Erik Solheim, the Chair of the OECD Development Assistance Committee
GENEVA, 23 September 2013 - Donor governments have signalled the need to better capture investments in disaster risk reduction to strengthen evidence of the implementation of the Hyogo Framework for Action.
A roundtable of donors broadly supported efforts to improve tracking of international spending on disaster risk reduction as preparations for the Third World Conference on Disaster Reduction, in Sendai, Japan, in March 2015 get underway.
The Geneva consultation, entitled "Options for increasing the effectiveness of development assistance for disaster risk reduction", was hosted by Ambassador Elissa Golberg of the Permanent Mission of Canada on behalf of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR).
More than 20 participants, many of whose governments and organizations are members of the OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC), welcomed a joint initiative on tracking from the World Bank's Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR) and UNISDR.
The two organizations presented a business case that a disaster risk management 'marker' in the OECD's Creditor Reporting System (CRS) would strengthen the ability of all parties to analyze, measure and report results in this area. Such a marker would also provide an incentive to increase 'risk-informed' development investments, as it would necessitate development assistance to be reviewed through a 'disaster risk management lens'.
Government partners said it was important that such a mechanism be widely adopted and mainstreamed into the finance tracking systems of all development partners. They called on the OECD DAC, the GFDRR, and UNISDR to lead the process to develop such a disaster risk management marker in 2014.
The Head of UNISDR, Margareta Wahlström, welcomed efforts to systematize the tracking of international investments in disaster risk management. "We need to provide more evidence-based advocacy that stimulates the assessment of disaster risk as a key element of all development spending" she said.
The Chair of the DAC, Erik Solheim, said: "We have every reason to be fairly optimistic. What really matters is the impact out there in support of the people who are taking action. We need to challenge ourselves on how we can best use development assistance as a catalyst in support of national action."
The Head of the GFDRR Secretariat, Francis Ghesquiere, echoed such optimism and noted how the issue of disaster risk reduction has "come an extremely long way and has now moved squarely into the development agenda".
The Geneva roundtable came ahead of the 20 September launch in London of a new study entitled "Financing Disaster Risk Reduction: International Aid over 20 Years", produced by GFDRR and the Overseas Development Institute (ODI).