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< prev - next > Disaster response mitigation and rebuilding Reconstruction pcr_tool_2_resources (Printable PDF)
Checking whether the information has been put
together in a professional way, in the way it is
presented, indexed, referenced, and whether it
is accurate and authentic;
Verifying that it is up-to-date, e.g. was published
recently or gets updated regularly;
Taking into account opinions or
recommendations from other practitioners or
PCR is about more than just building, and
therefore quite a wide range of information
resources may be required. Electronic resources
can be very useful for that, but searching for what
is really relevant can be problematic, particularly
when using a general web search. A poorly targeted
search can produce endless lists of resources. On
such lists, the more useful resources will usually
be at the start; therefore a detailed checking of
the list could be limited to the first 50, or perhaps
100 results. The risk of this approach is that some
useful resources may be overlooked; this can
happen if these are on relatively new pages on the
web or pages not actively linked to sites, which
results in them getting less ‘hits’ and ending up
lower on search lists.
Practitioners will require information
themselves, to be able to do a better job; most
information accessible through e.g. the internet
or publications is in a format that practitioners
will be able to understand and use, if it is relevant
to the project at hand. The same information,
however, may be much harder to understand by
project beneficiaries, because it may be in the
wrong language or too complex given their level
of education or experience. Very often, therefore,
practitioners will have to adapt and translate such
information into formats that are more accessible
to local builders and residents. How that can
be done is treated in more detail in PCR Tool 9:
Communicating Better Building.
ICTs supporting reconstruction in Gujarat
Following a massive earthquake in 2001 three
of the main organisations involved in relief
and recovery in Gujarat, India, quickly decided
to set up a joint information system to avoid
duplication of efforts and to be informed about
recovery needs, enabling them to prioritise
resource allocation. These three were the
NGO Kutch Nav Nirman Abhiyan, the United
Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
and the Gujarat State Disaster Management
Authority (GSDMA). Together they established
the Kachch Rehabilitation Information Cell
(KRIC). This initially provided GIS updates, but
was expanded to cover reports of needs and
damage assessment and resource allocation
as well as regular reports of activities from the
field. This regularly updated database was very
useful for practitioners working in the villages
through 22 resource centres in the area. It
contained an assessment of the skills, capacities
and resources of NGOs and other organisations
working in the area so that they could be
directed to support recovery in particular
villages based on needs identified there. For
further information see the article written on
15/04/2000 by Hemang Karella, UNDP at
The resource centres mentioned are another
good element of the Abhiyan networking
project, particularly in that they dealt with
presenting options for people rebuilding their
housing and recovering their assets. For more
information on Abhiyan see: http://abhiyan.
Practitioners do not usually recount how they have
searched for particular information. It has been
impossible to detect any actual case studies of
information searches on reconstruction, or even
related fields. The following example is one of
reconstruction agencies collaborating to establish a
shared web-based information resource for post-
earthquake reconstruction.
Information will have to be provided in an appropriate format for
it to be used in capacity building, as in this course for extension
workers in the Peruvian Andes.