One of MapAction’s aims is to help disaster management agencies around the world to use vital geospatial and data analysis tools in their work. By doing so we can deepen how effective and impactful the sector can be, both when emergencies strike or in advance by enabling regional communities and organisations to reduce their risks.
With this in mind, we work with our partners at the Centre for Emergency Situations and Disaster Risk Reduction (CESDRR), a body established to decrease the risk of emergencies across Central Asia. In line with our usual training programme, we worked together to develop and deliver three training sessions in April and May of this year.
The initial training was in Tashkent – the first time MapAction has trained personnel in Uzbekistan. Three of our members – Alistair Wilkie, Katharina Lorenz and Richard Phillips – provided a week-long course of tailored basic training aimed to introduce and raise awareness of humanitarian and emergency mapping, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Information Management, allowing attendees to become familiar with some basic techniques.
In mid-May MapAction members Chris Ewing, Mark Gillick and Colin Spiller delivered training in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan. As we have trained many CESDRR members in basic techniques over the past few years, this was a more advanced course exploring operational readiness and testing participants under time and pressure constraints in simulated scenarios.
Finally, at the end of May, Members Alistair Wilkie, Dominic Greenslade and Mark Gillick, delivered another advanced course for the regional and national offices of the emergency agencies in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, where we have delivered several courses previously.
The courses were all well received and helped to cement and enhance MapAction’s long-standing partnership with CESDRR, and to strengthen valuable GIS skills that are crucial in disaster response and humanitarian aid distribution. Again with CESDRR, we are planning to deliver training in Tajikistan next year.
One of the Nur-Sultan course participants commented, “I would like to note the work of the best specialists in the field of QGIS mapping, wonderful MapAction (members) – Mark, Colin and Chris, who trained the participants of the training for 5 days, and distinguished themselves by their literacy, cognition, accessibility, professionalism, feedback, responsiveness and decency.”
We are grateful to USAID’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance for supporting this work.
This piece about CESDRR training forms part of a series of blogs which highlight our disaster preparedness training programme.