Recovery, Renewal, Resilience

Lessons for Resilience

Consider how collaborating with international humanitarian agencies can support local community-led preparedness and resilience
Community participation

Diakonie Katastrophenhilfe are working with civil society organisations (CSOs) and faith-based organisations (FBOs) to design, develop and enhance local level preparedness systems and capacities to support resilience building during and after crises. Local and national governments, the private sector, the media, and academia are also collaborating with the initiative, to help communities to develop their preparedness and response planning. Working with existing community structures, the initiative aims to mobilise and engage community leaders, key stakeholders, and underrepresented groups. The initiative ensures that the most vulnerable people in the community are at the heart of activities. A lack of capacity, resources and capabilities often creates challenges for local governments to initiate effective disaster risk reduction strategies and support from partners e.g. international humanitarian agencies can help to fill the gaps in the initial planning and implementation processes. Consider establishing new partnerships with international humanitarian agencies to:

  • Provide institutional capacity and knowledge on emergency preparedness and response processes;
  • Support the design, planning, development and implementation of projects that incorporate new initiatives which enable communities to participate and collaborate on emergency response;
  • Support partners to establish local preparedness and response systems, including their own governance capacities;
  • Conduct peer reviews to identify lessons learned and share examples of good practices;
  • Inform future disaster preparedness and response planning

The activities in this initiative include:

  • Train CSOs and FBOs on integrated disaster management. This activity aims to develop localised first response systems and capacities;
  • Support and train CSOs and FBOs on Emergency Preparedness & Response Planning capacity development, including strategies for building resilience;
  • Establish/strengthen 40 local voluntary community groups on areas such as community preparedness, early warning and response;
  • Pilot a ‘Supporting Community-led Response’ programme which aims to enable communities and self-help groups to collaborate on response to crisis, and to address root causes of vulnerability, through workshops, peer review and lessons learned sessions
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Consider ecosystem-based strategies for local disaster risk reduction and recovery
Environmental health

The pandemic has demonstrated how human health and environmental health are intertwined. Eco-system based strategies combine ‘natural resource management approaches and disaster risk reduction methods (e.g. early warning systems)’ to improve prevention and preparedness, reduce disaster impacts on communities and support recovery from disasters. Local governments can identify ecosystems and increase understanding of their potential role in reducing disaster impacts (e.g. coastal wetlands/floodplains) and their ‘contribution to climate change mitigation and adaption’. In India, ‘Wetlands International’ works with civil society partners and communities on strategies to reduce disaster risk, e.g. restoring wetlands so that they can act as a natural buffer to floods. Consider:

  • Update and collate information on local natural areas (e.g. peatlands/wet grasslands) and their current and potential uses for climate change mitigation
  • Assess the condition of local eco-systems to determine if actions are required to restore them as degraded environments can drive disaster risk and negatively impact recovery efforts
  • When designing community development plans, ensure they consider the potential negative effects on local natural resources
  • In Myanmar, a local-level disaster risk reduction policy and planning framework sets out how communities follow ‘structural (resilient infrastructure/homes), non-structural (land use planning that integrates ecosystem protection measures) and ecosystem-based (natural resource management) measures, at the household and community level’, to reduce disaster risk
  • Develop solutions to address current and future environmental risks, such as maintenance of green and blue infrastructure through nature-based solutions or protection of the ecosystems (e.g. forest conservation)
  • Protect and restore ecosystems to the extent that they offer sufficient adaption and mitigation benefits to current and future risks
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