The Setting up of a Disaster Risk Management Office within the Aqaba Economic Zone Authority (ASEZA) and Provide Competency Training Project follows and builds on a series of collaborative disaster risk reduction (DRR) initiatives between United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)-Jordan and ASEZA that have put in place a solid foundation for the key institutional task to set up of a DRR unit within the Authority. From March 15, 2011 to June 30, 2011, the project implemented activities to support ASEZA in the design and setting up from a starting unit of four personnel into the ASEZ Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM) Directorate by determining the institutional and legal milieu in ASEZ and providing the knowledge, the plan, the process and the structure to make the Directorate operational. These activities that were carried out includes: 1) consultations with the ASEZA officials and other ASEZ stakeholders and review of salient documents to define the mandate/legal framework, the functions, roles and structure of the Office, 2) the competency training conducted for the DRR Office staff, ASEZA selected staff and other involved institutions within ASEZ, and 3) the drafting of the Action Plan to strengthen the office with time. The project comprises three components, namely, Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR), Emergency Management (EM) and Legal and Institutional Arrangements (LIA).
T he objective of the project is to support ASEZA in the design and set up a Disaster Risk Management Office (DRM Office) that would oversee the DRM activities in the city on behalf of ASEZA.
EMI undertook two field investigations (FIs) in Aqaba and Amman for the periods April 24 to May 3 and June 8 to 12, 2011 (effective days in Jordan) to accomplish the project objectives and to develop the required project deliverables. During the first FI, Dr. Fouad Bendimerad, the DRR Consultant and Project Director, conducted the Organizational Function Mapping exercise utilizing the network analysis tool participated by different institutions that were involved in DRR in ASEZ. The outcome paved the way in determining the DRR information flow and reporting on one hand and the roles, responsibilities, relationships and resources of various institutions at different levels of the surrounding/allied institutions with the proposed ASEZ DRRM Directorate on the other. As a result also, this showed the kind of institutional arrangements in ASEZ. This also led to the proper placement (level of authority) of the proposed Directorate in the organizational structure of ASEZA where the Directorate can properly coordinate among the departments and with the other stakeholders as well as acquire support and resources in reducing risk of disasters from these agencies. The Directorate was placed under the office of the Commissioner for Environment, Dr. Salim M. Al-Moghrabi. ASEZA Other accomplishments that resulted from first FI include analyzing and determining the legal mandate of the Directorate to operate, and the formulation of the organizational structure of the Directorate with corresponding job descriptions of the positions. The structure and key positions proposed reflect the DRR function of the Directorate. The field investigations were supported by desktop reviews, internal research, review of documentation, and extensive planning and preparation sessions with EMI experts and staff assigned to the project as well as UNDP-Jordan.
The Competency Training on Emergency Management (EM) was conducted during the second FI. This three-module training course is customized exclusively for the stakeholders in ASEZ that delves on the following topics: 1) Emergency management fundamentals, 2) Incident command system (ICS), 3) Emergency operations planning and the emergency operations plan (EOP), 4) Emergency operations center (EOC) operations, design, concepts, and 5) Emergency support functions (ESFs) concept. The training was facilitated by Mr. Troy Kindred, the EM Consultant. The EM training conducted began the process of building an EM foundation of knowledge that can be built upon as the Directorate develops. Throughout the training, correlations were drawn about the dynamics between EM, as a response operation, and the broader, more holistic ideas of DRR. As the current DRR Office is a relatively new entity, training in EM with linkages to DRR was essential to set the stage for further progress. The second field investigation was able to establish a baseline of EM fundamentals, EOPs, ICSs, EOCs, and ESFs.
Development of the methodology for structuring the ASEZ DRRM Directorate to make it operational.
- Establishment of the legal mandate for the ASEZ DRRM Committee and ASEZ DRRM Directorate to operate.
- Captured the institutional arrangements, information flow and reporting in ASEZ, the possible resources coordination and function among the stakeholders in ASEZ and the proper location of the ASEZ DRRM Directorate in the ASEZA organizational structure were determined utilizing the Network Analysis Tool through the Organizational Function Mapping Exercise.
- Conduct of competency training among the stakeholders in the Aqaba Special Economic Zone (e.g. the Governorate, Aqaba Development Corporation, security agencies, hospitals and Public Works) on Emergency Management covering topics geared for setting up an office;
- Formulation of the two-year Action Plan to conduct activities and with corresponding operational budget in programmatic and line-item approaches; and
- The formulation of ASEZA DRR Office structure and positions with corresponding set of responsibilities for each position.