LIRNEasia is undertaking a project to provide disaster mitigation training and last-mile connectivity to tsunami-affected villages along the coast of Sri Lanka. The effectiveness of training and five different ICT technologies that will be deployed will be assessed with a view of rolling out the most successful strategies and technologies in 226 tsunami-affected Sarvodaya villages. This IDRC funded project is partnered with Sarvodaya, Vanguard Foundation, Dr. Gordon Gow, LSE, UK, TVE Asia Pacific, Sri Lanka and the Community Tsunami Early-Warning Center (CTEC) at Peraliya.
In the aftermath of the Indian Ocean tsunami of December 2004, it was evident that if Sri Lanka along with the other affected countries had an effective disaster warning system in place, many lives could have been saved. The lack of a national disaster warning system compounded by a non-existent local warning communication system and public training makes it unlikely to this day that hazard information will reach individual households at the “last mile” even if an ocean-based tsunami detection system is deployed. The current project, driven by civil society organizations, has extraordinary potential for saving lives and restoring a sense of security to the affected people in Sri Lanka and hopefully around the Bay of Bengal.
An experimental research design is being adopted to evaluate the role played by a number of factors that contribute to the design of an effective last mile hazard information dissemination system. The specific objectives of this research project are to evaluate the following factors:
1) Reliability of ICTs as warning technologies;
2) Effectiveness of ICTs as warning technologies;
3) Contribution of training to an effective warning response;
4) Contribution of the level of organizational development of a village to an effective warning response;
6) Gender-specific response to hazard mitigating action;
5) Degree of integration of ICTs in the daily life of villages.
The project proposal is available as a PDF document.