The Role of Research in Disaster Risk Reduction
The Advanced Centre for Enabling Disaster Risk Reduction (ACEDRR) has supported practitioners to engage in a number of research studies on specific aspects of disaster risk reduction. These studies have already impacted some ofthe decisions made at the field level by development practitioners.
The Role of Microfinance and Micro Insurance in Disaster Risk Reduction
This multi-country research study examines the ways in which microfinance and micro insurance tools provide social security to the disaster prone areas ofIndia, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. It asks how microfinance and micro insurance institutions contribute to disaster management.
Rainfed Farming and Disaster Risk Reduction
Rainfed farmers in the south of India are suffering because long-steady rainfall patterns are changing rapidly. The Advanced Centre for Enabling Disaster Risk Reduction (ACEDRR) sponsored research that predicts the future trends ofrainfall patterns, and offers alternative cropping patterns.
Information: A Lifeline for Vulnerable Communities
Because poor communication contributes to the disaster vulnerability of poor communities, the Advanced Centre for Enabling Disaster Risk Reduction (ACEDRR) at the DHAN Foundation undertook four pilot projects that explored ways to share knowledge and establish communication systems to save the lives ofpoor people in disaster situations.
Indigenous Coping Mechanisms for Disaster Risk Reduction
Vulnerable people develop their own disaster mitigation strategies, regardless of intervention from outside aid workers. By understanding these preparedness or coping activities, practitioners can build on them, rather than undermine them. ACEDRR has supported a local NGO to document 100 indigenous practices that farmers and herders in rural Tamil Nadu use to increase their disaster resilience.
Institutionalizing Disaster Risk Reduction
In an effort to learn how to make disaster risk reduction sustainable, the Advanced Centre for Enabling Disaster Risk Reduction (ACEDRR) atTata-Dhan Academy, has supported four pilot projects that try to mainstream disaster risk reduction into long term policies, programs and practices.
A Primer on Linking Disaster Risk Reduction with Development Efforts
A report based on the themes presented at the disaster risk reduction workshop conducted at the 2007 Madurai Symposium
When one surveys news reports today, mention of disasters seem to be commonplace. And, quite often, there is a lot of response to disasters. Aid agencies channel money or other forms of relief directly to communities who need it or to organizations who are better prepared to implement response work. Governments create plans to offer rehabilitation support, or find some other way to compensate those who are affected by disasters. Academicians write reports comparing one disaster to similar disasters, and theorize about what could have been done to minimize the impact of the disaster.
But where is the community in this post-disaster scenario? And what about the communities who have not suffered catastrophes? Are they safe? Is that enough? Is it appropriate to merely respond to disasters, or is there a better way to approach disaster risk reduction? And what does this mean for a development organization?
ACEDRR believes that there is simultaneously a positive and negative relationship between development and disasters. However, development efforts have incredible potential to contribute to disaster risk reduction and to help create a “culture of preparedness”. Development practitioners have a responsibility to be aware of this continuum and use it to guide their work and to build knowledge about disaster preparedness and prevention.
This primer is by no means a complete account of the relationship between disasters and development. However, it is hoped that this primer can serve as an introduction for practitioners to become more sensitized to the relationship, and that they use this awareness to change from working in what is mostly a reactive manner, to working in a proactive one. It is also hoped that this primer can lay a foundation for further discussions and research—not discussions and research designed around communities, but ones which include the community as an integral partner and as a stakeholder whose traditional wisdom might be able to help us with some of the more complicated issues we face in our rapidly modernizing world.
Below are the papers presented at the Knowledge Building Workshop on Disaster Risk Reduction at the 2007 Madurai Symposium. All papers are in PDF format.