Report: Heatwave Early Action Test in Hanoi – July 2019

From the 18th to the 21st of July 2019, Hanoi was affected by a heatwave with a heat index peaking at 47.5 ◦C. Three days before, alerted by early warnings issued by the Vietnam Institute of Meteorology, Hydrology and Climate Change (IMHEN), the VNRC and GRC took anticipatory actions in preparing the opening of Red Cross cooling centres.  Opening community cooling centres is one of the Early Actions selected for the “Forecast based Financing Ready” project. Another action consists in the retrofitting of habitations in slums (shading roof) and the procurement of fans with cooling systems. In addition, as income has been identified as a key barrier to access to cooling devices ownership and use, cash distribution to subsidize utility bills will also be also tested for the poorest households. The community cooling centres will be complemented by Red Cross cooling buses which will travel the main streets of Hanoi and direct the vulnerable population to the pre-identified centres.

The Early Action test has been showcased on local and National TV, Facebook page and in Newspapers as an innovative and relevant initiative. The test coincides with the launching at UN headquarter in New York of the RCRC Climate Centre Heatwave Guide for cities.

Download: https://www.rcrc-resilience-southeastasia.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/Forecast-based-Financing_EarlyActionsTest-in-Hanoi.pdf

IFRC Asia Pacific Regional Director Visits Viet Nam Red Cross Society

From 17-18 July 2019, the IFRC Asia Pacific Regional Director Xavier Castellanos paid a visit to Viet Nam Red Cross Society (VNRC) to discuss with the VNRC’s Leadership on opportunities and challenges in humanitarian landscape. During the meeting, Mdm Nguyen Thi Xuan Thu- VNRC President repeatedly stressed that the support from the RCRC Movement partners becomes more crucial than ever before due to the significant reduction of donor funding toward the NSD and development interventions except disaster response operations due to the country has escaped from low income to middle income nation. In the meantime, both VNRC HQs and branches have also faced significant cut in terms of budget leading to scaling down number of staffs which impacts on the capacity to reach out and deliver humanitarian work. Therefore, it is crucial for VNRC to redirect its focuses and priorities to be relevant and a partner of choice in Viet Nam taking into consideration of above challenges.

The VNRC President highlighted some key directions which VNRC would like to operationalize in the years to come such as (i) Climate change adaptation and DRR; (ii) NSD through OCAC and BOCA; (iii) Communications and Resource Mobilisation; (iv) New forms of volunteering engagement and development; and (v) RCRC Movement values, power and inclusion.

In this connection, the IFRC AP Regional Director also expressed his support toward the above mentioned directions of the VNRC and committed that IFRC will be doing all it could to tag along with VNRC in pursuing our vision of “Everywhere for Everyone”.

In the meantime, the IFRC AP Regional Director used this opportunity to update VNRC and Movement Partners in Viet Nam of the IFRC Strategic Plan 2030 development and discuss with VNRC on how best the Movement Partners could support VNRC toward the development and alignment of the VNRC Strategic Plan 2030 and vision 2045.

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Viet Nam Red Cross Conducts Training on Cash & Data Management | 5-8 March 2019 | Ha Noi, Viet Nam

 

Viet Nam Red Cross society (VNRC) is implementing a cash preparedness project since the past year which paves the way to acceptance of cash as one of their aid delivery modalities from emergency response to recovery and long-term development. Significant key achievements have been noted as manifested in the successful completion of several cash in emergency DREF responses and finalization of the VNRC’s CVA position paper among others. Results of external evaluations and the midterm review conducted last November 2018 revealed the little use VNRC makes of new technologies in general, digital means for data collection and management, such as tablets and mobile phones. As a result, considerable amount of time is spent on beneficiary data entry and sanitising the excel document to comply with data quality requirements. These bottlenecks affect the desired speed and over-all effectiveness of the assistance. VNRC will soon start delivering cash assistance though financial service provider to process fund transfers which further compounds the need for timely collection and management of data meeting the required quality standards.

To move forward, a 5-day workshop were organized in Ha Noi from 5th to 8th March 2019 with participation 32 people (12 female) from VNRC, IFRC, Swiss Red Cross, American Red Cross, government disaster management agency, Save the Children, and Catholic Relief Services. The training was facilitated by the IFRC and Swiss Red Cross.

The purpose of the training to build the capacity of VNRC staff by understanding and practically apply mobile data collection and management tools which will be rapidly deployed in response to emergencies. This training also attempted to link mobile data collection systems to beneficiary registration and monitoring in VNRC.

Evaluation from participants:

Overall it seems that participants were satisfied with the workshop as an introduction to digital data collection and management. Data literacy has strong links to other areas of work such as monitoring and reporting which were also of interest for participants but the time available was insufficient.

Next steps:

It is important that VNRC staff could practice the use of the digital tools in the scenario which is planned to take place in May so that data is collected with RR
Collect, managed with the RR platform and then linked to the FSP for cash distribution. Then VNRC can complete the learning cycle and put into practice what has been taught in the training.

 

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Preparedness for Effective Response Workshop | 22 October – 14 November 2018 | Hanoi, Viet Nam

Twenty Red Cross colleagues (12 female) gathered in Hanoi on 22 October to be oriented on the Preparedness for Effective Response (PER) process. This is the first among five Phases of the process including Orientation -> Assessment -> Prioritization and Analysis -> Work-Plan -> Action and Accountability.

All colleagues (Viet Nam RC and Partner National Societies) participated in the meeting expressed their interest and commitment to be part of the process.

Preparedness for Effective Response (PER) is a cyclical approach for a National Society (NS) to systematically assess, measure, and analyse the strengths and weaknesses of its response system in order to take remedial actions. The PER approach puts the NS in the driver’s seat to construct a work-plan that when implemented should improve its overall response capacity. The approach complements other major RCRC Movement tools including the Organisational Capacity Assessment and Certification (OCAC), Branch Organisational Capacity Assessment (BOCA), and Safer Access Framework (SAF).

 

From 10- 14 November 2018, 20 (7 female) VNRC colleagues representing various department of VNRC HQs and disaster-prone provinces gathered in Da Nang city for an intensive self-assessment workshop to go through every individual benchmark of 37 components and five sub-components to discuss in detail what each benchmark means to the VNRC and where the National Society stands on each of them before giving overall priority and score for each component.

Representatives participated in the self-assessment workshop are: Disaster Management; Health and Care; General Office (Logistics and Admin); Finance; Human Resource/OD; Inspection/PMER; International Relations; central region Disaster Management Centre; southern region HQ Office; and seven (7) disaster- prone provinces throughout the country. In addition, a representative from American RC was present throughout the workshop.

According to participants’ feedback that the workshop was a brilliant opportunity for them to better understand comprehensively what it means when it comes to Preparedness for Effective Response (PER) and it is indeed a very informative session for all. In-depth discussion was seen in various components and sub-components where the NS felt “good performance” and “needs to be improved” or “partially exist”. In addition, the use of slido.com in voting and prioritisation made the workshop more interactive and excited for all.

From the workshop, seven components and sub-components were prioritized the most for moving further to develop a workplan to address them in the future. The selection was based on scoring and their importance:

Component Order Name of Component
16 Early Action Mechanism
21 Information Management
31 PMER
32 Financial and Admin Procedures in Emergencies
34c Procurement
35 Staff and Volunteer Management
37 Resource Mobilisation

All in all, participants enjoyed the process and suggested the tool should be further fine-tuned and polished (language and terminologies) so that VNRC could further use it in other assessments such as extended BOCA (under Red Ready Initiative) and so on so forth.

Moving forward: Work-Plan Phase expects to be taken place in the second half of December.

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