Reducing risks and building resilience at the local level: A global review of local DRR strategies

Approaches for building urban resilience may range from highly technical and resource-intensive, to simple and inexpensive practices. “Making Cities Resilient” (MCR) Campaign by United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) is a simple tool to promote disaster resilience-building in cities through raising awareness among local governments through providing tools, technical assistance, city-to-city support networks, and learning opportunities. In 2018, a local government survey was developed and administered by UNDRR, not only with MCR Campaign cities but also with other cities, to capture the progress in disaster risk reduction and the implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction around the world.

This paper attempts to report the results of the survey. The results show that flood is the most recurrent and frequent disaster in a majority of the cities. According to the percentage of responses, flood and landslide show a significant increase in frequency, intensity, people’s exposure and vulnerability. Local governments have shown good progress in conducting DRR actions and publicising the disaster information according to the survey results. Around half of the local governments have their own local DRR strategy. However, most of them are lacking in implementation. As mentioned by the respondents, financial incapability is the popular reason for the inefficient implementation. Though there is a lack of enforcement, DRR is needed in most of the local governments, as it is compulsory by national law.

Interestingly, majority of the DRR plans are developed with the participation of the citizens in some form. Local governments also receive external support mainly from the national government. However, in-house technical capacity, citizen engagement, and equipment and materials are mentioned as the critical factors that are needed for successful implementation of DRR actions at local level. 

This paper is a contribution to the 2019 edition of the Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction (GAR 2019).

To cite this paper: 

Amaratunga, D. et al. Reducing risks and building resilience at the local level: A global review of local DRR strategies. Contributing Paper to GAR 2019

VI Regional Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction in the Americas, Cartagena, Colombia 20-22 June 2018 VI Regional Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction in the Americas, Cartagena, Colombia 20-22 June 2018.
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