Dushanbe, Tajikistan, 20 February 2020 – The Aga Khan Agency for Habitat (AKAH) and its partner the State Agency for Hydrometeorology (Hydromet), with the financial support of the Government of Switzerland, successfully launched the knowledge and data-sharing platform dubbed “Open Centre” today at Hydromet offices in Dushanbe.
Officially known as the Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI), the “Open Centre” is the third of three facilities that were launched over the past three years beginning in 2017. It was developed to address the important need of access to clear and reliable information on the hazards and risks affecting the country.
The first centre, located at the Department of Geology and funded by the SDC, was put in place to establish the ground for the data-sharing platform. This was scaled up to the Committee for Emergency Situations and Civil Défense (CoESCD) in 2018, with support from the European Union Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO) and Aga Khan Foundation United Kingdom (AKF UK).
The Centres serve as a connector between three governments departments that are all committed to enhancing access to analytical data to support emergency response in the country. In addition, international organisations, donor agencies, NGOs and other researchers or practitioners in this field will use the service.
Representatives from government, and the local and international development community attended the launch. In his opening remarks, the Head of Hydromet, Rasulzoda Homidjon Hasan, reiterated the importance of the facilities. “Data assessment and analysis will allow stakeholders to be better prepared to manage hazards. It will also serve as information repository, storing data for future generations”.
SDC Country Director Walburga Roos on her part noted, “The SDC’s continuing support to the Centre emphasises how important data is to disaster management, and the plan is to further expand the support to the Academy of Sciences and the National Disaster Risk Reduction Focal Point office. This will enable a holistic approach to data management towards risk-informed planning. The ultimate goal of this initiative therefore is to showcase Tajikistan as a best practice case in this area.”
The Aga Khan Agency for Habitat (AKAH), which merges the capabilities of Focus Humanitarian Assistance, the Aga Khan Planning and Building Services, and the Aga Khan Development Network’s Disaster Risk Management Initiative, focuses on preparing for both sudden and slow-onset disasters. AKAH works to ensure that poor people live in physical settings that are as safe as possible from the effects of natural disasters; that residents who do live in high-risk areas are able to cope with disasters in terms of preparedness and response; and that these settings provide access to social and financial services that lead to greater opportunity and a better quality of life. Initially, priority areas of AKAH will include Afghanistan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, the Kyrgyz Republic, and India. Read more about the agency at http://www.akdn.org/our-agencies/aga-khan-agency-habitat
Within its Cooperation Strategy for 2017-2021, Switzerland focuses on the four sectors in Tajikistan, such as Water, Infrastructure and Climate Change; Health; Governance, Institutions and Decentralisation; Employment and Economic Development. The overall goal of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) in Tajikistan is peace and social cohesion as well as responsive and inclusive institutions and sustainable development to improve the population’s well-being. Read more at www.eda.admin.ch/dushanbe
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