A Standard Community Resilience Framework, Implemented

Saint Kitts-Nevis National Disaster Management Offices (NEMA/NDMD) embarked on a re-structuring of its Community Volunteer Programme back in 2014. This process followed much reflection and evaluation of the then existing system and its ability to meet the demands of the changing environment that is also being impacted by climate related risks. In a consultation, Ms. Donna Pierre, Disaster Risk Management Specialist from the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency Coordinating Unit (CDEMA CU) met with staff of both offices as well as district volunteers from St. Kitts at the NEMA Headquarters. The meetings took place from April 25th – 27th, 2017.

The proposed Community Resilience Framework (CRF) presented by the CDEMA CU was an adaptation of Dr. John Twigg’s publication titled “Characteristics of a Disaster Resilient Community”. A UK based professor, with close to two decades of experience in this area; Dr. Twigg provided a comprehensive outline of characteristics of a resilient community and supporting characteristics of an enabling environment under five thematic areas.

St Kitts and Nevis got the piloting started in April 2017 with Governance. In reviewing the various thematic areas this was identified as a critical starting point as Community Resilience involves the input from a wide cross section of government and non-governmental entities. Under this thematic area there were eight components of resilience. These included:

i. Policy and political commitment
ii. Legal and regulatory systems
iii. Integration with development policies and planning
iv. Integration with emergency response and recovery
v. Institutional mechanisms, capacities and structure, allocation of responsibilities
vi. Partnerships
vii. Accountability and community participation
viii. Monitoring, Evaluation and Reporting

The proposed next steps for enhancing the Community Volunteer Programme in St. Kitts and Nevis include:

i. Identifying the critical steps toward completing the CRF
ii. Maximising the opportunities provided through the Country Directed Fund in providing resources to completing the application of the CRF
iii. Recognising and documenting key inputs to the benefit of the Country Work Programme
iv. Recognising and strengthening existing partnerships that may mobilise resources and advance the community resilience agenda
Appreciation for funding provided through CDEMA was expressed by the Disaster Managers who shared that they are committed to progressing the related actions that form a necessary component to the determined next steps, of the project.