Making Cities Resilient:
My City is Getting Ready
Essential Six: Strengthen Institutional Capacity for Resilience

"It is important to ensure that all institutions relevant to a city’s resilience have the capabilities they need to discharge their roles."


Understanding a city’s institutional background regarding risk reduction/management and building resilience can help in detecting current gaps in local capacity to coordinate and act towards prevention, mitigation, response and recovery in the case of disasters, as well as identifying the best and most-effective approaches to strengthen relevant institutions for managing disaster risk. Institutions include, as applicable, central, state and local government organizations. Other groups also have a role to play in reducing some of the vulnerabilities, which is complementary to government measures, such as private sector organizations providing public services (depending on locale, this may include phone, water, energy, healthcare, road operations, waste collection companies and others as well as those volunteering capacity or equipment in the event of a disaster); industrial facility owners and operators; building owners (individual or corporate); NGOs; professional, employers’ and labour organizations; and cultural institutions and civil society organizations.

Identify the specific nature of each vulnerability and map against the respective institution(s)
Build local capacities and strengthen participation in disaster management and resilience improvement
Ensure the consistence of data and disaster risk information among the stake-holders
Thailand Looks to Upgrade Informal Settlements

The government of Thailand has launched an ambitious slum and squatter upgrading initiative. The Baan Mankong (secure housing) programme channels funds in the form of infrastructure subsidies and housing loans directly to community organisations of low-income inhabitants in informal settlements. The funding comes almost entirely from domestic resources – a combination of national government, local government and community contributions. Within this national programme, illegal settlements can obtain legal land tenure through a variety of means such as direct purchase from the landowner (supported by a government loan), negotiating a community lease, agreeing to move to another location provided by the government or agreeing with the landowner to move to part of the site they are occupying in return for tenure of that site (land sharing).
For more information:

Santa Tecla (El Salvador)
Santa Tecla, El Salvador: A Risk-Sensitive City Development Plan

Santa Tecla is part of the metropolitan area of El Salvador’s capital, San Salvador. “Santa Tecla, suffered two earthquakes in 2001. In just five seconds, a mudslide caused more than 700 deaths, displaced 20% of the city, and badly damaged 38% of the infrastructure. Real estate prices plummeted. We had to think deeply about what we could do,” says Oscar Ortiz, the Mayor. “In order to turn our city around and make it disaster resilient, we realized we needed to stop improvising when disaster strikes and start planning ahead. We need to manage our land in a responsible and sustainable manner. We developed a ten-year plan to redevelop the city and now have a longer-term plan for a sustainable future through 2020. Citizens need to understand the significance of what we are doing or very little change will take place. We try to do this by encouraging participation in ‘Mesas de Ciudadanos’ (citizens groups), which bring a wide cross section of different stakeholder organisations together in periodic discussions and decision making. They soon come to understand that these are issues and decisions that concern their livelihood, their children, their schools and their productivity.” (Source: Interview with Mayor Oscar Ortiz, February 2011, UNDRR)
For more information: Click on: Gestión de Riesgos 13.11 (in Spanish).