Crowdfunding Civil Defense Day 1

Educating youths and adults about disaster awareness information in the past is uninspiring, often one is drowning in complex concepts, terminologies, and technicalities while coasting along a day or three days of workshops which would have not been better than the alternative, reading the manual. These types of capacity development has its place, but I’m proposing an alternative tool for disaster awareness education that progressive educators believe in, which is engaging learners through simulated play in teaching ideas. Would you rather have fun playing a board game that will introduce you to disaster risks, hazards, and humanitarian action? or would you be cold and disengaging while you lecture somebody about the details of DRR? The choice is yours, but if you want to have fun while learning about disasters with your friends, family, and organization. Please support the crowdfunding campaign at the spark project here: https://www.thesparkproject.com/projects/view/Civil-Defense-The-Board-Game! 😀

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The boardgame was first conceptualized during one of the many sleepless nights while I was on temporary duty as an assistant humanitarian area coordinator in Palo, Leyte; during the Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda disaster. Having nothing to pass the time in my tent (other than drinking cases of beer), I thought about an entertaining way to teach disaster awareness that would be fun to play and at the same time educational that families, private organizations, students, and government agencies can enjoy. This idea kept haunting me until I finally sketched out the first prototype a few months after returning from my deployment. Two years of development, a seed grant, and a few play testing later gave birth to the first prototype. Currently in its fourth iteration, the boardgame is constantly evolving in response to player feedback and professional suggestions to improve the design and gameplay. But now is in its most playable and learnable edition available. Together we can play, learn, and survive to be resilient Filipinos. For a limited time, this is your opportunity now to take part in this game changing boardgame about hazards, risks, disasters, and humanitarian action.

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The Goal (Scheme):

  • This boardgame will put you in the shoes of disaster risk reduction and humanitarian action professionals. By supporting this project, not only will you enjoy hours of fun with friends, family, and strangers; but also, help us spread this alternative approach to engaging youths and adults in becoming advocates of disaster risk reduction and humanitarian action. The days of boring powerpoints and sit down lectures are over. Tangential experiential learning that espouses the use of full sensory experience as an effective teaching method is found in this game.
  • This project aims to release the first commercial print of the boardgame to the world. Further, this is in support of raising funds to conduct public game workshops to most at risk areas in the country while using the boardgame as an alternative teaching tool for disaster awareness activities. Together we can create a community of people learning and doing disaster awareness & humanitarian action. And in the future maybe a national competition to see who is the best at Civil Defense the Boardgame!

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The Man (Board Game Creator): 

Mr. Francis Josef C. Gasgonia is a professional Environmental Planner that specializes in Urban Planning and Disaster Risk Reduction Management Planning currently involved in developing plans for local government units and private real estate developers as well as developing alternative tools for disaster education and spatial planning.

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Digital Humanitarians! We need you! – HOT Tasking Manager

Don’t have time to volunteer at your local relief center? Can’t commit to emergency deployment for days, weeks, or months? Do you have access to the internet? Do you have an eye for detail, and the patience of a mantis? If your answer is mostly yes, maybe being a digital humanitarian is just right for you.

A new type of humanitarian is needed in the fast paced world of information technology and global disaster management. The Digital Humanitarian is this new breed of humanitarian actor that provides important all volunteer services to field based agents in areas of digital mapping, and remote sensing technology.

Maps are essential in a rapid deployment humanitarian environment. Identifying passable road networks, or locating damaged infrastructure are just a few of the important outcomes that digital maps provide humanitarian relief agents and disaster managers need.

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Through Open Street Map, the opensource and community led mapping platform, people with access to the internet and basic knowledge of digital tracing can be valuable contributors in creating map data from free satellite imagery or from other aerial imagery sources. The Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team or HOT as it is known by relief and disaster risk reduction agencies; is led by volunteer contributors known as “Activators”. These activators specialize in a variety of fields and could be your neighbors that are capable of mapping kilometers of road networks and building outlines in another country.

Volunteering in the 21st century has become digital. People can go to http://learnosm.org/en/ to find out more about how to contribute to Open Street Map and eventually volunteer for HOT. In addition to learning about OSM, HOT volunteers should also learn about HOT-OSM activation protocols at http://courses.hotosm.org/ . Learners can earn trainee badges from accomplishing different areas of HOT activation. OSM_Data_Trainee.pngImagery_Trainee.pngValidation_Trainee.pngUsability_Trainee.pngPublic_Relations_Trainee.pngCommunity_Care_Trainee.pngPartner_Liaison_Trainee.pngReporting_Trainee.pngTasking_Trainee.png

If you already have experience in contributing to OSM, head on to http://tasks.hotosm.org/

In lieu of the recent Earthquakes in Ecuador and Japan, there are several “Projects” that you can sign up for to trace buildings, road networks, and other important features assigned by the Project’s lead. Locally, there are many projects led by the Philippine Red Cross and ICRC to map areas in the Philippines for disaster risk reduction management planning. Also, if you want to assist the government in its effort to create more accurate hazard impact assessments, start mapping in this project.

Happy Mapping!!!

 

Pasig City Hazard Impact Assessment

Pasig City was one of the worst hit areas during Typhoon Ondoy. Using WebSAFE, we can now estimate number of affected population based on 25 year and 100 year flood hazard models. Refer to the image for more information:

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WebSafe is an online tool adapted by Project NOAH (Nationwide Operational Assessment of Hazards) from InaSafe, the innovative open source plug-in tool jointly developed by the Indonesian Government, Australian Government, and World Bank.

References:

A.M.F. Lagmay. (2012). Disseminating near real-time hazards information and flood maps in the Philippines through Web-GIS. DOST-Project NOAH Open-File Reports, Vol. 1 (2013), pp. 28-36. ISSN 2362 7409.

A. Duncan, P. Hogarth, E. Paringit, A.M.F. Lagmay. Sharing UK LIDAR and flood mapping experience with the Philippines 73-75. International Conference on Flood Resilience: Experiences in Asia and Europe. 5-7 September 2013. Exeter, United Kingdom.

http://noah.dost.gov.ph/#/

http://inasafe.org/

Municipality of Pateros Hazard Impact Assessment

In the event of a 25 year flood return, the Municipality of Pateros would need to prepare for 31,500 of her citizens affected by the floods. Based on data as of February 8, 2016 from WebSAFE; 210 people are highly affected by the flood; 12,300 are in medium hazard areas, while 19,100 people are in low hazard areas.

The estimated number of relief aid per week needed are the following: 88,200 kg of rice; 2,110,500 liters of clean water; 551,250 liters of drinking water; 6,300 family; 1,575 toilets; 1,502 kilos of additional rice for pregnant women; and 12,795 hygiene packs for women.

See image below for reference.

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WebSafe is an online tool adapted by Project NOAH (Nationwide Operational Assessment of Hazards) from InaSafe, the innovative open source plug-in tool jointly developed by the Indonesian Government, Australian Government, and World Bank.

References:

A.M.F. Lagmay. (2012). Disseminating near real-time hazards information and flood maps in the Philippines through Web-GIS. DOST-Project NOAH Open-File Reports, Vol. 1 (2013), pp. 28-36. ISSN 2362 7409.

A. Duncan, P. Hogarth, E. Paringit, A.M.F. Lagmay. Sharing UK LIDAR and flood mapping experience with the Philippines 73-75. International Conference on Flood Resilience: Experiences in Asia and Europe. 5-7 September 2013. Exeter, United Kingdom.

http://noah.dost.gov.ph/#/

http://inasafe.org/

Taguig City Hazard Impact Assessment

Recently, Project NOAH released an online tool that can assess Hazard Impacts from 5 year, 25 year, and 100 year flood return models. The tool can calculate the effects of the hazard layers on either the population or building infrastructure. WebSAFE as it is called is easy to use, one just needs to select 1 hazard layer and 1 exposure layer, then with one click it processes the information and produces an instant summary and .pdf report than can be downloaded. This tool will aid disaster risk reduction and management planners on their contingency plans. Although it has limited capability compared to its source software, InaSAFE; it is still useful for giving the user an overview of the potential effects of natural hazards to population and infrastructure.

In this case, data as of February 8, 2016 a total of 5,560 buildings will be affected in case of a 100 year flood affects Taguig city. 127 buildings are exposed in High Hazard areas, 4,438 in Medium Hazard areas, and 995 in Low Hazard areas.

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screen capture from 100 year return flood HIA

In a 25 year flood return scenario, of the 10,493 buildings in the database, WebSAFE calculated that 5,030 buildings will be affected. 113 in high hazard areas, 3,312 in medium hazard areas, and 1,605 low hazard areas.

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screen capture from 25 year return flood HIA

Possible courses of action from this data could be a thorough ground validation of affected areas, and assessments of structural integrity of buildings affected. This information will also assist planners priority areas for evacuation.

For more information, please refer to the information and links below.

References:

A.M.F. Lagmay. (2012). Disseminating near real-time hazards information and flood maps in the Philippines through Web-GIS. DOST-Project NOAH Open-File Reports, Vol. 1 (2013), pp. 28-36. ISSN 2362 7409

A. Duncan, P. Hogarth, E. Paringit, A.M.F. Lagmay. Sharing UK LIDAR and flood mapping experience with the Philippines 73-75. International Conference on Flood Resilience: Experiences in Asia and Europe. 5-7 September 2013. Exeter, United Kingdom.

http://noah.dost.gov.ph/#/

http://inasafe.org/

“I participate; you participate; he participates, we participate; you participate…they profit” – How Participatory is Participatory Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Planning? A Review of Community Based DRRMP Manuals

“I participate; you participate; he participates, we participate; you participate…they profit” –

How Participatory is Participatory Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Planning?

A Review of Community Based DRRMP Manuals

by En.P. Francis Josef C. Gasgonia, PIEP

This paper attempted to classify 4 different documents related to Community Based Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Planning according to their level of Citizen Participation based on Sherry Arnstein’s Ladder of Citizen Participation and in assessing the content of these documents for Key Elements to CBDRRM. The documents reviewed for this paper were assessed using a matrix guide developed for this research. 2 local and 2 international documents were used; the National DRRM Education and Training Program – Five (5) Day CBDRRM Training of Trainers (CBDRRM-TOT) & Kahandaan, Katatagan at Kaunlaran ng Komunidad: Gabay sa Pagsasanay sa Disaster Risk Management, and VCA Toolbox, & All In Diary, respectively. It was determined that all four documents have all the key elements present in the content of their training modules or toolkit, except for the NDRRMC program that was unable to directly link DRR methodologies in national development. There are varying degrees to how the key elements on each document were emphasized as with their levels of participation. Additional research is recommended on how these documents were used by DRRM professionals and humanitarian workers to establish training tool and methodology effectiveness.

 

Keywords: Participatory Planning, Citizen Participation, Community Based Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Planning, Elements of CBDRRM

Continue reading ““I participate; you participate; he participates, we participate; you participate…they profit” – How Participatory is Participatory Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Planning? A Review of Community Based DRRMP Manuals”

Civil Defense: The Strategic Humanitarian Crisis Board Game

TAGUIG CITY, Metro Manila – Civil Defense: The Strategic Humanitarian Crisis Board Game is a table top board game of long term strategy and quick tactics that complements the need of Disaster Risk Reduction Management Training Officers for an effective engagement teaching tool for humanitarian response coordination by providing world class table top simulation games that are fun and interactive unlike current training methodologies that are manual based and technocratic. Last, October 26, 2015; the first prototype of the board game was played among a group of graduate level students from the University of the Philippines taking up a course on Environmental Hazards and Disaster Management as part of the alternative teaching methods for the Geography class. The game was played for 1 hour and 30 minutes, participated by 12 students taking their masters or phds from different sectors. Everyone had a great time playing the game and would like to do it again. The players, based on their feedback were able to appreciate the realness and “funness” of the board game. After the time ran out, they learned more about the intricacies of working as humanitarian coordinators. Additional comments were noted to enhance the gameplay and rules of the game. IMG_20151026_202017

It simulates humanitarian action work in the fictional archipelago of Calidonia. The game teaches players on the basics of managing humanitarian missions across several scenarios for example, providing: shelter assistance, food relief distribution, medical missions, and many more. This innovative board game is grounded upon proven methods of simulated play in teaching disaster risk reduction and management to stakeholders involved in the Disaster Risk Reduction Management phases of mitigation, preparedness, response, recovery, and rehabilitation. The game is recommended for users age 15 – up wIMG_20151026_202026ith adult supervision for those 14 – below.

The development of the prototype would not be possible without the seed grant funding and mentoring from the BEYOND (Be a Young Hero on Disasters) ASEAN PH program of the Young South East Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI). Also, the board game was also able to reach the Top 40 semi-finals of the BPI Foundation Sinag Challenge for Social Enterprises which further developed the business model of this creative endeavor. There is now a market demand for producing a commercial release for the board game. Potential platforms for conducting game nights to introduce the game are being explored as well as crowdfunding to jumpstart the production of the board game for private consumers. Also, potential institutional partners are being mapped to conduct facilitated use of the board game during official training for DRRM.

——————– for more information about the board game or organizing a game night please send your inquiries to eccentricpilgrim@gmail.com or PM through FB https://www.facebook.com/thecrusd ————————–

Where Social Entrepreneurship meets Community Based Resiliency — Enter: Buklod Tao, Inc.

Banaba, RIZAL – Two hours away from Metro Manila, a community based organization has successfully infused Social Entrepreneurship with Community Based Disaster Risk Reduction Management. Located at the north east boundary of Barangay Banaba in San Mateo, Rizal province is the community/evacuation center of Buklod Tao, Inc.

IMG_20150927_091129The organization was co-founded by Ka Noli Abinales, a resident of the Barangay who volunteered to organize the informal settler families living near the dangerous waterways after being called to the challenge by the Bishop of his Diocese in the 80’s. Attending an intensive six month Community Organization (CO) training, he and other newly minted volunteer Community Organizers were tasked to do three primary goals:

  1. Spread the Word of God – Liturgical Action
  2. Empower Communities to Sustainable Development – Social Action
  3. Freedom from Oppression – Liberal Action

After successfully implementing liturgical services to their “Bukluran” (Cell/Community), the group was able to transition to social action after organizing their lose association in protesting a construction company’s destructive use of land that posed an environmental hazard to the community. Regrouping from their success, the leaders of other “Buklurans” decided to formally incorporate into a non-stock, non-profit organization ensuring sustainability of the institution.

Officially founded on 1904, Buklod Tao, Inc. “is a bonding community-based organization in Barangay Banaba, San Mateo, Rizal that reinforces the capacities of communities to undertake community-based climate and disaster risk reduction, environmental enhancements and poverty reduction”. (taken from the group’s website @ http://www.buklodtaoinc.org/#!about/ccjb)

Continue reading “Where Social Entrepreneurship meets Community Based Resiliency — Enter: Buklod Tao, Inc.”

Danger Zoning Matters: City of Davao’s Hazard Sensitive Zoning Ordinance

Upon first look at the updated zoning ordinance of Davao City for 2012-2021 one can notice the adherence to form, following the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board’s Model Zoning Ordinance. A textbook representation of how guidelines are followed in lieu of real world application. It follows form from the Title Page down to the Administration and Enforcement article. Few can be said to what is not to be found in the updated ordinance. However, one can comment on the additional features of the zoning ordinance which are related into the current advocacies of government in disaster risk reduction management and climate change mitigation and adaptation, particularly in the identification of areas with high risk for natural hazards.

In Article IV – Zone Classification, Section 1.1 Land Slide Susceptible Zones. Areas located within the land slide prone based on the Terrain Analysis of Davao City; the City identified areas which are susceptible to landslide, hence provided additional building restrictions or land use regulations in these areas. Further, Section 1.2 Flood Susceptible Zones. Areas located within the flood prone based on the Terrain Analysis of Davao City also included additional restrictions for building settlements or structures in the area. The Zone Regulations for these danger areas were stipulated under Sections 1.2 and 1.3 of Article V. Section 1.2 Additional Provision on Areas with High Flood Susceptibility based on the Terrain Analysis of Davao City Watersheds Conducted by DENR-MINES and Geosciences Bureau R-XI and Section 1.3 Additional Provisions on Areas with Landslide Susceptibility Based on the Terrain Analysis of Davao City Watersheds Conducted by DENR-MINES and Geosciences Bureau R-XI, require new developments to secure clearances from the regional MGB and provide for applicable or approved mitigating measures for slope protection before Locational Clearances can be granted by the Local Government Unit. The restrictions are reasonable and within the jurisdiction of the executive agencies mandated to regulate land use on natural hazard identified areas.

The initiative of the Davao City government to restrict land use on danger zones is laudable, however; decades of inadequate regulation of land use in built up areas have exposed citizens to the natural hazards determined by the mines and geosciences bureau of DENR. At the end of the Marcos dictatorship in Post-EDSA 1 1986, the Duterte’s have ruled the southern city for more than two decades which saw the sleepy port town grow into a regional center for industry and commerce, but this growth is more private sector led than public sector planned. The consequences of weak planning regulation brought about by a political dynasty that espouses popular development planning, spending, and spatial strategy; reduced the capacity of the local government to enforce well thought out urban plans. Many of the residential zones are within the 2012 identified danger zones for flood and landslide susceptibility. It follows then the burden of residents within these areas, formal or informal, to comply with the additional restrictions/use regulations mentioned above. Now, many would appeal for a certificate of non-conformance due to financial restrictions of those who could not comply to invest in engineering solutions mitigating impacts of flood or landslides. But these remedies would become moot, if in the end when these hazards turn to disasters and loss of lives and properties are inevitable.

Land use restrictions such as those in areas of flood and land slide susceptibility would not be enforced without sufficient administrative and institutional support. Based on the documents provided by the City of Davao, a total of 3,246 personnel are working for the City Government. 27 are elected officials, while 2,892 or 89.09% with permanent appointment, 4 or .14 percent temporary and 323 personnel or 9.95% are co-terminus. The City Planning and Development Office have 69 positions in charge to monitor the implementation of the city’s land use pattern. With a small office to regulate 244,000 hectares of land, the office might not be able to fulfill its mandate efficiently and effectively.

In lieu of the administrative/institutional challenges of implementing the zoning ordinance, the City has done what it can with it has. This observation is based on studying the general zoning map, and the proposed urban zoning map of the city. Several factors that facilitate zoning is the adaptation of a spatial strategy that the city called Barangay Urban Centers, and District Urban Centers, as first and second level of service providers respectively. With a vast territorial boundary, with a rural north, and urban south; the spatial strategy to develop basic services delivery platforms can be said to augment the lack of personnel from the City Government. However, even with a popular political dynasty at the helm of Davao City; it is this same circumstance that impedes land use planning implementation. By not wanting to get into the wrong side of the family, it is possible that civil servants in the planning office would bend to the call and haw of the local chief executive, and in the process disregarding the rule of law and exposing people to unnecessary risks.

The recourses one can recommend to strengthen zoning implementation is to improve the capacity of the planning office, increase its staff complement with qualified personnel, and to improve local governance by leveling the playing field to other competent politically astute individuals. By improving the capacity and increasing the staff complement of the planning office, individuals in the office can increase their efficiency with new knowledge and skills that would benefit the City. Also by improving local governance, transparency and accountability would be take the forefront of basic service delivery in the tune of proper land use zoning administration; where to build not and where to build  with gold.

References:

Updated Zoning Ordinance of Davao City 2012-2021. City of Davao. Republic of the Philippines

HLRB Guidelines. Model Zoning Ordinance Volume X. 1996