To assist the countries with these activities, the GRIP has developed a comprehensive solution package for disaster risk assessment, which consists of 5 areas of technical support and services:
- Systematic Inventory and Evaluation for Risk Assessment (SIERA) – SIERA is to support the country to understand its current situation, issues and challenges, strengths and weaknesses, gaps and external needs, etc, in the context of disaster risk assessments, aiming to create clearly-defined baselines for formulating realistic and reasonable implementation plans for disaster risk assessments.
- National Disaster Observatory (NDO) - NDO is to support the establishment of a sustainable institution, which includes a nation-wide network of disaster observers, for the systematic collection, compilation, and interpretation of historic disaster-related data, providing sound inputs to better disaster preparedness and response that can be incorporated into the national DRM/R strategy.
- National Risk Assessment (NRA) - NRA is to support the country to create a comprehensive national disaster risk profile for formulating evidence-based national strategy for DRM/R.
- Urban Risk Assessment (URA) - URA is to support urban or municipal administrations to generate a sound evidence of disasters and risks for their urban and contingency planning.
- Capacity for Risk assessment (CRA) - CRA is to support the country to develop a sustainable mechanism for risk assessment by enhancing the capabilities of national institutes based on a learning-by-doing approach.
All the above-listed 5 services can be implemented either entirely or partially, depending on the capability level of the countries and their special needs for risk information. For the time being, the solution package has been already applied in several countries. For example, in the GRIP Demonstration Countries (i.e. Mozambique, Ecuador, and Sri Lanka), the whole package is being implemented, whereas Armenia, funded by BPAC/UNDP, is implementing risk assessment activities as the first phase of a 5-year comprehensive DRM program.
For most countries, it would be a good practice to start Disaster Risk Assessments (DRA) with carrying out a Systematic Inventory and Evaluation for Risk Assessment (SIERA) to have a standard diagnosis of the current situation in DRM/R, identifying needs and assessing existing capacities. Accordingly, GRIP has developed a methodology for the Systematic Inventory and Evaluation for Risk Assessment (SIERA) whose implementation takes 3-6 months, depending on the country political situation and technical expertise. The results of SIERA not only serve as a good basis to understand the situation from where we are starting and also to start engaging authorities and stakeholders, but also can be presented at an open workshop to get the agreement and support on the activities that would follow up.
Regarding the way to implement the solution package, GRIP would provide the methodologies, training, technical support and advice, and coordination assistance that could be required. Since the main objective is to build local capacity, especially at the institutional level, it will be important to engage national and local institutions, rather than individuals, for the implementation of these activities. By doing so, we will promote the incorporation of these activities into the regular activities of the local institutions, which in many cases have already the mandate to be working on these issues. Through this, we will be trying to ensure sustainability of these activities. It is the only way. With consultants, one can get the results but no capability remains and the effort is usually not more than an isolated, no sustainable activity. Additionally, working with national institutions results in much lower costs since the relevant institutions will use their own staff who are going to be trained and will continue working for the organization in the long-term but with increased capacities and knowledge. Any funding provided to the institutions will serve for institution strengthening rather than going to individuals.