Cyclone Nargis: Lessons for Operational Agencies

Evaluation and Lessons Learned
Originally published


The aim of this report is to assist agencies working in the response to Cyclone Nargis by highlighting key lessons that have been learned from other natural disasters, specifically floods, hurricanes and cyclones. The report distils main findings and lessons from evaluations and synthesis reports contained in the ALNAP Evaluative Reports Database (ERD), as well as other learning initiatives concerned with responses to natural disasters. Where possible it provides links to these documents as well as to additional relevant papers and web sites. These are listed in the footnotes and the references.

It is important to state from the outset that the implementation of good practices is going to be very difficult, because of constraints in the operating environment. In this particular emergency, international agencies will know less about what happened and how best to respond. One overriding lesson is that agencies will have to find ways of dealing with this uncertainty and its implications for aid programming, accountability and delivery. They will also have to work to explain these issues and their implications to various stakeholders, including the media and donors. This report benefited greatly from ideas and inputs from members of operational agencies who provided vital inputs. For finding the time to contribute to this learning process in the midst of an incredibly challenging crisis context, thanks are due.