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Title: Last Mile Hazard Warning System for disaster risk reduction in Sri Lankan villages : community organization
Authors: Udu-gama, Natasha
Date: 2008
Publisher: LIRNEasia, Colombo, LK
Abstract: The 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami was the largest natural disaster in recent memory in Sri Lanka and took more than 40,000 lives. In large part, due to the government’s lack of organizational capacity, despite the fact that inquiries had been made to implement a warning system much earlier. In March 2007, LIRNEasia, with the resources and coverage of Sarvodaya and its Community Disaster Management Center (SCDMC), successfully completed a pilot study of a “Last Mile” Hazard Warning System in thirty-two (32)1 Sarvodaya villages throughout Sri Lanka. The aim of this project was to evaluate the suitability of five ICTs deployed in varied conditions in selected villages for their suitability in the last mile of a national disaster warning system for Sri Lanka and possibly to other developing countries. As regards organizational capacity, the pilot demonstrated that mobile and fixed phones performed best since they required little or no training while more higher end technologies such as AREA, VSAT and RAD were more complicated, requiring more training. A hypothesis during the pilot phase purported that Sarvodaya level 4 villages would use and perform better with the ICTs than levels 1-3. Evidence found through the pilot demonstrates the congruity between highly organized communities and a better understanding and adoption of wireless technologies. This paper will address why community organization is significant to Sarvodaya and the HazInfo project within the context of disaster risk reduction, preliminary findings from the pilot supporting this argument, and policy recommendations for stakeholders.
Project Number: 103553
Project Title: Evaluating Last-Mile Hazard Information Dissemination
Access: Open Access
Copyright: Natasha Udu-gama
License: OA Permission License
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