- Dave Paul Zervaas, UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR)
- Praveen Pardeshi, UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR)
- Sushil Gupta, RMSI
This online discussion group will focus on how we can use risk assessment methodologies for well-informed investment decisions in Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) and how we can motivate governments to think about sustainable and long-term investment in DRR.
UNISDR, the World Bank, and RMSI have carried out several risk assessment studies that we are modeling here and that can serve as good examples to help policy-makers decide how and in which thematic and geographical areas to invest (in DRR). Frequently, there is a dilema: Should we use carefully planned and sophisticated studies that inform us detailedly or is a rapid assessment approach (‘quick and dirty’) more convenient even if it is much less precise?
Current evidence shows that in most cases countries are caught off guard when a disaster strikes while national and local recovery capacity either did not exist or is swept away, even though in many instances disaster risk reduction, including preparedness and early warning, has been incorporated in some degree in many development and international technical cooperation actions.
As experience has shown, the capacity to engage and sustain political support for mainstreaming of disaster risk reduction over the medium to longer term is a challenge. Political commitment to disaster risk reduction in many countries seems to be cyclical at best, and frequently driven by the occurrence of large-scale disasters that require a visible political response. By contributing to advocacy initiatives targeting both local and national level this problem could be addressed and the lessons learned replicated and used to further mainstream disaster risk reduction into government practices.
The type of questions we will tackle in this session are as follows:
- How do we convince governments that it pays off to invest in disaster risk reduction?
- Can risk assessments help create a deeper awareness in finance and planning ministries of the need to invest in DRR?
- Can we show useful applications of risk assessments to real life?
- Do we need always full-fledged risk assessment studies or can we start more modestly, like review or desk studies?
- Are there shortfalls to disaster risk assessment studies and if so, what are they?
- Where do sub-regional risk assessment methodologies meet with urban risk and local government?
We know that it is important to ensure a multi-sector participation of government institutions, academia, as well as the private sector and civil society if we want to have effective disaster risk reduction policies in place that are linked to sustainable development and poverty reduction. We also know that well-informed investments in disaster risk reduction (DRR) pay off in the long run.