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Helpdesk Research Report: Regional and national capacity to cope with humanitarian risk

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Regional and national capacity to cope with humanitarian risk: Identify ways to define the regional and national capacity to cope with humanitarian risk. This is humanitarian risk relating to both natural hazards (e.g. adverse conditions, emergencies or disasters) and human-induced hazards (e.g. conflict). How is capacity being measured? Include a list of components, indicators, sources, limitations and criticality.

Helpdesk response

Key findings: There are few frameworks for assessing the capacity to cope with humanitarian risks at national scales, and those that exist vary greatly from one country to another; no clear common set of indicators is readily discernible. In general, however, the importance of governance, institutions, planning capacity and information management capacity have been frequently identified as key elements, especially in regional (international) frameworks.

International frameworks for assessing risk management capacity often highlight governance and institutional issues. The most prominent overall framework is the Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA), which encompasses a number of processes including the Toolkit for National Platforms for Disaster Risk Reduction for Africa which includes indicators that check for the establishment of various institutional, legal and policy frameworks and the incorporation of disaster management concepts into them, and for information management and reporting capabilities. Other international frameworks presented in this report are the Inter-American Development Bank’s Risk Management Index (RMI) and the Food and Agricultural Organization's (FAO) Food Resilience framework.

National frameworks differ markedly one from another; there does not appear to be a common focus, methodology or set of indicators across the tools and development plans. Climate change is also discussed as national frameworks for assessing capacity to cope with humanitarian risks arising from climate change particularly highlight the importance of governance, civil and political rights, institutions and education.