Knowledge Exchange of DDME’s Community Preparedness Manager

Turks and Caicos Islands, February 5th,2014 (DDME) - In its continued effort to build internal capacity and foster national as well as regional partnerships for disaster risk management, the DDME is facilitating Mr. Desmond Lightbourne, Community Preparedness Manager at the Department of Disaster Management and Emergencies (DDME) to attend a two-weeks (February 10 – 20, 2014) knowledge and skills transfer exchange exercise at the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM), Jamaica.


The purpose of the knowledge enhancement exchange is to provide exposure and experience for the Community Preparedness Manager in an effort to facilitate promotion of a culture of safety among the population and the building of resilient communities. Community Based Disaster Management is a widely utilized strategy for engaging communities in planning and imparting skills transfer in relation to priority hazards, disaster preparedness and mitigation and will be important in promoting governance in Disaster Risk Management at the island level. Conceptually, community based disaster management also helps to promote the “bottom up approach” concept, empowering people at the community or island level to make decisions that will impact positively the development of their communities while informing policy to effect change.

The exchange will also seek to expose the Community Preparedness Manager to key strategies and roles undertaken by counterparts in the region as it relates to the understanding and empowerment of communities. Jamaica is The Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency’s (CDEMA) Focal Point for the North Western Sub-Region of which the Turks and Caicos Islands is a part.

The skills transfer will serve to build the capacity of the Department of Disaster Management and Emergencies in Community- based Disaster Management and is one of its priority actions as part of its seven year Country Work Programme.

While in Jamaica, Mr. Lightbourne will be assigned to the Preparedness and Emergency Operations Division but will also be widely exposed to community related activities especially in rural and urban coastal communities where he will engage in;

  • Conducting site visits to various community groups to observe the governance structures of the community groups and some of their planned activities.
  • Supporting the development of at least (one) Community Based Risk Management Plan and supporting Vulnerability Capacity Assessments (VCA).
  • Attend various meetings with partner agencies to include Red Cross, Ministry of Labour and Social Security (MLSS) and Parish Disaster Committees - the objective being to outline the role and functions of the various players in the “building resilient communities” process.
  • Attend a Parish Disaster Committee (PDC) meeting to observe how the PDC meeting functions to provide governance at the local level.

Mr. Lightbourne is enthusiastic about the secondment and expresses his gratitude to the Government of the Turks and Caicos Islands for affording him this opportunity.

Andrea Been
Email Address: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Telephone #: 649 946 2801 Extension 11904
Skype: ddmegt

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