In the course of the mentoring sessions, aimed at helping the Pinnovators (Filipino innovators) enhance their proposals, the Pinnovators requested for a thorough discussion on Community Risk Assessment (CRA). This is in line with the need to sharpen the innovators’ problem identification and relate it to the innovative DRRM solution. Somehow, in the absence of risk assessment, the process seems to have a gap somewhere. The deadlock meant a lot of things. But a common challenge, amidst the COVID 19 situation, is the limited opportunity to sit-down with the community members and to utilize CRA tools. These tools would help the community in identifying DRR/CCA gaps and challenges; in evaluating their community hazards, exposure, vulnerabilities and capacities; and in ideating their responsive and risk-informed solutions.
This reality is also caused by the pandemic restrictions. Safety protocols limit community meetings. However, just like in any other pandemic challenges, the Pinnovators are still set to proceed in joining the project, and explore other options to be able to improve their proposals.
With the objective to strengthen the capacities of the Pinnovators in the preparation and/or updating of their risk assessments, the Pinnovation Academy conducted two (2) batches of Participatory Community Risk Assessment workshops. The 1st Batch was solely intended for the Luzon hub which was done on August 24-25, 2021. The 2nd Batch prioritized Pinnovators from the Visayas and Mindanao hubs with a few innovators from Luzon, was held on August 31 – September 1, 2021.
These dates were fixed after the project team decided to extend the deadline for the submission of proposals from August 31 to September 16. This was a necessary adjustment with the common feedback from the Pinnovators that they needed more time, alongside with the government’s stricter implementations of Enhanced Community Quarantines and Modified Enhanced Community Quarantines in many areas in the country. The re-classification of quarantine status was implemented for the entire month of August towards the 1st week of September.
This extension provided more time not only for the Pinnovators but also for the team to conduct additional capacity building activities.The CRA Workshops included inputs on Basic Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation, Community Risk Assessment in Community-Based DRRM and DRRM Thematic Areas and Cross-Cutting Themes. A total of six (6) CRA tools were discussed. These tools were disaster timeline, hazard mapping, elements-at-risk, seasonal calendar, social venn diagram, and a tool for summing up the results of the first five (5) tools. The Pinnovators experienced applying some of the tools with the available community data that they have, as well as from their own experiences at the household level.
Participatory Community Risk Assessment was discussed as one of the key processes in Community-Based DRRM where assessments of community hazards, exposure, vulnerabilities and capacities are regularly being updated. CRA as a process involves effective tools linking community problems to the solutions. CRA builds the connection of the vulnerabilities and exposure to the identified hazard onwards to the innovation.
During the feedback sessions, the Pinnovators expressed improved knowledge on DRRM, CCAM, CRA and on how they will be able to conduct participatory risk assessments in their respective communities. In the vernacular they shared their reflections on the CRA Workshops.
Ms. Patricia Herrera from the Solidarity of Oppressed Filipino People stated; “as a long-time CDP Partner we were already exposed to many DRR activities. However, the CRA Workshop helped us in gaining confidence in the utilization of CRA tools. We can now facilitate risk assessments in our communities.”
Ms. Maggie Torralba from Davao Medical School Foundation – Integrated Primary Health Care - Davao City mentioned that the thematic areas made an impression on her. She realized there are categorizations of the DRRM measures such as on preparedness and prevention and mitigation to reduce the risks, and on response to ensure the basic necessities in times of emergency. She later shared that they are thinking their proposal is more on disaster preparedness and prevention and mitigation.
A representative from East Coast Tour Guide Association of Bula-General Santos City, shared that among the ones they clearly understood is the community-based approach, which differs from the regular approach. What is good, according to Mr. Ramir Rendon is the participatory process of activities especially in identifying the issues (risk assessment) which affect community members first hand. This will be complemented by technical know-how to further define the issues in relation to possible options in addressing the issues. They said the group appreciated the simple definitions of disaster and climate change, and the importance of avoiding any additional risks from the mitigating measures, that could be prevented.
First-timer participant to DRR/CCA/CRA training, Mr. Florian De Borja from Indang Persons with Disability shared; “we have gained basic information that would help us in enhancing our proposals. Some of the discussions/templates also dwell with Persons with Disabilities which we can easily utilize in our organization. Despite our physical conditions, we are always willing to improve our knowledge and skills on DRR/CCA.”
Ms. Fely Rapatan of Kids Place Student Center stated that “despite the enormous work to be done, we will still pursue in improving our proposal. We are always willing to learn and share new knowledge to our community. CDP’s approach to present the CRA tools in simple, layman and grassroots language encourages participation and inclusivity.”
The 1st Batch of the CRA Workshop was attended by fifty-one (51) individuals from twenty-three (23) organizations. On the other hand, the 2nd Batch registered a total of fifty (50) individuals from nineteen (19) organizations.