South Asia Regional Workshop on Emergency Operations Centers (EOCs)

Video interview series from the South Asia Regional Workshop on Emergency Operations Centers


When disaster strikes, effective emergency response is critical to saving lives and minimizing damages.  South Asia is no exception, and countries in the region are now at various stages of setting up emergency operations centers (EOCs), a central coordination hub for emergency response.   


From July 22-24, 2019, 60 participants representing 8 South Asian countries gathered in Bangkok, Thailand for the South Asia Regional Workshop on Emergency Operations Centers.


Drawing on best practices and lessons learned from EOCs in the United States, Japan, as well as host country Thailand, participants enhanced their understanding of the planning and development processes involved in establishing an EOC and the role, functions, and management processes of an EOC.


The participants also discussed how their respective EOCs can accomplish the core functions of an EOC within the organizational and leadership structures of their respective national governments.


The workshop was organized by the World Bank’s South Asia Disaster Risk Management and Climate Change team, in collaboration with the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery’s (GFDRR) Preparedness Planning Program, the Japan-World Bank Program for Mainstreaming DRM in Developing Countries, the U.S. Agency for International Development, Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance, Thailand’s Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation, and Ascenttra.


In co-organizing the workshop curriculum, GFDRR utilized a comprehensive and holistic approach which targeted key components of the emergency preparedness & response system: i) personnel, ii) facilities, iii) equipment, iv) information, and v) legal and institutional framework. The workshop included a study tour of the national EOC managed by Thailand’s Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation, and a real-time simulation of an emergency response situation.


Key themes highlighted during the workshop included the importance of operating rules and procedures in EOCs, the need to invest in the capacity of EOC staff, as well as the role of technology-based information management systems in ensuring EOC effectiveness.


The following is the list countries and agencies that participated in the workshop:


  • Afghanistan: Afghanistan Disaster Management Authority ANDMA.
  • Bangladesh: Department of Disaster Management (Additional Secretary), Dhaka North City Corporation (Project Director in charge of EOC), Dhaka South City Corporation (Project Director in charge of EOC).
  • Bhutan: Department of Disaster Management, Program Officers.
  • India: National Disaster Management Authority (Additional Secretary); Jammu & Kashmir Disaster Management Relief, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Department (Additional Secretary); Tamil Nadu Commissioner Revenue Administration; Uttarakhand State Disaster Management Authority CEO.
  • Maldives: Chief Executive, National Disaster Management Authority and Deputy Chief Executive.
  • Nepal: Ministry of Home Affairs (Additional Secretary); National Reconstruction Authority (Joint Secretary).
  • Pakistan: National Disaster Management Authority NDMA Additional Secretary.
  • Sri Lanka: Disaster Management Center, Deputy Director, Emergency Operations Center and Director—technology, mitigation, research and development.