Today, needs assessment and recovery planning face a myriad of complex challenges as the frequency and intensity of disasters and emergencies continue to increase – from a lack of coordination and collaboration among organisations and the need for more effective common needs assessments, to sizable information gaps and a lack of community awareness and involvement.
Founded to address these challenges, COBACORE (Community Based Comprehensive Recovery) is at the forefront of efforts to develop an innovative approach to community-based comprehensive recovery. Launched in April, the COBACORE project represents a vision of the future of disaster recovery efforts and is focused on building tools to support local communities, NGOs and governments in their needs assessments and recovery planning during post-disaster recovery. The project team’s primary objective is to close the collaboration gaps between communities that play a role during recovery and make it easier to match needs with capacities.
The project will work towards the achievement of this objective through four main activities:
- The development of a comprehensive and holistic, community-based approach to needs assessment and recovery planning during disaster response. COBACORE will deliver an integrated and interactive platform from which endusers obtain an improved picture of the post-disaster situation, tailored to their own needs and interests.
- The development of tools tailored to meet the needs of different types of communities (including NGOs) that play a role in disaster recovery. Tools will help affected and supporting communities to share information and voice their needs, find others that can help and build collaborations that will support them in regaining their livelihoods.
- Interaction and evaluation sessions with end-user groups, including professional relief organisations, governmental bodies and volunteer groups. Close collaboration with stakeholders ensures alignment with current practices and approaches to needs assessment in disaster recovery.
- Various evaluation sessions with representatives from the humanitarian domain, culminating in a large-scale fielded evaluation session on the Netherlands-Germany border.
What does the realisation of COBACORE’s goals mean for those involved in disaster relief and emergency response? Citizens and relief workers will benefit from facilities to share needs and capabilities and the opportunity to forge local partnerships. Governmental bodies and humanitarian relief organisations will have a community-generated view of the recovery process and means to collaborate strategically. Volunteers and online communities will have access to the channels needed to contribute in a more coherent, meaningful and visible manner.
The project has a three-year timeline for research and development and is funded by the EU 7th Framework Programme. Implementing partners include TNO, University of Ulster, The Netherlands Red Cross, The German Red Cross, The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, the University of Tilburg, Future Analytics Consulting, IntegraSys, GeoPii and the University of Zilina.