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Guidebook on community disaster preparedness

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PREFACE

The Asia and the Pacific region is considered to be the one of the most at risk regions in the world to the negative impacts of climate change. The region has high exposure to more intense climate-related hazards such as typhoons originating from the Pacific Ocean and intense rainfall that brings flood. The region’s economy is highly sensitive to climate change and its extremes as most of the poor populations depend on agriculture and fisheries. Asian cities are rapidly expanding bringing more stresses to the natural resources that ser the natural resources that serve as natural buffer areas for natural hazards.

Disaster risk reduction is defined by UNISDR as a concept and practice of reducing disaster risks through systematic efforts to analyze and manage the causes of disasters, including through reduced exposure to hazards, lessened vulnerability of people and property, wise management of land and the environment, and improved preparedness for adverse events.

Disaster risk reduction and preparedness have gained prominence both in governments, civil societies and donors alike. There is a growing appreciation appreciation that sustainable development and poverty eradication will not be possible unless disaster risks are integrated into development strategies.
Over the past decade, huge strides in risk assessments, risk reduction planning and government action have been achieved. The current global policy on disaster risk reduction adopted in Sendai in 2015, recognizes the value and contribution of community-managed approaches to disaster risk reduction and preparedness.

For the past 10 years, the International Institute of Rural Reconstruction (IIRR) has developed and advocated the practice of community-managed disaster risk reduction (CMDRR). It has worked with various local and international organizations in designing and implementing CMDRR programs in Asia and Africa, transforming vulnerable communities to become beĴer prepared and stronger in their abilities to bounce back post-disasters. For IIRR, CMDRR is not just about the implementing the process process of risk reduction (assessments, planning, action and evaluation), it is also a conscious, deliberate and purposive effort of organizing people to work together for a shared development path protected from risks. It is done with utmost care to facilitate capacity development to release and strengthen the inherent powers of people in acknowledging and acting on the disaster risks.

In 2014, Give2Asia and the International Institute of Rural Reconstruction (IIRR) have worked together in implemented regional program called the “NGO Disaster Preparedness Program (NGODPP)”. This program seeks to organize and strengthen a network of community-based nonprofits in Asia as well as international donors focused on disaster preparedness.

Give2Asia has responded to 40 natural disasters in the Asia Pacific region during the past 10 years. Give2Asia’s strategy is to support recovery by partnering partnering with local charitable groups based in affected communities and to engage in multi-year programs to support rebuilding, economic recovery, psychosocial programs and other unmet needs. Give2Asia reports back to donors on every dollar spent.

As part of the NGODPP, this guidebook is produced to provide practical guidelines and tools to local organizations in designing and implementing community-led disaster risk reduction and preparedness programs. The contents are collected from various sources including those of IIRR to come up with a compilation of easy to understand concepts and practical tools that local organizations can follow. IIRR and Give2Asia hope that this guidebook will enable effective programming among local NGOs in Asia. We hope that readers and users alike will find it relevant and in line with the needs and realities of our on-going efforts to develop local capacities for disaster risk reduction and preparedness.