PDNA guidelines volume B: Disaster Risk Reduction


This chapter is intended to guide the Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) assessment team in the Post-Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA). The guidance provided is for assessing DRR from the broader perspective as it relates to recovery planning and response, and does not include sector-speci c DRR considerations such as livelihoods, education, health, land and property, etc. This sector-specific guidance is available in the sectoral chapters of the present PDNA Volume B, which should be used as additional references.

DRR is understood (United Nations Of ce for Disaster Risk Reduction [ISDR] Terminology) as “the concept and practice of reducing disaster risks through systematic efforts to analyse and manage the causal factors of disas- ters, including through reduced exposure to hazards, lessened vulnerability of people and property, wise man- agement of land and the environment, and improved preparedness for adverse events.”

Disaster risk reduction in post-disaster recovery is about ‘building back better,’ in line with the following strategic goal of The Hyogo Framework for Action 2005-2015: Building the Resilience of Nations and Communities to Di- sasters (HFA): The systematic incorporation of risk reduction approaches into the implementation of emergency preparedness, response and recovery programs.

The 2004 UNDP global report "Reducing Disaster Risk: a Challenge to Development" notes “the importance of using disaster response and recovery periods as opportunities for re ecting on the root causes of disaster, and recasting development priorities to reduce human vulnerability and natural hazard. Simply reinventing pre-disaster conditions is a wasted opportunity. This is as true for the institutions of governance as it is for physical infrastructure.”

The assessment of the DRR issues focuses on the following main elements:

  1. Infrastructure and assets: to assess the damage to infrastructure and assets of DRR-related institutions;

  2. Service delivery: to assess the disruption of services provided by DRR institutions, and access to these by affected communities;

  3. New and emerging risks: to assess the risks that may have developed as a result of the disaster and that, if not addressed, may deteriorate disaster conditions or put at risk the recovery process, and to identify the measures needed to address these;

  4. The performance of the DRR system: to assess how the DRR system performed in relation to the disaster event in question and identify the gaps and needs that must be addressed in the recovery strategy; and

  5. Building back better: to identify the capacity-building measures needed to ensure a resilient recovery by building back better.

Furthermore, the assessment team provides additional guidance where required to sector assessment teams, to identify sector-specific DRR issues and offer them practical solutions to integrate DRR in the sectoral recovery process.

It is important to note that strengthening national DRR systems to address the weaknesses exposed by the disas- ter may require long-term interventions, such as introducing or updating legislations and national policies, and it may not be practical or feasible to include such long-term measures in the recovery process. The DRR recovery plan should strive to provide strategic options that are both viable within the timeframe of the recovery process and nancially realistic.