Various Stakeholders in Disaster Management

According to the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UN/ISDR), there are several key parties that play major roles in the disaster management process. These include communities, particularly those most vulnerable; local governments; national governments, regional institutions; NGOs, Corporations, Media and scientific communities. They have been discussed below:

Communities

Communities, particularly those most vulnerable are the key stakeholders in disaster management. These are most vital to people-centred early warning systems. Their input into system design and their ability to respond ultimately determine the extent of risk associated with natural hazards.

Key issues in context with the communities are as follows:

  • The vulnerable communities need to be aware of hazards and potential negative impacts to which they are exposed and be able to take specific actions to minimize the threat of loss or damage.
  • The most essential determinant of the selection of the disasters on which system should focus is the geographical location of such communities.
  • For example, while the coastal communities need to be educated and prepared for the possibility of a tsunami, a community in Himalayas can be educated to respond to an early warning system for landslides and earthquakes.

Local governments

The local governments need to have considerable knowledge of the hazards to which their communities are exposed.   Thus, the local governments must be actively involved in the design and maintenance of early warning systems. It should also have capacity to instruct or engage the local population in a manner that increases their safety and reduces the potential loss of resources on which the community depends.

National governments

The national Government are responsible for policies and frameworks that facilitate early warning. They are also responsible for the technical systems necessary for the preparation and issuance of timely and effective hazard warnings for their respective countries. The key issues with national governments are:

  • The national government should ensure that warnings and related responses are directed towards the most vulnerable populations through the design of holistic disaster response and early warning frameworks that address the specific needs of the related micro- and macro-level actors.
  • The provision of support to local communities and local governments to develop operational capabilities is an essential function to translate early warning knowledge into risk reduction practices.

Regional institutions and organizations

These should provide specialized knowledge and advice in support of national efforts to develop or sustain the operational capabilities of countries that share a common geographical environment.

International bodies should provide support for national early warning activities and foster the exchange of data and knowledge between individual countries. Support may include the provision of advisory information, technical assistance, and policy and organizational support necessary to ensure the development and operational capabilities of national authorities or agencies responsible for early warning practice.

Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) play a critical role in raising awareness among individuals and organizations involved in early warning and in the implementation of early warning systems, particularly at the community level. In addition, they play an important advocacy role to help ensure that early warning stays on the agenda of government policy makers.

The private sector has a diverse role to play in early warning, including developing early warning capabilities in their own organizations. The private sector is also essential as they are usually better equipped to implement ICT-based solutions. The private sector has a large untapped potential to help provide skilled services in the form of technical manpower, know-how, or donations of goods or services (in-kind and cash), especially for the communication, dissemination and response elements of early warning.

The media plays an important role in improving the disaster consciousness of the general population and in disseminating early warnings. The media can be the critical link between the agency providing the warning and the general public.

The scientific community has a critical role in providing specialized scientific and technical input to assist governments and communities in developing early warning systems. Their expertise is critical to analysing the risks communities face from natural hazards, supporting the design of scientific and systematic monitoring and warning services, fostering data exchange, translating scientific or technical information into comprehensible messages, and disseminating understandable warnings to those at risk.

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