Towards a Safer World (TASW) is a multi-stakeholder network of practitioners on whole of society preparedness for pandemics and comparable threats, led by the UN System. It was launched after the last ISDR Global Platform in 2011.
The first phase of the initiative was to review the impact of 'whole-of-society' pandemic preparedness efforts since 2005. 11 parameters were used in the analysis and key achievements and lessons were identified and documented.
The second phase was an examination of the recommendations at a meeting in Rome (September 2011) by over 200 pandemic preparedness practitioners from a variety of sectors, organisations and countries over five continents. They resolved to create a network of practitioners committed to refining their practices, sharing experiences, communicating them widely, mainstreaming them within their institutions, and reaching out to engage others.
The third phase was the creation of this network. It was initially set up and managed from within the World Food Programme. Since mid-2012 the network has been managed by the UN System Influenza Coordinator's office (UNSIC) in Geneva. The network manager encourages exchanges of experiences, tools and practices among members through (a) the TASW website, (b) the periodic TASW newsletter, (c) a regularly updated roster of expert practitioners, (d) participation in regional and global preparedness forums and (e) continuous co-operation with development partners.