Rappler’s Project Agos completed this year’s series of training workshops on how to use social media and technology for disaster information management for the Western Visayas region on September 4.
Project Agos returned to its partners in Iloilo for a more focused workshop in an integration session held with a small group of individuals directly working on Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM) from key local government units (LGUs), organizations and academic institutions.
In April 2015, Project Agos conducted its first capacity building workshop in Iloilo City, in partnership with the Iloilo Caucus of Development NGOs (Iloilo CODE-NGOs), with participants from LGUs, civil society and the academe covering Region VI.
The participants in the Integration Session was selected from the municipalities of Carles, Estancia, Concepcion, Batad and Ajuy in Iloilo province. The participants were officers of their respective Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Councils (MDRRMCs).
Project Agos returns to its partners in Western Visayas for a more focused workshop on using social media as a communications tool in times of disasters
On the part of civil society, the network under the Iloilo CODE-NGOs was represented by its project officers who are currently involved along the same municipalities on the project “Rebuilding for the Better and Rebuilding for Better and Resilient Shelters.”
Project personnel from the University of the Philippines-Visayas who are working on the project “Scaling Up Resilience in Governance” (SURGE) also participated in the event.
The workshop was a refresher course on the concept of zero casualty during disaster situations as the output of the first workshop, which became instrumental in the drafting of the Project Agos Toolkit, was revisited. The toolkit is an operations manual that will serve as guide on how to use social media and other communications tools during stages of preparations, response and recovery.
An essential part of the communications system is on how to enhance current communications practices by integrating the Project Agos platform on the 3 stages of disasters: preparedness, response, and recovery. Hence, the workshop was designed as an integration session to enable the participants to test the Project Agos system and incorporate it on the respective DRRM plans of LGUs and organizations working in the communities.
The integration session provided the venue for further deliberation on the content of the toolkit. The process enabled the Project Agos team to gather more insights from the participants on how the toolkit can be improved.
The discussions also enriched the toolkit after participants offered recommendations on how it can be improved based from their experiences during disasters and by factoring in the realities at the community level.
Since November 2014, Project Agos has initiated workshops in various parts of the country on how to use social media and technology for disaster information management in order to enhance the knowledge of local government units, academe, civil society, government’s security forces, faith-based and other socio-civic organizations working on disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation.
The workshops that were conducted was designed to help disaster managers, first responders, and communications officers of cities and municipalities, as well as representatives of key local civil society groups, in understanding how social media and crowdsourcing could improve disaster preparedness and response programs.
The effort is supported by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade of the Australian Embassy in the Philippines and ushered the convergence of the different sectors in pushing for #ZeroCasualty during disasters and to support each other’s efforts in confronting the challenges presented by disasters in the country.
Project Agos is intended to harness technology and social media to ensure that critical information flows to those who need it before, during, and after a disaster and serves as a platform for collaboration between the government, civil society, private sector and the citizens.