Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction

DARA participated in the 4th Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction, hosted by UNISDR and held in Geneva, May 19-23, 2013. DARA’s Belen Paley talks about the event.

We presented our findings from our Risk Reduction Index work in six countries in West Africa, as part of the ECOWAS-hosted side event on National Platforms for DRR in the region. The presentation was well-received by both ECOWAS and those in attendance from member states across the region. National representatives expressed their interest in having access to the country studies and in collaborating with DARA to disseminate findings in their respective countries. The need to accompany national entities to carry out the recommendations based on findings was also suggested.

Belen Paley

Belen Paley

Highlights from the days’ various events include an emphasis on communities, including how risk is understood at the local level and the need to engage with communities for effective DRR. Discussions on slow-onset disasters such as food security and drought in Africa were also of note, and the need here to bridge the gap between humanitarian and development actors in order to address chronic issues. How to measure and build resilience were also important themes.

An important component of this year’s Global Platform were discussions surrounding the development of the second Hyogo Framework for Action, or HFA2, scheduled for 2015. UNISDR is leading the efforts to consolidate key issues and messages around this post-2015 framework, a process which has been on-going through a series of global consultations that have taken place over the past year. In the coming weeks, as DARA finalises its current phase of the RRI in West Africa, we will be considering our contribution to these discussions, in light of our work in engaging with communities and our focus on local-level analysis of underlying risk factors. It is crucial that the post-2015 framework is relevant and reflects an up-to-date understanding of the complexities of disaster risk reduction, as well as builds on lessons learned since the first HFA.