sian Disaster Preparedness Center (ADPC) jointly organized a ‘Co-Creation and Planning Workshop for Strengthening Multi-Stakeholder Cooperation for Disaster Preparedness and Response in Lao PDR’ with the Department of Social Welfare, Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare (DSW/MoLSW) on July 30, 2020.

The co-creation meeting was organized to bring together relevant stakeholders from government, non-profit associations (NPAs) and the private sector in the country to discuss the overall strategic direction and identify priority actions to strengthen multi-sector cooperation between the different sectors on areas relevant to disaster preparedness and response.

Mr. Vilayphong Sisomvang, Director General of DSW/MoLSW, encouraged the participants from the government, NPAs and the private sector to discuss gaps and challenges, share lessons and experiences on how to effectively coordinate the DRM activities at local levels and take the opportunity at the workshop to learn Asian Preparedness Partnership (APP) experience from the other three ASEAN countries.

Mr. Hans Guttman, Executive Director of ADPC, noted that ADPC will continue its engagement in Lao PDR to strengthen the coordination between the key actors at national and local level while providing also opportunity for learning and experience sharing at the regional level.

The workshop offered a platform to share experiences from the APP which has been implemented as a multi-stakeholder platform of government, the private sector and civil society networks, with a view to supporting the localization of disaster preparedness and emergency response actions through multi-stakeholder engagement and partnerships in selected countries in Asia, namely Cambodia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines and Sri Lanka. The APP is supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) and USAID’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA). 

APP partners from government, local NGOs/ Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and private sector shared experiences regarding successes, challenges and learnings of the multi-stakeholder approach in their countries. Mr. Sovann Sam, Executive Director of Cambodia Humanitarian Forum (CHF), Cambodia; Mr. Ngwe Thein, Executive Director, Capacity Building Initiative (CBI), Myanmar; and Ms. Veronica Gabaldon, Executive Director, Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation (PDRF), Philippines provided insights from their respective country and sector specific experiences. 

Drawing on this sharing from other contexts, the workshop participants in Lao PDR were able to discuss about the key gaps, challenges and opportunities as well as priority areas across the key themes of multi-stakeholder coordination & partnership, capacity development and knowledge management & learning exchange in Lao PDR. The key findings will assist in clarifying and identifying the way forward and next steps in the short, medium and longer term for strengthening multi-stakeholder cooperation for disaster preparedness and response in the country.

The workshop was the first of its kind in the country to bring together representatives from three different sectors to discuss issues relevant to disaster preparedness and response.  The key interventions identified will be a basis for the continued discussion among the key stakeholders to build and institutionalize the multi-stakeholder national preparedness partnership.

The workshop was attended by 35 participants (14 females and 21 males), 21 of which joined in person in Vientiane from the Lao Government, Lao Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), private sector, civil society organizations-CSOs/Non-Profit Associations-NPAs and selected development partners, and ADPC staff. 14 participants attended the workshop remotely via online platform from ADPC headquarters in Bangkok and country offices in Cambodia and Myanmar as well as APP representatives from other countries.