Building Resilience in Japan

by International Medical Corps
Sep 10, 2013

Helping Non Government Organizations Remain Effective During a Disaster

Yumi Terahata Presenting the Day
Yumi Terahata Presenting the Day's Topic

In January of 2012, Japanese Scientists at Tokyo University and Global Seismologists released a report that put forward a 70% chance of a 7+ Richter-scale earthquake hitting Japan in the next 4 years. Due to this prediction, a significant disaster risk reduction effort is ongoing in Japan, and International Medical Corps is working with local partners to build the capacity of local community-based organizations. 

The majority of Japanese Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) now realize that ensuring their organization’s integrity when they themselves are hit by a disaster is essential to their ability to provide humanitarian aid quickly and efficiently to affected populations. However, many of these organizations do not have the necessary resources and technical know-how to make such preparations. To fill this crucial gap, International Medical Corps is providing risk management expertise to NGOs and helping them to prepare a Business Continuity Plan (BCP) so that they will be ready to respond to future disasters.

International Medical Corps and seasoned BCP experts from two premier Japanese risk management corporations (Tokio Marine & Nichido Risk Consulting Co., Ltd., and Mitsubishi Corporation Insurance Co., Ltd.) are conducting a three-part workshop series that begins with teaching local organizations the fundamentals of business continuity planning; and finishes with each NGO creating a simple, practical BCP plan that fits its respective organizational needs. Assignments are given to participants after the workshops, and are taken back to their organizations to facilitate BCP implementation and to ensure that the BCP drafting exercise is applicable to the organizations.


Workshop Part 1 (August 20, 2013): “An Introduction to Business Continuity Planning for NGOs”

International Medical Corps, together with its corporate partners and Japan Platform (the consortium of Japanese Emergency Response NGOs), successfully conducted Part One of this three-workshop series. A total of 28 staff members from 19 organizations participated in this workshop.

Yumi Terahata, International Medical Corps Country Representative, introduced the day’s topic and presented on the need for NGOs to keep themselves functional in times of emergency so they can recover quickly from a disaster and effectively provide assistance to the affected population. Takahiro Ono, BCP Manager at Mitsubishi Corporation Insurance Ltd., taught participating NGO senior management personnel about risk management and the various steps that go into an ever-evolving business continuity plan. Workshop participants then completed a BCP simulation exercise of an emergency scenario, incorporating what they learned during the previous lecture and basing their responses on their own organization’s unique resources and capacities.


Workshop Part 2 (scheduled for September 11, 2013): “Risk Assessment and Priority Action Items.”

Topics the NGOs will examine at this workshop include: identifying the particular risks they face (e.g. natural disaster, etc.), the specific tasks they must complete to ensure that they are functional and able to fulfill their mandate after the disaster, persons responsible for each task, and special considerations that must be addressed as part of the planning process. Participants will then develop a list of action items, including timeframes, to address the implementation of their plan.


Workshop Part 3 (scheduled for October 9, 2013):

Based on their work in the previous workshops, each NGO will draft a BCP plan that meets its organizational needs. BCP experts will provide feedback to each organization’s BCP draft and offer suggestions/advice for improvement.

Takahiro Ono Teaching Risk Management
Takahiro Ono Teaching Risk Management
Noriko Yoichi Providing Sample Responses
Noriko Yoichi Providing Sample Responses
Workshop Participants Completing a BCP SImulation
Workshop Participants Completing a BCP SImulation
Masayuki Tanaka Presenting his Responses
Masayuki Tanaka Presenting his Responses

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Organization Information

International Medical Corps

Location: Los Angeles, CA - USA
Website: https:/​/​​
Project Leader:
Erica Tavares
Director, Resource Development
santa monica, CA United States

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