In 2003, a thorough and well-designed assessment was carried out in Sinazongwe, a district in southern Zambia. The CRA team was composed of staff from the regional IFRC delegation, the Zambian Red Cross Society (ZRCS) and district and local government officials. The purpose of the study was to assist ZRCS in mapping out hazards, vulnerabilities and capacities within the target area. Research methodologies included literature review; semi-structured interviews with key informants from local government departments, NGOs and other stakeholders; and the facilitation of Community Focus Groups involving more than 400 people from ruralareas, peri-urban areas and a ‘squatter settlement’.
This study is essential reading for everyone interested in CRA. It is important because of its methodological rigour, the close links established between civil society organisations, local government and other service providers and its concrete recommendations. It also highlights the need to more closely coordinate development activities by multiple NGOs and governmental stakeholders.