Integration of MISP into the disaster risk reduction and preparedness action plans of provincial/district disaster management authorities

The International Planned Parenthood Federation / SPRINT project is advocacy for disaster risk reduction (DRR) and inclusion of Minimum Initial Service Package (MISP) and Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) into the national disaster risk reduction and management policies and programmes of government.

Case Study

Integration of [1] MISP into the disaster risk reduction and preparedness action plans of provincial/district disaster management authorities.

HFA Priority

Priority 1: Ensure that disaster risk reduction (DRR) is a national and a local priority with a strong institutional basis for implementation.

Priority 5: Strengthen disaster preparedness for effective response at all levels.


The [2] IPPF [3] SPRINT project is advocacy for disaster risk reduction (DRR) and inclusion of Minimum Initial Service Package (MISP) and Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) into the national disaster risk reduction and management policies and programmes of government.

From 2013-2014, [4] Rahnuma Family Planning Association of Pakistan (FPAP) was successful in getting the provincial and district disaster management authorities of Gilgit Baltistan (GB), Punjab, Baluchistan, Sindh, FATA, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) and Azad Jammu Kashmir (AJK) to include the MISP in their standard operating procedures (SOPs) and risk reduction action Plans.


Pakistan is a particularly disaster-prone South Asian country due to the number of natural disasters that have killed, injured and affected millions in addition to inflicting huge economic costs. Pakistan itself has 28 million people affected by conflict and disasters.

In 2009 more than three million people in Pakistan were forced to flee their homes in the country’s northwestern areas as a result of political insecurity while forced displacement still exists in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Azad Jammu Kashmir and FATA.

Calamities such as floods particularly hit Punjab and Sindh while hill torrents affect the hilly areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Baluchistan and Gilgit Baltistan. In 2005, the Azad Jammu Kashmir (AJK) earthquake and the 2010 floods badly affected Punjab and Sindh, two of the agriculturally richest and most populated provinces. These two catastrophes illuminated how disasters exacerbated gender discrimination, gender-based violence (GBV) or sexual violence (SV), maternal and child mortality.


Gilgit Baltistan (GB), Punjab, Baluchistan, Sindh, FATA, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) and Azad Jammu Kashmir (AJK) – Pakistan.

How the problem was addressed?

The SPRINT Initiative in Pakistan, with support from its member associate Rahnuma- Family Planning Association of Pakistan, has been proactive since 2013 in advocating for SRH and MISP inclusion into the DRR and disaster risk management (DRM) plans at national and local levels.

The initiative is based on recognition of the vulnerabilities of women and young during emergencies, particularly in the remote parts of crisis affected Gilgit Baltistan, Punjab, Baluchistan, Sindh, FATA, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Azad Jammu Kashmir. These vulnerabilities include:

·       Inaccessibility;

·       Lack of SRH services for pregnant and lactating mother and adolescents;

·       Sexual and gender Based Violence;

·       Rapid HIV/ STI transmission,

Rahnuma FPAP through the SPRINT Initiative, successfully integrated MISP into the SOPs and DRR action plans of provincial and district disaster management authorities in these provinces.

Primarily the lead was taken by the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), through its member associate Rahnuma FPAP, which has been constantly liaising and advocating for MISP and inclusion of SRH components and service delivery into the SOPs and action plans. Initially, approaching the local, district and provincial governments and making them understand the relevance of MISP and SRH during crises was difficult.

SRH is the least prioritized issue during disasters and is often neglected. However with orientation on MISP through workshops and sensitization meetings that explained the importance of having a contingency plan and SOPs for responding to the SRH needs of vulnerable groups like pregnant and lactating women, young girls and adolescents, the process has led to a positive outcome.

It was felt that advocating and liaising with governments could take time and sometimes delay the desired outcome and policy changes due to firm administrative procedures. SPRINT therefore realized that it was extremely important to train and sensitize government officials on MISP and SRH during crises from the initial stage or inception of the project. Capacity building of local administrators and government officials on importance of MISP at disaster risk reduction and preparedness phase is something for which SPRINT now strongly advocates.


Due to constant advocacy with national and local governments, integration of MISP and SRH into the action plans and SOPs of national Disaster management authorities (NDMA) and provincial disaster management authorities (PDMA) has become possible.

A 2014 situational assessment on SRH by SPRINT Pakistan rveled that the government awareness of SRH and the importance of MISP at the preparedness phase is extremely high, particularly in FATA and Punjab provinces. Constant advocacy in Pakistan has also led to the government institutions like the National Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Network (NHEPRN), the Health Service Academy (HSA), and the Pakistan Nursing Council taking an active role in the Reproductive Health Working Group managed by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and SPRINT Pakistan. There have been more than five MISP trainings in the country though the SPRINT project in 2014 which included various technical partners including government and other civil society organizations.  

Measuring success

SPRINT conducted a rapid assessment of SRH and MISP implementation in Pakistan, and it could be seen that the awareness among the district and local government especially in FATA and Punjab was very high with governments acknowledging the need for capacity building on MISP and RH components usage during emergencies.

SPRINT and UNFPA have also trained more than 20 government officials from NDMA, PDMA, NHEPRN etc., while more than 154 persons from international non-governmental organizations (INGOs) and Civil society organizations have now been trained on MISP and SRH during emergencies as a process of emergency preparedness and disaster risk reduction.

Relevance to HFA

DRR is a national and a local priority with a strong institutional basis for Implementation along with the building and strengthening of capacities on MISP. This ensures maximum collaboration between partners on emergency preparedness (HFA Priorities: 1 and 5)

The most common link between HFA or the Making Cities Resilient campaign and this SPRINT’s initiative is ensuring the participation of local and national governments along with various stakeholders in integrating SRH into DRR plans and policies. The training of various partners, especially national and local level government officials, to strengthen their understanding of MISP is core in terms of ensuring emergency preparedness.

Potential for replication

Advocacy for the inclusion of SRH and MISP during disasters into the already existing DRR Plans at national and district levels have now been replicated and in progress through the SPRINT initiative in Bangladesh as well.   The starting point is through integration of SRH and MISP into the curriculum of doctors and nurses in colleges and universities. The efforts aim to build capacities and orient future service providers on MISP implementation. The capacity building of government officials, local partners and front line service providers through MISP trainings has been core to SPRINT DRR and preparedness efforts.

Contribution by

Nimisha Goswami , South Asia Regional Manager, The SPRINT Initiative

(Sexual Reproductive Health Programme in Crisis and Post-Crisis Situations)

International Planned Parenthood Federation – South Asia Regional Office

IPPF House, C-139, Defence Colony New Delhi – 110024, India

e-M: T: +91-11-2435 9221/2/3/4/5/6 (230) F: +91-11-2435 9220 W:

To view Photos of Sprint South Asia (Pakistan)

SPRINT Publication:



[1] The Minimum Initial Service Package (MISP) for Reproductive Health is a priority set of life‐saving

activities to be implemented at the onset of every humanitarian crisis. The  MISP  is  an international standard as  outlined in the  Sphere Humanitarian Charter  and Minimum Standards in Disaster Response.


[2] The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) is a global service provider and a leading advocate of sexual and reproductive health and rights for all. It is a worldwide movement of national organizations working with and for communities and individuals.


[3] The SPRINT Initiative is a Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) Programme in Crisis and Post-Crisis Situations. It is an Australian Government funded initiative, managed by the International Planned Parenthood Federation.


[4]Since 1953, the Family Planning Association of Pakistan (FPAP) (member association of IPPF) has helped women, men and young people access critical sexual and reproductive healthcare (SRH) services, including family planning. They were instrumental in establishing a separate Ministry of Population Welfare, as well as for introducing the first ever policy on population control in South Asia. FPAP is now known as Rahnuma (one who shows the path and provides direction) to reflect its holistic approach towards development in Pakistan.

Regional cooperation for disaster risk reduction

Regional cooperation for disaster risk reduction
By Hari Krishna Nibanupudi

Saturday, 7 March 2015


The last decade has seen a welcome shift in the way disasters are managed by most countries of the world. The world has finally moved from a reactive to proactive approach in dealing with disasters. Disaster risk reduction has finally become a priority for many nations, against a backdrop of increasing frequency of climate extremes and thanks to the guidance of the 2005-2015 Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA).

The big question now is, are the nations ready to take bigger steps to bring greater sense of security from disasters? Are they ready to shed their egos, dogmatic ideological and political positioning and skeptical foreign policy perspectives in order to work with the neighbors and other powers in the region to save their communities from disasters?

It is important to recognize that disasters are taking place across human and geological landscapes which are divided by political boundaries. Disasters know no boundaries. For instance, not long ago, a landslide induced flooding in the Sun Koshi River in Nepal, triggering a high alert not only in the downstream communities in Nepal, but also several hundred kilometers away in the Bihar state of India. It was good to see that the Governments of Nepal and India worked in tandem to exchange regular information, communication and cooperation to reduce the impact the disaster.

However, it’s not always the case that countries are on the same page when it comes to trans-boundary and regional cooperation in disaster prevention and risk reduction. 

For instance, there has been a decades of bilateral and multilateral bickering between countries in South Asia, South East Asia and many other regions over hydrological data sharing. After every major trans-boundary flood, downstream countries allege that upstream countries did not cooperate in timely data sharing and flood warning. There have also been complaints that the post-disaster humanitarian assistance by many regional and global powers misses the humanitarian perspective and is trapped in geo-political games. Such mutual distrust and gaps in communication between regional and global neighbors raises concerns over the ability of our world leaders in fostering regional and international cooperation to assist disaster-affected communities and reduce future disaster risk for them.

Unconditional sharing of water, climatic, environmental and geo-physical data between countries in a region is crucial for disaster prevention. Unfortunately, such data sharing remains a prisoner of bilateral and regional political dynamics. It is primarily because data is seen as a means of power to possess, rather than as a resource to share and prosper together. In this increasingly disaster-prone world, bilateral and multilateral development engagements should not overlook the common problem of disaster risk. The national governments in all regions of the world need to transcend the political divide and agree on common risk-management and resilience objectives, and to achieve them through joint analysis, planning, programming and funding. The HFA has emphasized regional cooperation for disaster risk reduction, especially in the areas of exchange of technology, capacities, hazard and vulnerability monitoring, data sharing and resource mobilization.  

The collective action element ensured the effectiveness of a community-based disaster risk reduction approach the world over. It’s the same spirit of collective action that is the need of the hour on a regional and global scale to check the increasing risk of disasters. It is high time that countries de-link disaster risk reduction from long unresolved trade and political issues in their bilateral and multilateral diplomatic engagements. The countries should also agree on linking specific risk reduction objective/issue with broader goals of regional development due to the nature of trans-boundary impacts of disasters. Further, at the forthcoming World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction, the participating countries should discuss the possibility of creating a legal and institutional framework for effective regional and international cooperation for disaster risk reduction.

Hari Krishna Nibanupudi is a dedicated worker on disaster risk reduction. In his two-decade career, he has worked in different countries in South Asia and South East Asia with a focus on community-based disaster risk reduction, gender sensitive disaster management, ecosystem-based disaster risk reduction and regional cooperation for disaster risk reduction. He is currently on a deployment mission for the Swedish Civil Contingency Agency (MSB) as Disaster Risk Management expert in the Philippines. He can be reached at or on Twitter @krishna_hari.