Thematic session
Cluster 1:
Governance, Institutional And Policy Frameworks For Risk Reduction

Lead Agencies:
- United Nations Development Programme, Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery (UNDP/BCPR)
- ProVention Consortium Secretariat
- United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT)
- United Nations Volunteers (UNV)

Closing statements
Discussion paper
Panel Report
Date: 20 January 2005
Time: 13h00-15h00
Venue: Kairaku room
Chair: H.E. GJ Mtshali, Ambassador, South African Permanent Mission in Geneva
Rapporteur: Dr. Kenneth WESTGATE, Senior Regional Advisor, UNDP-BCPR
People-Centred Governance
Reducing Risk for People who are Poor and Excluded

Mr. Khurshid ALAM, Policy Advisor for International Emergency Team, ActionAid International
  Martin J. OWOR, Assistant Commissioner Disaster Managment, Republic of Uganda
Integrated Approach of Multi-Stakeholder under the Political Commitment
Mr. Keiichi TANGO, Senior Executive Director, Japan Bank for International Cooperation, JBIC
  Ms. Irmgard SCHWAETZER, Former Federal Minister in Germany and current Chairman of DKKV
Governance: Institutional and Policy Frameworks for Risk Reduction
Key Points From the Discussion Paper
Session 1.1
Institutional policy frameworks for disaster deduction: the role of international financial institutions in meanstreaming risk
Session Report
Date: 20 January 2005
Time: 15h00-17h00
Venue: Kitano room
Organizer: - ProVention Consortium Secretariat
- Asian Development Bank as lead partner and proposed chair of the session
Objectives The ProVention Consortium proposes to organise and coordinate a thematic session at the WCDR on the subject of institutional and policy frameworks for risk reduction. The session will focus on the role of International Financial Institutions (IFIs) in mainstreaming disaster risk reduction into development. ProVention partner IFIs, including Asian Development Bank, African Development Bank, Caribbean Development Bank, Inter-American Development Bank and The World Bank, will contribute experiences and perspectives on integrating risk reduction into the institutional and policy frameworks of IFIs. The session will involve panel contributions from the various participating IFIs, highlighting progress as well as the challenges in mainstreaming risk into development policy and planning, followed by a plenary discussion.
Contributions of Session to WCDR - Analysis of the role, experiences and perspectives of IFIs in supporting institutional and policy frameworks for disaster risk reduction
- Assessment of IFIs progress and challenges in mainstreaming risk into development
- Identification of risk financing strategies and effective financial instruments of risk management.
International Financial Institutions and Disaster Risk Management: An Overview
Paul Freeman, Consulant
Disaster Risk Management Financing by International Financial Institutions: Country Strategies and Programming
Janine Ferretti, Inter American Development Bank
Integrating Disaster Risk Management into Development Financing: The Role of International Financial Institutions
Cassandra Rogers, Caribbean Development Bank

Integrating Disaster Risk Management into Development Financing: The Role of International Financial Institutions
Margaret Arnold, World Bank

New Directions of Asian Development Bank in Reducing Disaster Risk
Dr. Joseph A. Weinstock, Asian Development Bank
Session 1.2
National platforms within ISDR
Session Report
Date: 21 January 2005
Time: 14h30-16h30
Venue: Nunobiki room
Organizer: - German Committee for Disaster Reduction (DKKV)
- Partner European national platforms
Language: English, French

In Yokohama at the midway assessment of IDNDR it was stated: "Equally, the creation of the organizational framework called for by the General Assembly, which includes National Decade Committees, has laid the basis for intensified preventive and preparedness effort sin the second half of the Decade; "(see: Yokohama Strategy and Plan of Action for a Safer World B. Assessment of the status of disaster reduction midway into the Decade, 3.)

In the Plan of Action it was recommended: "As appropriate, establish and/or strengthen National Committees for the Decade..."(see: Yokohama Strategy and Plan of Action for a Safer World II. Plan of Action 11.5.)

At the end of IDNDR when the successor arrangement the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction was established, the Secretary General of the United Nations requested "Governments to maintain and strengthen established national and multisectoral platforms for natural disaster reduction in order to achieve sustainable development goals and objectives, with the full utilization of scientific and technical means. "He also stated in his report that: "Given the success of national committees and focal points for the Decade in a large number of countries, the Secretary General strongly encourages all Governments to take the necessary measures to implement this appeal..." (See Secretary-General's Report to the UNGA, 1999, A/54/497, para. 32)

"The ISDR Secretariat has renewed its efforts to re-establish these contacts. A priority for the coming year is to revitalise and strengthen the building of stronger national networks or national platforms drawing from several sectors and disciplines to further improve the implementation of disaster reduction." (see ISDR website, Country information, Introduction)

National Platforms are concrete manifestations of political willingness and institutional recognition of disaster risk reduction as a relevant issue within the national interests. National Platforms can work to involve in ISDR activities the various ministerial departments, agencies, institutions, organizations, civil society and individuals working for the advancement of disaster reduction, so that each Member State may play an ever-increasing role in ISDR's work, and particularly in the formulation and execution of its programmes.

Particularly in its implementation, national platforms act very distinctively. In some instances, national platforms have a major role in promoting DRR as an international issue (Germany). In other cases, they have a major role in addressing the needs for DRR within their own countries (most expected in developing countries). In some countries, we found a combination of the previous cases (Switzerland and France).

On the European level, where several National Platforms of Disaster Risk Reduction exist, the National Platform started to network among themselves with the aim to make use of existing synergies and to coordinate their activities on the regional level.

The thematic session on National Platforms will show on the case study of European National Platforms:

  • the diversity of possible structures
  • the working agenda and focus of activities of the different Platforms
  • short falls in support to the system of National Platforms
  • the added value of networking on regional levels and

the potential of the National Platform structure in the implementation of the ISDR (national and regional).

The session will be started by inputs provided by representatives of different National Platforms on structures and working agenda, followed by a panel on networking and regional activities. So far the National Platforms from France, Switzerland, Czech republic and Germany confirmed their participation to the thematic session.

Contributions of Session to WCDR - National policies, institutional developments and legislation, national coordination
- Regional institutional frameworks and policies
- Transparency - accountability
- Indicators and indexing to support progress and performance
DRR-Activities of the National ISDR-Platform and Related Institutions in Austria
Swiss National Platform
Florian Widmer, Secretary of PLANAT
Profile, goals and activities
National Platform and Natural Hazards in Sweden
Mette Lindahl Olsson
Barbro Näslund-Landenmark
Swedish Rescue Services Agency
Department of Emergency Prevention
Section for Planning, Construction and Environment

Czech Czech Republic National Committee for DR and Cooperation among DR platforms in Central Europe (CEUDIP)
Ivan Obrusník

National Platforms within UNISDR
Deutsches Komitee für Katastrophenvorsorge e. V. (DKKV)
Session 1.3
National systems for disaster risk management in the context of governance
Session Report
Date: 20 January 2005
Time: 17h15-19h15
Venue: Kikusui room
Organizer: United Nations Development Programme
Abstract: The United Nations Development Programme is organizing a thematic session on National Systems for Disaster Risk Management in the Context of Governance. Good governance has long been recognized as an important prerequisite for successful disaster risk reduction and key for achieving sustainable human development. Functioning National Systems for Disaster Risk Management are considered important from a governance perspective in view of minimizing losses and deaths from disasters and reducing disaster vulnerability in order to limit the disruption of socio-economic systems.

National Systems for Disaster Risk Management comprise a broad set of functions such as preparing and formalizing policy frameworks, setting up organizational structures for disaster management, preparing disaster risk management plans and other planning instruments, revising existing or putting in place new legislation, as well as ensuring the availability of sufficient resources and capacities, underpinned by good management support. An integral part of these systems must be the operational infrastructure, which ensures effective operations for tangible results. It operates at all levels of administration, governing how the country manages disasters and disaster risks.

The state, civil society and the private sector are all integral parts of these systems.
Experience has shown that successes with strengthening national systems follow seldom a linear line. Most countries, both in the developed and developing world report of alternate phases of progress and regression in fight against vulnerability and disaster loss. This session thus aims at fostering exchange of practices and lessons learned in strengthening National Systems for Disaster Risk Management among a variety of stakeholders. It will identify key success factors and challenges to overcome in achieving good governance for risk reduction.
Objectives - Exchange practices and lessons learned with establishing and strengthening National Systems for Disaster Risk Reduction with the aim of identifying improved strategies and effective action as a contribution to the WCDR Programme Outcome.
- Improve the understanding of the factors influencing the functioning of National Systems for Disaster Risk Reduction.
Subjects to be addressed

This session will discuss good practices and lessons learned with various aspects of establishing and strengthening National Systems for Disaster Reduction, such as:
- Legal and regulatory frameworks
- Policy and planning
- Organizational structures
- Resources and Capacities at local and national levels
- Partnerships and cooperation at national and regional levels

The session will commence with a brief session introduction, followed by short presentations of panelists from national governments, international and regional organizations as well as donor agencies on the topic of national systems for disaster risk management. Each contribution will aim at emphasizing a different aspect of the topic or present a different point of view. The panel presentations will be followed by an open discussion which will focus on identifying recommendations on how to improve the functioning of national systems for disaster risk management in the broader context of governance, how to make more effective the assistance provided, as well as the identification of issues which may require further discussion in the follow-up to the World Conference.



Proposed Speaker

Time Allocation

Welcome and introductions Ken Westgate, UNDP (chair) 5 - 10 min
Experiences of national government Saroj Jha, India 10 min
Experiences of national government Joeli Rokovada, Fiji 10 min
Experiences with regional approaches Janine Ferretti, IADB 10 min
Experiences of civil society Allan Lavell, La Red 10 min
Donor perspective DFID 10 min
Experiences of UNDP Angelika Planitz, UNDP 10 min
Discussion Chair

60 min

UNDP Support to Institutional and Legislative Systems for Disaster Risk Management
-- A Global Review --

Ms. Angelika Planitz, UNDP Bureau for Crisis Prevention & Recovery, Geneva.
  Mr. Kenneth Westgate, UNDP/BCPR, Nairobi.
Disaster Reduction Disaster Reduction for Sustainable Sustainable Development
Mr. Satoru Nishikawa, Cabinet Office of Japan, Public Relations.
National Systems for Disaster Risk Management in the Context of Governance:
Experiences with National Approaches in Latin America and the Caribbean
Mr. Janine Ferretti, Inter American Development Bank (IADB)
  Mr. N. Sanyal, Government of India

Working Towards Good Governance For Effective Risk Reduction –
Fiji Experience

Mr. Joeli Rokovada, Director, National Disaster Management

  Mr. Allan Lavell, La Red, Costa Rica
  Mr. Nigel Adams, DFID
  Ms. Joanne Burke, UNDP/BCPR, Geneva -Rapporteur
Session 1.4
Turning Practice into Policy: supporting community risk reduction through government and institutional policy
Session Report
Date: 21 January 2005
Time: 12h15-14h15
Venue: Nunobiki room

Tearfund (a UK based Christian relief and development NGO with extensive experience in disaster management)


To present ideas and generate discussion on why and how community-focused disaster risk reduction (DRR) can be supported and expanded by national and institutional donor policy frameworks.

Overview of content:

3 presentations:

1. The effectiveness of community-based disaster preparedness: a case study
Indian NGO Discipleship Centre will present its community-based, low cost flood preparedness and mitigation project operating in Bihar State. The effectiveness of the project in saving lives and livelihoods has been demonstrated through recent severe flooding, and detailed cost-benefit research has proved it to be a worthwhile investment. Such local level risk reduction can and should be supported through effective national and donor policy.

2. A conceptual framework for risk reduction
Tearfund will present its community-focused conceptual framework for disaster risk reduction (modified ‘crunch model’). This model informs the development of government policies based on good risk reduction practice at community level.

3. Effective national and donor policy frameworks for disaster risk reduction
A/ Community risk reduction must be facilitated through a strong national policy framework. The Indian government’s approach to DRR will be discussed from an Indian perspective.

B/ Local and national risk reduction can be either supported or hindered by donor policy. Tearfund will discuss the obstacles that institutional donor organizations face when seeking to ‘mainstream’ risk reduction, and offer recommendations to address them. This will be based on Tearfund’s consultation with 9 key donor organisations in 2003 including the EU, UN agencies, governments and financial institutions.

C/ Tearfund and Cranfield University will present a new tool – a framework of indicators –which enables donor organizations to measure and monitor their progress with mainstreaming risk reduction into relief and development processes. The indicators were developed in wide consultation with donor organizations and experts in 2004 and will be introduced at this session. The framework is designed to enable donor organizations to determine the ‘level’ of mainstreaming they have achieved, where level 1 represents ‘zero progress’ and level 4 represents ‘fully mainstreamed’. The Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) will comment on the framework’s application for donor organizations, as well as SIDA’s own approach to mainstreaming.

  Each of the above three presentations will allow 5 minutes for questions of clarification. The session will end with a 30 minute, facilitated, open discussion on the ideas presented.  

A Conceptual Framework for Risk Reduction
Marcus Oxley, Disaster Management Director, Tearfund
Tel. +44 (0)20 8943 7704
The Effectiveness of Community-Based Disaster Preparedness
Alex Joseph, Senior Project Officer, Discipleship Centre
Tel. +91 11 2765 1557
Turning Practice into Policy: Community Based Disaster Preparedness (CBDP)
Rajeev Issar, Programme Associate, UNDP – India

Government of India and UNDP’s Disaster Risk Management Programme

Effective National and Donor Policy Frameworks for Disaster Risk Reduction
Paul Venton, Disaster Mitigation and Preparedness Officer, Tearfund
Tel. +44 (0)20 8943 7995

Sarah La Trobe, Public Policy Officer, Tearfund
Tel. +44 (0)20 8943 7962

  Johan Schaar, Head, Division for Humanitarian Assistance & Conflict Management, Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA)
Tel. +46 (0)8 698 5766
Mainstreaming Disaster Risk Reduction: a tool for development development organisations
  Supporting community risk reduction through Government & institutional policy.
Ian Davis, Visiting Professor, Cranfield University
Session 1.5
Disaster Reduction Indicators: safer critical facilities
Session Report
Date: 18 January 2005
Time: 13h00-15h00
Venue: Nunobiki room
Organizer: Pan American Health Organization / World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO)
Objectives The session aims at complementing the discussions in the intergovernmental segment, mainly through the Thematic Cluster 1: Governance, Institutional and Policy Frameworks for Risk Reduction.
Specifically, the objective of the session is to
a) To discuss the importance and relevance of national policies on vulnerability reduction in social critical facilities
b) To discuss, identify and describe specific indicators to monitor the implementation of disaster reduction in critical facilities Exchange experiences and good practices in understanding and reducing vulnerabilities in health facilities, especially in developing countries,
- Disaster prone countries representatives
- Experts in disaster reduction in social facilities
- International organizations advisors
- Members of Non-governmental organizations
- UN agencies representatives
Brief Overview of Subjects being Addressed • Schools, Drinking water systems and hospitals: huge social investments that should be protected
• Ensuring essential services: a key national policy on disaster reduction and sustainable development
• Safer critical facilities a political commitment and a global indicator for multisectoral disaster reduction.

Disasters have damaged critical facilities. Thus the vital services are found disrupted right at the time when they are the most needed. Such a situation of disrupted critical facilities was seen during the several disasters.

Isolated initiatives have been successfully implemented in some developing countries in assessing and reducing disaster risks to critical facilities including their structure and services. These efforts have yielded rich experiences that could be successfully employed in other developing countries with some adaptation. Replication of such good cases needs to be replicated. An organized approach is felt necessary for encouraging the process of replication. The Session aims to analyze the issues and challenges, and to identify the suitable strategies for encouraging disaster risk reduction in critical facilities across the developing countries.

The Session 1.5 will have two parts, namely, a) Presentation of Experiences, and b) Plenary discussion. The Presentation section will be a forum for sharing of experiences and approaches on Disaster Reduction on Critical Facilities. The Plenary discussion will try to look into the future of the efforts and develop a consensus of approaches and recommendations to the WCDR through the chairperson of the Thematic Cluster.

13:00 Introduction of the Session Dr. Ciro Ugarte (PAHO/WHO)
A. Presentations on Disaster Reduction in Critical Facilities.
Chair: H.E. GJ Mtshali, Ambassador, South African Permanent Mission in Geneva
13:05 Presentation of Issues Chair
13:10 Disaster reduction and Health (video presentation) Mirta Roses, World Health Organization
13:20 Socioeconomic impact of disasters in critical facilities Ricardo Zapata, Economic Comission, ECLAC/UN
13:35 Policies and Strategies for vulnerability reduction in critical facilities Julio Kuroiwa, National Institute of Civil Defense. Peru
13:50 Disaster reduction in Water Supply Systems Surya Narayan Shrestha, National Society for Earthquake Technology - Nepal
14:05 School Vulnerability Reduction Tony Gibbs, Barbados
14:20 Safe Hospitals: an indicator of disaster reduction Luis Fernando Correa, Ministry of Health, Colombia
B. Plenary Discussion
14:35 Discussion: Safer critical facilities: key disaster reduction indicators All panelists and participants
16:55 Session Summary Chair
17:00 Adjourn  
ICT Saves Lives– ICT in Disaster Reduction & The Japanese Challenge for Global Standard
[e-University Network in ICT HRD for DR]
Prof. Toshio Obi, Director
Naoko Iwasaki, Ass. Director
ITU ITU-Waseda ICT Center, Tokyo
Safe Hospitals: an indicator of disaster reduction
Luis Fernando Correa Serna - Md MSP
National Society for Earthquake Technology -Nepal (NSET)
Surya Narayan Shrestha
Seismic Risk of Water Supply System of Kathmandu Valley and Risk Reduction Measures

School Vulnerability Reduction
Tony Gibbs
Consultant to PAHO/WHO
Scientific Advisor to Peru’s Civil Defense.
Professor emeritus Nat. Univ. of Engg. Lima . Lima- PERU
Session 1.6
Accountable and transparent governance: the key for disaster reduction
Session Report
Date: 19 January 2005
Time: 14h15-16h15
Venue: Kikusui room
Organizer: Action Aid International (AAI) and its partner organizations across Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean

With micro and macro case studies; and good practices from Asia, Africa and Latin America and the Caribbean, the session will offer and generate significant knowledge that has direct relevance to the inter-governmental process.

The key speakers from Action Aid International will present a paper and show a documentary that will analyse the challenges, good practices and past experiences in the area of governance and risk reduction. The session proposed by ActionAid International will take forward the outcomes of the seminar we are hosting in December mentioned in the next section.

Background work for the proposed session: ActionAid International is organizing an international seminar on "governance and disaster risk reduction" in December 2004 in Bangladesh. The seminar is one of six seminars in a series titled "Managing Risk: Exploring Interfaces Between Disasters and Development" organized by Integrated Planning Against Risk [IPAR] and funded by Economic and Social Research Council[1] in the UK. The IPAR network is a transdisciplinary group of development practitioners, policy-makers and academics. It is hosted by five organizations; ActionAid International, Centre for Development Studies (University of Wales, Swansea), Benfield Hazard Research Centre (University College London), Wageningen University Social Scientists and INTRAC.

Members from the network will be participating in the seminar along with local Bangladeshi organizations. We are currently exploring collaboration with Comprehensive Disaster Management Programme [CDMP] of UNDP and Government of Bangladesh; DFID funded Chars Livelihoods Programme and University of Dhaka.

ActionAid International has carried out a number of studies on the subject across many countries including Ethiopia[2], Malawi[3], India and Bangladesh. We published a paper together with the Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED) and University Collage London on the subject for the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) in Johannesburg in 2002 entitled "Development at Risk"[4].

We will be drawing on experience both from across ActionAid International and our partners experience at a micro and macro level to feed into the parallel session. The very timing of our Bangladesh seminar provides an ideal platform to develop discussions for the WCDR international conference.

ActionAid International are also discussing and developing thinking with other NGOs including Tearfund, Christian Aid, British Red Cross, Cafod, ITDG, Stakeholder Forum and the Department for International Development.

The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) is the UK's leading research funding and training agency addressing economic and social concerns. They aim to provide high quality research on issues of importance to business, the public sector and government. The issues considered include economic competitiveness, the effectiveness of public services and policy, and our quality of life. (

[1] The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) is the UK's leading research funding and training agency addressing economic and social concerns. They aim to provide high quality research on issues of importance to business, the public sector and government. The issues considered include economic competitiveness, the effectiveness of public services and policy, and our quality of life. (

Contributions of Session to WCDR:

Global learning shows that dominant disaster management approaches (preparedness and mitigation and response) alone cannot help societies and vulnerable people cope with the increased pattern of disaster risk. What is most important is a full adoption of -risk reduction- that relates to how systematic development and the application of policies, strategies and practices can minimize vulnerabilities, hazards and the impact of disasters on a society, in the broad context of sustainable development.

Increasingly appropriate governance is noted as fundamental if risk considerations are to be factored into development planning and if existing risks are to be successfully reduced. Learning from practitioners suggests that good governance does reduce disaster risk.

Governance, in the form of transparency, participation and accountability can explain why different groups of people are affected differently and have different recovery patterns, and among these groups why the poorest and most marginalized have the least capacity to cope. AAI research in Bangladesh and Ethiopia clearly suggests that there are strong linkages between levels of accountability and government's performance in risk reduction.

Although it has long been acknowledged that strengthening public accountability is likely to be the most effective way of reducing the negative impact of emergencies on some of the world's poorest people[5], very little work has been done on what this means and on how to strengthen channels of institutional accountability in order to reduce disaster risk. There has been substantial investment in strengthening governance in many developing countries in recent years, but this has rarely been extended to disaster risk.

ActionAid International, therefore, is applying for a parallel session to contribute to the future direction of disaster reduction, which falls under the discussion of theme of governance focussing on risk reduction and sustainable development and transparency-accountability.

Importance of the session: One of the key issues that has emerged from the UN/ISDR online dialogue is the following: "Political will and accountable governance is the most essential element for sustainable development as well as effective disaster reduction at all levels, in government and society at large". Although this has been conceptually acknowledged, significant knowledge gaps exist in terms of understanding what form and nature of governance can reduce disaster risk. The second area, which is also poorly researched, is how citizen participation could build the form and nature of governance that essentially protects citizens from disaster risk.

Purpose and main discussion issues in the session: Given the problem mentioned above, the ActionAid International proposed session will discuss the barriers of risk reduction, potential solutions and suggest a policy direction for the WCDR negotiation process.

[5] See, for example, Drze, J., and Sen, A., 1989, Hunger and Public Action, Oxford: Clarendon Press

People-Centred Governance
Reducing Risk for People who are Poor and Excluded
Roger Yates Head of Emergencies ActionAid International
Sunamganj, just after the flash flood
Session 1.7
Disaster prevention and adaptation to climate change
Session Report
Date: 19 January 2005
Time: 12h00-14h00
Venue: Kikusui
Organizer: World Bank (or other VARG member)

In recent years there have been two important trends in thinking about the impacts of climate on human societies. First, there has been an increasing focus on preventive measures dealing with disasters arising from climatic extremes. Secondly, it has been recognized that, whatever the outcome of mitigation measures to combat climate change, some climate change is inevitable and adaptation measures that address the most likely impacts of climate change especially within the development context will be necessary. There is the need to explore the contextual linkages between disaster prevention and adaptation to climate change in order to promote a more comprehensive approach to current and future climate risks, which maximizes benefits for the sustainable development process.

Thematic Link : Theme 1: Governance: Institutional Policy Frameworks for Risk Reduction. The proposed session is closely linked to Theme 1 of the parallel sessions. It proposes a more comprehensive approach to current and future climate risks by highlighting linkages and divergences between disaster risk management and adaptation to climate change. Thereby it addresses an issue of relevance to development processes, which deserves more practical recognition on the international to sub-national level.

Approach: A Short Paper will presented by the agencies highlighting the core messages. The presentation will be followed by an open discussion

  Fenella Frost, Chair Person, DFID, London

Disaster Risk Management in a Changing Climate
Discussion Paper
Frank Sperling, Presenter, VARG Secretariat, Washington, D.C.
Francisco Szekely, Presenter, European School of Management and Technolgy (Berlin), Berlin

Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management
Ar. Subbiah, Team Leader, Climate Risk Management, Asian Disaster Preparedness Center (ADPC), Bangkok
  Marcus Moench, Commentator, Institute for Social and Environmental Transition (ISET), Boulder
Session 1.8
Dialogue on risks in mountainous regions: Experiences from Switzerland with integrated approaches and lessons learnt for international cooperation
Session Report
Date: 19 January 2005
Time: 16h30-18h30
Venue: Kikusui room
Organizer: Swiss Agency for Development Cooperation (SDC)
Objectives The Government of Switzerland proposes to organize a thematic session workshop, focussing on the country’s policy framework, strategies and visions for disaster reduction. The implementation of the framework will be explained using a particular region of Switzerland where various natural hazards exist and where a number of major disasters occurred in the past few years.

The disaster reduction policy framework in Switzerland is based on an integrated and holistic approach taking into account the entire disaster cycle (addressing prevention, response and recovery), on a dialogue on risks between all the actors concerned (including the residents) and on the principles of sustainability. A central element of the session will be to point to the relations with other countries and specifically focus on the transfer of Swiss experiences abroad and on the return of lessons learnt abroad to Switzerland.

Session themes
- Integrated approach for disaster reduction.
- Sustainability as key criteria for action.
- Implementation on the basis of a sound analysis of risks.
- Direct involvement of the local population.

Key messages
- Further progress in terms of disaster reduction could be achieved in Switzerland thanks to the efforts made in implementing the Yokohama Strategy on a national level.
- Risk reduction should be promoted as a topic of concern for the general public.
- Emphasis should be laid on integral policy frameworks, which include mitigation, response and recovery and take into account multi-risk factors, multi-stakeholders and the issue of sustainability.
- Exchange of information and experiences on an international level should be further promoted (two-way communication).


Workshop of a duration of 2 ½ hours.
Key issues and questions will be introduced at the beginning and a synthesis presented at the end of the workshop.

Focussing on a mountainous area, the workshop will deal with the following topics:

- Risk identification: Assessment of risks and identification of damage potential.
- Risk avoidance: Land-use planning as a priority for integral risk management.
- Living with risks: Definition of protection objectives.
     Appropriate land-use.
     Consideration of needs of all concerned.
     Maintenance and regular check of existing protection measures.
     Systematic assessment of protection measures after occurrence of disasters.
     Awareness building among the concerned population.
     Issue of insurance against natural hazards.
- Preparedness: Preparation for emergencies.
- International solidarity and cooperation : Cooperation, exchange of know-how and lessons learnt.

The workshop will include several short presentations. Although focussing on Swiss experiences, it is designed for a wide international audience and will take into account the particular situation and needs of developing countries.

Swiss Experience with an Integrated Approach and Lessons Learnt for International Cooperation
Dialogue on risks in mountainous regions
Sustainability and risk management
Walter J. Ammann
Head of the Swiss Federal Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research SLF, Davos
Risk Dialogue
Thomas Rageth
Chief Advisor Natural Hazards
Cantonal Forest Service, Glarus
Natural Disasters in Valais, Switzerland: Problems
Charly Wuilloud
Cantonal Forest Service
Valais, Sion
Solutions: Examples from Switzerland
Charly Wuilloud
Cantonal Forest Service
Valais, Sion
The Risk Concept
Markus N. Zimmermann
Consultant for the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, Bern
Session 1.9
Local governance: preconditions for effective disaster risk reduction
Session Report
Date: 21 January 2005
Time: 10h00-12h00
Venue: Nunobiki room
Organizer: - German Agency for Technical Cooperation (GTZ)
- German Committee for Disaster Reduction (DKKV)
- InWEnt
Language: English, Spanish

WCDR highlights the significance of Governance in order to render disaster risk reduction a sustainable and effective intrument to reach Poverty Alleviation and the Millenium Development Goals. This concerns national structures, but also municipal stakeholders in countries where the local actors are increasingly involved in disaster risk reduction responsibilities. The proposed thematic session has the objective to

  • present key elements for municipal responsibility (Local Good Governance) in favor of effective DRR and discuss them
  • present good practice examples to foster Local Good Governance for disaster risk reduction and
  • identify future challenges and aspects requiring further discussion

It will include the proposed Governance-related sub-themes Local authorities and municipality policies for risk reduction, "Community action and participation and Transparency and accountability".

Content and structure

Good Governance is a precondition for effective disaster risk reduction. The session will analyse which elements of Local Governance are of special interest for disaster risk reduction and will present good practice examples, from the municipality, national and NGO points of view.

Some of the discussed aspects are:

  • Municipal responsibility for DRR aiming at a sustainabe development and poverty reduction
  • Participation of community, civil society and private sector in order to foster transparency and accountability for decision making and implementation processes
  • Integration of risk management in municipal development (legislation, assignment of responsibilities and resources)
  • Integration of local disaster risk management in the national institutional and political framework
After a short introduction representatives from different organisations and levels (municipality, NGO, regional or national institution) will discuss the significance of key elements and present best practice examples from Africa, Asia and Latin America on how to improve Local Good Governance for disaster risk reduction.
Antecedentes, Principales Resultados y Proyecciones 2002 - 2007
David Smith
JICA regional Advisor for Central America
Proyectos de Gestión Local de del Riesgo a Desastres en América Central
Good practice examples of Disaster Risk Good practice examples of Disaster Risk
Management in the B Management in the Búzi District of Central zi District of Central
Mozambique Mozambique
Lucas Renco
District Administrator of B District Administrator of Búzi District, zi District, Mozambique
Buena Governabilidad Local
Condiciones de una Gestión de Riesgo Efectiva
Oscar Alcantara
Civil Society La Massica, Honduras
Angeles Arenas
UNDP regional advisor for DRM Latin America
  Yusaf Pashtun, Minister for Urban Development, Afghanistan
Session 1.10
Addressing the root causes of vulnerability of human settlements in megacities
Session Report
Date: 20 January 2005
Time: 17h15-19h15
Venue: Kitano room
Organizer: - EMI
- Kobe University

The surging migration of people from rural areas into high-density urban areas has contributed to a rapid growth of megacities (generally defined as cities with populations that exceed 8 million people). Given their sheer size, as well as their economic and social importance, these cities are at a particularly acute risk with regards to disasters. As more cities have swelled into megacities over the last few decades and even more cities are expected to join this rank, their risk from natural and human-made disasters continues to increase.

Effective urban governance is as the heart of reducing disaster risk. All three factors that contribute to urban risk viz. hazard, vulnerability, and human settlement, are directly influenced by urban planning, enforcement of regulatory environments, improvement of social welfare and other acts of governance. Similarly, public policy has failed to effectively address the issue of illicit construction that continues to swell the population of megacities and to contribute to their vulnerability. The rapid increase in disaster risk of megacities can therefore be ascribed to a great extend to failures in urban governance. The strain to provide basic civic amenities combined with the complexity of the issues relegates the attention of megacities managers and policy-makers from the disaster risk reduction agenda. Disaster management practice continues to focus on post-disaster response and recovery, causing major gaps in public policy and leaving an increasingly larger fraction of the population at risk from disasters. Local implementation remains the weakest link in disaster risk management. Disaster risk reduction should find roots within city functions because these functions service the public, build infrastructure and enforce regulation. This is the essence of mainstreaming and of sustainable development. A governance system that assigns authority of policy setting, resource allocation and oversight to central government but shifts implementation towards local government and local institutions is paramount to enable the shift from response to mitigation.


This session will focus on issues of governance related to disaster risk reduction of megacities on the basis of actual experiences from megacities.

Each speaker will have 20 minutes for discussing a specific theme in relation to the experience of his/her city. The rest of the time will be for discussion and for taking questions and comments from participants.

Opening Remark and Introduction (Head of UN-HABITAT OR UNDP)

  • Governance issues related to the implementation of the Istanbul Earthquake Master Plan . Mesut Pektas, Deputy Secretary General, Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality

This issue will explore how the development and implementation of the Istanbul Earthquake Master Plan by the Municipality of Istanbul has impacted governance practices both at the local and central government levels, in particular, the participation of a large academic constituency in formulating a holistic plan; the involvement of professional organizations; the review by independent international experts; the decentralization to the district municipalities for actual implementation; and the pressure on the central government to enable implementation by undertake legislative reforms and enacting new policies.

  • Dealing with illicit construction - Quito Case Study. Arch. Diego Carrion , Director of Dept. of Urban Planning, Quito Municipal Government.

Illicit construction is a failure of governance and the example of Quito's deforestation and un-planned use of land is an illustration of the socio-political difficulties that are imposed on local governments to deal with this issue. The sprawling of un-planned urbanization is acute in Quito were most of this development takes place on hazardous slopes that are subject to land erosion, landslide, flush-flooding and other geo-meteorological hazards and which resulted in the increase of vulnerability.

  • Dealing with migrant population and slums - Experiences from Nairobi

This session is organized by UN-HABITAT

  • Stakeholders' involvement in Identifying and Implementing Risk Mitigation Options - Experience from Kathmandu - Mr. Amod Dixit, National Society of Earthquake Technology, Nepal.

This session explores the Theme of education and involvement of stakeholders. Kathmandu has a long-standing and rich experience in community-based disaster-risk reduction programs. These experiences and their impact on governance will be reported and discussed in this session.

  • Risk Assessment and risk communication - Developing policy and understanding trade-offs - Case of Bogota. Fernando Ramirez , Direccion de Prevvencion y Atencion de Emergencias de Bogota, DPAE.

The Municipality of Santa Fe deBogota' has successfully used information technology not only for disaster risk assessment but also for risk communication, education and for involving stakeholders and policy makers in understanding their options for disaster risk reduction and for understanding the trade-offs involved in the policy and decision making process.

  • Discussion
  • Summary from the Chair
Lessons Learned

Addressing The Root Causes of Vulnerability of Human Settlements in Megacities
Bogotá, Colombia
Governance Issues Related to the Management of Disaster Risk in The City of Istanbul
Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality
Deputy Secretary General Deputy Secretary General
Evaluating and reducing the vulnerability of slums, traditional housing, and migrant populations – Experience from Morocco
Mr Ali GUEDIRA: Director, Technical Department
Mr Mohamed EL MALTI: Director, Urban Planning Dept.

Stakeholders’ involvement in Identifying and Implementing Risk Mitigation Options –
Experience from Nepal
Amod Dixit
General Secretary & Executive Director

Dealing with illicit construction in Quito
Diego Carrión
Municipality of Quito
Quito - Ecuador