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UN-SPIDER Mission Advises Vietnam on Space-based Information for Disaster Management

April 15, 2013

Program connects the disaster management and space technology communities to improve collaboration and disaster resilience. 

The team of international experts brought together by the United Nations for its Technical Advisory Mission to Vietnam included PDC’s Chris Chiesa, front row, second from left. MARD Vice Minister Dr. Hoang Van Thang is seen in the center of the front row. Team members are joined here by numerous in-country disaster management stakeholders.

The United Nations Platform for Space-based Information for Disaster Management and Emergency Response (UN-SPIDER) program aims to provide universal access to all types of space-based information and services relevant to disaster management.

At the request of the Government of Vietnam through the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), UN-SPIDER carried out a Technical Advisory Mission (TAM) at the end of March, to provide support for building capacity and increasing access for space-based technology. The TAM team included experts from 11 organizations. Pacific Disaster Center (PDC) joined UN-SPIDER and other highly-qualified specialists from China, Philippines, Netherlands, Spain, France, and Canada.

TAM members visited key disaster management stakeholder agencies in the country and made recommendations to MARD about how to overcome gaps in institutional capacity, improve intra-governmental coordination, and address the challenges in data sharing among and within agencies nationwide.

PDC has a long history of working with the Government of Vietnam on disaster risk reduction and disaster management. Most recently, in a project that that was completed in December 2011, PDC developed and deployed VinAWARE, a customized version of the DisasterAWARE early warning and decision support platform for Vietnam that incorporates DM-relevant data from Vietnamese agencies and present it, along with baseline DisasterAWARE information, in the Vietnamese language. In 2013, a second phase will be undertaken to extend the reach of VinAWARE to more hazards as well as install hardware and software so it can be hosted by Vietnam’s Disaster Management Center.

PDC Deputy Executive Director Chris Chiesa was invited by the United Nations to participate in the Technical Advisory Mission. “I am really pleased to see how eagerly our long-time colleagues in Vietnam have embraced the Team’s recommendations for improving information sharing between agencies to support more effective disaster management decision making,” Chiesa said. “By leveraging both national and international sources of space-based information, the country can continue to advance its efforts to become disaster-resilient. Vietnam’s enthusiasm over VinAWARE was evident during this mission. PDC is very excited about our continued partnering with Vietnam to more fully operationalize it throughout the country.”  

MARD Vice Minister Dr. Hoang Van Thang thanked the mission team, saying that disaster management professionals in Vietnam were provided a wider vision of what is possible with more effective use and sharing of space and related technology and information for disaster management. He expressed MARD’s commitment to follow-up on the TAM’s recommendations and to help mainstream DRM – including the use of space-technologies – more broadly into development activities in the county.

Explore the longstanding relationship between PDC and Vietnam in these resources:
Vietnam Disaster Management Center (DMC) Director visit to PDC (2012).
VinAWARE used for the 2011 hurricane season.
• Expert knowledge exchange at PDC as part of the Flood Early Warning project (2011)
• Special training in the use of PDC's DisasterAWARE was conducted in Vietnam (2010)
• The first Flood Early Warning Project launched in 2009.
• A fact sheet on International Capacity Development.
• To learn more about what the DMC is 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.