Strategic targeting methodology being pilotted in the BVI

Tortola, British Virgin Islands, June 3rd, 2014 (DDM) - A nine-member group of disaster risk reduction managers supported by the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent (IFRC) and the Canadian Red Cross have joined their counterparts in the British Virgin Islands (BVI) this week to pilot a Strategic Targeting Methodology (STM) aimed at providing a tool for selecting and designing projects for vulnerable communities.

The STM is a tool designed to be used in the selection of communities for disaster risk reduction (DRR) type initiatives. It facilitates a transparent, well-documented and unbiased process that reduces external influences and power dynamics in the selection of communities for implementing intervention strategies.

The choice of the BVI to pilot STM stems from the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) Comprehensive Disaster Management (CDM) Conference in Jamaica last December where a presentation was made by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent (IFRC) Societies on STM and the value added in the immediate and long-term. BVI was among countries expressing an interest in the initiative and was subsequently chosen based on criteria identified for the selection of pilot countries.

Coordinator of the Red Cross Caribbean Disaster Risk Management Reference Centre (CADRIM), Mrs. Reynette Royer who is in the BVI to facilitate the STM pilot, noted that the tool presents an opportunity to reinforce the importance of collaboration and partnerships, as well as share experiences across geographic boundaries. “This week presents an opportunity for a number of national stakeholders as well as observer representatives from St. Kitts and Nevis and the Bahamas to come together to input data and explore how the STM can be further adapted based on the local context.”

Mrs. Royer added, “The approach is hands-on and participants will see how existing data can be used to populate the tool to inform future DRR programming.”

The Canadian Red Cross is also intricately involved in the STM pilot. Its Caribbean Community’s Resilience to Disaster Risk Project (CCRDR) supports CADRIM to develop tools like the STM, with funding from the Department of Foreign Affairs Trade and Development (DFATD) of the Canadian Government.

Canadian Red Cross Representative for the Caribbean, Ms. Heather Fehr (pronounced fear) is also in the BVI for the pilot. “Our programming works in three levels - we provide support through the IFRC, through regional coordination with CDEMA; or in the development of tools for regional member states; and we have offered direct support for community-based disaster risk reduction projects,” Ms. Fehr explained.

With funding from DFATD, the Canadian Red Cross is also documenting and promoting through film, the success of national Red Cross societies in the Caribbean as well as the IFRC’s work regionally in collaboration with national disaster offices and local societies.

The STM pilot has been welcomed by the Department of Disaster Management (DDM) and the BVI Red Cross.

DDM’s Deputy Director, Ms. Evangeline Inniss acknowledged the significance of STM saying it will enable a transparent process for identifying vulnerable communities and provide data based justification for such selection. She emphasised that the tool can also be used for national level community-based project selection, not just DRR-related activities.

Director of the BVI Red Cross, Mrs. Helen Frett described STM as “a useful tool that will help standardise the way communities are selected for DRR intervention strategies. It will also demonstrate the type of synergy that organisations like the DDM and BVI Red Cross can achieve when they combine their efforts.”

Other stakeholders participating in the STM pilot come from various Government departments, observers from St. Kitts and Nevis and the Bahamas and a representative from the CDEMA Coordinating Unit.

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