With capacity building and technology transfer as part of the GEM Foundation's four key strategic priorities, it was heartening to see the enthusiastic and positive response to a range of improvements in both technology and training material at the annual Risk Training Workshop in Pavia in late October, 2015.
In a full and intense programme, the GEM Risk Team, led by Vitor Silva, introduced guest speakers from our collaborative partner organisations to inspire participants with practical applications of the GEM tools. For instance, Julia Schaefer explained how our products have been applied by Hannover Re in insurance loss modelling; Barbara Borzi demonstrated how the EUCENTRE uses them for earthquake loss estimation and Surya Shrestha, from Nepal's National Society for Earthquake Technology (NSET), presented their potential applications in post-earthquake recovery.
With over 30 participants from around the world, attendees had the chance to not only test the new tools in action, but also to apply them with their own local data in the practical aspects of the training. In a novel approach to post-training support, the Risk Team has developed video materials as an adjunct to the existing technical manuals, to reinforce and refresh the learning once the participants return home.
Additionally, discussion with participants has paved the way for further collaborative efforts, with Indonesia, Iran, South Africa and Australia expressing interest in starting or expanding partnerships which will lead to better understanding of earthquake risk and its integration into disaster risk reduction (DRR) planning.