Commission on Information and Awareness: “Future of the SASPARM project”
The Commission on Information Awareness held a meeting to discuss future direction of the SASPARM Project following formal completion of its current state objectives and aims. The meeting looked at how the Project’s mission and activities can be developed and built upon after the completion of the current project mission in September 2014. This discussion particularly sought to focus on how the accomplishments could be sustained through any other upcoming projects in cooperation with local and international partners.
Dr. Dabeek, Director of the Urban Planning and Disaster Risk Reduction Centre and Project Coordinator, ran delegates through the Project’s achievements to date. He explained how the Project had gone well beyond its stated aims, exceeding our partners’ expectations. He went on to describe some of the most important achievements around training, spreading awareness and successful adoption of the Seismic Building Code. He also praised the website for its depth of knowledge, accessibility richness of content.
Dr. Dabeek also pointed out the University’s reputation as a result of the handling and success of the SASPARM Project, through the EU’s FP7 Projects. He highlighted how this will empower the University in its pursuit of participation in Horizon 2020 Projects. He also referred to the importance of feedback from stakeholders as the Project and its participants look to the future.
The participants discussed a number of suggestions that could be developed in the coming period to formulate a future strategy, with feed-in from experts from different areas of expertise around An-Najah and partner institutions.
To summarise, the following ideas were put forward:
· The need to go to the Stakeholders and obtain feedback on their experience in working within and communicating with the Project activities.
· Building on efforts within the International “Making Cities Resilient” campaign, and including these conclusions in the closing conference of the Project.
· Utilise and foster greater societal awareness so as a tool to ensure decision-makers and professionals implement the Code. Awareness raising being a vital component of the success of the project and its ability to change public understanding so as they are aware of the benefits of the Code to their everyday lives. Continuation of media work, utilising the different forms of media, in order to reach out to a wider audience, as well as paying special attention to schools’ role in educating future generation.
· Working on expanding the concept of disasters so that they are linked to the concept of peoples’ lifestyle and not just to the major disasters, such as earthquakes.
1. Support Action for Strengthening Palestinian-administered Areas capabilities for Seismic Risk Mitigation (SASPARM) Project aims to educate and spread awareness on earthquakes’ risks and mechanism for maintaining public safety of citizens.
2. The Project is sponsored by the EU within the FP7 projects and in partnership with the European Centre for Seismic Engineering and IUSS University Pavia, Italy.
3. The meeting was attended by Dr. Jalal Dabeek, Director of the Urban Planning and Disaster Risk Reduction Centre and Project Coordinator ; Dr. Sami Kilani, Societal Activities Project Coordinator; Dr. Iman Amad; Mr. Ayman Nimr, Director of An-Najah Voice; Eng. Sami Al-Saddar; Mr. Walaa Aj’aj; Eng. Hadeel Yameen; Mr. Amer Dana; and Mr. Arabi Hamdan.
4. The “Making Cities Resilient” campaign was launched by the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR). The Campaign seeks to raise awareness and commitment for sustainable development practices that will reduce disaster risk and increase the wellbeing and safety of citizens - to invest today for a better tomorrow. Cities are invited to join the campaign and fulfill the requirements of the checklist for resilience. A number of Palestinian cities have joined the campaign and other municipalities are encouraged to follow suit.