Evaluation Reports by the international independent experts

1. Background and purpose

The International independent experts compiled an evaluation report summarizing the activities of the GEJET.
The evaluation was performed twice. The first evaluation was conducted in February 2012 and covered the activities of the JRCS during the first six months following the GEJET. The purpose of this evaluation was to obtain recommendations on the engagement of Host National Society at a time of large-scale disaster occurred in developed country by reviewing the activities of the JRCS following the GEJET. Relief activities, etc. were also included in the evaluation.

The second evaluation was conducted in September 2013 and covered projects for two years following the GEJET. The main objective of the evaluation was to ensure accountability to the National Societies for their contributions to the JRCS by the International independent experts in their evaluation of the JRCS's recovery assistance projects.
The evaluation report created by the International independent experts on the JRCS’s programmes was formulated for further consideration by the National Societies and the IFRC for their future better engagement.
Some recommendations were presented in the evaluation report regarding the programme implementation structure and engagement of Host National Society at a time of large-scale disaster that may occur in developed countries.

2. Independent Evaluation Report (Relief)

Preparing for and Responding to large-scale disaster in developed countries, Findings and Lessons Learned from the JRCS’s Response to the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami; 11 January 2012

Figure 7-4 JRCS’s responses to the Recommendations of the International independent experts on the Independent Evaluation Report (Relief)
1. Relations with Government and Other Organizations
Recommendation 1 JRCS’s response to the Recommendation 1
That JRCS take a lead to develop a framework for cooperation with the appropriate government authorities at central and local levels, NGOs and other relevant organizations to better share information, understand each other’s plans and foster coordination of activities in the future. The JRCS will enhance cooperative relations with government agencies, such as Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry, Japan Coast Guard, and Fire and Disaster Management Agency at ordinary times through implementation of joint exercises to strengthen the effectiveness of the existing agreements on relief activities after large scale disasters. JRCS will also develop close ties with NGOs and cooperate with other related institutions which procure and transport relief goods, accordingly.
Recommendation 2 JRCS’s response to the Recommendation 2
That national societies continuously nurture a close working relationship with the disaster management authorities at all levels to enable effective and efficient liaison when large scale disasters strike, and decision-making bodies come under heavy pressure. The JRCS acknowledges the importance of building face-to-face relationships at all levels of the Cabinet Office and other related institutions as part of the preparedness for large scale disasters in the future.
2. Contingency Planning
Recommendation 3 JRCS’s response to the Recommendation 3
That JRCS develop a contingency plan for large scale disasters after considering the following issues: As lessons learned from the GEJET, the JRCS will establish a flexible disaster response system, enhance DM capacity, and draw up a response plan maximizing resources available from the Red Cross network for a possible large-scale disaster in the future.

(1) the relationship with Government of Japan (GoJ) in implementing the disaster management plan (see recommendation 1)

(2) a strategy to scale up and meet abnormally large needs in the case of mega disasters and/or when two or more chapters are seriously affected (see Recommendation section 4, Evaluation report)

(3) the possible role of JRCS health institutions, such as hospitals, in providing a forward disaster management coordination centre in large scale disasters

(4) the need for capacity in making assessments, including in situations where municipalities are rendered dysfunctional (see recommendation 5)

(5) JRCS role and responsibility in case of large-scale industrial accidents (see recommendation 8)

(6) the need for a JRCS recovery policy (see recommendation 14)

(7) a strategy for the most effective deployment of human resources within the Society, including those with practical experience and expertise in overseas large-scale disasters and those familiar with Movement policies and standards (see recommendation 18)

(8) the need to strengthen the corps of JRCS trained volunteers to give added outreach to the communities and provide surge capacity to deliver emergency relief services (see recommendation 13)

(9) the basis on which additional resources (e.g. funds, international tools, supplies and personnel) may be mobilized from within the Movement (see section 5)

(10) stronger coordination with the government, NGOs, the private sector and other organisations (see recommendation 1)

(1) Develop further relationships with GoJ, NGOs and private corporate sector

(2) Develop operational centers in the affected area along with the development of human resources for management of the relief activities.

(3) Establish the operational hubs as well as logistic base in or nearby an affected area.

(4) Strengthen capacity for proactive information gathering by the staff members and volunteers.

(5) Develop a JRCS response policy, appropriate equipment, operational procedures and the training system in response to nuclear radiation disaster.

(6) Review expected roles of the JRCS from the public perspective in the recovery operation and develop a policy as well as scope of activities for future recovery operations.

(7) Review the operational linkage among NHQ, chapters, and hospitals and enhance effective use of experienced human resources not only from domestic domain but also from the international emergency relief as well as from the RCRC Movement.

(8) Examine the roles and scope of activities of JRCS volunteers and volunteer centers, including management of such centers.

(9) Review effective use of the global response tools from RCRC Movement at a time of large-scale disasters (including Wat-San ERU which was proven to be effective during the GEJET).

Recommendation 4 JRCS’s response to the Recommendation 4
That national societies undertake adequate contingency planning for large scale disasters, including arrangements to access resources and assistance from within the Movement, to respond to events which, while highly unlikely, may have catastrophic effects in their country. In the GEJET operation, the JRCS immediately requested a support of communication delegate from the IFRC as per the existing contingency plan for a large-scale disaster. The scale of the GEJET, however, was far bigger than expected, as the needs of the affected people were enormous. As a result, a traditional relief activity of the JRCS turned to be not sufficient enough to address unmet needs that existed in wide range for a long period. Learning the lessons from the operation, the JRCS will review its contingency plan to be flexible enough to cope with various disaster scenarios, thus maximizing effective use of external support from the RCRC Movement. (e.g. relief goods, equipment, specialized delegate and ERUs).
3. Assessment
Recommendation 5 JRCS’s response to the Recommendation 5
That the JRCS build capacity within its domestic disaster response personnel to conduct assessments on the basis of the IFRC developed methodologies in order to better target assistance and reach the most vulnerable. Trained assessment teams should be available to be deployed at short notice to help municipality authorities assess the needs of their communities, especially in areas where the JRCS can deliver services. The JRCS should also review its volunteer base at municipal level and consider more systematic training and organization for disaster intervention. The JRCS normally gets disaster information from the affected municipality authorities. In case of the GEJET, local authorities became dysfunctional. JRCS recognizes the need to boost its own capacity to assess the situation in order to meet the various needs of the affected people. The JRCS will strengthen human resource development for effective use of volunteers, JRCS overseas experienced staff, and chapter staff to carry out its own needs assessment and information gathering in affected area.
Recommendation 10 JRCS’s response to the Recommendation 10
That the Movement continuously reviews and updates its restoring family links (RFL) and tracing services to take advantage of evolving technology and the social media. In the GEJET the tracing services provided by social media, such as Google were remarkable. Incorporating rapidly growing interface technology such as Facebook is considered important. JRCS needs to clarify its role and organizational competence in the area of RFL in natural disasters.
Recommendation 11 JRCS’s response to the Recommendation 11
That JRCS undertake investigations to establish needs and the feasibility of providing long-term, volunteer delivered PSS programming in support of individuals and communities affected by the GEJET as part of the recovery programme. Roles and activities of Psychosocial Support Programme (PSP) were not fully understood internally or externally. The JRCS needs to reaffirm its roles and activities of PSP and clarify its position in disaster relief activities, as well as the possibility to increase the number of PSP staff and volunteers.
Recommendation 12 JRCS’s response to the Recommendation 12
That national societies both plan to send and to receive trained PSP personnel to support their expatriate communities when large scale disasters strike, given the presence of many different nationalities in most high-income countries. The deployment of such personnel must depend upon usual travel protocols being respected including the agreement of the host national society. Many foreign workers and permanent residents married to Japanese were also affected by the GEJET. International Organization for Migration (IOM) provided PSP support to these people and the JRCS did not target foreigners in particular. After the nuclear accident in Fukushima, many foreigners returned to their home country, but some remained in Japan. For those remaining who had limited access to information, may have needed PSP support by compatriots. In fact, the JRCS dispatched its PSP team during Christchurch EQ operation in New Zealand (2011) to support family members of Japanese victims. In future, the JRCS will continue to regard PSP as a priority activity to meet the needs both of foreigners in Japan and Japanese abroad.
Recommendation 13 JRCS’s response to the Recommendation 13
That JRCS strengthen and diversify its trained volunteer base and have effective systems in place for their efficient mobilization and deployment. As well, effective systems should be developed to manage a surge in the recruitment of new volunteers in times of disaster. The JRCS reaffirms the important roles of DM volunteers in disaster relief and will examine effective ways of establishment and management of volunteer centers.
Recommendation 14 JRCS’s response to the Recommendation 14
That JRCS develops a national recovery policy and a plan to build relevant capacity as part of its disaster management strategy. The JRCS placed high priority in supporting the life of survivors from the emergency to recovery phase in the GEJET operation. However, due to the lack of a coherently elaborated vision as well as past experience in the domestic recovery activities, the JRCS could not sufficiently develop projects in a structured manner in the early stages. In light of the GEJET experience (and the recommendations from the IFRC evaluation), the JRCS developed a vision and a policy that demonstrate the goals and direction as well as priority activity areas for the recovery programme in March 2012. The JRCS is committed to enhance its capacity to address long term needs after a large disaster, including nuclear accident, in the future.
Recommendation 18 JRCS’s response to the Recommendation 18
That National Societies in high income countries consider how best to organize access to relevant experience and knowledge about international disaster management best practice available within their national societies and plan to deploy their human resources accordingly in the emergency phase of domestic large-scale disasters. The JRCS will examine the way of utilizing RC network not only for domestic relief operation in cooperation within the JRCS HQ, branches and hospitals etc., but also utilizing human resources deployed for international relief operation.
Recommendation 19 JRCS’s response to the Recommendation 19
That national societies, including the JRCS, prioritize the importance of having and building capacity and competence in communicating critical post disaster information via the internet and social media. Recognizing the effectiveness of the social media, the JRCS will utilize the tools (e.g. website, Facebook, twitter etc.,) to communicate with the affected population more effectively.
Recommendation 20 JRCS’s response to the Recommendation 20
That national societies and the IFRC plan for the placement of an IFRC representative and technical delegates, as needed, in times of large-scale disasters in high income countries when there is widespread Movement support. The placement of an IFRC representative is for coordination and experienced technical delegates with substantive consultative skills should be made available as needed and integrated into the host national society structure. The delegates assigned need to respect and work with colleagues according to the host national society’s established standard operating procedures. Immediately after 3.11, the JRCS requested the IFRC Secretariat to send an IFRC representative (liaison) and communication delegate and decided to receive high level support/liaison mission. The communication delegate was integrated into the JRCS. In case of receiving a large amount of donation from overseas after a large-scale disaster, the placement of an IFRC representative should be the norm regardless whether an Emergency Appeal being issued or not. Furthermore, when a large amount of donation is collected from overseas, it is necessary to define the role/mandate of the IFRC Secretariat in assisting: Operating National Society to ensure accountability to donors, even without an Emergency Appeal.

3. Independent Evaluation Report (Recovery)

final report

Two years after the first independent evaluation of the emergency interventions, another evaluation was conducted by the JRCS and the IFRC to provide the JRCS, the IFRC, the Partner National Societies and other organisations that had contributed funds and expertise to the recovery programmes with an independent, external assessment focused on recovery and rehabilitation interventions.

Evaluation of the JRCS and the IFRC Recovery and Rehabilitation Interventions After the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami of 11 March 2011; September 2013

Figure 7-5 The Recommendations of the IFRC on the Independent Evaluation Report (Recovery)
Recommendation 1: Recovery: a strategic choice

・Recovery is an integral part of the process that helps individuals in communities to rebuild their lives shattered by disaster, and as such should be part of the Red Cross’ extended mandate;

・As recommended in the first evaluation, the JRCS should take a formal policy decision to include recovery as an area of operations. Recovery should be clearly defined on the basis of the guidelines developed by the IFRC. It should be managed and integrated in the organisational structure in the same manner as all activities in disaster response and relief;

・The spectrum of activities falling under recovery has to be defined, and should include needs assessment, planning and programming, and monitoring. Tools should be developed, including Standard Operating Procedures and training, to prepare staff for the tasks related to the society’s recovery responsibility;

Recommendation 2: Raise the profile of JRCS

・As a result of the high visibility it gained in Japan with this disaster, the JRCS should devote time and resources to develop its image as an innovative, forward-looking, relevant and effective organisation. The profile of the National Society should be revamped as an organisation closer to the community;

・Bridges should be built between the JRCS and the media, at national and prefecture level, as well as with other entities that have to become part of JRCS’ network of supporters, in the private and public sector. An assessment of potential partners should be conducted as soon as possible, building on the Society’s current visibility;

・The JRCS should continue to build the in-house capacity of its public relations team to proactively manage the image of the JRCS.

Recommendation 3: Accountability to beneficiaries: standards and principles

・Being accountable to those we support has long been a principle of Red Cross Red Crescent work and is strongly embodied in the Code of Conduct. A model accountability framework should be developed, adhering to accountability principles: a. Transparency b. Participation c. Monitoring and evaluation d. Complaints and response

・People need information as much as water, food, medicine and shelter. Beneficiary communication, a component of beneficiary accountability, aims to save and improve lives through the provision of timely, relevant and accurate information, and to support an environment of transparency and accountability through the creation of feedback mechanisms;

・Communicating with, involving and listening to people means providing a better service to them. There is a duty to be accountable to beneficiaries and to make a deliberate effort to communicate with, listen to and respond to their concerns. People have a right to know about and have a voice in actions that affect them;

Steps to improve Accountability to beneficiaries could include the following:

・Develop a short guidance document on accountability to beneficiaries and what forms it could take in JRCS relief and ‘peace-time’ programming (3-page summary and 10 slide Power Point); the JRCS should not wait for the IFRC to develop the on-line training

・Consider partnering with JPF, and JANIC to develop national guidelines

・Disseminate orientation in AtB to all staff

・Designate staff from domestic relief, international and public relations to work together to develop a short ‘menu of activities’ to help operationalize each of the four areas related to AtB, in line with the JRCS capacity and service delivery

・The menu of activities should be included in staff orientation, disaster relief and other SOPs; international delegates should also be briefed on AtB and how to support NS in ensuring they are applied

・Provide training to all Chapters using the orientation material and the menu of activities; the Nursing Department may want to further contextualise the material for their line of work and provide orientation to teams across the network

・The Disaster Relief and Social Welfare Department should ensure that reviews on progress and quality of AtB work are included in their post-action reviews

・The JRCS should work to increase organisational awareness and application of minimum standards in beneficiary accountability. Accountability to Beneficiaries (AtB) should apply to the JRCS service delivery both in domestic and international operations;

・The JRCS should disseminate among its staff internationally accepted standards (e.g. Sphere, the Listening Project, Humanitarian Accountability Project, etc.) and apply them in the future disaster response;

・The IFRC should support the JRCS in developing a strategy and practical steps for the implementation of these activities;

・While the JRCS did apply the Fundamental Principles and other major standards regarding disaster relief in responding to this disaster, opportunities exist to increase awareness and ensure that staff know and enact key principles and standards in their daily work;

・The JRCS should review how key principles and standards such as the Fundamental Principles, gender policy, Principles and Rules in Disaster Relief and Sphere are currently incorporated in mandatory training and orientations for all departments;

Recommendation 4: Partnership

・To enhance effectiveness of the JRCS response to disasters, the JRCS should engage into concrete partnership with key stakeholders in the private and public sectors;

Engaging with corporate partners can build on current agreements with NGOs/NPOs, government agencies such as social welfare departments at prefecture and municipal levels and the Council of Social Welfare.

・The JRCS should disseminate the organisation’s mission, mandate and strategic direction to prefectures and municipalities governments, including the Council of Social Welfare to clarify the JRCS’s role in disaster;

・Awareness rising should be conducted with key corporate players and NGOs; and the JRCS should enter into a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with them, agreeing on their respective activation in the coming years.

Recommendation 5: Role in community and volunteers

・In line with the International Federations’ strategic aims of Strategy 2020, that include inter alia the strengthening of recovery from disasters and crises through building stronger National Societies, the JRCS needs to better profile itself, determining its role as a community-based organisation, and building and enhancing its organisational structures at all levels to ensure that the role of volunteers is commensurate with the community focus;

The JRCS can get involved in daily life of vulnerable people by providing support services through community-based volunteers. This will help to:

・Develop interventions that prevent and/or alleviate the factors responsible for discrimination, stigmatisation and social exclusion, and

・Ensure fuller integration of disadvantaged people into their communities

・Learning from this disaster’s experience, the JRCS could develop a more rational approach to needs assessment that would allow volunteers (including Red Cross youth and specialised corporate volunteers) to respond to a broad spectrum of basic complementary social welfare needs;

・The JRCS NHQ should support Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima Chapters to identify and share with other chapters their experiences and lessons in community-based services and in working through volunteers;

・The IFRC should provide the JRCS with information on peer support from other NS with experience in this type of services and promote the cooperation among sister societies. The IFRC should support the JRCS with the adaptation of material for services and training of volunteers in this field.

Recommendation 6: Humanitarian preparedness for nuclear accidents

・This was noted in the MRP of the first evaluation. Efforts in this area must continue for the International Federation as a whole, including National Societies along with the JRCS:

・The IFRC, jointly with the ICRC, should formulate guidance for the Movement to address the humanitarian consequences of a nuclear disaster;

・The IFRC, as and when required by the JRCS, should contribute to the Nuclear Information Centre to be launched in 2013;

・The JRCS, with the support of the IFRC, should organise an international exchange programme targeting medical personnel and volunteers on long-term community-based PSP, for NS to exchange expertise and develop programmes in this area;

・The IFRC should look into ways to maintain the position of Senior Officer for Nuclear Preparedness beyond the initial year; there is a concern that one year is insufficient to build capacity and interest in this area. The organisation should undertake efforts to ensure funding for such a position for at least three years and not burden the incumbent with that responsibility.

Recommendation 8: Alignment of synergies between domestic and international departments

・To balance the secretariat’s support to international departments of National Societies with domestic service delivery departments (particularly in high-income countries), the evaluation recommends that:

・The secretariat maintains the regular international learning workshops for NS domestic disaster management teams, so that NS domestic specialists and technical staff mutually benefit from the experience of other NS, in particular in the area of “relief to recovery”, noting that the IFRC’s strength should also be based on the domestic resources of National Societies and not only in the network of international departments;

・A mutual exchange process between domestic and international departments should be promoted, as well as “learning from others”.

Recommendation 10: The OCAC process

・The extensive experience of the JRCS after this large disaster could serve as a model for many other societies. Joining the OCAC process will validate the self-assessment of JRCS preparedness for the future and will contribute to the secretariat’s promotion of this tool among other National Societies, to increase their preparedness and disaster response capacity.

The OCAC is a tool that enables National Societies to assess their own capacity and performance to help determine the best approaches for self-development and ensure they are a well-functioning organisation, providing relevant services for its public and target populations.
The overall OCAC process combines an initial self-assessment followed by a focused corrective development effort to address the identified weaknesses (phase one), with a peer review cum corrective development effort (phase two) for those who succeed in passing the initial self-assessment before proposing successful candidates for acknowledgement (“certification”) by the Board.

・The OCAC strategy (IFRC Organisational Capacity Assessment Certification) will help the JRCS address many of the recommendations from this evaluation.

OCAC starts with the adoption of a set of five compound organisational capacity-dimensions that are essential for the successful functioning of any National Society. These are: the capacity to exist, the capacity to organise oneself, the capacity to relate to others and to mobilise resources, the capacity to perform, and the capacity to adapt and to grow.

・The IFRC already supports the JRCS in this respect. Discussions at senior level on the extension and timeline for this process are taking place, key material has been translated into Japanese and a focal person in A/P zone office has been designated. The JRCS is committed to undertake the process, demonstrating that a well-functioning organisation, as is the case of this NS, strives to better contribute to the goals of Strategy 2020.

Recommendation 11: Develop Standard Operating Procedures

・The JRCS has learned and is still learning lessons through its recovery intervention following this disaster. Among others, one can highlight the lessons learned in operating a Recovery Task Force, which can contribute to the efficiency and effectiveness of future interventions in mega-disasters. For this purpose, the JRCS should:

・Develop Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for the functioning of a Task Force, including terms of reference;

・Design tools such as templates and forms for the preparation and development of a plan of action, accountability framework, needs assessments, requests, proposals, procedures for approvals, etc.;

・Develop progress control/monitoring tools for budgets, control of costs, chronograms /schedules.