The Office of Civil Defense (OCD) of the Philippines recently launched its online information system for reporting emergencies and monitoring government-funded projects for disaster prevention and recovery. The importance of this system, officially called the Project Monitoring and Evaluation System for Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (PMESD), has grown dramatically since Typhoon Yolanda, which caused widespread and unprecedented devastation in the Philippines.
This information technology initiative was motivated by the Philippine Government’s Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM) Act of 2010, which introduced a series of institutional reforms aimed at improving how the government manages and mitigates the risks of natural disasters.
PMESD is designed to provide a comprehensive picture on the implementation, progress, and results of DRRM activities funded under the Government’s Calamity Fund. This government system will streamline the reporting of emergencies by local government units (LGUs) through an efficient online mechanism. It will also support results-driven decision making by OCD and other government agencies by providing critical real-time information on DRRM projects. Furthermore, the PMESD will enable citizens to submit their feedback on DRRM activities, thereby promoting government accountability and transparency.
In January 2014, Synergy trained OCD staff on the operation of the PMESD in preparation for the launch of the system. OCD will administer the PMESD, with regional and local OCD offices reporting to it on an ongoing basis. PMESD will also be capable of speaking with other government information systems in order to exchange data in an automated fashion and thereby prevent information silos from hindering the government’s DRRM policy making.
Synergy was awarded the PMESD project through a World Bank international competitive bidding. The project is funded by the World Bank’s Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR).