The first joint Vanuatu National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) and Vanuatu Humanitarian
Team (VHT) partner simulation exercise was held on 6th November 2012. The overall purpose of the
simulation was test the capacity and capability of the National Disaster Management Office (NDMO)
and Vanuatu Humanitarian Team (VHT) members in Vanuatu to respond to major disasters and to
strengthen local disaster response networks and inter-agency relationships.
The simulation provided an action learning approach for participants to implement disaster response
mechanisms and skills that had been developed throughout the year, and identify areas for
strengthening these.

The exercise had an outreach of 4 provinces, 10 communities and 401 people (218 men and 183
women) who participated across four simulation exercises on one day:
Short-code SMS communication to Community Disaster Committees (CDCs) and to
Provincial Government (multiple provinces)
National Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) in Port Vila;
Rapid assessment process (held in Port Vila);
School emergency evacuation (held in Ekipe, North Efate)
The exercise demonstrated national capabilities to coordinate a response

The evaluation of the simulation indicated that participants felt it was a valuable learning experience
and a great opportunity to work with a diverse group of stakeholders. The value of the exercise for
learning and strengthening systems was also recognised with many participants expressing interest in
holding more simulations in the future. Participants also recognised areas where the simulation could
have been improved, generating useful learning about the design and implementation of future
simulation exercises. Key recommendations to inform the next exercise relate to increasing the
participation of government stakeholders and other line departments, increasing community
participation in the assessment process, and simulating cluster system activation and a sectoral
disaster response.

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