EVALDIS uses participatory research techniques to find out how local disaster managers, climate change/action officers, members of Community Disaster Management Committees (CDMCs) and tribal chiefs and volunteers in local communities across Sierra Leone’s capital of Freetown can - and are - using innovative Single Points of Failure (SPOF) approaches developed by the BU Disaster Management Centre (BUDMC) to enhance their own resilience to disasters in their everyday lives and among their local communities more generally.
The ultimate aim of the project is to ensure that leaders in the country are as equipped as possible to respond to disaster and identify single points of failure to protect communities, to prevent loss of life, and to build resilience.
The project has been funded by Research England's (RE) Participatory Research Programme.
BUDMC has been working in the region for almost a decade, supporting disaster management and recovery in the country, identifying single points of failure, and supporting the country in setting up disaster management plans.
This has already delivered a Facilitators’ Guide to Disaster Management, which was introduced to local communities in Sierra Leone in 2020 to help those that remain constantly vulnerable to disasters, such as fires, floods, landslides and storms.
The EVALDIS project will evaluate how the Faciltators' Guide is being used in Sierra Leone’s capital of Freetown to enhance their resilience to disasters and crisis.
EVALDIS also builds on the extensive cooperation and success of the AFRICAB project, which led to a Government-endorsed AFRICAB Final Report, launched in September 2021.
Read more - Targeting disaster management: new research evidence from Sierra Leone (The Conversation)
EVALDIS runs from January to July 2022. This includes detailed field work and interactions with local communities in Freetown, including completion of detailed interviews and specially designed focus group events during Spring 2022.
EVALDIS is distinctive with its inclusion of an EVALDIS Community Advisory Board (EVALDIS-CAB) and an EVALDIS NDMA Steering Group that are designed to ensure that local actors and communities directly input into the design, implementation and outcomes of the project. In simple terms, EVALDIS incorporates the participation of local actors as recognised ‘knowledge users’ and to maximise the impact of EVALDIS on the ground.
The first formal meeting (3 March 2022) marked the establishment of the EVALDIS Community Advisory Board (EVALDIS-CAB) that brings together local disaster managers, climate action managers, partners and responders, members of the Community Disaster Management Committees (CDMCs) and representatives of local communities to help shape the direction of the EVALDIS project and reflect local views from all over Freetown.
The participants were highly receptive to the project and there is a firm basis and membership for further reflection and future action.
The second meeting (4 March 2022), chaired by the Deputy Director General (DDG) of the NDMA, Mr John Vandy Rogers, saw the launch of the prestigious EVALDIS NDMA Steering Group, that included NDMA Directors and regional officers, senior responders and representatives of ministries of the Government of Sierra Leone.
The Steering Group plays an important role for the future, providing valuable insights and direction into how the EVALDIS project can contribute to the development of NDMA's capacity-building across the provinces of Sierra Leone in 2022. The discussion was detailed and high level and expertly chaired.
John Vandy Rogers
NDMA Deputy Director General
The work of EVALDIS will allow the Agency to access world class research and user impact findings that it can use to inform the development of regional capacity of the NDMA being implemented countrywide across Sierra Leone.
The project includes the production of two policy reports – one for Freetown City Council (FCC) and one for the NDMA as well as a revised FCC Facilitators’ Guide to Disaster Management that will be accessible to all of Freetown’s Community Disaster Management Committees (CDMCs) and local communities.
It has already agreed with the FCC and NDMA that both reports will ensure that the views of local communities feed directly into planning considerations of the Disaster Risk Management Team of Freetown City Council and updates to the FCC’s Minimum Competence Training Requirement in Disaster Management for all disaster managers in Freetown.
EVALDIS will also evidence and directly input into the new implementation plans of the NDMA for new regional officers and offices across Sierra Leone in 2022.
EVALDIS will therefore ensure that the views of local communities are taken into account in the shaping of the new expanding NDMA regional capacity across all five provinces of Sierra Leone.