This National Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) Tool Kit was developed for African countries by UNISDR Regional Office for Africa, based on information provided by national DRR focal points in Africa, with the kind support of the Federal Republic of Germany and the European Commission Humanitarian Aid Department (ECHO).
Why is this toolkit necessary?
The need to protect development, to strengthen resilience in Africa is obviously an important goal. The reducing of disaster risk is one important way of achieving this goal and the encouragement of governments by UNISDR and others to use national platforms or coordinating mechanisms for DRR to assist the process is critical to its success. UNISDR has produced guidelines but these now need to be enhanced through the elaboration of practical steps necessary to establish, maintain and sustain the platforms. The toolkit is for this purpose – outlining actions, examples and resources available for those with the responsibility for animating their country’s national platform for DRR or participating in it. The toolkit will also hopefully answer key questions about how the national platform will function, who will attend, what its agenda will be and whether it will have authority.
Who is the toolkit for?
Having a copy of this toolkit in your hands is not a guarantee of success. A toolkit requires someone to use the tools and the advice that are available. Also, not every tool is suitable for a particular situation – some tools will be useful in some circumstances, others will be useful in others. There is selection from which to choose and the choice will need to be made depending on the individual context. Thus, the toolkit is for those who have the responsibility to set up, maintain and sustain a national platform for DRR. It is also for those who participate in national platforms and who organise and administer them. This is potentially a wide range of stakeholders. Obviously it includes government officials but it also includes members of civil society and the NGO community, as well as representatives of international organisations and donors and the private sector. Most importantly, perhaps, it includes the members of the communities that are at risk. This is a very wide constituency, consistent with the all-embracing character of DRR.
How is the toolkit organised?
The toolkit is designed to augment and enhance the UNISDR “Guidelines for National Platforms for DRR” produced initially in 2005 and revised in 2010. Thus the chapters of the toolkit will mirror closely the contents of the “Guidelines” as they apply to African countries. The main chapters are as follows:
- Setting Up a National Platform
- Primary Activities of a National Platform
- Risk Information and Risk Identification (Setting Up a Baseline)
- Capacity Assessment and Capacity Development
- Building DRR Institutions at all Levels
- Mainstreaming DRR into Development Policies, Plans and Programmes
- Measuring DRR Achievements against HFA Priorities and Documenting
- Lessons Learned
- DRR and Climate Change Adaptation
- Main Characteristics of a National Platform
- Maintaining and Sustaining a National Platform