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Result of the web survey on APFM/HelpDesk activities, December 2010


Purpose of the survey is to improve the APFM/Helpdesk activities and its communication methods through its Newsletter and website.


The outcome of the web survey is based on feedback from the following respondents:


Country: Germany, El Salvador, South Africa, Spain, Tanzania


Organization: Inter-governmental organization, Governmental organization (3), University



For improving the APFM/HelpDesk activities and its communication methods through its Newsletter and website, a web survey was conducted in December 2010 targeting the readers of Newsletter. The survey requested readers to give their feedback to these activities with additional explanatory comments and opinions. Moreover, the survey asked them about the interesting articles on the Newsletter and flood management issues of readers’ concern.


Although the number of responses was quite limited, general feedback from the respondents was sufficiently positive with high evaluation of Newsletter’s frequency and design. Another attention was paid on APFM/HelpDesk websites, also supported by the affirmative message about their sub pages. The survey results also stressed issues that affect APFM users all over the world. For example, there was a comment asking how sustainable flood prevention measures are carried out in other countries. The user evaluation showed that APFM/HelpDesk activities are significantly important and meaningful to its users.    


Survey Results: 

An overall impression on the APFM Newsletter was evaluated from “useful” to “very useful”. Respondents generalized that IFM is a very important training and has impacts to more people in the world. Also they were satisfied with the frequency and length of articles saying that it is very good in combination with the links to more detailed information. One of the commentaries were that it might be useful to change the display name of the email account from "APFM" to a name "Flood Management Newsletter" or the full name “Associated Program on Flood Management” because, with only the acronym, one very easily overlooks the email or a spam filter catches the Email. The rest of comments describing the impression on APFM Newsletter includes that it gives interesting news about events and that it can help readers update activities of APFM and assess their opportunities.


In terms of a feedback about the interesting articles of the Newsletter, respondents unified the answer, stating that articles, such as “HelpDesk Support Base Partners Meeting, Flood Manager E-learning, and Fifth IFM Lecture at the JICA Training Course” were very useful. For example, some respondents implied that the structure of the article is good and very logical with well organized design. Another opinion was that respondents wanted to be updated with the news, what is going on in the world of flood prevention.


The overall impression on the APFM Website varied from useful to very useful and included the opinion that the front page should be changed once in a while (e.g. by changing the picture) and  pictures of people usually impresses readers more at first sight. Most of respondents already visited the following APFM Web pages: IFM Concept, Policy Series, Case Studies, Regional Pilot Projects, Capacity Building, Publications, Databases, Tools, and Events. Respondents underlined the importance of networking and requested getting more information on IFM issues. Particularly respondents mentioned that there are a lot of information about case studies, the way to manage some problems, and IFM materials available through Helpdesk. One respondent requested to add a window of web search.


In addition, the overall impression on the IFM HelpDesk Website was positive with the argument that simple structure helps to find the way easily. Moreover, the navigation button would help users understand right on the front page more easily what the different categories or sub pages are. All respondents answered that they had visited most of IFM HelpDesk web pages, such as Flood Management Tools, Questions and Answers Bank, Reference Centre Databases, Virtual Discussion Group, Assistance for Flood Management Policy, Law and Strategy, Capacity Building for IFM, Rapid Guidance on Technical Tools and Advisory Material, and Support Base Partners.


For the question of flood management concerns and problems, respondents underlined the problems of funding source, project implementation, policy and planning, best practices, and training and capacity building. Describing the details of the above, respondents emphasized that sometimes having good plans does not mean their implementation, for instance, due to lack of funds. In addition, one of respondents noted the concern about the measures taken for flood prevention and their interaction with nature conservation, because in the last few decades constructive measures of flood control (dykes, dredging, flow regulation, etc.) have caused much damage to aquatic ecosystems. A respondent also showed an interest to learn good examples of sustainable flood prevention measures carried out in other countries.


In addition to the above questions, respondents put some comment on the necessity of involving more people on the IFM issues. 

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