Disaster risk reduction NGO inter-agency group learning review

Disaster risk reduction NGO inter-agency group learning review

A review of projects undertaken by the DFID Disaster Risk Reduction NGO Inter-Agency Group

Between 2005 and 2010, the UK Department for International Development (DFID) funded ActionAid, Christian Aid, Practical Action, Plan and Tearfund to carry out disaster risk reduction (DRR) projects. They worked together as a consortium on global advocacy and in learning and sharing lessons, as well as collaborating in some cases at a country level. The outcome of these projects is this ‘learning review’ document which aims to contribute to the evidence base on disaster resilience and support future learning and facilitation.

The projects undertaken by each NGO were:

  • ActionAid tackled the ‘Disaster Risk Reduction through Schools’ project, implemented in seven countries
  • Christian Aid worked on ‘Building Disaster Resilient Communities’ project in Africa, South and East Asia and Central America to strengthen communities
  • Plan implemented its ‘Children and Young People at the Centre of Disaster Risk Reduction’ programme in eight countries
  • Practical Action worked on ‘Mainstreaming Livelihood-Centred Approaches to Disaster Risk Reduction’
  • Tearfund worked in DRR within highly vulnerable communities in areas of increased risk in India, Afghanistan, Malawi and Bangladesh.
Having reviewed these projects, the document makes the following conclusions:
  • there is a complex architecture of relationships and their resulting influences that can be very powerful as an agency of change in DRR through shared understandings, trust and accountability
  • strong integration between DRR activities and more day-to-day concerns, such as livelihoods, can reinforce grassroots group or organisational structures and help to secure commitment from communities and other local stakeholders
  • partnerships, organisational or individual, are fundamental to holistic DRR
  • the concept of ‘resilience’ may provide a rallying point for DRR
  • one feature of the resource which may contribute to its popularity and widespread uptake is that it is solution-focused, rather than problem driven, looking to identify and build upon existing capacities instead of dwelling upon challenges.
In conclusion, the review explains that it is essential for operational and funding agencies to support the creation and continuity of effective partnerships of this kind to ensure that DRR can be genuinely ‘mainstreamed’ into development and humanitarian work.
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