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UNICEF AND FIJI NATIONAL DISASTER MANAGEMENT OFFICE SIGN LETTER OF UNDERSTANDING FOR DISASTER PREPARDENESS, RESPONSE AND RECOVERY TOOL

© Kuinikoro
Sheldon Yett UNICEF Representative, Pacific Island Countries and Meleti Bainimarama, the Permanent Secretary for Rural and Maritime Development and National Disaster Management

SUVA – The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and Fiji’s National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) signed a Letter of Understanding (LOU) governing the use of the RapidPro platform, in Suva on 8th March 2017. 

Provided to Fiji’s NDMO through UNICEF, RapidPro is an open-source platform of applications that can help the government deliver information quickly and connect communities to lifesaving services through SMS messaging. The signing of the Letter of Understanding initiates the use of the RapidPro platform to assist the Fijian Government’s efforts in disaster risk management. The project involves the design of data collection templates around preparedness, response and recovery. The tool is targeted to a closed group of personnel who are already working closely with the NDMO in the lead up and during disasters. 

“In both periods of peacetime and disasters, it is important to have updated data and rapid avenues of information gathering and sharing between authorities, responders and communities on the ground”, said Meleti Bainimarama, the Permanent Secretary for Rural and Maritime Development and National Disaster Management. “RapidPro will be used initially to gather and share preparedness information with ground responders such as District Officers or Turaga ni Koros.” 

“RapidPro is an open source tool, developed by UNICEF that will allow the NDMO to design, pilot and scale services that connect directly with a mobile phone user,” said UNICEF Pacific Representative, Sheldon Yett. “The tool connects citizens to critical services – mainstreaming innovation and making it work for the most disadvantaged children especially during disasters.”

Mr. Bainimarama said, “While we have strengths in preparedness and response as evident during Tropical Cyclone Winston, improvements in communication systems and public messaging through new partnerships and innovation are among our lessons learnt.” 

He thanked UNICEF for the timely initiative and added that the signing of the LOU marked another milestone in the collaboration between UNICEF and the Fiji NDMO in both development and disaster risk reduction.

RapidPro’s applications are produced by UNICEF in partnership with universities and software creators and are constantly updated as new challenges emerge. The applications were created in response to the experience and challenges of humanitarian workers, particularly when delivering aid and carrying out critical work to reach the most needed populations.                                                                                                        

UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere. For more information about UNICEF and its work visit: www.unicefpacific.org

 

Follow us on Twitter @UNICEFPacific | Facebook @likeunicefpacific

Learn more about Rapid Pro - https://community.rapidpro.io/about-rapidpro/

The Ministry of Rural and Maritime Development and National Disaster Management coordinates and implements the Fijian Government’s rural and maritime development initiatives with a mission to empower Fiji’s rural sector. We are also responsible for the national disaster management strategy focusing on building resilient communities. We have offices in each of Fiji’s 14 provinces leading the Fijian Government’s rural development and disaster management operations.

Follow us on Twitter @FijiGov_MRMDNDM

For more information please contact:

Donna Hoerder, UNICEF/Fiji, Tel. +679 3236100 dhoerder@unicef.org  

Penioni Kuinikoro, MRMDNDM, Tel. +679 3313400/+679 9472380, penioni.kuinikoro@govnet.gov.fj

 

 
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