Evaluation Report for Community Managed Disaster Risk Reduction Intervention Approach and Methodology Employed in Karamoja Region
DanChurchAid, leading a consortium of partners that includes the Agency for Technical Cooperation and Development (ACTED), Cooperation and Development (C&D), and Caritas Moroto (SSD), have recently concluded a sixteen month ECHO funded Drought Preparedness project. One of the key components of the project was to implement the Community Managed Disaster Risk Reduction (CMDRR) approach in communities in the Karamoja region of Uganda and the North Pokot district of Kenya. The CMDRR approach is a bottom-up community developmentstrategy to increase resilience of participating communities in the face of disaster by providing them with the tools to assess their potential hazards and create strategiesto addressthem. The complex challengesfacing the Karamoja and North Pokot areas, and indeed the greater horn of Africa region, require innovative approaches, such as CMDRR, that will prepare communities to mitigate the effects of disasters as opposed to providing relief at the time of disasters. Karamoja and North Pokot district of Kenya are fraught with a number of institutional and natural disasters, chief among them is drought and its associated consequences.
The main purpose of this evaluation and assessment was to understand how and whether the CMDRR approach contributed to increasing communities’ resilience and preparedness to hazards, including drought, in the areas of intervention. In addition, the evaluation looked at how the various partner’s implemented the CMDRR approach and how this contributed to the overall success of the intervention. Relevance, processes, challenges, lessons, and benefits of the approach were assessed through focus group discussions, key informant interviews, and a desk review of reports and literature about CMDRR in Karamoja. Sixteen, out of the total 26 communities – that included two school based programs– from five districts, implementing CMDRR activities were studied. Insights from local government authorities and the implementing partners were also obtained, in addition to a thorough analysis of implementing partner documentation of CMDRR activities.
The study shows that communities implementing the CMDRR approach have acquired significant knowledge in establishing Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) measures within their communities. The training sessions conducted by the implementing partners and community participation in the actual implementation of projects have increased communities’ appreciation of collective efforts in mitigating the effects of disasters within their localities. Communities have demonstrated the importance of planning and designing action plans for disaster management. It is evident from the Community Based Disaster Management Plans (CBDMPs) and respective contingency plans of the communities that capacity exists within the communities themselves to propose and implement programs that can solve critical challenges faced in the region.
Implementing partners made attempts to follow the standard CMDRR process that involves creating community awareness, participatory disasterrisk assessment, development of disasterrisk reduction action plans, and community involvement in supported projects. Different community entry points were chosen by the partners, however, it was evident from this study that communities with clear entry points such as Pastoral Field Schools (PFS) and Water User Committees (WUCs) produced stronger Community Disaster Management Committees (CDMCs),having a cohesive CDMC lessened group dynamics challenges and thereby contributed to more effective CMDRR implementation.