forums' were specifically introduced in the projects, giving communities the opportunity to interact and talk about their risks and concerns with policymakers as well as NGO's and the UN.

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‘We have organised women’s groups to prevent and be prepared for upcoming disasters.’
Daw Hla
Project participant and member of the new disaster management committees

More DEPP projects

Find out more about other Disaster and Emergency Preparedness Programmes

Related work and experience

Contact us

No.44, Pyay Road, 2nd floor, Bishop home, Dagon Township, Yangon, Myanmar

Yeeshu Shukla, Senior Programme Manager, Christian Aid
YShukla@christian-aid.org

+959  454861804