UN Disaster Resilience Scorecard to Target Cities

A detail from the disaster resilience scorecard
 

Cancun, Mexico, 23 May 2017 – The UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) today announced a major revision to  its Disaster Resilience Scorecard designed to boost the number of cities and towns reducing their disaster losses by 2020 in line with a key global agreement.

The revision brings the Scorecard into alignment with the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, the global plan for reducing disaster losses, and is a major boost to the goal of having more strategies in place at local level for reducing disaster losses from climate change and other risk drivers.

This is a key area of focus this week at the UN’s biennial Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction where the Scorecard was launched today. Plans are in place to have 200 cities using it by the end of the year.

The revision was undertaken by UNISDR private sector partners AECOM and IBM with the support of the European Commission and USAID. It follows a pilot project undertaken by 35 cities that are members of the UNISDR Making Cities Resilient Campaign which comprises over 3,500 cities worldwide.

Ms. Kathy Oldham, Head of Civil Contingencies and Resilience Unit, Association of Greater Manchester Authorities, UK, commented: "Using the Disaster Resilience Scorecard gave us the opportunity to broaden and deepen our understanding of resilience, bringing together partners from across the city region in conversations to explore the different issues the Scorecard highlights. “Using the framework of indicators and standards enabled us to create a snapshot of our current resilience, to build new relationships between organizations that have a role in mitigating the risks of disasters and to draw on ideas and innovation from across the globe."

Other cities that participated in the pilot project included Yogyakarta, Indonesia; Islamabad, Pakistan; Hong Kong, China; Geneva, Switzerland; Quito, Ecuador; and Kisumu, Kenya.

Losses due to disasters from natural and man-made hazards including floods, storms and the impacts of climate change are mounting and on average cost governments over $300 billion USD globally each year.

The Scorecard provides a set of assessments that cover the policy and planning, engineering, organizational, financial, social and environmental aspects of disaster resilience. Designed to be led by local government authorities, the Scorecard aims to assist in monitoring and reviewing progress in the implementation of the Sendai Framework.

Mr. Robert Glasser, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Disaster Risk Reduction, said:  ‘National governments have the primary responsibility of implementing the Sendai Framework working with many stakeholders, and the Scorecard is a valuable support to this work at the local level.”

"Disaster resilience is far more than just emergency response. It entails thinking, planning and collaborating between agencies, governments, private sector and communities in advance, during and after the event, “ said Peter Williams, chief technology officer, IBM Big Green Innovations.

Ben Smith, Director – Sustainable Development, AECOM, and co-author of the scorecard, said: “Applying the new scorecard can be an important first step towards building resilience to disasters. Based on the feedback we’ve received so far, we are confident the new Scorecard is pitched at an appropriate level to facilitate productive conversation – most likely through a short workshop – in cities.” The Scorecard is a free self-assessment tool to be used by cities or local government agencies.

The full scorecard can be accessed via the UNISDR website: http://www.unisdr.org/campaign/resilientcities/home/toolkitblkitem/?id=4

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