During working group discussions at the 2008 Caribbean Health Disaster Coordinators meeting, and under the framework of PAHO’s Disaster Strategic Plan, participants rallied around the idea of developing a Health
Sector Self-Assessment Tool for Disaster Risk Reduction to evaluate key aspects of disaster risk management (notably mitigation and preparedness).
The Tool is generally limited to information and data – quantitative and qualitative – available to or generated by the health sector. As an internal tool for use by the health sector, it will aid in determining priorities for a national health sector risk reduction or disaster management program (or set of initiatives) and, if used regularly, as a monitoring tool for measuring changes (or lack thereof) over time.
To be effective, it requires objective responses from Health Disaster Coordinators and other relevant health sector stakeholders. It is important to point out that the Tool was developed with the knowledge of professionals from health and disaster management fields, and with expert input from monitoring and evaluation specialists.
Consensus was achieved following intense discussions and pilot application in three countries. By its very nature of application however, the Tool has an element of subjectivity and will likely be adjusted/updated as it is applied and new things are learnt.