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Sphere training for disaster management authorities validated in Ecuador

By Martín Villarroel García and Magdalena Medrano, Sphere trainers, focal point representatives (Red Esfera Bolivia) and individual members.

A group of six people, including Magdalena Medrano, Martin Villarroel and David Sánchez, stand in front of some rollup banners.

The Guayaquil Sphere workshop training team

Download the Sphere NDMA training pack here (in Spanish only for now).

Download the Engaging National Disaster Management Authorities thematic sheet.


National governments are responsible for upholding the rights and promoting the well-being of their citizens. National Disaster Management Authorities (NDMAs) play a key role in disaster preparedness, prevention and risk reduction. They develop and apply policies in line with national and international regulations; they work in partnership with other ministries, the United Nations, and community and humanitarian organisations; and they coordinate humanitarian response and reconstruction.

Sphere promotes quality and accountability and provides a common language for the diverse stakeholders involved in humanitarian preparedness, response and recovery including government and civil society actors. Humanitarian response which is coordinated results in better outcomes for people and communities affected by crises (see Core Humanitarian Standard Commitment 6).

One of Sphere’s strategic priorities for 2021 to 2025 is to “strengthen cooperation between Sphere, humanitarian donors and NDMAs, and promote the institutionalisation and application of Sphere standards”. The Sphere NDMA training pack contributes to this priority. Martín García led the development of the new product with the support of many Sphere focal points and trainers who participated in virtual consultation and validation workshops, in English and Spanish.

The key objective of this training pack is to enable Sphere focal points and trainers to teach NDMA staff about the importance of humanitarian standards, how to integrate them into humanitarian policies, and how to adopt them in preparedness, response and recovery phases.

The training pack presents three alternative workshop agendas depending on the learning requirements of participants. As part of the development process, two of these session plans were piloted with NDMA decision makers in Ecuador.

32 people attended the ”Sphere Course for Decision Makers” event in Quito from 2 to 4 May and 30 people attended a similar event in Guayaquil from 10 to 12 May 2022. The workshops were hosted by ADRA Ecuador within the framework of their “Ecuador Better Prepared” project, financed by USAID’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (BHA) and facilitated by Martin Villarroel, Magdalena Medrano and David Sánchez (ADRA Ecuador Coordinator).

A group of 37 people holding certificates stand on the steps outside a building. One person is in a wheelchair. Rollup banners for USAID, ADRA and Sphere are visible. The letters on the building read “Benemerito Cuerpo de Bomberos de Guayaquil”

Graduates of a Sphere workshop in Guayaquil show their certificates

Participants from the “Servicio Nacional de Gestión de Riesgos y Emergencias” (SNGRE), Sphere’s focal point in Ecuador, were joined by representatives from the Ministries of Education, Health, Economic and Social Inclusion, and Transport and Public Works; the Secretary of Security for the Metropolitan District of Quito (DMQ); the Fire Departments of Cayambe, DMQ and Canton of Mejía; the Meritorious Fire Department of Guayaquil; the Gobierno Autónomo Descentralizado Intercultural y Plurinacional (GADIP) municipalities of Cayambe, Esmeralda, Salitre, El Empalme, Daule, Duran, Babahoyo and Samborondón; the Very Illustrious Municipality of Guayaquil (Resource Management and Cooperation Directorate); the Provincial Government of Pichincha; the Decentralized Government of the Province of Pichincha (GADPP) Risk Management Directorate; the National Police of Ecuador; the Navy of Ecuador; the Joint Command of the Armed Forces of Ecuador; the Ecuadorian Red Cross; and the Director of ADRA Ecuador.

Participants expressed their satisfaction with the training events, valued the performance and experience of the facilitators, and developed plans – expressed as forty-seven priority activities – to disseminate their newly acquired skills and knowledge in their institutions and the communities where they serve.

 

“The realisation of the Sphere Courses for Decision Makers contributes to the strengthening of capacities within the National Services. We will follow up on the fulfilment of the dissemination plans that they have prepared, and, in the future, we plan to organise a Sphere Training of Trainers programme for decision makers, in coordination with ADRA Ecuador, whom we thank for their support.”

Emerson Benítez, director of humanitarian assistance for Ecuador’s Secretaría de Gestión de Riesgos and Sphere focal point representative

 

“Ecuador has been working with Sphere Standards for many years. These courses for staff of the SNGRE, decentralised autonomous governments and other humanitarian actors contribute to improving the quality of humanitarian response. Adopting humanitarian standards helps us to provide more dignified, timely and adequate help to people affected by crisis. We thank ADRA and USAID for making these events possible, and for their services to strengthen the National Risk and Emergency Management System and the Government of Ecuador.”

Johan Coronel, Undersecretary of Preparedness and Response to Adverse Events of the SNGRE


Sphere is grateful to Martin, Magdalena, Prasad Sevekari (author of the NDMA thematic sheet), and everyone else – trainers, focal points and others – that contributed to these new products.

View the full range of Sphere resources related to NDMAs here.