Sustainable development and disaster reduction are
essential preconditions for each other.
hamper the progress and achievements of sustainable
physical infrastructure we are constructing itself constitute a
source of risk in the event of future disasters.
For instance- in the case of earthquakes, where majority of
victims are killed by their own collapsing houses.
From the perspectives of environmental degradation,
human intervention and security aspects, disaster
management is a pressing issue.
The approach seeks communities at risk get engaged in all
of its phases: prevention, mitigation, preparedness,
response and recovery.
In order to build disaster-resilient communities, they first
need to be empowered so that community members can
cope with the adverse effects of natural hazards.
This is the approach to achieving sustainability in dealing
with natural disaster risks.
UNCRD is carrying out various
establish disaster prevention as an
essential component of sustainable
improvement in the safety levels of core
community facilities such as schools
dissemination of best practices in disaster
risk management at the community level
formulation of integrated programmes for
sustainable development through disaster
risk management initiatives
Why Community Based Disaster
Over the past decades, economic losses and number of
people affected by natural disasters have increased more
rapidly than both economic and population growth.
The impacts of the disasters are deeply related with the
socio economic conditions, tradition, culture, and climate of
To minimize the damages caused by disasters, various
efforts have been taken by government, international
communities including donor agencies.
It has been observed that many of the disaster
management programmes have failed to be sustainable at
local level after the completion of the project.
A critical element of sustainable disaster management is
communities’ participation in these activities.
The most common elements of community involvement
ownership by the local people
emphasis of disaster management efforts should
focus on communities and the people who live in
the disaster management efforts are
sustainable at individual and community level, it is
Through these community–based activities, people should
be able to participate along side government officials and
experts group as the direct stakeholders of these activities.
People should own problems, consequences and
challenges of any mitigation and/or preparedness initiative,
it is necessary to take people’s involvement further, into
policy and strategy.
This process induces sense of ownership to the people
which results in their continuous engagement and long
term commitment to these activities.
Thus involvement of communities is important in both
pre-disaster mitigation and post disaster response and
Community Based Disaster
Most of the disaster response can be characterized as
command and control structure and top down approach.
Community Based Disaster Management (CBDM)
Promotes a bottom-up approach working in harmony with the top down
approach, to address the challenges and difficulties.
Local communities must be supported into analyzing their hazardous
conditions, their vulnerabilities and capacities.
People at the community level have more to lose because
they are the ones directly hit by disasters, whether major or
On the other hand, they have the most to gain if they can
reduce the impact of disasters on their community.
This concept gave rise to the idea of community-based
Community Based Disaster Management
CBDM approach provides opportunities for the local –
to evaluate their own situation based on their own experiences.
local community not only becomes part of creating plans and
decisions but also becomes a major player in its implementation.
CBDM does not ignore the importance of scientific and risk
assessment and planning.
CBDM approach acknowledges that as many
stakeholders as needed in the process, with the end
goal of achieving capacities and transferring of
resources into the community.
UNCRD launched a three-year project on titled
Management” in 2002.
To understand the gaps in the community initiatives, and
to take corrective actions in future.
In order to identify the key factors for successful CBDM,
six case studies were chosen in the Asian region
targeting three specific hazards:
Cyclones (India and the Philippines),
Earthquakes(Indonesia and Nepal)
Floods(Bangladesh and Cambodia)
Followings were found as key factors for enhancing
Risk assessment process involves participation of people.
Genuine people’s participation within capacity building
specific focus on groups like women, elderly, children and
training inputs in accordance with the
objectives of the project and the needs of the community for
Accumulation of physical, technological and economic
assets to reduce hazards and vulnerability.
Integration of these projects into regular development
planning and budgeting to ensure sustainability
Afghan Training and livelihood
UNCRD carried out “Afghan Training and Livelihood
Initiative (ATLI)” in Afghanistan from October 2002 to
Afghanistan is an earthquake prone country, and is
located in one of the most active seismic belts of the
ATLI focused on developments
earthquake safe construction practices, training of
masons and engineers, and construction of model
These activities aimed to empower the communities with
their active participation in this process.
resources, provide sustainable livelihood and are linked
Patanka New Life (PNY) Plan
After the Gujarat earthquake of Janaury 2001, PNY was
initiated as joint initiative of diverse including government,
The aim of the initiative was-
train and empower local masons and communities with proper
earthquake-safer technologies focusing on local tradition and
to ensure confidence building and long-term use of traditional
were two major components of the initiative-
and rehabilitation of model village
training and confidence building of communities through
The initiative was successful, especially in terms of
community involvement and ownership.
The initiative was considered a successful model for
sustainable community recovery.
The PNY was conceived as a model program right from
its inception stage.
It sought to empower the affected community to the
extent that they are sufficiently resilient against future
School Earthquake Safety
United Nations Centre for Regional Development
(UNCRD) is, currently, promoting School Earthquake
Safety Initiative through a project named“Reducing Vulnerability of School Children to
Earthquakes” jointly with UN Department of Economic
and Social Affairs (UNDESA) in Asia-Pacific region.
The project aims to make schools safe against
earthquakes and build disaster- resilient communities
through self-help, cooperation and education.
The project includes
retrofitting of school building in a participatory way with the
involvement of local communities.
local governments and resource institutions, trainings on
safer construction practices to technicians, disaster
education in school and communities.
These activities are carried out in Fiji Islands, India,
Indonesia and Uzbekistan.
There are three major aspects of the community
empowerment in earthquake disaster risk management
through this initiative:
Seismic safety of school buildings
Capacity building of communities
Disaster education and awareness
Community empowerment and communication help to
achieve sustainability in CBDM.
Community based action plans and training improves
Disasters are unpredictable, it is important to maintain the
projects and people's awareness of disasters.
Transparency of activities and dissemination of
participation in activities.
CBDM efforts need stable financial resources.
'What is accepted by the community' is more important
than 'what is necessary'.
Institutionalizing the community and the private