The Secretariat of Documenting Best Practices in Disaster Reduction and Post-Disaster Reconstruction
The Asia Pacific Ministerial Conference on Housing and Urban Development (APMCHUD) was established in 2006 with a mission to promote sustainable housing and urban development for human settlements in the Asia-Pacific Region, aiming to consider and address the challenges of housing and urbanization in Asia and the Pacific. Since the establishment, five conferences were organized with different themes and consequently, declarations and action plans sought to be implemented by the member countries.
The 1st conference was held in New Delhi, India on 13-16 December 2006 with the theme of “A vision for sustainable urbanization in the Asia-Pacific by 2020”, which aimed at galvanizing government action and political commitment at the regional level to improve the lives of 581 million slum dwellers.
The 2nd conference was held in Tehran, Iran on 12 – 14 May, 2008 with the theme of “Sustainable Urban Development; Associating Growth with Equity and Identity”.
The 3rd conference was held in Solo, Indonesia on 22-24 June, 2010 with the theme of “Empowering Communities for Sustainable Development”.
The 4th conference was held in Amman, Jordan on 10-12 December 2012, with the theme of “Youth and IT in Sustainable Urban Development”.
The 5th Asia Pacific Ministerial Conference on Housing and Urban Development was held Seoul, the Republic of Korea on 3-5 November, 2014 with the theme of “Equal Opportunity for Sustainable Development”.
APMCHUD pursues its objectives within 5 working groups with various themes directed and coordinated by different countries. The main theme of the first working group (WG1) is “Urban and Rural Planning and Management” which is organized and directed by India. The theme of the second working group (WG2) is “Upgrading of Slums and Informal Settlements” directed by The Islamic Republic of Iran. The theme of the third working group (WG3) is “Delivery of Basic Services”. The theme of the forth one (WG4) is “Financing Sustainable Housing” coordinated by Republic of Korea. The theme of the fifth working group (WG5) is “Urban Development with a focus on Natural and Climate Change related Disasters” coordinated and led by Republic of Indonesia.
At the end of each conference, an implementation plan is stipulated and signed by the members. The implementation plan defines a set of action plans for each working group. The action plans defined for the WG5 in the fifth conference of APMCHUD held in Seoul on 3-5 November 2014, included the following ones:
a. Establish and update a database on institutions related to urban development with a focus on natural and climate change related disasters;
b. Enhance local government capacity in Disaster Risk Reduction management;
c. Mitigate the impact of natural and man-made disasters on livelihoods, giving attention to internally displaced persons and taking into account the need for equal access to job opportunities and security tenure;
d. Enhance international cooperation in disaster risk preparedness and reduction including disasters caused by climate change.
According to the theme of the WG5 and clause (d) of the implementation plan, it was urged that Iran documents the Best Practices in Disaster Reduction and Post-Disaster Reconstruction in assistance with UN Habitat, with a focus on equal opportunities. Therefore, with the agreement of Dr. Akhoundi the minister of Roads and Urban Development, the secretariat was established in Road, Housing and Urban Development Research Center (BHRC).
“A best practice is a method or technique that has consistently shown results superior to those achieved with other means, and that is used as a benchmark. A "best" practice can evolve to become better as improvements are discovered. Best practice describes the process of developing and following a standard way of doing things that multiple organizations can use”. (Dembowski, 2013) Also, It is defined as: “Commercial or professional procedures that are accepted or prescribed as being correct or most effective.” (Oxford American English Dictionary) and“a way of doing something that is seen as a very good example of how it should be done and can be copied by other companies or organizations”. (Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary)
Dembowski, F. (2013). The roles of benchmarking, best practices & Innovation in Organizational Effectiveness. International Journal of Organizational Innovation , 6-20
Oxford American English Dictionary. (n.d.). Retrieved 11 28, 2015, from Oxford Dictionaries:
Oxford Dictionaries . (n.d.). Retrieved 11 28, 2015, from Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary :