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The need for a national strategy on crisis management

Apr 20,2020 - Last updated at Apr 20,2020

No one would argue with the fact that the government has made great efforts to stop the spread of and treat the coronavirus during the current national crisis. However, as with any new experience, there are always lessons learned and observations to be considered for future crises. 

One of the main lessons learned is that the government must develop a national strategy for crisis management. This will help the government in future to align all entities’ efforts in coordinated manner.

The strategy should consider the horizontal and vertical linkages between national, governorate and local or municipal level institutions. There should be an overarching crisis management strategy at the national level that drives the development; first of strategies at national level institutions and ministries, and, second, of sub-strategies at the governorate and municipal level. This will ensure a clear-cut division of roles and responsibilities between all related institutions at the national and local level during a crisis.

The strategy should consider the main pillars needed for crisis management, including but not limited to, food security and distribution, public health, energy, water, economy (public and private sector), social solidarity, public services, public awareness, education, legal enforcement, and e-services. The strategy should also consider different scenarios for crisis management planning as well as an executive plan with a responsibility matrix that includes the roles and responsibilities of each related entity at the national and local level. Additionally, the strategy should discuss how to overcome issues arising in the aftermath of the crisis.

At the national level, Jordan has a very good crisis management institutional set up through the National Centre for Security and Crisis Management (NCSCM), which has proven itself to be one of the best crisis management centres in the region. The idea of establishing the NCSCM was a result of the Royal vision in 2005, which called for creating an institution that could manage key public and private sectors in a coordinated and unified way to confront a crisis.

The NCSCM is governed by the National Centre for Security and Crisis Management Law No. (20) for the year 2015. Per this law, the NCSCM should be the anchor for the national strategy for crises management and should continue leading and coordinating any efforts during a crisis situation.

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