A Free Guide Book on Disaster Risk Management Systems Analysis

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The Disaster Risk Management (DRM) Systems Analysis Guide provides a set of tools and methods to assess existing structures and capacities of national, district and local institutions with responsibilities for Disaster Risk Management (DRM) in order to improve their effectiveness and the integration of DRM concerns into development planning, with particular reference to disaster-prone areas, vulnerable sectors and population groups.

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This Guide provides a set of tools to assess existing structures and capacities of national, district and local institutions with responsibilities for DRM in order to improve the effectiveness of DRM systems and the integration of DRM concerns into development planning, with particular reference to disaster-prone areas and vulnerable sectors and population groups. The strategic use of the Guide is expected to enhance understanding of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats facing existing DRM institutional structures and their implications for on-going institutional change processes. It will also highlight the complex institutional linkages among various actors and sectors at different levels. Finally, it will help identify gaps within the existing DRM institutions and/or systems including sectoral line agencies that are often responsible for implementing the technical aspects of DRM (e.g. agriculture, water and health sectors).

The assessment and analysis process outlined in the Guide is thus a first step towards strengthening existing DRM systems. The major areas of application are:

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  • Strengthening institutional and technical capacities for DRM at national and/or decentralized levels;
  • Integrating key aspects of DRM in emergency rehabilitation programmes;
  • Designing and promoting Community-Based Disaster Risk Management (CBDRM);
  • Operationalizing the paradigm shift from reactive emergency relief to pro-active DRM; and
  • Mainstreaming DRM into development and sectoral planning (e.g. agriculture).

The Guide focuses on risks associated with natural hazards of hydro-meteorological (floods, tropical storms, droughts) and geological (earthquake, tsunami, volcanic activity)origin. Users interested in the management of other types of hazard risk are encouraged to adapt the general concepts, tools and methods to their own situations.

Target/User Group for the Guide

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The target/user group includes technical staff of: national and local government departments/agencies, multi- and bi-lateral development agencies, NGOs/CSOs/CBOs, and national and international DRM practitioners engaged in designing and/or evaluating national and/or decentralized DRM systems in specific countries/regions. Investment project formulation missions concerned to include institutional aspects in national risk profiling are also likely to find the Guide useful. While the Guide briefly covers definitions and concepts of DRM, sustainable livelihoods and DRM institutional systems, users with some prior knowledge of these concepts and practical experience in working with DRM institutional systems in developing countries are likely to find the Guide more meaningful.

How to Use the Guide

The modular form of the Guide covers the sequential steps to undertake a comprehensive institutional assessment of DRM systems across administrative levels and sectors. If, however, the assessment has a predefined sector- or hazard-specific focus, DRM practitioners as well as other interested development professionals including NGO/CSO/CBO staff, disaster managers and policy makers, may prefer to select certain modules only and/or adjust the tools and checklists to sector- or hazard-specific issues.

You can download this guide for free here.

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