A Guide to National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA)

NDMA Pakistan

Pakistan, a land of diverse landscapes and climates, is no stranger to the capricious forces of nature. From devastating earthquakes to catastrophic floods, the nation has endured its share of natural disasters over the years. In the face of these unpredictable events, the role of the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) becomes paramount.  

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This blog by Graana.com delves into the critical importance of NDMA in Pakistan’s disaster management landscape, highlighting the need for a dedicated institution to mitigate the impact of natural disasters and ensure the safety and resilience of its people. Join us as we explore the challenges posed by natural disasters and how NDMA stands as a formidable shield against their devastating effects. 


Legislative History: The Foundation of NDMA 

The legal framework underpinning NDMA is essential to its operation. The National Disaster Management Ordinance of 2006 laid the groundwork for NDMA’s establishment. Subsequently, the National Disaster Management Act of 2010 provided further clarity on its functions and responsibilities. 


NDMA Act 2010 


NDMA Act 2010 


The NDMA Act 2010 is a comprehensive legislative framework consisting of eleven sections that outline the structure and functions of disaster management in India. Section 1 provides definitions for key terms related to disaster management, ensuring clarity in interpretation.  

Section 2 establishes the National Disaster Management Commission (NDMC) as the central authority overseeing disaster management at the national level, while Section 3 establishes Provincial Disaster Management Commissions for each province. Section 4 creates District Disaster Management Authorities at the district level, emphasizing grassroots preparedness and response. 

Section 5 details the government’s disaster management measures, covering resource mobilization and response plan implementation. Section 6 outlines the roles of local authorities in disaster management. Section 7 establishes the National Institute of Disaster Management (NIDM) for research and training, while Section 8 forms the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) for specialized disaster response.  

Section 9 addresses funding sources for disaster projects, and Section 10 outlines punishments for misuse of the disaster management system. Lastly, Section 11 covers additional factors like anti-discrimination policies and annual disaster management reporting, promoting transparency and accountability. 

The NDMA Act 2010 is a vital legislative framework that establishes various disaster management bodies, defines their roles, and ensures accountability in disaster preparedness and response in India. It promotes a structured and coordinated approach to mitigate the impact of disasters at different administrative levels. 


Composition of NDMA 


Composition of NDMA 


The Federal Government plays a pivotal role in the establishment of NDMA, as outlined in the NDMA Act of 2010. Immediately after the issuance of a notification under section 3(1) of this act, the National Disaster Management Authority comes into being.

At the helm of this authority stands the Director General, appointed by the Federal Government, with terms and conditions prescribed by law. This individual shoulders the responsibility of leading NDMA through its multifaceted journey. 

The Director General, often a seasoned expert in disaster management, is not only the head but also the driving force behind NDMA. Their expertise, leadership, and ability to make critical decisions under pressure are essential to the authority’s effectiveness. 


Mandate of NDMA 

NDMA’s mandate is clear and comprehensive, making it the primary implementing, coordinating, and monitoring body for disaster management in Pakistan. Let’s break down its core responsibilities: 


National Disaster Management Plan


National Disaster Management Plan 


One of NDMA’s foremost tasks is to prepare the National Plan for disaster management, subject to approval by the National Commission. This plan serves as the blueprint for managing disasters at the national level. It outlines strategies, resources, and protocols for responding to various types of disasters, from earthquakes to floods and everything in between. 

This plan is not a static document but a dynamic one that evolves to address emerging threats and vulnerabilities. NDMA continually reviews and updates the National Plan to ensure that it remains relevant and effective in an ever-changing world. 


Coordinating Policies 

NDMA also plays a pivotal role in implementing, coordinating, and monitoring the national policy for disaster management. It ensures that various ministries, departments, and provincial authorities adhere to these policies. 

Coordinating policies involves fostering collaboration among diverse stakeholders, including government agencies, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), international partners, and local communities. NDMA acts as the linchpin that brings these entities together, ensuring a unified and effective response to disasters. 


Guiding Ministries and Departments 

The authority lays down guidelines for disaster management plans, guiding different ministries, departments, and provincial authorities in their disaster preparedness efforts. This ensures a unified approach to disaster response. 

These guidelines are not mere recommendations but crucial directives that help standardize disaster preparedness and response across the country. They cover various aspects, including risk assessment, resource allocation, evacuation procedures, and communication protocols. 


Technical Assistance 

NDMA doesn’t just stop at guidelines; it provides vital technical assistance to provincial governments and authorities, helping them align their disaster management plans with the national framework. 

Technical assistance encompasses a wide range of activities, from capacity building and training to the provision of specialized equipment and expertise. NDMA works closely with provincial counterparts to enhance their disaster preparedness and response capabilities. 


Coordinated Response 


Coordinated Response of NDMA


In the face of a threatening disaster or an actual calamity, NDMA steps in to coordinate the response. This ensures that resources are mobilized swiftly and efficiently. 

Coordinated response involves a rapid and well-organized deployment of assets and personnel to affected areas. NDMA’s ability to bring together various stakeholders, including the military, civil authorities, and humanitarian organizations, is critical in the immediate aftermath of a disaster. 

Exercising Authority 

NDMA can requisition the services of individuals for specific purposes, granting them co-opted membership and the authority to act in accordance with the authority’s directives. 

This power to requisition services is a crucial tool in NDMA’s arsenal. It allows the authority to tap into specialized skills and resources when needed most. During a disaster, every minute counts, and NDMA’s ability to swiftly deploy expertise can make a significant difference in saving lives and mitigating damage. 

Promoting Awareness 

Disaster education and awareness are critical, and NDMA takes on the role of promoting general education and awareness in disaster management, ensuring that communities are well-informed and prepared. 

The promotion of awareness is not limited to educational campaigns. NDMA engages in a range of activities, from conducting drills and simulations to disseminating information through various media channels. The goal is to empower individuals and communities with the knowledge they need to respond effectively to disasters. 

Versatile Functions 

Beyond these core functions, NDMA remains adaptable, performing any other tasks assigned by the National Disaster Management Commission (NDMC). This flexibility ensures that the authority can respond effectively to evolving disaster scenarios. 

The ability to adapt and respond to new and unforeseen challenges is a hallmark of NDMA’s resilience. Whether it’s dealing with a novel disease outbreak, a climate-induced crisis, or a technological disaster, NDMA stands ready to fulfill its mandate. 

Functions of Various Wings 


NDMA wings


To execute its multifaceted tasks, NDMA is organized into three distinct wings, each specializing in crucial aspects of disaster management: 

Administration & Finance (A&F) Wing 

This wing manages all administrative and financial matters of NDMA, providing vital support to the operations wing. It also handles procurement, transportation, and record-keeping of relief goods. Human resource management, vehicle maintenance, and financial oversight all fall under its purview. 

  • Administrative Support: A&F Wing ensures the smooth functioning of NDMA’s administrative processes. This includes managing personnel records, office facilities, and administrative staff. 
  • Financial Management: Sound financial management is essential for effective disaster response. A&F Wing oversees budgeting, accounting, and financial reporting, ensuring transparency and accountability. 
  • Procurement and Logistics: The timely procurement and transportation of relief goods and equipment are critical during a disaster. A&F Wing takes charge of these logistics, ensuring that resources reach affected areas without delay. 
  • Human Resource Management: NDMA relies on a dedicated team of professionals. A&F Wing handles matters related to human resources, including recruitment, training, and performance evaluation. 
  • Vehicle Fleet Management: NDMA operates a fleet of vehicles for various purposes, from transportation to disaster-affected areas to conducting field assessments. A&F Wing is responsible for managing and maintaining this fleet. 
  • Financial Oversight: To ensure compliance with financial regulations and best practices, A&F Wing conducts regular audits and financial assessments. 

Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) Wing 

Disaster risk reduction is a proactive approach to mitigating the impact of disasters. NDMA’s DRR Wing is responsible for policies related to disaster risk reduction, flood management, disaster awareness, and the National Disaster Management Plan (NDMP). It also monitors and evaluates plans, integrating disaster risk reduction into the development sector. 

  • Policy Formulation: DRR Wing develops and updates policies related to disaster risk reduction. These policies guide disaster preparedness, mitigation, and resilience-building efforts. 
  • Flood Management: Given Pakistan’s vulnerability to floods, DRR Wing focuses on strategies to manage and mitigate flood-related risks. This includes early warning systems, floodplain management, and flood-resistant infrastructure. 
  • Disaster Awareness: Creating awareness about disaster risks and preparedness is a key function of DRR Wing. This involves public education campaigns, school programs, and community engagement. 
  • National Disaster Management Plan (NDMP): DRR Wing plays a central role in the development and implementation of the NDMP. This plan outlines strategies for disaster response, recovery, and long-term resilience. 
  • Monitoring and Evaluation: To assess the effectiveness of disaster risk reduction efforts, DRR Wing continually monitors and evaluates plans and strategies. This data-driven approach helps refine disaster management practices. 
  • Integration with Development: DRR Wing ensures that disaster risk reduction is integrated into development planning at all levels. This “mainstreaming” approach reduces vulnerabilities and enhances resilience. 

Operations (OPS) Wing 

When disaster strikes, swift and effective response is crucial. NDMA’s OPS Wing manages the National Emergency Operations Center (NEOC), supervises relief and rescue operations, and prepares situation updates and contingency plans. It also coordinates relief efforts with federal and provincial authorities, armed forces, and other organizations. 

  • National Emergency Operations Center (NEOC): OPS Wing is responsible for the NEOC, which serves as the nerve center of disaster response. It is equipped with state-of-the-art communication and coordination systems. 
  • Relief and Rescue Operations: OPS Wing supervises relief and rescue operations, both inland and foreign. This includes the deployment of search and rescue teams, medical assistance, and humanitarian aid. 
  • Situation Updates and Contingency Plans: Timely and accurate information is critical during a disaster. OPS Wing prepares situation updates and contingency plans to guide response efforts. 
  • Coordination with Authorities: OPS Wing works closely with federal and provincial authorities, including the armed forces, to ensure a seamless and coordinated response to disasters. 
  • Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) Teams: In urban disaster scenarios, specialized USAR teams are deployed. OPS Wing oversees the training and deployment of these teams. 
  • Briefs and Presentations: OPS Wing prepares briefs and presentations for top-level officials, including the Prime Minister, President, and members of the Senate and National Assembly. 
  • Contingency Plans for All Disasters: NDMA recognizes that disasters come in various forms. OPS Wing develops contingency plans that cover the full spectrum of disasters faced by Pakistan, from earthquakes and tsunamis to pandemics and industrial accidents. 

Vision, Mission, and Aims of NDMA


Vision, Mission, and Aims of NDMA

NDMA’s vision, mission, and aims provide a clear roadmap for its endeavors: 


The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) envisions achieving sustainable social, economic, and environmental development in Pakistan. This involves reducing risks and vulnerabilities, especially among marginalized groups, and responding effectively to various disaster events. 


NDMA’s mission focuses on managing the entire spectrum of disasters by incorporating disaster risk reduction into development planning at all levels. The organization aims to enhance institutional capacities for disaster preparedness, response, and recovery, ultimately striving for a safer and more resilient Pakistan for all. 


NDMA is dedicated to achieving its mission through a set of specific objectives: 

  • Holistic Disaster Risk Management: NDMA strives to establish a comprehensive disaster risk management framework encompassing all facets of disaster readiness, response, and recovery. 
  • Secretariat Role for NDMC: NDMA functions as the administrative hub for the National Disaster Management Commission (NDMC), facilitating the implementation of disaster risk management (DRM) strategies. 
  • Comprehensive Hazard Mapping: To effectively mitigate risks, NDMA conducts hazard mapping and periodic risk assessments to identify potential threats comprehensively. 
  • Standardized Guidelines and Protocols: NDMA formulates guidelines and standards for national and provincial stakeholders, ensuring a uniform approach to disaster risk management. 
  • Establishment of Disaster Management Authorities and Emergency Operations Centers: NDMA endeavors to set up Disaster Management Authorities and Emergency Operations Centers at provincial, district, and municipal levels in areas prone to hazards. 
  • Technical Expertise and Support: NDMA provides technical support to federal ministries, departments, and provincial Disaster Management authorities, bolstering disaster risk management initiatives. 
  • Capacity Building and Awareness Campaigns: NDMA conducts training programs and awareness campaigns to enhance the capabilities of stakeholders, particularly in high-risk regions. 
  • Information Management Excellence: The authority collects, analyzes, processes, and disseminates cross-sectoral information essential for an all-encompassing hazard management strategy. 
  • Media Engagement: NDMA actively encourages media participation in DRM activities, recognizing its pivotal role in disseminating information and fostering awareness. 
  • Leading Role for NGOs: NDMA assumes a leadership role in overseeing the performance of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to ensure adherence to internationally accepted standards, such as the SPHERE standards. 
  • Pioneering International Collaboration: NDMA takes the lead in fostering international collaboration in disaster risk management, encompassing information sharing, early warning systems, joint training initiatives, and standardization of protocols for regional and global cooperation. 
  • Efficient Emergency Response Coordination: In the event of a national-level disaster, NDMA effectively coordinates the emergency response efforts of the federal government through the National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC). 
  • Resource Mobilization Authority: NDMA possesses the authority to requisition personnel and resources from various government departments or agencies to be made available for emergency response, rescue operations, and relief efforts. 

Chairman NDMA 

The leadership of the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) has been marked by dedicated individuals who have guided the organization through its mission of safeguarding Pakistan against disasters. This table provides an overview of the Chairmen who have led NDMA, showcasing their respective terms of service and contributions to disaster management in the country.


Chairman Term Start Term End 
Lt Gen Farooq Ahmed Khan 2006 2010 
Lt Gen Nadeem Ahmed 2010 2011 
Dr Zafar Iqbal 2011 2013 
Maj Gen Saeed Aleem 2013 2015 
Maj Gen Asghar Nawaz 2015 2017 
Lt Gen Omar Mehmood Hayat 2017 2019 
Lt Gen Muhammad Afzal 2019 2020 
Lt Gen Akhtar Nawaz Satti 2020 October 2022 
Lt Gen Inam Haider Malik October 2022 Present (2023) 


These individuals have played pivotal roles in shaping the organization’s response to disasters and its commitment to preparedness and resilience. Their leadership has been instrumental in ensuring that NDMA continues to evolve and adapt to emerging challenges, thereby strengthening Pakistan’s ability to mitigate the impact of disasters and protect its citizens.  


The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) is the cornerstone of disaster management in Pakistan. With its clear mandate, versatile functions, and dedicated personnel, NDMA plays a pivotal role in ensuring the safety and well-being of the nation. Whether it’s responding to natural disasters in Pakistan, public health emergencies, or other crises, NDMA stands as a symbol of resilience and preparedness. 

In a world where disasters can strike at any moment, NDMA remains steadfast in its mission to protect and empower the people of Pakistan. Its commitment to reducing risks, enhancing preparedness, and fostering resilience is a testament to the authority’s vital role in safeguarding the nation. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) 

What is the primary mission of the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA)? 

NDMA’s primary mission is to manage the complete spectrum of disasters by incorporating disaster risk reduction into development planning at all levels and enhancing institutional capacities for disaster preparedness, response, and recovery. 

How does NDMA coordinate disaster response efforts in Pakistan? 

NDMA coordinates disaster response efforts by bringing together various stakeholders, including government ministries, departments, provincial authorities, and international organizations. Its National Emergency Operations Center (NEOC) serves as the nerve center for coordination. 

What is the role of the Director General in NDMA? 

The Director General of NDMA is appointed by the Federal Government and serves as the head of the authority. They provide leadership, make critical decisions, and oversee the implementation of disaster management initiatives. 

How does NDMA promote disaster awareness among the public? 

NDMA promotes disaster awareness through educational campaigns, school programs, community engagement, and media outreach. The goal is to ensure that individuals and communities are well-informed and prepared for disasters. 

What is the legislative history of NDMA in Pakistan? 

NDMA’s legal foundation includes the National Disaster Management Ordinance of 2006 and the National Disaster Management Act of 2010. These laws define NDMA’s structure, functions, and responsibilities. 

The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) is a cornerstone institution in Pakistan’s efforts to mitigate and respond to disasters. Its multifaceted responsibilities, dedicated leadership, and commitment to disaster risk reduction make it an essential entity for safeguarding the nation’s well-being.  

As Pakistan continues to face various hazards, from natural disasters to public health emergencies, NDMA remains at the forefront, ensuring that the country is prepared, resilient, and capable of overcoming adversity. 

NDMA Jobs 

For those seeking career opportunities in disaster management, NDMA Jobs offer a valuable pathway. Visit the NDMA Jobs portal to access information on vacancies, application procedures, and the chance to join an organization dedicated to disaster preparedness and response. 

For more informative blogs, visit Graana Blog

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