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Knowledge Management

The study on Disaster History since Independence has been undertaken by the Department of Disaster Management in collaboration with Presidency University. The action research was completed and the detail report was uploaded in this web-site.
Netaji Subhas Open University is an open university imparting distance education in eastern India and introduced Diploma Course on Disaster Management for the fresher and practitioners as well. Right from syllabus development to book writing was executed from the Department of Disaster Management, GoWB. The faculty was also provided from the Department.
Hazard, Risk and Vulnerability Analysis
Hazard, Risk and Vulnerability Analysis (HRVA) for the district of Jalpaiguri was completed in November 2012 in partnership with Jadavpur University under GOI – UNDP Disaster Risk Reduction Programme. This HRVA contains 178 pages along with 21 maps, 22 tables and six chapters. The chapters are Introduction; Methodology for assessing Hazard Risk Vulnerability Assessment in the District of Jalpaiguri; District Profile – Social, Economic, Demographic, Geographic, Geologic, Climatic; Infrastructure and Structural Elements – Connectivity – Roads, Dams and Bridges, Housing Profile, Multi Hazard Profile of the District of Jalpaiguri; Block wise Disaster Risk profiling by taking Gram Panchayat as unit and Mainstreaming DM concerns into Developmental Plans and Future Actions. It was highly appreciated by Jalpaiguri district magistrate for utilization of this HRVA in the planning process of the district administration. The State Executive Committee of West Bengal SDMA also took the decision to execute the HRVA study for the entire State for which the committee has been formed. The tendering has already been floated & the selection for implementation agency is in progress.
Awareness Strategy
Multi prong approach was taken to disseminate DRR messages to all types of stakeholder right from community level to policy makers. Various Information Education Communication (IEC) materials have been developed and circulated for increasing awareness of the members of community, elected members of three – tier Panchayat Raj Institution and Government Officials. For example, English & Bengali calendars comprising do’s and don'ts on Flood, Cyclone, Earthquake and Landslide have been printed and distributed to districts, block and Panchayat officials. Similarly, leaflets in Bengali & English leaflets comprising history of Department of Disaster Management, achievement in the last few years were developed and circulated among the community at a large. Wall Writing and banners containing ‘dos’ and ‘don’ts’ messages on various natural hazards @150 each has been completed in DRR districts and non project districts as well. Jingles & spots for spreading awareness messages with regard to earthquake, cyclone & flood for targeting both rural & urban residents for dissemination through electronic media have been developed.
Campaign through DRR Congress
Two State Disaster Risk Reduction Congress was organized in Kolkata & Jalpaiguri in the month of April in 2010 and 2012. More than 700 persons from all over West Bengal and from several other states of the country including Panchayat representatives, Government officials, UN representatives, INGO/NGO community, Corporate, academicians, students and importantly member of the community were participants in the congress. The panel discussion on about 21 topics relating to disaster risk reduction during three days in the conference was elucidated by different scholars, high Government officials, disaster managers and practitioners. In addition, Twenty Five stalls equipped by INGOs / NGOs, University, Government Departments and corporate houses displayed their own DRR activities, documentary films, model CBDRR villages, photo gallery etc. and campaigned for various advocacy issues with illustrations like posters, demonstration, leaflet, booklet etc. National Disaster Response Force presented various search and rescue equipments and tools, also displayed their activities
The International Day for Disaster Risk Reductionis celebrated on any day from mid October to Mid November every year in West Bengal, through various medium in association with local and international NGOs at district and block levels across West Bengal for generating awareness about the importance of DRR involving all section of the society.
A disaster management stall is showcased for 5 days and sometimes for the whole month on the occasion of various fair (Mela) like Ganga Sagar Mela, district fair and also local fair in collaboration with Civil Defence, Fire Services and local NGOs.
A Bengali film “Chitto Jetha Bhoy Shunyo” (where the mind is without fear) of 40 minutes which tells shocking story of individual and family and also the coping capacity of all stakeholders particularly family, community and Panchayats during & after cyclone Aila. It also illustrates use of life support skills and community & family level preparedness. Display of this film is still going on at remotest villages of West Bengal.

Platform for State Inter Agency Group West Bengal
State Inter Agency Group West Bengal was formed in the year 2000 to promote GO-UN-NGO coordination and a united response and preparedness mechanism. Since 2009 State IAG is working in close collaboration with Department of Disaster Management, Government of West Bengal with a view to promote Disaster Risk reduction activities amongst all the stakeholders across the State. It is an autonomous in nature – a forum of GO, CSOs, INGOs & UN agencies with about 80 member organizations, Universities and technical institution. IAG has Executive Committee comprising UNICEF, UNDP, INGOs/ NGOs under chairmanship from Disaster Management Department, GoWB. IAG has organized number of capacity building and awareness campaign in partnership with Government for the last few years. A few are Workshop on Emergency Need Assessment (ENA), Workshop on Hazard Risk and Vulnerability Assessment (HRVA), Inter-State Exposure Visit to Odisha & Assam, Sharing of lessons learned & knowledge management through regular and proper documentation by various media/ channels, State Disaster Risk Reduction Congress, Coordination Meetings at State and district level at the time of emergency. A few are furnished below.
Workshop on Emergency Need Assessment (ENA) organized for 46 organizations from different districts and also many government officials was held in Jalpaiguri division, from December 7th to 12th 2011 in Burdwan division, from March 8th to 10th 2012 in the Presidency Division with the objective to minimize the vulnerability during the disasters.
Workshop on Hazard Risk and Vulnerability Assessment (HRVA)was organized at Loyola Pastrol Centre in Silguri for 26 different NGOs from North Bengal along with 9 Disaster Management Officers from North Bengal Districts. The objectives of the workshop ware to understand the methodology for carrying out a multi hazard risk assessment in different settings (urban and rural) and different types of geological, hydro-meteorological, ecological hazards etc. The workshop was also emphasized to the procedures to collect secondary data and information in regard to hazard assessment, vulnerability and loss estimation
Coordination Meetings: State IAG conducted coordination meetings on excessive downpour, flood-like situation for reviewing the extent of damage. Representatives from different NGOs in collaboration with district and block officials have paid a visit to the affected areas for multi-sectoral assessment in two spell during June and September 2011. On the basis of this assessment and proposed by the District Administration as well, UNICEF and other international agencies responded accordingly in few areas of Hooghly and Malda District.
Inter-State Exposure Visit : A seven member team including two disaster management officers from State IAG – WB went on an interstate exposure visit to State IAG Assam. The team visited DRR activities and had interaction with the representatives of State IAG of Assam & Government officials. The learning of this visit was widely shared to all partners and also with different line Departments to implement few leanings like Geo-tubing for embankments in Assam.
Development & Maintenance of Website : State Inter Agency Group West Bengal has developed website namely www.iagwestbengal.org.in. in association with Department of Disaster Management, Government of West Bengal under GOI – UNDP disaster risk reduction programme in West Bengal. Many information and documents of the department of disaster management like DM policy & framework, History of Natural Disaster - West Bengal, State disaster management plan and few IEC & training materials have been uploaded in this site. In addition, any advertisement relating to DRR of the State Government use to upload in this site for wide sharing & circulation among disaster management community in the State.
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