India is one of the founding partners of the PEER program, associated since 1998. Under the current stage, PEER endeavors to take this partnership forward by institutionalizing its approach in institutional systems, training programs, and budgets of the country. To strategize a plan for embedding PEER, the National Steering Committee (NSC), together with the other national implementing institutes and state-level partners as co-opted members, held a meeting on 14 July 2022 in New Delhi.
The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), as the chair of NSC, led the meeting with officials from the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, National Institute of Disaster Management (NIDM), and State Disaster Management Authority of Uttrakhand, Gujarat, Odisha, Bihar, and Kerala. The NSC has been formed to oversee and provide guidance for implementing PEER in the country.
The discussion was initiated by reviewing the proceedings of the last NSC meeting conducted in 2020, which focused on identifying ways to adopt PEER curricula into the Disaster Risk Management (DRM) strategies of India. The high-level discussion aimed at understanding the goals, objectives, and approaches for integrating PEER and identifying the priority actions for its institutionalization.
Shri Rajendra Singh, Member, NDMA highlighted the long association of India with PEER and added, “PEER has gained substantial achievements in India, and we wish that this partnership prospers in the coming years.”
DRM Specialist from ADPC, Kuldip Singh, presented PEER’s progress on institutionalization and facilitated discussions on critical interventions for the nationwide implementation of PEER. “A common methodology and curriculum like PEER courses are needed to ensure coordination among different response forces,” he added.
The Steering Committee reiterated the need to focus on developing a core team of trainers and instructors in each state, who will further cascade down the knowledge to other response forces in their respective states.
The meeting ended with recommendations and agreements as a way forward for PEER interventions in the country. This includes further refining the PEER India National Institutionalization Strategy, which NDMA will present at a regional meeting in Bangkok together with other program countries in South Asia.