According to the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, DRR is defined as “the concept and practice of reducing disaster risks through systematic efforts to analyze and manage the causal factors of disasters, including through reduced exposure to hazards, reduced vulnerability of people and property, wise land and environmental management, and improved preparedness for adverse events”.
Following the Hyogo Framework for Action 2005-2015’s strategic goal of “Building Disaster Resilience in Nations and Communities (HFA)”, disaster risk reduction in post-disaster recovery is about ‘building back better’. Risk reduction measures are systematically included in the development of emergency planning, response, and recovery programs. The importance of using disaster response and recovery periods as opportunities for reflecting on the root causes of disaster, and recasting development priorities to reduce human vulnerability and natural hazard,” are noted in the 2004 UNDP’s global report “Reducing Disaster Risk: A Challenge to Development”. It’s a waste of time to simply recreate pre-disaster conditions. This holds true for both governing institutions and physical infrastructure.
The assessment of the DRR issues focuses on the following main elements:
- Infrastructure and assets
This is to assess the damage to infrastructure and assets of DRR-related institutions.
- Service delivery
This is to assess the disruption of services provided by DRR institutions, and access to these by affected communities.
- New and emerging risks
This is to assess the risks that may have developed as a result of the disaster and that, if not addressed, may deteriorate disaster conditions or put at risk the recovery process, and to identify the measures needed to address these.
- The performance of the DRR system
This is to assess how the DRR system performed in relation to the disaster event in question and identify the gaps and needs that must be addressed in the recovery strategy.
- Building back better
This is to identify the capacity-building measures needed to ensure a resilient recovery by building back better.
Furthermore, the assessment team assists sector assessment teams in identifying sector-specific DRR difficulties and offering practical solutions for incorporating DRR into the sectoral recovery process, when needed. It is important to note that strengthening national DRR systems to address the vulnerabilities exposed by the disaster may necessitate long-term interventions, such as introducing or updating legislation and national policies, and that such long-term measures may not be practical or feasible to include in the recovery process. The DRR recovery plan should try to present strategic solutions that are both viable and fiscally feasible within the recovery period.
In terms of promoting in-country institutional and policy improvements, managing the DRR assessment process is just as crucial as producing the report. Recovery is a complicated and time-consuming process that is dependent on pre-disaster conditions, government capability, and the disaster’s consequences. Internal and external partners must collaborate to restore services and establish long-term disaster risk reduction capacities.
The entire effect of the disaster on the institutional infrastructure, assets, equipment, and other resources responsible for disaster risk reduction at the national and local levels is considered when assessing DRR processes. It also examines their capacity to provide services such as early warning information, emergency response, and public awareness, as well as the government’s ability to integrate disaster risk reduction into the recovery process in order to rebuild more effectively. Pursuing our Disaster Risk Reduction & Management course will equip you with more knowledge on the important factors to consider when assessing disaster effects on DRR systems. Register today for a 10% discount and be sure to subscribe to our newsletter for more insightful articles.