Help is on the way
When a large natural disaster occurs, many relief organizations step in to offer their services. But if they fail to develop a disaster relief and recovery plan that effectively organizes their activities, they most often will needlessly squander their resources. This article describes how one project professional--Muntsa Bau of Spain--used her skills and knowledge to help the Sri Lankan province of Galle recover from the 26 December 2004 tsunami that devastated South Asia. In doing so, it explains the state of the recovery effort when Ms. Bau arrived in Galle. It also describes how project management can serve as an appropriate approach for implementing a disaster relief and recovery effort. This article--which is based on information published in the white paper "Project Management Needs in Disaster Situations: Lessons Learnt From the Boxing Day Tsunami" that Ms. Bau and Ahana Lakshmi presented at the PMI Global Congress 2007--Asia Pacific--discusses how Ms. Bau and Dr. Lakshmi contributed to Galle's relief and recovery effort and identifies some of the project management tools, techniques, and approaches they used in their work.