Somalilandsun- JOHN Dyer does not go looking for disasters and conflict, but he has just spent over a decade in the world’s hotspots. He has been everywhere from war-torn Afghanistan to countries still reeling from the 2004 Asian tsunami, and most notably in Sierra Leone, where his actions earned him the New Zealand Gallantry Decoration in 2000.
Now, however, he has turned his attention to passing his skills on to others and enabling individuals, teams, and organisations to be more agile, particularly in the face of challenges — to be more resilient.
One workshop has already been held in Gisborne and more are planned later this month with possibilities of Somaliland becoming a beneficiary of the challenge agility skills transfer.
He has just returned from a month in Somaliland which has declared independence from Somalia but is not recognised. There he was dealing with the response to a cholera outbreak.
“It was quieter than troubled Somalia but there were still things going on like clan conflicts and instances of extremist organisation Al Shabab coming across” John Jones quotes the Former Gisborne man John Dyer during an interview ensuing in the http://gisborneherald.co.nz published piece titled Passing on crisis skills
Because the country is still officially part of Somalia, you get what John calls the “media effect” — news reports in which everybody sees bullets and bombs.
“But in all of these places where you go — and I have been to Afghanistan, South Sudan, in and out of Pakistan, Lebanon and Beirut — yes, there are things going on but the population is still functioning and they are trying to get on with what they need to do.
“It is a matter of enhancing the knowledge and skills of people and giving them the ability to understand the environment they are in and develop the capacity to be able to operate in it.”
His work involved training packages and assessments to make sure the right security framework was in place and to be able to respond in case of an incident.
“When I started, we would probably have 150 security incidents a year; last year, because of the systems that have been put in place, we are down to 70 or 80.
An incident could be anything from a vehicle accident, to someone being robbed, up to someone being threatened with weapons.
The job has meant on average being away three months plus a year.
“I have been doing mainly short missions — what we call support missions — but also doing a lot of training.
For more read Passing on crisis skills