“Failing to Prepare is Preparing to Fail”
Athalie Mayo, the Global Logistics Cluster (GLC) Coordinator, echoed Benjamin Franklin when opening the second GLC Preparedness Workshop by reminding the audience that, “failing to prepare is preparing to fail.”
Over the course of the workshop, 35 participants from 19 countries presented the achievements and challenges of diverse preparedness initiatives across nine countries currently engaged as part of the GLC Preparedness Project, as well as global-level activities.
The GLC Preparedness Project is built on collaboration and localisation. Focused on strengthening national supply chain resilience and emergency response capacity, the project brings local actors before an emergency, identifying key gaps and common challenges together. As part of the project, information management capacities are also strengthened through identifying local challenges, and supporting with the integration of data and mapping technology.
As Juan Galvez, Team Lead of Global Logistics, Procurement and Supply Chain Excellence at the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent (IFRC) explained, “This workshop was an opportunity for me to compare the framework of the GLC Preparedness Project with IFRC’s vision of preparedness, it was useful for me to attend as a partner of the GLC and for the IFRC project. Preparedness activities represent a key learning process that is as important as the outcome itself.”
Linking the GLC and Stakeholders in the Field
The three-day event fostered links between GLC partners, government counterparts, field-based preparedness officers and WFP supply chain by facilitating an exchange of experiences among field-level and global-level stakeholders, and exploring activity implementation and methods of partner engagement. The workshop encouraged interactions between these stakeholders to enhance collaboration among the humanitarian community towards a Preparedness Project Rollout Plan (2020-2021) and #respondingtogether.
Olivier Andriakaja Elack, Executive Secretary of the BNGRC commented, “This is the first time BNGRC, the National Disaster Management Organisation in Madagascar, participated in such a preparedness workshop and we are happy to be part of these discussions. As Madagascar is a big country and logistics capacity is low, the government welcomes the support of government partners, NGOs, sectoral group leaders, and WFP in logistics preparedness.”
With the ultimate goal of responding more effectively when an emergency strikes, participants exchanged knowledge and experiences, and identified best practices and challenges in countries where preparedness initiatives have been implemented over the past two years.
“I used to work in Philippines where the government has high-level capacity for disaster management and response, and for preparedness activities. When I arrived in Malawi to work for the Global Logistics Cluster Preparedness project, I found similarities between both countries even though the contexts are different. Malawi and Philippines are both situated in disaster-prone regions and their governments are firm in leading the response and preparedness activities, which is very positive for the project!” said Jose Antonio Carino, a Preparedness Officer in Malawi.
Commenting on the global nature of the GLC Preparedness Project and the need for different information sharing mechanisms presented at the workshop, Herbert Chingati, Under Secretary of the Department of Transport and Public Works of the Government of Malawi stated, “This workshop gave us a clearer perspective about the upcoming countries to onboard the GLC Preparedness Project and sustainability is essential for its success. In Malawi, we want to be more proactive when it comes to preparedness activities rather than being in a responsive mode. It is a conclusion we made after the Idai response. Preparedness is possible if we have common information sharing platforms and a maintained coordination in order to reach the most remote areas.”
Esselina Muzima, representing the Mozambican National Disaster Management Institute (INGC), also highlighted the need for information sharing platforms, “For INGC, preparedness is not only increasing national capacities to address logistics gaps, establishing a consolidated platform for information sharing to maintain an efficient coordination at government level, but raising awareness of the population to initiate behavioural change is part of preparedness as well.”
WFP Head of Supply Chain in Pakistan, Pir Raza, addressed the potential for expanding the project to more countries, “The Global Logistics Cluster Preparedness Project is not active in Pakistan. However, WFP is already working closely with the Government to address the logistics gaps through various collaborations including the development of seven Humanitarian Response Facilities (HRF) which are now managed by the government with WFP’s support. The GLC Preparedness Project would align with the existing and upcoming logistics preparedness activities in-country led by the government. This new project could also further strengthen WFP partnership with the government in relation to logistics preparedness.”
In the coming months, GLC preparedness initiatives will continue to be rolled out in selected countries across the globe. Keep abreast of new developments in the GLC Preparedness Project on the dedicated preparedness page of the GLC website.
Find out more about the preparedness project here.