Knowledge Center information
This Knowledge Center was borne of the need to share information, expertise, and ideas among the various organizations and agencies contributing to the massive tsunami rehabilitation efforts in South India. The process of rebuilding communities and economies following this natural disaster creates an intricate interplay of social, political, psychological, and environmental issues far more complicated than the simple reassembly of physical structures and the replacement of material possessions. Coordination among all participants will produce a more effective rehabilitation and development program. Better information sharing will produce better coordination.
While tsunami response was still in the relief phase, the concept of Regional Resource Centers was developed. Currently, development is underway for Regional Resource Centers in Nagaputinam, Auroville, and Chennai; and similar Resource Centers are planned for the Kannyakumari and Cuddalore Districts. These Regional Resource Centers facilitate the flow of information between coordinating organizations and the villages and hamlets where the physical work of reconstruction is performed. They also provide a place for coordination activities and exchange of ideas to occur.
At present the Regional Resource Centers are contributing knowledge with particular areas of focus. The RRC in Chennai is contributing to the relationship between civil society organizations and government, particularly the Government of Tamil Nadu. The Auroville RRC is contributing expertise in community planning, architecture, and other issues related to the construction of shelter and habitat. The RRC in Nagaputinam brings together organizations with a wealth of experience in livelihood issues; particularly with respect to the fishing economies of the South Indian coast.
The Tsunami Rehabilitation Knowledge Center is the central repository of information for the Regional Resource Centers. It is an interactive platform, serving as both a library for data and a forum for communication and collaborative effort. It is a virtual hub for the collection and sharing of knowledge, dissemination of best practices, and development of consensus.
At present, the scope of coverage extends only to Tamil Nadu, Pondicherry, and Andamans and Nicobar Islands. It is hoped that in the future, this site might also embrace the efforts in Andhra Pradesh and Kerala as well.
By providing a single, central location on the web for tsunami reconstruction information, we hope to foster better coordination among the NGOs working in the field, and better coordination between the NGOs and the government, corporates, volunteers, individual donors, and donor agencies.
Comprehensive Policy Development. One of the keys to successful reconstruction will be the extent to which all organizations contributing to the effort are working from a common understanding and common guiding principles. This website will be a repository for consensus-based policy content. It is also a portal or forum for the collaborative “Working Groups” – the NGOs and individuals who have come together to develop the best thinking on the many issues that will shape reconstruction.
NGO Mapping. Many organizations are working on reconstruction — sometimes in concert, sometimes independently. By obtaining a comprehensive understanding of which NGOs are working on which projects in which areas, it is hoped that resources can be shared, efforts can be become collaborative, and duplication can be avoided. This website will collect project information from all NGOs working on reconstruction efforts, including frequent status reports, thereby creating transparency and the basis for better coordination.
Matching Needs and Resources. We have witnessed a tremendous outpouring of desire – from all over the country and all over the world – of people wanting to participate in the rebuilding of communities affected by the tsunami. Volunteers are looking for projects on which to work; donors are looking for constructive ways in which to give; corporates are seeking creative ways in which to get involved. This website provides a means of connecting those who wish to give and those who can put such contributions to use.
Shared Knowledge Base. In response to the tsunami disaster, a vast amount of expertise has been assembled to address problems from shelter construction to livelihood rehabilitation to mental health counseling, among many others. This website will house a collection of technical documents so that expertise and work-product can be shared, thereby alleviating the need for every participating organization to start each new project from scratch.