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Planning of Data Collection and level (National / Subnational):

Advantages of different sources of data:


There was no database what so ever in Sri Lanka, where past disaster data and information have been collected and maintained before the initiation of Sri Lanka Disaster Information Management System. In the same way, if the data in respect of past disasters are to be made use of in a useful manner for disaster management, the information in respect of the ill-effects of such disasters should be maintained at least at the level of Divisional Secretariats. Later it came to be understood that the data maintained even at the levels of Divisional Secretaries divisions are not sufficient. In the same manner when the data in respect of the total period effected by disasters is collected it should cover all disasters as far as possible.

In consideration of the above mentioned facts it was revealed that the following results could be obtained from various sources where ever the data has been collected. The government organisations have data only from a short period of time, and it is possible to obtain the basic data in respect of disasters from a very long period of time with the assistance of news papers. The reports in respect of areas which had been affected as a result of disasters are published in the news papers correctly at the level of Divisional secretariat or those of Grama Niladhari (GN) areas.

The data collected which are in the possession of government organisations to a very great extent are for the purpose of granting assistance to the affected. It was noticed that there are instances where only the information in respect of those who are eligible for aid and those who gave assistance are recorded, but in these instances it is possible that there is a difference between the recorded data and the actual data with respect to actual results. However, the news papers do the reporting of these news items without any basis for aid and assistance.

When information in respect of past disasters was gathered from government organisations, it had been noticed that even the dates of the disasters have not been recorded correctly. In certain instances only the date of the incident had been reported, the date on which relief aid has been requested and only the date on which relief aid had been given recorded in these organisations. And in the same way there were instances where the year or the month and the year only have been recorded, but the correct date or the most near date of the incident could be found out while going through the news papers. The data cannot be included unless the information in respect of the year, month and date are known completely.

Various government organisations collect the data and respond separately in respect of the affected sectors by one disaster. In the same manner various organisations collect the information of effects of the same sector and respond to them separately. Only under these circumstances, the information has to be collected from all government organisations who are concerned in these matters.