National Disaster Recovery Framework - Building Back a Disaster-Affected Malawi Better and Safer - Volume II: Drought

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Executive Summary


In just the last 36 years, Malawi has experienced eight major droughts, affecting more than 24 million people1. The impact, frequency, and spread of drought in Malawi have intensified in the past four decades and are likely to worsen with climate change, compounded by other factors, such as population growth and environmental degradation.

In response to unprecedented flooding in 2015 and the prolonged drought in 2015/16, the Government of Malawi (GoM), with technical and financial support from the European Union (EU), the United Nations, and the World Bank (WB), embarked on a process to increase recovery readiness through the development of a National Disaster Recovery Framework (NDRF).

The NDRF was designed in alignment with Malawi’s national disaster risk management and recovery policies and strategies. It serves both strategic and operational purposes in the management of a disaster recovery programme. The NDRF was developed in response to the 2015 floods and has evolved to also guide 2015/16 drought recovery efforts under a common framework, providing oversight to implementation and monitoring arrangements.

Included as part of the Department of Disaster Management Affairs’ (DoDMA) initial technical assistance request with the 2015 floods post-disaster needs assessment (PDNA), the NDRF establishes a framework for guiding, monitoring, and co-ordinating prioritised and sequenced recovery. Led by DoDMA, the NDRF was developed through an extensive consultative process involving participants from key sectors at the national level, as well as district councils (DCs) in all declared disaster areas. An Inter-Departmental Recovery Prioritisation Taskforce (IDRPT) was established in 2016 to define cross-sectoral priorities, identify programmatic implementation dependencies to other sectors, and identify geo-spatial priorities.

The NDRF is a living document for guiding recovery and reconstruction. It provides a central framework for managing recovery planning, co-ordination, implementation, financing, and monitoring and evaluation 1 Malawi Drought 2015/16 Post-Disaster Needs Assessment. (M&E) processes across current and future disasters.

Cross-cutting elements, such as institutional arrangements, guiding principles, M&E processes, and financing and accountability mechanisms, are standardised to govern all NDRF disaster responses. After a disaster, the NDRF can be updated to address disaster-specific recovery needs, costs, and priorities. Disaster-specific sections of the NDRF are governed by the central framework of the NDRF, but also provide guidance on cross-sectoral and geo-spatial priorities and phased financial needs to a specific disaster event.

Vision and Goal of the NDRF

Recovery efforts defined within the NDRF are guided by a central vision and goal. Following the 2015 floods, an initial vision and goal were determined; these have been updated in response to the 2015/16 drought.

A common recovery vision and goal that cuts across both disasters is critical to ensure that the NDRF can effectively co-ordinate common multi-stakeholder efforts and strengthen resilience of vulnerable populations.

Vision: A nation that is food secure and resilient to natural disasters, that can rapidly recover from drought and flood shocks, while fostering sustainable economic growth and ensuring equitable, inclusive, and participatory reconstruction that builds back better.

Goal: The long-term goal of the NDRF is to sustainably improve the resilience of communities affected by the floods and drought, support prolonged food security of vulnerable populations, and restore the livelihoods of disaster-affected communities.