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UNEB sets up off-site disaster management centre

 

FILE PHOTO: Prof Mary Okwakol

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Uganda National Examinations Board (UNEB) is setting up an off-site centre to ensure seamless operations in case of any disaster.

The move is aimed at strengthening the integrity of UNEB’s systems and infrastructure. A disaster is any sudden, unplanned calamitous event that brings about great damage or loss.

Administration of national examinations and management of the data bases is such a critical undertaking that should anything happens to the smooth operations it could spell doom in many fronts for a country.

For instance, if the UNEB premises went up in flames without a business continuity and disaster management plan decades of examinations records would get destroyed without the possibility of being replaced.

The Chair of UNEB, Prof Mary Okwakol, says in order to avoid the unexpected, like a disaster or systems breakdown, the examinations body is setting up an off-site business continuity and disaster management centre in Jinja.

Prof Okwakol says UNEB is working in concert with the National Information Technology Authority of Uganda (NITA-U) and the finance ministry to ensure that the centre is up and running.

She says related disaster centres will also be set up in strategic upcountry locations.

Business continuity is the process of sustaining operation of critical systems, the goal being to reduce or prevent outage time and optimize operations.

According to the U. S.-based National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), a business continuity and disaster management arrangement involves  develop the contingency planning policy, conducting business impact analysis, identifying preventive controls, and developing recovery strategies.

Other approaches include developing an IT contingency plan, testing the plan, training employees, holding exercises and maintaining the plan.

While setting up off-site business continuity centres is a standard practice in developed countries, in Uganda it is just emerging. A few organisations like National Social Security Fund, which manages trillions of shillings of workers savings, have such plans in place

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