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Case Studies: Red Cross Red Crescent Disaster Risk Reduction in Action – What Works at Local Level, June 2018

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Community/local action for resilience:

  1. Building the disaster resilience of asylum seekers

The Australian Red Cross in Queensland adapted a generic preparedness tool to support highrisk marginalised communities of asylum seekers to build their own resilience to disaster. Specific and relevant messaging was developed within a community education programme co-designed with members of the asylum seekers community, who became educators and facilitators to deliver the programme. The programme reached 900 people in a successful pilot, measured through positive shifts in knowledge of key actions to take in preparedness of disaster. The underlying achievement is the acceptance and trust of the communities, reflecting the respect for cultural and language diversity, and recognizing the capacity of asylum seekers communities to contribute and participate in their host country.

  1. Integrated Coastal Community Resilience and Disaster Risk Reduction in Demak, Central Java

Exacerbated erosion affected the ecology and increased vulnerability of coastal communities in Demak. The Indonesian Red Cross mobilized communities through Community-Based Action Teams to restore the ecosystem through mangrove plantation and implement livelihood generation to improve community resilience. Under an integrated approach, the community is connected with village authorities and scientists from the Bogor Agricultural Institute to implement sustainable local action. The programme has shown concrete results in reducing the risks of tidal disasters, while eco-tourism and crab cultivation farming have increased the income of the communities, along with their heightened awareness and preparedness for disaster.

  1. Winter shelters for rural herder communities

Rural herders in Mongolia must keep their livestock alive through extreme temperatures and exposure of harsh winters that follow after drought. In efforts to reduce livestock loss, the Red Cross supported herder communities to design and construct winters shelters for livestock in a participatory approach garnering the collective capacity of community, local government and the Red Cross. A strong community focus ensures that the herders drive the activities towards preserving their livelihoods and the traditional nomadic way of life under threat by climatic challenges.

  1. Youth-led actions for more resilient schools and communities: Mapping of School Safety approaches and Youth in School Safety training for youth facilitators

Over the last two years the Red Cross Red Crescent Southeast Asia Youth Network has improved Youth programming and networks on youth-led initiatives and solutions for DRR. A pilot Youth in School Safety Programme rolled out in six countries, training 150 youth volunteers who in turn conducted countless school safety actions. A comprehensive mapping of school safety actions in all 11 countries of South Asia is underway to showcase activities of RCRC Youth volunteers on the ground.

Private Sector Interventions:

  1. Australian Business Roundtable for Disaster Resilience and Safer Communities

Leaders of leading commercial organizations jointly commit resources to work constructively with government to make Australian communities safer and more resilient to natural disasters, by shifting national investment from recovery and response to preparedness and mitigation. The Australian Red Cross joins this Roundtable - contributing on emergency management and humanitarian aspects - to collectively deliver on community education, risk information, adaptation research, mitigation infrastructure and strategic alliances.

Disaster Risk Governance:

  1. A seat at the table: inclusive decision-making to strengthen local resilience

Disaster related laws and policies need to better include and protect those most at risk of disasters.
This case study outlines the steps taken by the IFRC Disaster Law Programme - from global research undertaken jointly by IFRC and UNDP, to the provision of technical advice in supporting Asia Pacific National Societies, as the community-based actor and auxiliary to government, to ensure inclusive community empowerment and protection, gender and inclusion in national disaster laws and policies.

Gender and Inclusiveness:

  1. Participatory Campaign Planning for Inclusive DRR Knowledge and Messaging in Nepal

An innovative approach that embraces the essence of inclusiveness, the Participatory Campaign Planning methodology is applied to develop hazard messages and the means of communicating them that are tailored to different target groups, with the aim of making them more effective in creating behaviour change. This case study focuses on urban communities in Nepal and various elements to be considered within different target groups and their geographic environments.

  1. Community participatory action research on sexual and genderbased violence prevention and response during disasters

This collaborative research by the IFRC and the ASEAN Committee for Disaster Management was undertaken in recognizing that there are few SGBV studies that focus on low-income developing countries and fewer that go beyond the gendered effects on women and girls, overlooking men and boys and sexual minority groups. Key findings illustrate that the risks to SGBV are exacerbated during natural disaster situations in Indonesia, Lao PDR and the Philippines, and that “disaster responders” and actors addressing needs of SGBV survivors are not working together adequately to reduce these risks.

Early Warning and Early Action:

  1. Forecast-based Financing: Effective early actions to reduce flood impacts

When four pilot communities in the district of Bogura were affected by severe flood events in July and August of 2017, the Early Action Protocol of the Forecast-based Financing (FbF) approach was activated, and unconditional cash grant was chosen as the early action for floods to give people the flexibility to prepare individually for the impending flood and take the measures they see fit. This case study outlines the steps taken by Bangladesh Red Crescent Society and German Red Cross to implement FbF in Bangladesh. It analyses not only the effectiveness of the activation in Bogura, but the longer term impacts of this early action development.

  1. CPP Early Warning: Saving Thousands in Cyclone Mora

Through the Bangladesh Cyclone Preparedness Programme (CPP) interventions, a programme jointly run by the Government of Bangladesh and the Bangladesh Red Crescent Society (BDRCS), the communities of the coastal areas in Bangladesh have become more aware of the need to go to safe shelters during emergencies, have understood the significance of early warning and learned to pay heed to advice from CPP and youth volunteers. On 28 May 2017 - the eve of Cyclone Mora, more than 55,260 CPP volunteers and BDRCS youth volunteers were deployed to pass early warning message door to door in the coastal region, and announcing the danger of the approaching cyclone in the local language. Cyclone early warning messages were disseminated across a population area covering 11 million people, and almost half a million people were reached in this process and taken to safe places in less than 24 hours. The CPP has substantially reduce death tolls due to cyclones in Bangladesh.

  1. Flood Early Warning and Early Action System (FEWEAS)

The Flood Early Warning Early Action System (FEWEAS) was developed through a collaboration between the Indonesian Red Cross (PMI) and Institute Teknologi Bandung (ITB) to provide effective solutions for reducing disaster risk through a shared platform for community and government to address issues upstream and downstream in formulating appropriate strategy, planning and ground action for floods. FEWEAS is an internet-based application to predict and monitor rainfall and flooding. PMI Provincial and District staff and volunteers are using the FEWEAS to monitor floods along the Bengawan Solo River in East Java, and along the Citarum River in West Java. While the application provides flood alerts and updates to the community through smartphones, the communities and Community Based Action Teams can update their response, upload photos, videos and relevant information to further inform response actions.

  1. Forecast-based Financing for the vulnerable herders in Mongolia

The Mongolian Red Cross Society (MRCS) assisted 2,000 herder households in most-at-risk areas (40 soums in 12 provinces) with unrestricted cash grants in December 2017 and with animal care kits in January 2018, before the peak of the winter season. The MRCS used the Dzud Risk Map released by the Government in November 2017 to decide which soums to target for early action with the aim to reach the herders well before the loss of their livestock to reduce the impact of Dzud on the livelihoods of the herders. The Dzud Risk Map highlighted the risk of livestock death throughout the whole of Mongolia. A cost-benefit analysis is being conducted to further inform FbF in Mongolia.

  1. More than response: Building partnerships to engage communities in preparedness and early warning systems in the Pacific

A community early warning system (CEWS) model was developed in partnership by the Red Cross, government agencies and regional organizations in the Pacific to better link CEWS with national and sub-national systems. Taking these pilots to scale requires i) national mechanisms such as SOPs and action plans that systematically link warnings and climate information provided by National Meteorological Services to early preparedness actions at multiple scales, and; ii) available funding (at multiple scales) to support early actions. Recently a Roadmap for Forecast-based Financing for Drought Preparedness has been developed in the Solomon Islands. Through continued partnership approach, the Roadmap and outcomes from the regional ‘FINPAC’ CEWS project will be used to support the Government of the Solomon Islands and Solomon Islands Red Cross to implement a programme for communities, provincial and national authorities to apply forecast information for early action at scale. The drought thresholds developed in collaboration will form the basis of an FbF trigger system in the Solomon Islands.

Displacement and DRR:

  1. Preparing and reducing risks of disasters to displaced communities

Cox’s Bazar became the world’s most densely populated refugee settlement following the massive influx of people from Myanmar that started in August 2017. Being a coastal district prone to disaster, existing infrastructure and services cannot cope to cover the host population and incoming refugees, and preparedness interventions became critical. This case study follows actions taken to extend the coverage of the Cyclone Preparedness Programme, successfully integrating displaced people in camp settlements as temporary CPP camp volunteers, to support in establishing early warning system and ensure relevant preparedness and response action.

Urban Community/local action for resilience:

  1. What is an Urban ‘Community’? – New ways for local DRR actions in cities .
    Lessons learned from the 2015 Nepal earthquake response show that vulnerable populations in urban context do not often engage with or rely on local disaster management committees in the event of a disaster. Instead they organize themselves around their own networks, both informal and formal, such as family, temples, markets, service-providers, employment. A meaningful DRR intervention in urban communities must first recognize what defines an urban community and how they are organized to guide specific engagement and participatory-led approaches.
    The target group and network-based approach by Nepal Red Cross are innovations in organizing effective community-owned urban disaster resilience.

Green Response/ Enhancing Preparedness for Effective Response:

  1. Greening the IFRC Supply Chains; mapping of our GHG emissions

Under the Green Response initiative to improve environmental outcomes of life-saving operations, the IFRC in reviewing practices and policies is mapping the present level of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions generated by relief operations and to implement GHG reduction activities to lower the environmental impact of emergency operations. The mapping contributes to the global emission baseline for IFRC supply chain monitoring, to design the reduction roadmap and build internal capacity.

  1. Environmental Field Advisor deployment in an emergency response

To improve the environmental outcomes and reduce negative impacts of operations and programmes, the IFRC deployed an Environmental Field Advisor (EFA) to the Population Movement Operation in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. The EFA conducted an environmental impact assessment and worked with project leads to identify and implement improvements. A significant achievement to date is the IFRC joining the UNHCR/IOM/WFP/FAO to provide LPG as cooking fuel to camp community households to combat massive deforestation cause by firewood collection.