Mainstreaming Disaster Risk Management into Planning and Development Process

Various studies have ranked Nepal as the 4th most vulnerable country in climate risks, 11th in earthquake vulnerability and 30th in flood risks. Nepal is highly prone to hazards like droughts, floods, landslides, earthquake, avalanche and Glacial Lake Outburst Floods (GLOF), and they often have a significant impact on the socio-economic, cultural and environmental condition of the country. The number of such events is on the rise due to natural and anthropogenic causes, however, their risks and effects can certainly be mitigated through preparedness. Disasters are often associated with exposure to a hazard, vulnerability situation of a particular area and insufficient capacity to cope with the potential negative consequences. Therefore, there is an urgent need to be prepared for action through effective policies and practices against hazards before they turn into disasters.

LI-BIRD has worked for reduction of climate-change induced hazards in agricultural sector. After the mega earthquake of 2015, LI-BIRD worked for immediate response and rehabilitation of earthquake affected communities. Realizing the greater need for integrating Disaster Risk Management (DRM) into research and development initiatives, LI-BIRD included ‘Community Resilience to Climate Change and Disaster Risks’ as a new theme under its five-year research and development strategy 2017-2021. As a part of building institutional capacity on DRR, a training ‘Mainstreaming Disaster Risk Management into Planning and Development Process’ was organized for LI-BIRD’s staff at Tewa Centre, Kathmandu from 8 to 10 February 2017 with the financial support of Diakonie Katastrophenhilfe (DKH). DKH is one of the financial contributors for Rebuilding Family Farming (RFF) programme targeted for earthquake hit farming communities. There were 19 participants from various disciplines across LI-BIRD.

Mr. Ram Chandra Neupane facilitating a session. Photo: Achyut Raj Adhikari, LI-BIRD

Mr. Ram Chandra Neupane, Chair of Disaster Preparedness Network (DPNet) of Nepal, coordinated the training. Other facilitators for the training included Mr. Keshab Datta Bhatta (Capacity Building Specialist, CARE), Mr. Sunil Sun Shakya (DRR Consultant), Mr. Shankar Hari Acharya (Under Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs) and Mr. Surendra Neupane (Community-based Disaster Risk Management-CBDRM Expert).

The training aimed to enhance the capacity of LI-BIRD’s staffs on DRM so that LI-BIRD can integrate DRR as outlined in its strategy. The following were the key objectives of the training:   

  1. Understanding key DRR terminologies and conceptual clarity on DRR framework
  2. Understanding national/international DRR policies and guidelines that have practical implication while formulating development plans and policies
  3. Practical tools and practices of DRR with some examples of success stories that have practical use while integrating DRR as cross-cutting theme in programme plan and development
  4. Mainstreaming DRR into local development initiative or sectoral planning process for advocacy at various levels.

Mr. Surendra Neupane facilitating a session on CBDRM. Photo: Achyut Raj Adhikari, LI-BIRD

The course coordinator facilitated the key sessions of the training: DRM frameworks and standards, national and international DRM frameworks and policies, mainstreaming DRM into development planning, and integrating DRM into action plans and programmes. Mr. Keshav D. Bhatta shared country scenario of disaster and associated risks, and Care’s experiences and learning on mainstreaming DRM. Similarly, Mr. Shankar Hari Acharya provided insights on key DRM policies and guidelines of Nepal. Mr. Sunil Shakya facilitated sessions on disaster management cycle and key tools for hazard mapping and risk assessment. Mr. Surendra Neupane highlighted the core humanitarian principle and sphere standards, and its linkage on disaster response and preparedness, including CBDRM.

Speaking at the closing ceremony, Ms. Laure Perrot, Programme Officer of DKH Nepal, appreciated LI-BIRD’s leadership for showing commitment on DRR and translating it into LI-BIRD’s new research and development strategy. Dr. Balaram Thapa, Executive Director of LI-BIRD wrapped the programme by thanking the DKH team for their support in the training. He also thanked facilitators and participants for their active participation in the event. 

The training was successful to impart the knowledge of DRM into planning and development process of the organization as envisaged by its new research and development strategy. LI-BIRD, thus,  will move forward towards building community resilience by enabling adaptive and risk management capacities of vulnerable communities.

LI-BIRD’s short courses are designed based on two-decade long work experiences in agriculture, biodiversity, food security, climate change and sustainable livelihoods.