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Overview

Communities are at the frontline of disasters. Over the last two decades it has become apparent that top-down approaches to disaster risk management alone fail to address the specific local needs of vulnerable communities, often ignoring the local capacities and resources. At times this approach further increases the vulnerability of the community. In response to the limitations of this top-down methodology, the community-based disaster management emerged as an alternative approach, during the decades of 1980s and 1990s.

The Asian Disaster Preparedness Center (ADPC) believes that community action for disaster risk management is a crucial element in promoting a "culture of prevention" and creating safer communities. Therefore, community based approaches have been an integral part of the various projects and programs of ADPC since mid and late 1990s.

Under the Asian Urban Disaster Mitigation Program this has been demonstrated in several countries such as; Tongi and Gaibanda Municipalities in Bangladesh, Vientiane City in Lao PDR, Ratnapura and Nawalpitia Municipalities in Sri Lanka, Hatyai province in Thailand and in Cambodia. In Indonesia, Philippines and Vietnam, the Climate Risk Management team's work being done on communication of climate forecasts to farmers is another example. Pioneering work on developing community based risk communication strategies in Lao PDR, Cambodia and Vietnam was implemented under the Disaster Reduction Program for Cambodia, Lao and Vietnam (DRPCLV) project in 2002. Substantive work has also been done on community level action planning and risk communication under a sponsorship from Asian Development Bank in Uttarranchal and Uttar Pardesh states in India and in Cambodia and Vietnam under "capacity building for flood preparedness planning in the lower Mekong Basin using Flood Information Products" project with the MekongRiver Commission (MRC).

Community based disaster risk management is a specific focus under the Partnerships for Disaster Reduction in Southeast Asia (PDRSEA), a project being implemented in seven Southeast Asian countries since 2001 with financial support from DIPECHO. The program has focused on developing technical capacity of professionals through designing and conducting various training courses, facilitating sharing of experiences, across countries and organizations through newsletters, websites and email list serves. The program has provided support to national networks and led efforts towards regional networking. Practical tools for practitioners have been developed to support community action; e.g. the CBDRM Field Practitioners Handbook. Recently the focus of program has been on Institutionalizing Community Based Disaster Risk Management in the government policy, planning an implementation. In this regard the program is working closely with the ASEAN Committee on Disaster Management (ACDM) and National Disaster Management Offices (NDMOs) and practitioners. Regional level workshops were held with the ACDM and CBDRM practitioners. In the next phase the program is going to focus more on the national, sub-national and local levels in helping the government departments develop strategies and action plans to support community action.

ADPC's Community Based Disaster Risk Management Course (CBDRM) was initiated in 1997 and so far twelve international courses have been held. The course has also been adapted to the national context in India, Sri Lanka, Lao PDR, Cambodia and Thailand. The course is currently being adapted to the national level in Afghanistan. The Community Based Disaster Risk Management program of the ADPC intends to emphasize its efforts on following aspects.

  • Institutionalization of the community based disaster risk management in the policy, planning and implementation of the government ministries and departments and the that of the donors in target countries;

  • Implementation of innovative programs to explore new dimensions in the CBDRM practice;

  • Development of frameworks and tools to support the work of decision-makers and practitioners;

  • Development of databases and publications to map the CBDRM practices in various regions;

  • Development of new training tools to enhance the capacity of practitioners;

  • Development of new training tools to enhance the capacity of practitioners;

  • Continued support to the ACDM and other regional entities for promoting CBDRM practices.  

 

 

 


Partnerships for Disaster Reduction - South East Asia (PDR-SEA 4):
Tools & Applications

* CBDRR Database
*
1st web-based CBDRR course
*
CBDRR Newsletters

* CBDRR Publications


ADPC Regional Training Schedule for 2009
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