Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Mainstreaming DRR into Local Economy Development

Visayas Unity Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction
Ramon Kahulugan
June 2008

Definition of terms


  • This word obviously derives from the metaphor of a small, isolated flow of water being drawn into the mainstream of a river where it will expand to flow smoothly without loss or diversion.

  • Therefore ‘mainstreaming risk reduction’ describes a process to fully incorporate disaster risk reduction into development policies, programs and practice. It means radically expanding and enhancing disaster risk reduction so that it becomes normal practice, fully institutionalized within a development agenda.


  • Technical, social or economic actions or measures used to reduce direct, indirect and intangible disaster losses. The expression ‘disaster risk reduction’ is now widely used as a term that encompasses the two aspects of a disaster reduction strategy: ‘mitigation’ and ‘preparedness’.

  • Mitigation as the measures that can be undertaken to minimize the destructive and disruptive effects of hazards and thus lessen the magnitude of a disaster.

  • Preparedness as all measures undertaken to ensure the readiness and ability of a society to forecast and take precautionary measures in advance of imminent threat, and respond and cope with the effects of a disaster by organizing and delivering timely and effective rescue, relief and other post-disaster assistance.


  • The conditions determined by physical, social, economic, political and environmental factors or processes, which increase the susceptibility of a community to the impact of hazards.


1. Framework and concept of LED
2. Mainstreaming Disaster Risk Reduction into Local Economy Development

  • Rationale
  • What is mainstreaming
  • Mainstreaming in thematic areas
  • Two Approaches in mainstreaming

3. Making Disaster-Proof Local Economic Development Plan (Integrating DRR into LED Planning)

  1. Framework and concept of LED

Main Features:

The purpose of local economic development (LED) is to build up the economic capacity of a local area to improve its economic future and the quality of life for all.

It is a process by which public, business and non-governmental sector partners work collectively to create better conditions for economic growth and employment generation.

The five-stage approach :

  • Organizing the Effort
  • Conducting the Local Economy Assessment,
  • Developing the LED Strategy,
  • Implementing the LED Strategy and
  • Reviewing the LED Strategy.
  • an approach for development
  • pooling all the stakeholders ( government, civil society and business)

2. Mainstreaming Disaster Risk Reduction into Local Economy Development


- Disasters have an enormous impact on development -- the process of development, and the kind of development choices made, sometimes creates disaster risks.

- Disasters are rooted in development failure. Disasters do not just happen – to a large extent, they result from failures of development which increase vulnerability to hazard events.

- Development processes may increase exposure or susceptibility to hazard

  • Increased exposure can result from global level climate change exacerbating extreme weather events.
  • local level destruction of mangrove stands which protect coasts from tidal storm surges to make way for shrimp farms.
  • Rapid urban growth may increase exposure to landslides, earthquakes or fires.
  • Increased susceptibility results from development measures which erode capacity to cope with and recover from hazard impacts.

Thus development activity and DRR representing two sides of the same coin needs to be dealt with in unison, mainstreaming DRR into development planning, policy and implementation.

What is Mainstreaming of DRR

  • Integrating DRR in strategies, planning and implementation
  • Crafting policies promoting DRR
  • Practical DRR components in all project and plans
  • Specific DRR expert individual and units active and effective
  • Budget lines for DRR integration
  • Making communities resilient and safer before disaster strike
  • Prudent public governance

Mainstreaming Disaster Risk Reduction in the following thematic areas:


  • Introducing DRR modules into the school curriculum;
  • Promoting hazard resilient construction of new schools;
  • Introducing features into schools for their use as emergency shelters;


  • Introducing Disaster Risk Impact Assessments into the construction of new roads and bridges;
  • Promoting the use of hazard risk information in land use planning


  • Promoting programs of sustainable agriculture ; contingency crop planning; crop diversification;
  • Supplementary income generation from off-farm and non-farm activities;
  • Effective insurance and credit schemes to compensate for crop damage and loss to
  • ivelihood;


  • Promoting the increased use of hazard-resilient designs in rural housing in hazard prone areas;

3. Two approaches to initiate mainstreaming of DRR

  • into vision, mission and goals of our institution
  • and into specific projects and different component of our rural development work (advocacy, sustainable agriculture, enterprise development, etc)

overall objectives are: to increase awareness, political support and enhance capacit
  • The first approach emphasizes on integration of DRR into our institutional mandate and the second is to integrate into our local economic development efforts and initiative.
  • All these processes are essentially aimed to reduce risks and increase the socio economic resilience of the nation.

General Thrust and Concerns

  • Good governance for disaster reduction
  • adequate space for the participation of different stakeholders, including vulnerable communities, state, civil society, volunteers, organisations and other development partners.
  • enabling people to cope with risks and prevent them from becoming part of the disasters themselves.

Making ‘disaster proof’ Local Economic Development Plans

  1. Integration into LED Strategies

  • Empowerment and tripartite participation
  • economic activity dependent on the specific economic conditions, hazards and vulnerability and comparative advantages of a defined territory
  • generate sustainable employment in firms more capable to withstand changes in the global economic environment and climate change.
  • contribute to a general improvement in the quality of life as a result of the involvement of local stakeholders and of the resiliency of the community.


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