Role of NGOs in Disaster Management
NGOs are all over the world and play different roles in various sectors of the economy. They are usually nongovernmental and non-profit making organizations, which are voluntary and humanitarian in nature. The focus of NGOs is usually to help needy people in the society. However, the influence of these groups may depend on the policies of a country since some states in the world limit the activities of NGOs. Most NGOs work closely with people and are therefore ready to adapt to new changes in the society.
Since NGOs serve people, they have an objective and always have experts on board to offer professional and specialized assistance where necessary. It is important to note that the nature of NGOs vary widely as there are those that are global, others are regional, national and local, serving a small population within a country. Global NGOs act as donors and as advocacy organizations around the world, especially when there is disaster or in disaster management. Essentially, the role of NGOs in Disaster Management is focuses on disaster preparedness in different ways. Disaster preparedness refers to the ability of an individual, group of people, or a country to respond quickly and effectively when it is necessary. It offers all-level capacity to respond to a host of dangerous situations when they arise in a disaster. They may include early warnings, risk assessment, capacity building and stock keeping of emergency supplies.
For effective participation in disaster management, NGOs collaborate with government agencies and other bodies in different levels to develop capacity and skills to handle and mitigate the effects of disasters. In some cases, government officers actively take part in coordinated activities, organized by NGOs for disaster preparedness. This is important since disaster can befall anybody, whether in the public service or private sector. Therefore, NGOs are keep players in creating public awareness about disasters and what we need to do to prevent their occurrence, and what to do, when such hazardous events occur.
Another way through which NGOs take part in disaster management is through advocacy. They have been known as strong advocacy partners at all levels. They mostly engage governments in reviewing various policies to address the concerns of disaster preparedness in an effective way. NGOs may also develop an advocacy roadmap that predicts opportunities available for a country or group of people to invest in preparedness activities. Upon such a plan, they engage other partners, including governments to get funds for disaster preparedness interventions. This kind of advocacy is important because it enhances policy formulation, development of a strategy and proper drafting of a disaster management program at all levels.
Besides preparedness, NGOs also take part in assessment processes. Here, they assess the vulnerability and risk exposure levels in their areas of operation. Additionally, this process seeks to establish how people are able to respond to disaster, in terms of available resources and capacities. It is paramount to involve other stakeholders and the government at this level for funding and other support. Together with capacity building at all levels, NGOs remain key players in disaster management around the world.
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