From 17 to 19 September the CapaCities project had its fifth meeting for Learning and Experience Sharing. The aim of LES 5 was to zoom in on all parts of the DRM strategy and to assist the three cities with concrete advise.
The meeting was opened by the deputy Mayor of Kutaisi mrs. Nino Tvaltvaldze. She welcomed the focal points of the three cities, the core team and the local stakeholders of Kutaisi, who were present to participate in the workshops. Mrs. Tvaltvaldze mentioned that the city of Kutaisi is very pleased with the progress made during this 1,5 years of the project. She noted that the initial risk assessment and recommendations of the peer review had led to a greater awareness in the city council. The decision process in Kutaisi is already planned and it is clear that the project has given a positive impulse to the human capital, the knowledge at city hall and an improved relationship with all stakeholders. She expressed her wish for continuation of the positive direction and sustainability of the results.
Ruud Houdijk started the introduction of LES 5 with a quick retrospect of the project so-far and presented what is still to come in the remaining time of the project. The main deliverables coming up are the final DRM strategy and the dissemination to other municipalities in Armenia, Georgia and Moldova.
The three cities presented the objectives of their draft strategy and the concrete measures included in the draft road map. This was followed by an intensive workshop about the mission, vision and strategic objectives. Guest teacher Torstein Nielsen presented examples from the city of Stavanger (Norway) and the CRISMAS projects to help the participants.
During the second day workshops were held on the objectives for each part of the DRM cycle. In a ‘pressure cooker’ the three cities were assisted to make their ideas very concrete and to address the recommendations from the peer reviews. The topics were supported with real examples of the district of Ungheni and the city of Stavanger. The focal points worked on finalizing the structure of the objectives and measures and shared their findings.
In the workshop on prevention a plenary discussion followed the presentations. By categorizing different kinds of prevention policies, the prioritization becomes more easy. The main difference that was highlighted is that between hazard specific preventive measures and more generic preventive policies. The strategy should include both. In the workshop on preparedness the 6S’s were presented: staff, stuff, spaces, systems, structures and stakes. The potential measures and actions were examined from this perspective. In the final workshop advocacy and decision processes were discussed: how to influence the decisionmakers and ‘sell’ the strategy. Several ways of building a shared understanding, knowledge and relationships with stakeholders were discussed with the participants. During the workshop the cities worked on the advocacy strategy and looked closer at the decision makers, influencers, opposing and supporting parties. By presenting the outcome and ideas the cities advised each other on possibilities and different ways for influencing.
End of November the 6th and final LES meeting will be held in The Netherlands.