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Civil Planning and Coordination Mechanism in Disasters

The page provides an overview of Coordination and Planning Mechanism of international responders in disasters where Aerial Photography can support the process.

European Union, European Commission (DG ECHO Humanitarian Aid & Civil Protection)  

The European commission established a Community Mechanism for Civil Protection. The main role is to facilitate co-operation in civil protection assistance interventions in the event of major emergencies which may require urgent response actions. Within tis framework the following tools for coordination are developed:
The MIC is the operational heart of the Mechanism. It is operated by DG ECHO of the European Commission and accessible 24 hours a day. It gives countries access to a platform, to a one-stop-shop of civil protection means available amongst the all the participating states. Any country inside or outside the Union affected by a major disaster can make an appeal for assistance through the MIC. It acts as a communication hub at headquarters level between participating states, the affected country and despatched field experts. It also provides useful and updated information on the actual status of an ongoing emergency. Last but not least, the MIC plays a co-ordination role by matching offers of assistance put forward by participating states to the needs of the disaster-stricken country. Other tools are the Common Emergency and Information System (CECIS) , a training programme, and Civil protection modules.

Mechanism associated with the UNITED NATIONS
The International Search and Rescue Advisory Group (INSARAG) is a network of disaster prone and disaster-responding countries and organizations dedicated to Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) from collapsed structures and operational field coordination. INSARAG was established in 1991, following initiatives of international search and rescue teams who responded to the 1988 Armenia earthquake. The United Nations was chosen as the INSARAG Secretariat to facilitate international participation and coordination.
The United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC) is part of the international emergency response system for sudden-onset emergencies. It is designed to help the United Nations and governments of disaster-affected countries during the first phase of a sudden-onset emergency. UNDAC also assists in the coordination of incoming international relief at national level and/or at the site of the emergency. UNDAC teams can deploy at short notice (12-48 hours) anywhere in the world. They are provided free of charge to the disaster-affected country, and deployed upon the request of the United Nations Resident or Humanitarian Coordinator and/or the affected Government.

Red Cross & Red Crescent Movement
Regional Disaster Response Teams (RDRT) are a cost-effective regional disaster response support system that is entirely staffed by members of National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. The aim of RDRTs is to actively promote building of regional capacities in disaster management. An RDRT team is composed of National Red Cross or Red Crescent Society volunteers or staff, usually members of their own national response teams, trained to work as a team and bring assistance to National Societies in neighbouring countries. They are made up of a core group of people with cross-sectoral expertise, such as health, logistics, water and sanitation, as well as generalist relief workers. Most are vastly experienced at providing disaster response in their own countries as well as regionally.
Field Assessment Coordination Teams (FACT) are made up of experienced Red Cross Red Crescent disaster managers who support National Societies and IFRC field offices to respond effectively to disasters. FACT team members have technical expertise in relief, logistics, health, nutrition, public health and epidemiology, psychological support, water and sanitation, finance and administration, as well as language capabilities. FACT is on standby and can be deployed anywhere in the world within 12-24 hours, for a period of 2 to 4 weeks.

United States of America  
Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) - 
Disaster Assistance Response Teams (DART)

If the scope of a disaster merits, OFDA deploys a Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) to the affected area, and activates an on-call Washington, D.C.-based Response Management Team (RMT). This system is based on the incident command system and tailored to international response. DARTs may include technical specialists in health, nutrition, shelter, agriculture, protection, livestock, and/or water, sanitation, and hygiene who conduct rapid assessments and coordinate with sector specialists from U.N. agencies and other relief organizations. Administrative, communications, and information officers on the DART support assessment teams, including by relaying priority needs and recommendations regarding appropriate USG (United Staates of America Government) assistance to the RMT. When necessary, members of U.S.-based urban search and rescue (USAR) teams or other technical specialists deploy as part of the DART. In the event of U.S. Military involvement in a disaster response, OFDA may deploy a military liaison officer to the field or the relevant Combatant Command to coordinate activities between OFDA and military responders. The RMT coordinates U.S. Government (USG) strategy and activities in Washington, D.C., in support of disaster responses. Organized into three major functional areas— management, planning, and operations—the RMT serves as the primary liaison between the DART and all other USAID and USG entities, including the U.S. Congress. The RMT takes the lead role in the operational aspects of the disaster response, determining the best method to activate and coordinate resources. (source: Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Asistance - Annual Report 2009)

Planning and Coordination Processes

The Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC)

The Emergency Relief Coordinator in close coordination with the Inter-Agency Steering Committee (IASC) initiated an ambitious reform of the humanitarian system. The Cluster Approach operates at global and country level.  On the country level the Humanitarian Coordinator – with the support of OCHA – retains responsibility for ensuring the adequacy, coherence and effectiveness of the overall humanitarian response and is accountable to the Emergency Relief Coordinator. At the country level its task is to ensure appropriate coordination with all humanitarian partners (including national and international NGOs, the International Red Cross/Red Crescent Movement, IOM and other international organizations), through establishment/maintenance of appropriate sectoral coordination mechanisms, including working groups at the national and, if necessary, local level.

Post Disaster(Crises) Need Assessment (PDNA - PCNA)

The United Nations (UN) - (UNDG) United Nations Development Group and the World Bank (WB) decided within a framework on crisis and post crisis situations on a common operational platform for coordinated post-crisis responses. One of the mechanism is the use a common methodology for both post-conflict and post-disaster needs assessments (PDNA) and recovery planning. The PDNA is a government-led exercise, with integrated support from the United Nations, the European Commission, the World Bank and other national and international actors. A PDNA pulls together information into a single, consolidated report, information on the physical impacts of a disaster, the economic value of the damages and losses, the human impacts as experienced by the affected population, and the resulting early and long-term recovery needs and priorities. The Post-Disaster Needs Assessment and Recovery Framework (PDNA/RF) together comprise an approach to harmonize the assessment, analysis and prioritization of damages, losses and needs by a range of stakeholders (United Nations agencies and programmes, the World Bank, donors, non-governmental organizations) in support of the national government.