Dominican Republic - Institutional Strengthening Mission

One of the recommendations of a Technical Advisory Mission in 2010 was for the National Emergency Commission (CNE) to establish an inter-institutional group that focuses on the processing of satellite imagery to generate space-based information for disaster-risk management and disaster response efforts. As a way to contribute to the implementation of this recommendation, UN-SPIDER carried out a follow-up mission from 7-11 November 2011.


Mon, 07/11/2011 to Fri, 11/11/2011

Host Institution: 

National Emergency Commission (CNE)

Mission Team: 


Mission Profile: 

The mission took place under the coordination of CNE, serving as Secretariat to the National System for Prevention, Mitigation and Disaster Response, with the support of experts from CATHALAC and IGAC in their role as Regional Support Offices to UN-SPIDER. This mission included an inter-institutional workshop to elaborate the operational framework for the Geo-Spatial Information Team which will target efforts in the areas of risk management and disaster response. Additionally, meetings with representatives from government agencies, the United Nations, the European Union, and the International Cooperation Agency of Spain were arranged.

The three-day workshop took place in the facilities of the Commission and gathered technical staff from the National Emergency Operations Centre (EOC), Civil Defense, Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Environment, Agriculture, Mining, and Health; the National Institutes of Water Resources, Statistics, and Military Cartography; the National Meteorological Office, the Institutes of Geography and Seismology of the Autonomous University of Santo Domingo, the Technological Institute of the Americas, and the Red Cross.

Mission Outcome: 

The workshop participants recommended to the National Emergency Commission the establishment of the Geo-Spatial Information Team (EIGEO) as a structure for all of these institutions to work together in a coordinated fashion. The team will focus on the generation of space-based information to be used by the Technical Committee of the CNE, the Emergency Operations Center (COE), and other ministries in their efforts to respond to a variety of events which can trigger disasters, and in areas related to prevention, mitigation, and early warning.

In addition, participants recommended the establishment of a coordination group integrated by representatives from the EOC, the Military Cartographic Institute (ICM), Ministry of Environment and the National Institute for Water Resources (INDRHI) which could oversee all activities conducted by the team and could serve as a liaison with UN-SPIDER, CATHALAC, and other regional and international organizations. The participants concluded the workshop with an outline of short-, medium-, and long-term activities to be carried out by the team, some of which will set the bases for further work. This set of activities constitutes already a Plan of Work which will guide the work of the team in years to come.

Using this opportunity, CATHALAC donated to government institutions participating in this workshop the most recent radar satellite image mosaic of the Dominican Republic, which was acquired by CATHALAC recently.

Based on the recommendations emanating from the workshop, the Director of CNE outlined the tasks that the CNE will conduct as a way to institutionalize the team within the framework of the existing legislation (Decree 147-02) and will designate a member of the Commission to preside over the team. In a complementary fashion, it was agreed that UN-SPIDER would follow-up through two activities:

  • A virtual training course on GIS offered by IGAC in November and December 2011;
  • A training course on remote sensing applications to disaster-risk management and emergency response to be conducted in the Dominican Republic in the summer of 2012.

Sudan - Technical Advisory Mission

Sudan is exposed to droughts, some of them triggering famines and displacements. Sudan is also exposed to floods along the Nile river, sand storms and heat stress. At the invitation of the Government of Sudan and taking into consideration an ever-increasing potential for natural disasters and the effects of climate change, UN-SPIDER conducted a Technical Advisory Mission to Sudan. The key objectives of the mission were to assess national capacity and evaluate disaster and risk reduction activities, policies and plans with regard to the use of space-based technologies.


Sun, 22/05/2011 to Thu, 26/05/2011

Host Institution: 

The Sudanese Remote Sensing Authority

Mission Team: 

The mission was headed by two experts from UN-SPIDER and included experts from UNEP, UNDP, the German Aerospace Centre (DLR), York University, Planet Action, the China National Space Administration and the Regional Centre for Mapping and Resources Development (RCMRD), which is one of the three UN-SPIDER Regional Support Offices in Africa.

Mission Profile: 

The mission included meetings with representatives from key government stakeholders including three Ministers. The mission included a half-day meeting to brief representatives from the various relevant government departments and to discuss cross-cutting issues related to the use of space-based information for disaster risk reduction and emergency response. The mission also included a one-day national workshop which was attended by over 100 representatives from the Government, NGOs, Academia, United Nations organisations and private companies.

Mission Findings: 

The expert team became aware that the National Council for Civil Defence (NCCD) is the apex body in the Government to coordinate disaster management in the country. The Council is composed by 16 Ministries, the Governor of Khartoum State and the Civil Defense Administration. It the main decision maker in case of disasters;

Disaster Risk Management and Emergency Response efforts are conducted under the coordination of the Council and involve the Civil Defense, the Ministry of Irrigation and Water Resources, the Ministry of Health, the Meteorological Authority and other organizations. However, the focus is more on disaster response as opposed to disaster-risk reduction efforts;

The Mission also took note of the lack of effective links among government agencies when it comes of data and information sharing. In particular, there is an absence of a coordinated, government-driven, functional National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI) for Sudan;

There are a number of key institutions within Government with competent, well trained professionals and technicians that are currently adept at use space-based data and geo-information technologies to derive value-added geospatial information products for DRR and ER, as is evident from their past and ongoing projects. For example the Dessert Locust Control Centre is a key example of using a combination of earth observation data with communication and navigation satellites data. Other institutes would include the Remote Sensing Authority (RSA), the Sudan Meteorological Authority (SMA), the Desert Locust Control Centre (LCC), National Survey and Mapping Authority and the Ministry of Agriculture;

There is a substantial amount of GIS data covering the entire country but it is not cohesive. The mission team could not get indication that any single agency currently has the entire baseline GIS data for the entire country which can be shared with all other departments and institutions involved in using of geospatial information.

Sudan is implementing the Regional Centre for Preparedness and Early Warning with assistance from the International Civil Defense Organization (ICDO);

Currently no Government institution is in the position to activate the International Charter Space and Major Disasters.

Mission Recommendations: 

Based on its findings, the mission team identified a number of activities that could lead to improved use of space-based information and technology. Among them:

  • The NCCD should enact policies and implement strategies targeting disaster risk reduction as a way to improve early warning, preparedness, response and mitigation, pillared on space technology applications;
  • The NCCD should find ways to improve institutional arrangements and coordination to ensure effective cooperation and contribution of all the stakeholders to implement decisions of the Council.
  • Government Ministries should design and implement clear mechanisms for information management and sharing, including the development of the country’s National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI). A National Geo-information Committee should be formed based on the protocol established by RCMRD for its member states to improve coordination, cooperation and networking of the organisations involved in generating geospatial information;
  • The government should take steps to link with UN-SPIDER and with mechanisms such as the International Charter: Space and Major Disasters as a way to access relevant information for disaster risk reduction, strengthen early warning systems and monitor disaster’s impact to provide effective emergency response;
  • The NCCD should strengthen institutional capacities at the federal and state levels to consolidate the application of space technologies and geo-information.
  • Awareness raising activities targeting the decision makers at high and mid-levels need to be conducted focusing on the benefits of space-based information in the context of emergency response and disaster-risk management;


Zircon - This is a contributing Drupal Theme
Design by WeebPal.