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Geospatial Community in Vietnam Together for Disaster Management

January 7, 2015

Participants collaborate during simulation exercises as part of the Geospatially Enabling Community Collaboration Workshop in Hanoi, Vietnam.

Members of the Vietnamese geospatial community gathered in Hanoi, Vietnam, November 11–12 for the Geospatially Enabling Community Collaboration (GECCo) Workshop. The event was held to promote discussion on, and advance the use of, space-based and geospatial information for disaster management, at the local and regional levels.

Jointly organized by Vietnam’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), the United Nations Platform for Space-based Information for Disaster Management and Emergency Response (UN-SPIDER), and Geospatial Information and Technology Association (GITA), this event was a follow-up to the UN-SPIDER Technical Advisory Mission (TAM) to Vietnam of March 2013. It is based on the GECCo framework that has been implemented in the US, Japan, and Australia, and was developed and refined by GITA over a 10-year period.

At the request of UN-SPIDER, Pacific Disaster Center’s (PDCs) Southeast Asia Program Advisor Victoria Leat provided a demonstration of the VinAWARE system, a web-based early warning and decision support system based on PDC’s DisasterAWARE platform. Leat also shared progress of the second phase of the Flood Modeling and Early Warning Capacity Development Project (FEW2), a two-year project that seeks to advance the use of VinAWARE.

Simulation and interactive activities during the workshop served to foster relationships and knowledge exchange in a way that will strengthen institutional collaboration during disaster. Participants were grouped to produce fictional maps and identify geospatial information requirements for decision-making. As groups presented their maps and information requirements, Leat mirrored their maps in VinAWARE, demonstrating the available data layers available within the system for use by disaster management practitioners in Vietnam.

More than 70 delegates attended the workshop, largely representatives from Vietnam ministries and departments with disaster management responsibilities and intergovernmental and nongovernmental organizations working in Vietnam. These included Vietnam’s Central Committee for Flood and Storm Control (CCFSC) and its Disaster Management Center (DMC), the General Statistics Office, UN Development Program (UNDP), World Food Program (WFP), Asian Development Bank (ADB), and Oxfam. Closing the workshop, MARD Vice Minister Dr. Hoang Van Thang pledged his support for the VinAWARE system, recognizing it as a powerful tool for disaster management in Vietnam.

For more information on the GECCo workshop:
• View UN-SPIDER news, and
• Read a GITA article about the workshop.

Learn more about the FEW Project with these resources:
• Read about Vietnam's recent flood modeling workshop,
• Details on the first VinAWARE training sessions,
• Information from the FEW2 stakeholder meeting,
• The launch of the USAID-supported FEW2 Project,
• Special training in the use of PDC's DisasterAWARE,
• News of PDC commitment to DM in Vietnam,
• A description of the first use of the VinAWARE,
• The first Flood Early Warning Project launched in 2009, and

• To see what Dr. Phuc and the DMC are doing, go to

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Pacific Disaster Center (PDC) envisions a safer, more secure world—where populations live in more disaster-resilient communities informed by science and technology, and equipped with sound decision support tools. To help make that vision a reality, PDC is dedicated to supporting evidence-based disaster risk reduction (DRR) efforts by providing actionable information and applications to the public and disaster managers worldwide. PDC, a program managed by the University of Hawaii, was established by the U.S. government in 1996.