This “Commune Disaster Risk Management Team" contest is the first one in Viet Nam to honor on-the-spot disaster response teams. Commune disaster risk management teams are local taskforces who operate response actions in the first hours after disaster events.

Photo: UNDP

The contest was aimed at raising public awareness on disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation through the integration of knowledge and skills into the innovative and attractive form of a game show. The contest also created an appealing playground for disaster risk management forces at the grassroots level and for television audiences.

The contest was jointly organized by the Central Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control (under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development), the Vietnam Television Center in Central and Central Highlands (VTV8), UNDP, the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment (UNWomen), and, for the first time in Viet Nam, with the sponsor of Bamboo Airways.

The final round of the competition was held in Da Nang from July 16-19, with the participation of 21 teams of contestants representing 21 different provinces. After 11 knockouts, the semi-finals, and the final, the Nghe An team won the first prize, with the runner-up being the Lam Dong team and the third prize going to the Nam Dinh team.

In his remarks at the award ceremony, Mr. Tran Quang Hoai, General Director of the VNDMA, emphasized: “By participating in the contest, teams played their best and dedicated their most exciting entertainment moments to the audience. Through this contest, the members of all the teams have been key players who have helped to convey valuable knowledge on disaster risk management and reduction, encouraging community participation in disaster risk reduction to minimize disaster damage and losses and creating a strong and effective shift from a "passive response" to "proactive preparedness," towards a common resolution "for a society more resilient to disasters."

Ms. Caitlin Wiesen, UNDP Resident Representative in Viet Nam, highlighted, “Local task forces play a critically important role in actively responding to the prevention and control of natural disasters. Therefore, increasing the capacity of the task force is essential. I am delighted with the great success of this first-ever competition, which has helped to improve the disaster risk knowledge of local task forces in 21 provinces that are often the first responders in a disaster event, and raised the awareness of millions through creative media messaging. To date, UNDP has worked to strengthen community-based disaster risk mitigation and management by building the capacity of over 32,000 people who are now members of communal disaster response task forces.” 

The "Commune Disaster Risk Management Team" contest is expected to be held for the second time with the participation of 36 teams from many parts of Viet Nam. It will continue to be jointly organized by the VNDMA (under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development), UNDP, and related agencies as a way to honor pioneering forces in disaster risk reduction at the grassroots level./.

Khac Kien