You are reading this Field Guide (the main part of the Training Toolkit for Community Early Warning Systems (CEWS)) because you have some interest in strengthening or building community early warning systems where you work. Although the guide is focused on the community level, it is crucial that you understand, build on and reinforce national EWS efforts during your community work, whenever possible. If you do not have access to the companion CEWS Guiding Principles, you will need to obtain a copy (see link below)1 ; the two documents work in tandem. You will gain more from this Training Toolkit once you have studied the CEWS Guiding Principles.
a. Objectives and audience
The Training Toolkit for Community Early Warning Systems is an operational manual that aims to strengthen early warning systems in a developing country context. It accompanies and should put into practice the guiding strategic principles found in the Community Early Warning Systems: Guiding Principles. The Toolkit is made up of: 1. this Field Guide; and 2. the online (or USB flash drive) directory of all the material required to conduct the three weeklong training sessions. See Figure 1 to learn how to navigate this Toolkit.
The Toolkit is developed as a ready-to-go Training of Trainers (ToT) and Workshop manual, and is targeted to National Societies and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) that are embarking on a journey either to strengthen existing CEWS efforts in a country (joining them seamlessly to national systems) or to create, from scratch, a community-driven EWS as part of a larger Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) programme. The ToT/Workshops organize a five-day ‘live’ community workshop embedded between three extra days of training of CEWS trainers. Once a country or organization has a set of trained trainers, it needs only to replicate the live (five-day workshop) portion of the materials provided below in each new community EWS.
The Toolkit is most appropriate for use by Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRR/M) units or projects in support of national EWS efforts. The trainers targeted in the Toolkit (ToT portion of the training programme) are, ideally, DRR/M programme, project and partner staff members who would be responsible to guide, support or evaluate EWS efforts in at-risk communities (the Workshop portion of each training session includes community members/ volunteers directly).