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Guiuan, 25 Feb 14

Guiuan - limited self recovery adjacent to city hall (c) UN-Habitat, Bernhard Barth
Guiuan - limited self recovery adjacent to city hall (c) UN-Habitat, Bernhard Barth
The municipality of Guiuan, assisted by UN-Habitat and the United Nations Development Programme, UNDP, conducted its first major recovery and rehabilitation planning charette earlier this month, paving the way for one of the hardest hit municipalities to chart its overall direction and specific strategies towards post-Haiyan development.

The meeting was a combination of brainstorming, workshops, and technical inputs based on local knowledge and community action. More than 75 participants—from the local government, business sector, civil society, academia and people’s organizations—tackled four “key result areas” (KRAs) that were tagged as possible entry points towards rehabilitation and recovery. The KRAs, namely Social Development, Economy, Environment, and Infrastructure, stem from UN-Habitat’s Emergency Response-Recovery-Sustainable Development Continuum. This framework was recently highlighted by the Office of the Presidential Assistant on Recovery and Rehabilitation (OPARR)as the preferred approach in Haiyan-affected areas.

To begin, the charette participants laid out Guiuan’s pre- and post-disaster scenarios for each key area, drawing from existing plans as well as post-disaster assessments. The context-setting exercise also built on previous activities that Guiuan and UN-Habitat jointly conducted, such as climate change and disaster risk vulnerability assessment, community action planning, and other technical inputs. It allowed the municipality to assess their present situation from the combined lens of land and water use, sectoral development, and existing and potential hazards.

Focusing on the challenges and opportunities resulting from these pre- and post-Haiyan realities, the stakeholders then outlined major recovery goals and success indicators. They also identified corresponding projects and activities, actors, indicative costs, and potential resources. The goals and projects also made clear the local view of post-Haiyan development as more than just a short-term response. Instead, the municipality chose to link current activities and external aid to its longer-term development goals, anchored on Guiuan’s vision and role in the province and the region.

Immediately after the charette, the stakeholders organized themselves into the Guiuan Recovery, Rehabilitation and Sustainable Development Group (GRRSDG). The Group works to align current Haiyan responses with the municipality’s recovery and rehabilitation goals and targets. It aims to direct resources towards the most rational and appropriate activities, both sectorally and spatially. The municipal government leads the Group, with the local chief executive, legislative council, and UN-Habitat acting as the steering committee. The Municipal Planning and Development Office and the Guiuan Haiyan Response Command Center serve as the Secretariat. It is tasked with coordination, management and monitoring of all key result area activities. The KRAs themselves have corresponding technical working groups, composed of local government offices, line agencies, development partners, humanitarian agencies and NGOs.

The Guiuan Recovery, Rehabilitation and Sustainable Development Group generally follows the institutional structure used in the mandated local planning process. This ensures a seamless transition from rehabilitation to regular planning and development at the local level.

The GRRSDG is currently refining the charette outputs in the form of work plans, which will be submitted to the OPARR and further detailed at the local level. UN-Habitat continues to support the municipality through process facilitation and technical advice, under its joint programme with UNDP.

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