Local Action for Disaster Risk Reduction – Strengthening Preparedness and Resilience through Inclusive Community Governance in the Maldives, SPRING Project.
Strengthening Preparedness and Resilience through Inclusive Community Governance in the Maldives, SPRING Project is a collaborative project between the Maldivian Red Crescent (MRC), the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and Asian Disaster Preparedness Center (ADPC) funded by USAID’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (BHA).
The overarching aim of the project is to increase resilience towards disasters within all segments of the Maldivian society. Steadily complimenting MRC’s Strategic priority 3 – Facilitate Planning for Resilience -, the project embeds the concept of Inclusive Community Governance at the heart of its efforts. Inclusive community governance ensures a condition where every member of a community despite their age, gender, race, ability, or any other identity defining factor is actively able to contribute to the resilience of their community. Through the project MRC aims to engage with island communities in undertaking of mitigation actions and integrating them within local community development plans to enhance a culture of ownership and empowerment.
SPRING Project is multi-dimensional in its efforts and covers a range of work to build resilience across the island archipelago. Through the community awareness and mobilization tool Hazard Vulnerability Capacity Assessment within Island Disaster Management Workshops, in collaboration with NDMA, MRC has completed the conduction of 6 HVCAs alongside the development of Island Disaster Management Plans (IDMPs) in the islands – G. A Dhevvadhoo, K. Dhiffushi, B. Maalhos, Sh. Komandoo, H.Dh. Finey and B. Kendhoo.
Not only did the workshops generate unique understandings of disasters in the Maldives but also elicited a plethora of indigenous knowledge surrounding weather patterns, hazards, and climate induced risks in the Maldives. Reflecting on the data gained through HVCA's, MRC is in the process of developing and executing Priority Implementation Projects - small scale activities identified within the Action Plan of the Island Disaster Management Plan (IDMP) to be implemented, evaluated, and reported by community members – within respective islands.
SPRING project also aims to develop capacity to respond to disasters within the Maldives. In August 2023, Kulhudhuffushi City Unit organized an Emergency Response Team Induction training to enhance the overall emergency response capacity of the MRC Kulhudhuffushi City Unit.
Another element at the core of the project is knowledge management and dissemination of information with the topics Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation at the forefront of the process given the cumulative yet rapid impact of the climate crisis on the Maldives. As part of the project, MRC will be launching a nationwide Public Outreach Campaign which encompasses messages about preparedness, mitigation, and response in the context of disasters and climate change adaptation creating a myriad of communications resources – physical and digital – as well as interactive and informative resource packs to be distributed to positively promote behavioral changes across island communities.
Through the interlink of community mobilization, capacity building and knowledge dissemination, SPRING project aims to empower communities to become resilient and autonomous to effectively mitigate and reduce disasters in the Maldives.