The EU-funded regional programme Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance - Disaster Risk Assessment and Mapping (IPA DRAM), which has been implemented in the countries of the Western Balkans (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, and Serbia) and Turkey from 2016 to 2019, officially ended on 30th November 2019. The overall objective of IPA DRAM was to improve effective, coherent and EU-oriented national systems for disaster loss data collection, risk assessment and mapping, and alignment and integration into the Union Civil Protection Mechanism (UCPM) in the Western Balkans and Turkey. Partners in IPA DRAM were civil protection agencies and disaster risk management (DRM) institutions in the seven countries. The programme was led by a Consortium from four EU Member States, with the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agencies (MSB) as lead agency.
After three years of implementation, the capacity development Programme achieved the results outlined below, for the three technical components: disaster loss data (DLD), risk assessment, and risk mapping.
National systems for DLD collection have been further developed and improved based on EU Good Practices and in line with the Sendai Framework. Most Partner Countries have introduced the DesInventar-Sendai database system (www.desinventar.net) and strengthened systemic capacity to collect disaggregated data at different levels that can contribute to disaster risk assessments and to inform policies and planning. In that aspect, the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) has been an important international partner throughout implementation. IPA DRAM has also facilitated reporting to the Sendai Framework Monitor (SFM).
National risk assessments following EU guidelines and good practices and as required by UCPM, in particular including identification of risks of cross-border and regional aspects, have improved. The accomplishment of national risk assessments should lay the foundations for improving national risk management planning and risk management capabilities assessments. The large majority of Partner Countries now report their national risk assessments in line with their UCPM commitments. On a regional level, priorities for preventing seismic risks have been laid out and a regional working group, consisting of DRM organisations and academic institutions, has been established.
IPA DRAM has further improved national and regional risk mapping, developing “Guidelines for Data Experts”, with a list of around 40 themes proposed as priorities, and cartographic advice for regional usage. The technical output of the Risk Mapping component was development of the Electronic Regional Risk Atlas of IPA DRAM (ERRADRAM), implemented with a specific approach to DRM (Basic, Hazard, Exposure, Vulnerability, Risk). National and regional inter-institutional processes on geospatial data sharing protocols and regulations remain a challenge. In the immediate future and until the complete design of the process of sustainability, the Disaster Preparedness and Prevention Initiative for South Eastern Europe (DPPI SEE) will coordinate activities of ERRADRAM.
The strong ownership in Partner Countries has led to improved inter-institutional processes and cooperation, through productive working groups, which will have long-term and sustainable effects. IPA DRAM has contributed to an increased understanding of cross-cutting issues such as the importance of gender mainstreaming and environmental aspects in disaster risk management. A great added value has been the exchange of information and experiences for regional cooperation and partnership.
“Disasters know no borders. Given the changing risk landscape and increasing disasters, it is clear that long-term regional and international cooperation is vital to mitigate risks and strengthen resilience at national, regional and EU level. As lead implementing partner, MSB has been proud to lead this successful regional programme,” says Jakob Wernerman, Head of Operations, MSB.
On behalf of the IPA DRAM Programme Team: Hanna Norell (Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency / MSB and IPA DRAM Programme Director), Carl-Johan Breitholtz (MSB), and Marco Massabo (CIMA Research Foundation, Italy)
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CAPTION FOR FIGURE: [ Map showing the IPA DRAM partner countries, comprising the EU accession candidate countries of Montenegro, Serbia, North Macedonia, Albania, and Turkey, and potential candidates Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo. Graphic from: www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-50100201 ]