SAMBRO Tested and Myanmar is Ready to Go Live

The Myanmar Department of Meteorology and Hydrology (DMH) is now publishing live CAP feeds through their Warning and Situational-Awareness platform. Prior to making the decision to publish live alerts, through the CAP-enabled Sahana Alerting and Messaging Broker (SAMBRO), DMH and associated Stakeholders conducted a series of silent-tests and live-exercises.  The silent-tests, carried out over three months, beginning in March, were instrumental to fine tuning SAMBRO to their alerting and warning practices. Controlled-exercises were carried out in Naypyitaw, Kunyangong, and Nauyangdon during the week of May 27 – 30, 2016.

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The key question asked during the controlled-exercise was “did the technology and the people perform as desired?” DMH, in general, was competent and the SAMBRO users showed a level of confidence. There were a few technological and capacity (or training) shortcomings that needed to be corrected before going live. These are discussed in the Myanmar Controlled-Exercise Report.

Evidence from the evaluation surveys on the SAMBRO acceptance , with a score of ~3.6 of 5.0, Myanmar users to be inclined towards agreeing that the technology is easy­-to­-use and useful. All things considered, with a score of ~5.6 of 7.0, the users had a positive perception of the technology with them indicating that it was beneficial, wise, and good to adopt.

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Findings to date are that the DMH staff were competent  in issuing warnings, using SAMBRO, within the required “warning horizon”. However, some supplementary training and modifications in the implementation are required. The implementation would not be complete without all warning and response organizations integrating with SAMBRO and coordinating the alert messages through a Common Alerting Picture.

The Relief and Resettlement Department (RRD), Government Administrative Department (GAD), and the Myanmar Red Cross Society (MRCS) play a key role in disaster response and mitigation. However, the project did not get the expected level of participation and engagement from those key organizations. RRD, GAD, and MRCS are important for disseminating the warnings to the households and local First-Responders.

To expand CAP and SAMBRO beyond DMH, the CAP on a Map Project, recommends that Myanmar Government:

  1. Promote the CAP­enabled and SAMBRO all­hazard all­media syst through evidence­based policy advocacy by sharing knowledge with National­level Policy­makers and Decision­ makers to support the formulation of National policies, strategies and plans
  2. Formulate a CAP working group, involving members of the Emergency Communication Committee (EmCC) and other relevant Stakeholders, to define the CAP implementation policies, strategies and plans as well as to oversee the CAP and SAMBRO expansion initiatives
  3. Offer a CAP and Situational­Awareness training and certification program to support the Stakeholder Organizations with the adoption and implementation of CAP and CAP­enabled EWSs such as SAMBRO

DMH had made a firm commitment to implementing and operationalizing the CAP­-enabled  SAMBRO platform for improving the National DRR capabilities. The system, in its current state,  is operational with DMH issuing public warnings. Evidence points the need for some improvements in the warning content and warning procedures. Moreover, the Government of Myanmar should advocate policies and plans that help DMH with expanding the implementation to include all Stakeholders. Thereby, bringing an all­-hazard all­-media approach to the multi­-hazard warning initiatives.

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