All India Disaster Mitigation
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What's New

India Accelerates in Building Resilience

Southasiadisasters.net issue no. 167, April 2018:

This issue of Southasiadisasters.net is titled"Chhattisgarh Reduces Risks and Builds Resilience". It highlights the key lessons and experiences of various stakeholders (both government and non-government) in taking concerted actions to build the resilience of Chhattisgarh against the aforementioned risks.<

 


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Chhattisgarh has been identified as one of the richest biodiversity habitats in India and has one of the most dense forest covers in the country. It is also the 10th largest state in terms of geographical area, the third largest in terms of forest area and has the second largest mineral reserves. These advantages has boosted the rapid growth and urbanization to holds the top rank in terms of development expenditure to GSDP ratio.

However, the state is exposed to multiple disaster and climate risks. This is evidenced by the increasing incidence of floods, drought, road accidents, fire, industrial accidents, man animal conflicts etc. with each passing year. Thus, it is important to protect the economic prosperity, ecological bounty and social diversity of this state from the ravages of disasters and emergencies.

This issue's contents includes: (i) Safe Chhattisgarh: Risk and Resilience; (ii) School Safety Scenario, Chhattisgarh; (iii) Child Centered Disaster Risk Assessment; (iv) Emerging Disaster But Yet To Be Termed — Heat Wave; (v) Hospital Safety Scenario in Chhattisgarh; (vi) Hazard Vulnerability Capacity Assessment: Process and Outcome; and (vii) Women Centered Disaster Risk Assessment.

Some of the best thinkers, researchers, experts, and activists, including Mihir R. Bhatt with AIDMI Team; Prasanta Dash, CFO, UNICEF, Raipur, Chhattisgarh; with Akshay Waghmare; Suresh L. Borkar; Russi Singh; Jyotirmoy Deb Goswami; Vaibhav Naresh Raut; and Renuka Poonia, Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Mumbai.

Theme: Risk and Resilience, School Safety, Disaster Risk Reduction, Gender.

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India Accelerates in Building Resilience

Southasiadisasters.net issue no. 166, February 2018:

This issue of Southasiadisasters.net is titled "India Accelerates in Building Resilience" and tries to capture the various efforts in the form of international cooperation undertaken by India to foster resilience regionally and globally.

 


For instance, India's efforts to leverage cooperation with countries like Russia and Bangladesh to pursue risk reduction outcomes are meticulously documented in this issue. Similarly, positive regional developments like the endorsement of the Disaster Management Bill in Nepal have also been highlighted in this issue.

Over the past decade, India has taken considerable measures in building disaster resilience. It now boasts of a National Disaster Management Plan (NDMP) that is totally aligned with the targets and priorities of the Sendai Framework. Additionally, India is also extending cooperation to regional neighbors as well other countries in reducing disaster and climate risks. Several agreements with various countries on a variety of risk reduction activities have been signed by India recently. All these activities highlight the fact that India is accelerating its efforts to build disaster resilience.

This issue's contents includes: (i) India Accelerates in Building Resilience; (ii) Delhi–Dhaka Cooperation in Risk Reduction; (iii) India–Russia Coordinated Action on DRR; (iv) Nepal Endorses Disaster Risk Reduction Bill; (v) Potential Areas of Using Social Science To Reduce Disaster Risks In India; (vi) Rains in Chennai, 2017: A Historic View; (vii) Amadora Local Campaign — Making Cities Resilient; (viii) Unlikely Nuclear Disaster: Likely Preparedness Planning;and (ix) Facebook Steps up Efforts for Disaster Response in India.

Some of the best thinkers, researchers, experts, and activists, including Mihir R. Bhatt with AIDMI Team; Shabana Khan, World Social Science Fellow, ISSC and Director, Indian Research Academy, New Delhi; SubirDey, Assistant Professor (Ad hoc), Department of History, University of Delhi; Luis Carvalho, Civil Protection Chief, Municipal Commander, Amadora, Portugal; and Gautam Kamath, Public Policy Manager - India, South Asia & Central Asia, Facebook.

Theme:
Disaster Risk Reduction, Making Cities Resilient, Disaster Response, Social Media.

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Knowledge Resources for Comprehensive School Safety and Security in India

Southasiadisasters.net issue no. 165, January 2018:

This issue of Southasiadisasters.net is titled "Knowledge Resources for Comprehensive School Safety and Security in India". It focuses on the innovations in service delivery and the lessons learnt in carrying out the Comprehensive School Safety and Security Programme (CSSSP) in India.

 


A collaboration between UNICEF and many state governments, the CSSSP is unique as it has focused not only on addressing disaster risk reduction (DRR) concerns but also child protection concerns.

As the CSSSP has been rolled out in 5 states of India, a lot of lessons on programme design, delivery, stakeholder management, scaling-up and sustainability have been learnt. This issue is a compendium of such lessons that have been captured as knowledge resources to aid other government and non-government actors who intend to start similar programmes in India to improve the safety and security of it's children.

India is home to 1.5 million schools with more than 250 million students, making it a country with one of the highest number of students in the world. It is a well-known fact that India's vulnerability to natural hazards cascades down to its schools and adversely affects the safety and security of its school going children. Apart from natural hazards, the risk of violence, sexual abuse, exploitation and neglect also loom large on these children. In order to protect this large part of its demographic from various risks, many school safety initiatives have been launched in India.

This issue's contents includes:(i) Emerging Knowledge on CSSSP in India; (ii) Comprehensive School Safety and Security Programme: Legislative Framework and Further Actions; (iii) India and ASEAN: Partners in Making Asia Safer; (iv) Risk Reduction Opportunities for Indian Cities; (v) Shaping Green Climate Fund Policies; (vi) Regional Capacity Development: Five Action Areas; (vii) Financing Integrated Governance of Risks; and (viii) WMO, Climate Change and Children: A View.
 

Theme: School Safety, Risk Reduction, Climate Change, Capacity Development.

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Knowledge Resources for Child Centered Disaster Risk Reduction in India

Southasiadisasters.net issue no. 164, November 2017:

This issue of Southasiadisasters.net is titled"Knowledge Resources for Child Centered Disaster Risk Reduction in India".It is a veritable compilation of enshrined practices, lessons learnt and innovations that have taken place in India and in South Asia on the issue of protecting children from disasters.<

 


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Exposure to natural hazards and ensuing disasters add another dimension of distress and deprivation to the already precarious lives of the children in India. Due to their physical, mental and social condition, Children bear a disproportionate burden of the impacts of disasters. Some of the adverse impacts of disasters on children include death, injury, disruption of education, separation from parents and caregivers, psychological trauma, trafficking, violence, trafficking and sexual abuse.

This issue's contents includes: (i) Region Knowledge Networking and CCDRR; (ii) Disaster Risk Reduction in Pune — Children Play a Key Role; (iii) Brazil's Experience in Data Management and Data Sharing for Monitoring and Early Warning for Natural Disasters; (iv) National School Safety Program: Reflections; (v) Char Areas in Assam: Risk Assessment Tools for Women and Children; (vi) Youth Leadership: Source of Energy for Building Community Resilience; (vii) Disasters and the Displacement of Children: A View; (viii) School as a Key to Reducing People Affected by Disasters by 2030;and (ix) Migratory Crossroads in Africa: The Story of Joy.

Some of the best thinkers, researchers, experts, and activists, including Mihir R. Bhatt with AIDMI Team; Christian Barthelt, Senior Project Manager, Munich Re Foundation, Germany; Osvaldo L. Moraes, National Centre for Monitoring and Early Warning of Natural Disasters São José dos Campos, Brazil; Marie Karleskind and Alberto Preato, IOM - UN Migration Agency, Niger, Africa.

Theme: Child Centred Disaster Risk Reduction, Region Knowledge Networking, Monitoring and Early Warning for Natural Disasters, National School Safety Program, Risk Assessment, Building Community Resilience.

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Long Term Disaster Recovery in Kashmir

Southasiadisasters.net issue no. 163, October2017:

This issue of Southasiadisasters.net is titled "Long Term Disaster Recovery in Kashmir".It contains many insights from practitioners and academics from different areas who have focused their attention on rebuilding Jammu and Kashmir after the devastating floods of 2014.

 


Often dubbed as the most severe flood to hit the state in over 100 years, the havoc wreaked by these floods affected close to 550,000 people. The Indian state as well as the international community were quick to respond to the crisis that followed this disaster. Devoting massive financial and human resources, many long term recovery initiatives have been started in the state. This issue is a compilation of such initiatives that capture the many facets of Kashmir's complex long term recovery process to "Build Back Better".

This issue's contents includes: (i) Disaster Recovery in Kashmir: Five Lessons for Himalayan States of India; (ii) How Kashmir is Implementing Disaster Risk Reduction Projects; (iii) Kashmir Recovery: A Habitat View; (iv) Lessons from Jammu and Kashmir Earthquake and Floods; (v) Pattan in Kashmir Recovery: Sectarian and Political Biases weakened Community Cohesion; (vi) Community Involvement and Leadership by Women; (vii) Kashmir Flood Recovery: Achievements of NDMA; (viii) DRR Road Map for Himalayas; (ix) Long Term Disaster Recovery in Kashmir; and (x) Srinagar Flood Recovery — What Worked And Why?

Some of the best thinkers, researchers, experts, and activists, including Mihir R. Bhatt with AIDMI Team; Aamir Ali Mir, Srinagar,Jammu and Kashmir; Lara Shankar Chandra, Director, Strategic Management Unit, Habitat for Humanity India, Mumbai; Abha Mishra, UNDP, India; Sarwar Bari, National Coordinator,Pattan Development Organisation, Islamabad, Pakistan; Koji Suzuki, Executive Director, National Research Institute for Earth Science and Disaster Resilience (NIED), Japan; and Dr. Henna Hejazi,Program Manager, J&K Flood Response, Sphere India, New Delhi.

Theme: DisasterRecovery, Disater Risk Reduction, Women Leadership, Earthquake, Flood.

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School Safety and Security: Reflections

Southasiadisasters.net issue no. 162, September2017:

This issue of Southasiadisasters.net is titled "School Safety and Security: Reflections" and deals with this important theme in extensive detail. This issue highlights how different stakeholders including the government, teachers, students and various civil society organizations (CSOs) are coming up with various innovations to protect India's large school going citizens.

 


This issue contains articles from reputed academics, practitioners and experts who have worked on the theme of School Safety and Security.

This issue's contents includes: (i) School Safety and Security: Reflections; (ii) Hydrology and Drought: India's Priorities; (iii) Assam is Reeling Under Floods Again, Here are 4 Key Problems faced by Children; (iv) Children and Youth as Game Changers in DRR and CCA in the Philippines; (v) Flood Durable Shelters in Assam; (vi) Disaster Risk Resilience through Sustainable Development–A Case of Building Construction Materials; (vii) Links between Uncertainty and Transformation; (viii) Child Protection in India; (ix) Heat Wave and Human Suffering: Building a Case for Further Research and Policy Debate; (x) Need for Peri–Urban Planning Course in South–Asia and (xi)Harnessing Satellite Technology for Smart Climate Risk Transfer Solutions.

Some of the best thinkers, researchers, experts, and activists, including Mihir R. Bhatt with AIDMI Team; Dr.  R. P. Pandey, Scientist G, National Institute of Hydrology, Roorkee, and Dr. Surya Parkash, Associate Professor, National Institute of Disaster Management, New Delhi; AmritSangma, Officer-PR & Communications, Caritas India,New Delhi; Fatima Gay J. Molina andJesusa Grace J. Molina, Centre for Disaster Preparedness, Philippines; Mr. Netaji Basumatary, Regional Manager, North-East India, IGSSS, Guwahati, Assam; Mr. Chandra Bhakuni, Structural Engineer, Ahmedabad, Gujarat; D. Parthasarathy, Professor, Humanities and Social SciencesIndian Institute of Technology, Mumbai; Ms. ShakuntalaPratihary, PhD Scholar, Utkal University, Bhubaneswar, Odisha; Alka Bharat, Professor, Department of Architecture & Planning, MANIT, Bhopal, India; and KamolTaukitphaisarn, Expert, Better Rice Initiative Asia (BRIA), Thailand.

Theme: School Safety, Child Protection, Heat Wave, Urban Planning, Climate Change, Disaster Risk Reduction.

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Humanitarian Studies Conference 2018

The 5th bi-annual conference of the International Humanitarian Studies Association will take place in The Hague, The Netherlands from 27 to 29 August 2018.The overall theme of this year’s conference is: 
(Re-)Shaping Boundaries in Crisis and Crisis Response. 
 
Crisis and humanitarianism has always been about boundaries.

 


The classic view of a crisis is an exceptional moment, bounded in time and space. Humanitarian action was therefore seen as a necessarily limited endeavor which has a narrow but principled focus on saving lives and alleviating suffering. Setting clear boundaries around crisis were meant to distinguish crisis from normality and legitimate extraordinary measures to accommodate its effects. 

 
Visit the conference website for more information: https://conference.ihsa.info/

India Floods 2017

Southasiadisasters.net issue no. 161, August 2017:

This issue of Southasiadisasters.net is titled "India Floods 2017" and focuses on how the floods in 2017 have affected different regions of country and the damage suffered by them. It also tries to examine India's underlying vulnerability to floods which has been exacerbated in recent years mainly due to unplanned development, high population density & settlement of people in flood plains, old infrastructure, weak river embankments and also increase in extreme ev

 


ents, including high rainfall in a short duration.

This issue analyses these repeated incidents of flooding in the country through a systemic lens that takes an interdisciplinary and multi-sectoral perspective of  India's flooding problem.

This issue's contents includes: (i) Floods as an Opportunity; (ii) Note on Flood Situation; (iii) India Floods 2017; (iv) Floods in Bihar in 2017; (v) Mumbai Deluge and the Civil Society; (vi) Floods in Assam in 2017; (vii) A Tale of Two Cities: Flooding in Houston and Mumbai — Time to Learn? (viii) When Nature Rears its Head: Flash Flooding, and The Loss of Lakes in Bengaluru (ix) Resilient Water? (x) Floods, Sanitation and Access to Clean Water and (xi) Micro Insurance for Floods.

Some of the best thinkers, researchers, experts, and activists, including Mihir R. Bhatt with AIDMI Team; Rajesh Bhat, Managing Trustee, Swapath Trust, Ahmedabad; Hans Nicolai Adam, Lyla Mehta, and D. Parthasarathy, Institute of Development Studies (IDS), UK; Dr. Hita Unnikrishnan, Assistant Professor of Conservation Science, Trans-Disciplinary University and Dr. Harini Nagendra, Professor of Sustainability, Azim Premji University Bengaluru.

Theme: Floods Opportunity, Resilient Water, Sanitation, Micro Insurance.

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Celebrating the International Day for Disaster Reduction (IDDR)

The International Day for Disaster Reduction (IDDR), held on 13th October every year celebrates how people and communities around the world are reducing their exposure to disasters. The 2017 edition continues under the "Sendai Seven" campaign, centred on the seven targets of the Sendai Framework.

 


This year's focus is Target B: Reducing the number of affected people by disasters by 2030.

On October 13, 2017 the All India Disaster Mitigation Institute (AIDMI) was graciously invited to be a part of the IDDR celebrations at the Andhra Pradesh State Disaster Management Authority’s office. The APSDMA marked the IDDR by launching its new organizational website. It was also an occasion to take stock on how well Andhra Pradesh was addressing various disaster risk reduction opportunities in the state.

The celebrations and presentations were chaired by Dr. Manmohan Singh, Special Secretary Revenue (DM) Department, while Mr. M. V. Sheshagiri Babu, MD, APSDMA facilitated the proceedings. AIDMI which is collaborating with the APSDMA in preparing a Road Map for the Implementation of Sendai Framework in Andhra Pradesh, participated wholeheartedly in these celebrations and meetings. The principal concerns expressed by AIDMI were the urgent need to focus on the state of women and children while preparing for or responding to disasters. The celebrations and deliberations ended with concrete action points on how best to proceed to make Andhra Pradesh, truly disaster resilient.


Youth Leadership: Source of Energy for Building Community Resilience

The All India Disaster Mitigation Institute (AIDMI) has always embraced the idea of youth leadership in the field of disaster risk reduction (DRR). Since 1987, AIDMI has been consistently inviting students (from 33 countries) and fresh graduates to work on local aspects of DRR across all levels of key action.

 


Till date, 121 students have worked with AIDMI as interns or team members. By working with the policy makers, practitioners, partners and critics involved in the DRR sector of South Asia, these interns have promoted youth leadership in the changing landscape of humanitarian action in the region. They offer fresh and new ideas and pick up work that often seems insurmountable.

for more

School as a Key to Reducing People Affected by Disasters by 2030

All India Disaster Mitigation Institute (AIDMI) is celebrating the IDDR 2017 by capturing lessons from the last 12 months actions with 1471 schools to promote and strengthen safe education that saves lives and reduces the number of affected people by any disasters (including local and climate related risks - accident, heat waves, or heavy rains in the case of schools). 

for more.

 



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Transformation: Initiatives Towards Resilience

Southasiadisasters.net issue no. 160, August 2017:

Can cutting edge innovations that integrate disaster risk reduction with climate change adaptation transform our views on risk from the standpoint of individuals, institutions and investments that shape resilience?

This issue of Southasiadisasters.n

 


et is titled 'Transformation: Initiatives Towards Resilience’ offers an unusual range of such examples from India, prevalent not only in this country but all across South Asia.

This issue's contents includes: (i) Transformation: Initiatives Towards Resilience; (ii) Achievements of IMD in Heatwave Warning; (iii) Heatwave and Cities: How Karachi Leads; (iv) Role of GUIDE in Disasters, Natural Resource Management and Habitat Conservation; (v) Gujarat Long Term Recovery; (vi) Building Climate Resilient Communities in India; and (vii) Harnessing the Strengths and Capabilities of Emergency Responders.

Some of the best thinkers, researchers, experts, and activists, including Mihir R. Bhatt with AIDMI Team; Dr. M. Mohapatra, Scientist, India Meteorological Department, New Delhi; Dr. Nasir Javed, CEO, Dr. Kiran Farhan, Project Leader, Nasira Ahsan, Senior Research Analyst, Urban Unit Team; Dr. V. Vijay Kumar, Director, and Dr. Anjankumar Prusty, Senior Scientist Gujarat Institute of Desert Ecology, Bhuj-Kutch, Gujarat; Bhavesh Sodagar, Mandvi - Kutch, Gujarat; Dr. Aliza Pradhan and R. V. Bhavani, MSSRF, Chennai; and Rajib Prakash Baruah, Assam Secretariat, Dispur, Assam State Disaster Management Authority.

Theme: Transformation, Uncertainty, Recovery, Climate Change, Capabilities.

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Floods Again: What Can Be Done Differently?

Southasiadisasters.net issue no. 159, July 2017:

Floods are the most common disaster in India. According to the World Resources Institute (WRI), India tops the list of 163 nations affected by river floods in terms of number of people. As several parts of the country face the fury of floods this year, it is worth examining what are reasons for India's high exposure to flooding and what can be done differently to mitigate the adverse impact of this recurrent catastrophe. This issue of Southasiadisasters.net is titled 'Foods Agai

 


n: What Can be Done Differently' and examines all these issues.

There are several reasons for India's enhanced vulnerability to floods. For instance, the county receives 75% of its entire rainfall over a short monsoon season (June-September). Similarly, 12% of India's land area is considered prone to floods which makes flooding a perennial phenomenon in at least five Indian states of Assam, Bihar, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal. More importantly, due to the advantages offered by living close to rivers, there has been a historic trend of overpopulation in India's floodplains. Climate change has compounded this problem even more. All these factors interplay with each other to precipitate regular flooding in the country to disrupt the lives of 4.85 million India's every year.

However, there are a lot of mitigation measures that can be adopted to reduce the debilitating impact of floods in India. Chiefly, district disaster management plans (DDMPs), forestry, cash transfers for flood relief, newer technology for early warning and capacity building of line departments on climate change represent an entry point to mainstream flood preparedness in the country. Read on to know more.

This issue's contents includes: (i) Floods in India in 2017; (ii) Responding to Cyclone Mora's Impact; (iii) Floods in North East India; (iv) Making Dams Safer: Is there a need for a national framework for investing in Dam safety?; (v) Women's Leadership in Forest Recovery in Nepal; (vi) DRR Road Maps of Indian States; (vii) New List of Smart Cities is a New List of Disaster Risk Reduction Opportunities and (vii) Cash Transfer in Humanitarian Action: Local Lessons for Global Use?

Theme: Floods, Cyclone Mora, Dame Safety, Women's Leadership, DRR Road Maps, Disaster Risk Reduction, Cash Transfer.

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Crowd Management in India

Southasiadisasters.net issue no. 158, July 2017:

Why should crowds must always be managed and controlled and not facilitated and enabled? To know more read this issue.

This issue of Southasiadisasters.net is titled 'Crowd Management in India' and focuses on the important theme of controlling and managing crowds at mass gatherings in India.

 


It discusses important issues related with crowd management ranging from what causes stampedes and what can be done to prevent them. Behavioral factors like the high tolerance for crowded spaces among Indians leading to higher cases of stampedes have also been discussed in the issue.

Stamped shave been a recurring phenomenon in India. Tragedies of people being trampled to death have taken place at religious gatherings, mass processions, election rallies and even at music concerts. According to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), a total of 3216 incidents of stampede have taken place in India between 2001 and 2014, leading to 2421 casualties. Moreover, 79% of all such stampedes in India occur at places of worship. The high incidence of such stampedes in India highlights the need for effective crowd management in the country.

At the institutional level, stampedes are often seen as isolated events caused by the excesses of a frenzied crowd to be dealt by successive governments by offering compensation to the families of victims. This issue tries to build a new narrative around stampedes attributing them to systemic gaps in the country's crowd management capacities and suggest ways of bridging this gap.

This issue's contents includes: (i) Understanding Crowds; (ii) BSDMA and Crowd Management; (iii) Crowd sourced Potential for Disaster; (iv) Planning and Recovery in Nepal: Key Local Concepts; (v) Drought Policy in India: An Alternative Paradigm; (vi) Maha Kumbh Allahabad – Lesson and Learning for India; (vii) Crowd Management in Dahod District, Gujarat; (viii) Bhadrapadi Fair in Ambaji and (ix) The Necessity of Crowd Management at Religious Places.

Some of the best thinkers, researchers, experts, and activists, including Mihir R. Bhatt with AIDMI Team; Anil Kumar Sinha; Former Vice Chairman, BSDMA, Bihar; Dipak Gyawali, Chair, Nepal Water Conservation Foundation; Col V N Supanekar (Retd), Director & Professor, Center for Disaster Management, YASHADA, Pune; Dr. Bhanu Pratap Mall, Executive Secretary, Poorvanchal Gramin Vikas Sansthan (PGVS), Lucknow; Pravinsinh Rathod, Ex-DPO, Collector Office, GSDMA, Dahod; and Nirmal Sharma, Ex-DPO, GSDMA, Palanpur.

Theme: Crowd Management, Planning and Recovery, Lesson and Learning, Kumbh Mela

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Making Dams Safer: Investing in Dam Safety

As the SSD project stands completed after 56 years of its inception, perhaps it is time for a little introspection. We should introspect on how to make the SSD resilient to the various climate and disaster risks so that the gains that it delivers to the people are safeguarded. What is needed is a framework to reduce disaster risks faced by SSD.

 


Under the leadership of NCA, GSDMA, and NDMA, the SSD can become India's first SFDRR compliant dam.

Read more
http://aidmiblog.blogspot.in/2017/07/making-dams-safer-investing-in-dam.html?spref=tw

School Safety from Plan to Implementation of School Disaster Management Plan

Participants were seen with high enthusiasm and interest to carry forward the learning from the two day training on “School Safety” at Sishu NirmalaBhawan, Guwahati from June 12-13, 2017, organized by the Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA) and facilitated by AIDMI. As schools are critical infrastructure entrusted with the responsibility of creating citizens of tomorrow.

 


A safe and secure environment is a prerequisite for effective teaching and learning.

Participants showed a keen interest in the entire training and came out with various ways and methods which enhanced School Safety and the development of the School Disaster Management Plan. Each participant actively carried out the tasks assigned during the training period.

While Responding to Mora Cyclone

Responding to Cyclone Mora's Impact
 
As Cyclone Mora made landfall at Cox's Bazaar in Bangladesh, I could think of no better book than "People, Aid and Institutions in Socio-economic Recovery Facing Fragilities". As this cyclone ravages through the lives and livelihoods of the fragile communities living on the borders between Bangladesh and Myanmar, this book offers many valuable lessons to plan an effective recovery. The detailed and rigorous research in this recently published book is o

 


f immediate value to those who fund, receive, deliver, and who may oppose relief.

Although the book is not about Bangladesh or Myanmar and does not exclusively focus on cyclone relief, the ethnographic case studies presented in it offer useful lenses to view the day-to-day process of relief and recovery in fragile communities suffering sudden and additional loss or damage.  Cyclone Mora also presents an opportunity to humanitarian actors around the world to make the 'Grand Bargain' of the latest World Humanitarian Summit a reality. This book can provide a robust roadmap for doing so. The response to Cyclone Mora related loss and damage has to be more embedded, offered with more humility and pursued  in the development direction desired by the local citizens. This response also needs to be pushed away from universal standards and standard operational procedures to address case sensitive decisions that are people centric.

Cyclone Mora offers an opportunity to reduce risk and build prosperity among the affected communities and citizens. For this purpose, it is imperative to put knowledge into action especially in humanitarian action, otherwise its value stands to be diminished.


Synergy for Sustainable Cox Bazar

How best to rebuild Cox's Bazar, as Cyclone Mora ravages through this small the town? G.K. Bhat of TARU offers a first step in his recent book "Road to Resilience: Synergy for Sustainable Cities". Let me pick up four most important actions for those who are planning humanitarian response: one, reduce per capita water demand; two, leap to renewable energy; three invent low carbon mobility; and four reduce quantity of solid waste that needs management.

 


A town that addresses all these concerns will be a big leap towards the first resilient city of Bangladesh. Government of India will be supporting its neighbour in its hour of crisis by providing sustainable inputs in this direction.

 

Implementing Cancun Agenda in South Asia

Southasiadisasters.net issue no. 157, May 2017:

This issue of Southasiadisasters.net focuses on the ‘Implementing Cancun Agenda in South Asia' and highlights the important concerns which the Global Platform should address to achieve resilience outcomes. The chief themes highlighted in this issue include the need for good subnational plans, a renewed focus on cities in terms of resilient housing and extreme weather events, leveraging of technology to help the marginalized and use and challenges of localized planning in achie

 


ving the mandate of SFDRR.

As the 6th edition of this important platform, GPDRR 2017 can pave the way for a stronger and more sustainable movement to reduce disaster risk worldwide that leads to increased responsibility for strengthening resilience to disasters.

This issue's contents includes: (i) Implementing Cancun Agenda in South Asia; (ii) DRR Roadmap of Bihar: Global Learning Opportunities; (iii) LOCALISATION: Where Are the National Actors in the Debate?; (iv) Planning and Recovery in Nepal: Key Local Concepts; (v) Drought Policy in India: An Alternative Paradigm; (vi) Risk Reduction in Informal Housing within Cities through Digital Tools; (vii) Crop Insurance for Better Uptake; (viii) Increasing Resilience through Build Back Better; (ix) Urban Disaster Risk Reduction in Humanitarian Response; (x) Why there can be no Universal Minimum Standards for Cities!; (xi) Heatwave in Jabalpur: A View; and (xii) The Role of Architects in Building Urban Disaster Resilience.

Some of the best thinkers, researchers, experts, and activists, including Mihir R. Bhatt with AIDMI Team; Vyas Ji, Vice Chairman, BSDMA, Bihar; Koenraad Van Brabant, Independent consultant, Switzerland; Prof. Dr. Govind, Member, National Planning Commission, Government of Nepal; Aviral Pandey, Assistant Professor, A N Sinha Institute of Social Studies, Patna, Bihar, India; Marco Ferrario and Swati Janu, mHS City Lab, New Delhi; Dr. David M. Dror, Chairman, Micro Insurance Academy and Exec Chairman, Social Re Consultancy; Gerald Potutan, International Recovery Platform Secretariat; Bhaswar Banerjee, Oxfam India; Joohi Haleem, Humanitarian and development practitioner specialized in livelihoods and urban development, Brussels; Sangita Goswami; and David Smith, Architect, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Norway.

Theme: GPDRR, Disaster Risk Reduction, Heatwave, Urban Development, Risk Resilience.

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Local Capacity Building for Safer Schools

Southasiadisasters.net issue no. 156, May 2017:

This issue of Southasiadisasters.net is taken up the most important theme that needs wider discussion and support at Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction held at Cancun, Maxico.' Building Capacity for School Safety: ASDMA's School Safety Initiative'.

 


Taking note of the need to enhance school safety in the state, the Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA) has launched a massive capacity building initiative aimed to train the teachers of selected schools across the state on how to manage the risks in their respective schools. This issue contains an overview of this initiative, its main achievements and the lessons learnt.

By showcasing the success of capacity building school safety initiatives in Assam, this issue puts forward a strong case for replicating and upscaling these interventions in others parts of India as well.

Assam is one of the most hazard prone states in the Indian union which is exposed to the risks of large earthquakes (as it lies in seismic zone V), incessant flooding and concomitant erosion, landslides and storms. Children bear a disproportionate burden of the adverse impacts of these hazards when they materialize into disasters. For instance, during the Assam floods of 2012, more than half the affected people were children. The detrimental impacts of such disasters are reflected in the dwindling trend noticed in several child welfare indices. In the exigent times brought on by disasters, children's access to quality education is severely inhibited. This underscores the need for pursuing the ideal of school safety in the state.

This issue's contents includes: (i) Capacity Building for Safer Schools; (ii) Promoting Disaster Resilient Education in Assam; (iii) School Safety Efforts in Assam; (iv) Quotes from Participants; (v) DRR Education to make Hospitals Safer; (vi) Training and Capacity Building for Nurses for Hospital Preparedness and Resilience to Disaster and Climate Risks in Education.

Some of the best thinkers, researchers, experts, and activists, including Mihir R. Bhatt with AIDMI Team; Surgeon Commander Chandrasekhar Krishnamurti, M.D., Associate Professor, NRI Institute of Medical Sciences, Visakhapatnam; and Mrs. Sanghamitra Sawant, Assistant Secretary General, Trained Nurses Association of India.

Theme: Capacity Building, Safer Schools, Disaster Risk Reduction, Urban Development, Disaster and Climate Resilience.

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Enabling Communities to Manage Risks: Community Based Disaster Preparedness

Southasiadisasters.net issue no. 155, April 2017:

This issue of Southasiadisasters.net focuses on the most important theme of Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction held at Cancun, Maxico. Community Based Disaster Preparedness: Enabling Communities to Manage Risks '. It primarily focuses on how CBDP can empower communities to manage their risks through 'locally owned' and 'locally appropriate' approaches.

 


The key lessons from ASDMA's recently finished capacity building project on CBDP have also been highlighted in this issue. The rationale behind promoting CBDP is that communities are the first responders of a disaster, therefore they should be given the necessary training to mitigate and manage their risks.

Moreover, given the dynamic nature of risk, CBDP makes for a more relevant, inclusive, bottom-up and effective approach to disaster risk reduction. This issue is also a compendium of the emerging areas like climate risks and how they impact communities at the local level. Capacity building for CBDP can also be viewed as the democratization DRR by enabling communities to build their own resilience using approaches best suited to them.

The impacts of disasters can be broadly categorized as direct and as indirect. Direct impacts refer to quantifiable losses such as the number of people killed and the damage to buildings, infrastructure and natural resources. Indirect impacts, in contrast, include declines in output or revenue, and impact on wellbeing of people, and generally arise from disruptions to the flow of goods and services as a result of a disaster. The contextual and localized nature of indirect impacts make it difficult to control them. One possible way of controlling them is through Community Based Disaster Preparedness (CBDP).

This issue's contents includes: (i) Mainstreaming Communities in DRR; (ii) Community Based Disaster Preparedness; (iii) Corporate Social Responsibility as a Response to Disaster Risk Management; (iv) Capacity Development and Context of DRR-CCA in Assam; (v) Sustainable Urban Development through Integrating Disaster and Climate Resilience in Assam; (vi) ISET: Initiatives in Community Based Disaster Risk Management in India (vii) Building Back Better – Case of 2001 Gujarat Earthquake and Integrating Resilience to Health Sector. 

Some of the best thinkers, researchers, experts, and activists, including Mihir R. Bhatt with AIDMI Team; Dr. Ramesh Vaghani, Head, and Mrs. Kruti Mehta, Faculty, Department of Social Work, Saurashtra University; Kishore Dutta, ASDMA; Abrina Williams, Social Media Correspondent, ISET–International, USA; and Chirag Bhatt, Bhuj Area Development Authority (BHADA), Gujarat.

Theme: Community Based Disaster Preparedness, Disaster Risk Reduction, Climate Change Adaptation, Urban Development, Health

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Roundtable Discussion on Scaling up Renewable Energy Finance in India

Mihir R. Bhatt participated in the Roundtable Discussion “Scaling up Renewable Energy Finance in India”, May 17, 2017, Delhi, to highlight the need to better link the green bonds with green banking and green banking with green growth of India. He drew from over six local consultations on NDCimplementationacross India conducted by CDKN in costal and Himalaya areas; urban,smart, and sectorial planning at state level; and with livelihoods, women’s income private sector groups. He pointed out that green finance needs green growth;

 


that “green knowledge” and in yet to be captured in India and “green capabilities” are much in demand at sub-national level. There is a growing need for international cooperation to design and develop green finance in India so as what growsin India is in harmony with worldwide green finance initiatives.

Entwine Global Leaders visit to the Ahmedabad city

May 16, 2017, Ahmedabad. Entwine Global Leaders visit to the city was first of its kind to promote collaborative learning across 12 countries from Americas, Africa and Asia. The learning focused around emergency response, safer schools, risk transfer, and integration of Disaster Risk Reduction with Climate Change Adaptation in the development process.

 


“AIDMI is at the forefront of new ideas,” said Josh from Israel.  Lateral learning products and tools are planned to enhance risk reduction performance on the ground. A three year plan is being made for 2017 to 2020 to put people in the center of disaster and climate risk reduction.

Karimganj Emergency Management Exercise (KEMEx) 2017

A five day long Emergency Management Exercise (KEMEx) was organised at Karimganj by DDMA from April 24 – 28. 2017. AIDMI invited to join the EMEx to facilitate “School Disaster Preparedness” track and supporting the conduct of table top exeraise and field drill..

 



Are We Building Back Better

Share your comments and feedback on the South Asia Disaster Report 2016

Coinciding with the Nepal earthquake of 2015, and in appreciation of the heroic efforts to rebuild Nepal, Duryog Nivaran together with Practical Action Nepal, launches the South Asia Disaster Report 2016 (SADR 2016) today, the 26th of April.

 


This edition of the SADR concentrates on Build Back Better (BBB) and continues a Duryog Nivaran tradition of promoting new and alternative disaster management measures to improve resilience of vulnerable communities. It speaks of intiatives by citizens, the state and development practitioners in South Asian countries who have led the way in improving actions for rehabilitation and recovery in South Asia.

In an effort to improve the report and its recommendations for use throughout South Asia, we appeal to you, to provide your comments and feedback.

The full report can be found here and separate links to each chapter can be found here. Bangladesh | India | Nepal | Pakistan | Sri Lanka | Cultural Heritage 

Comments will be accepted until the 26th of June – please email your comments to: secretariat@duryognivaran.org. 

 
Duryog Nivaran thanks Christian Aid for their support towards making this publication a possibility.

Building Resilience through Education

The All India Disaster Mitigation Institute (AIDMI)–Ahmedabad Management Association (AMA) Centre for Disaster Risk Management organised a Panel Discussion on “Building Resilience through Education’. The discussion was held on February 14, 2017 in Ahmedabad. The discussion was led by Dr.

 


Ian Davis, Visiting Professor in Disaster Risk Management in Copenhagen, Lund, Kyoto and Oxford Brookes Universities; M.P. Mehta, DPEO of Government of Gujarat; and Mihir R. Bhatt of AIDMI.

The Education Department of Government of Gujarat over 200 teachers joined in findings ways to take up Safer Schools, Child Centred DRR, and Child Protection activities. Understanding disaster risk and investing (in children) in disaster risk reduction for resilience came up.


Towards Implementation of NDCs: Achievements and Opportunities

The State Climate Change Centre of Government of Uttarakhand and Climate and Development Knowledge Network (CDKN) convened a Round Table on “Towards Implementation of NDCs: Achievements and Opportunities” in Dehradun, Uttarakhand on February 2, 2017.

The round table aimed at making Uttarakhand lead in taking local climate compatible measures in India.

 


The round table built on the results of November 23, 2016, workshop on “Operationalising the Uttarakhand Action Plan on Climate Change: Applying the Uttarakhand vulnerability and risk assessment to integrate climate change in state development planning”.

Over 43 participants representing from State and District Level Departments, think tanks, NGOs, INGOs and CSOs joined the round table to understand and apply the NDC utilisation guidelines developed by CDKN and RICARDO based on global experience of defining INDCs agreed in COP21 Paris.


Children, Schools and Safety: Building Resilience through Education

The All India Disaster Mitigation Institute (AIDMI)–Ahmedabad Management Association (AMA) Centre for Disaster Risk Management organised a Panel Discussion on “Children, Schools and Safety: Building Resilience through Education’. The discussion was held on January 28, 2017 in Ahmedabad.<

 


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The Education Department of Government of Gujarat was with us and over 150 teachers joined.  Over about 10 were facilitated for Head Teacher selection. Main focus of the event was on how CCDRR fits into National Disaster Management Plan of Government of Gujarat.  This is AIDMI focus on Safer Schools in 2017. AIDMI found in this programme that there is a need to put CCDRR in the context of sustainable development more directly.


Building Resilient Communities: Linking Climate Change and DRR in Action Plans

Southasiadisasters.net issue no. 154, December 2016:

DRR or CCA: What matters in the end is resilient community. And that is what this issue aims at.

Disasters are often seen as extraordinary events that occur suddenly to cause widespread loss of life and property in the communities they strike.

 


However, there are underlying causes of vulnerability that keep on incrementally increasing the exposure of a community to a disaster in over time. Thus, resilience building in an exercise of systematically identifying and reducing these underlying causes of vulnerability to build resilient communities.

This issue of Southasiadisasters.net focuses on the theme of ‘Building Resilient Communities: Linking Climate Change and DRR in Action Plans’ and highlights important areas for resilience building across different levels. Not only does this issue highlight the existing underlying causes of vulnerability but the emerging ones as well. For instance, climate change has had a profound impact on the exposure of communities to ‘climate induced disasters’. In this respect, this issue highlights the integration between adaptation to climate change and building resilience to disasters. 

This issue’s contents includes: (i) Training Needs Assessment for DRR and CCA; (ii) Climate Change and Child Rights: An Assessment; (iii) BRACED: Building Resilience in Myanmar; (iv) Rural Development: Multisector Engagement for Disaster Risk Reduction; (v) Linking State Climate Change Action Plans and SDMPs to Enhance Risk Reduction Implementation in India; (vi) Are we Building Back Better? Lessons from South Asia and (vii) Integration of Disaster Risk Reduction and Adaptation to Climate Change.

Some of the best thinkers, researchers, experts, and activists, including Mihir R. Bhatt with AIDMI Team; Dr. K R Sastry, Formerly, Professor, Disaster Management, Dr. MCR HRD Institute, Hyderabad; Dr. Vijai Pratap Singh, Founder, Kalhans Education and Environmental Development Foundation, Basti, Uttar Pradesh; Jeremy Stone, BRACED, Alliance Coordinator, Plan International, Myanmar; Patrick Jasper, Asst. General Manager National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development; and Cristina Rumbaitis del Rio, Regional Programme Manager, Action on Climate Today, New Delhi.

Theme: Building Resilience, Climate Change Adaptation, Child Rights, Disaster Risk Reduction.

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From Intent to Action: Commitments of AMCDRR 2016

Southasiadisasters.net issue no. 153, November 2016:

The recently concluded 2016 Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (AMCDRR) at New Delhi, India has provided a clear path for building resilience at the global, regional and local levels. The first important conference to be held after the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (SFDRR), AMCDRR 2016 also led to the finalization of the 'New Delhi Declaration' and the 'Asian Regional Plan (ARP) for Implementation of the Sendai Framework'. While the 'New Delh

 


i Declaration' is a political statement that spells out the commitment of the participating governments to reduce and manage risk in their respective countries, the ARP provides a roadmap of converting these commitments to results.

This issue of Southasiadisasters.net focuses on the theme of 'From Intent to Action: Commitments of AMCDRR 2016'. The 2016 AMCDRR saw the participating governments take up commitments for achieving the targets and goals of SFDRR. This issue of Southasiadisasters.net discusses the possible ways, strategies and approaches that can help in fulfilling these commitments over the 15 year horizon of SFDRR.

This issue’s contents includes: (i) A Ten-Point Agenda for Disaster Risk Reduction; (ii) AIDMI at AMCDRR 2016; (iii) Gender Equality and Local Ownership in AMCDRR; (iv) Celebration of International Day for Disaster Reduction in Assam; (v) Highlights for Asian Ministers from Global Summit 2016; (vi) Children and Youth Commitments in DRR; (vii) Building Youth and Women’s Leadership in DRR; (ix) Education and Risk: Way Ahead; (x) Grand Bargain: What can make it more grand at local level?; (xi) Risk, Cities and Reportage: Agenda for Asia; and (xii) Youth for Resilient India.

Some of the best thinkers, researchers, experts, and activists, including Mihir R. Bhatt with AIDMI Team; Shaila Shahid, Gender and Water Alliance Bangladesh and Zakir Shahin, Krisoker Sor, Bangladesh; Alina O'Keeffe, Aid and International Development Forum, UK; Moa Herrgard, UN Major Group for Children and Youth, Sweden; Michael Mosselmans, Christian Aid; and Keya Acharya, Forum of Environmental Journalists of India (FEJI), Banglore, India.

Theme: AMCDRR, Children and Youth.

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Building Resilient Cities: Engaging DRR to an Urban World

Southasiadisasters.net issue no. 152, November 2016:

This issue of Southasiadisasters.net focuses on the theme of 'Building Resilient Cities'. It highlights the importance of bringing Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation to urban planning in order to create safer spaces for citizens.<

 


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The need for bringing DRR and CCA to urban planning is urgent in a world that is urbanizing rapidly, where disaster displacement risk and other calamities are driven by rapid and unplanned urbanisation. In this matter, India compromises to give especial attention to the future of its cities by promoting the construction of safe buildings and better land-use plans.

The issue also highlights the specific challenges urbanization faces when a disaster situation occurs like in the case of the earthquakes in Gujarat and Pakistan and the need to develop a better earthquake early warning system for the future. It also recognizes the important role of Communication Medias and NGO during a disaster. In the case of AIDMI it has to be mentioned it is a pioneer in developing better preparedness responses and long term solutions by utilising a holistic approach.

This issue’s contents includes: (i) Disaster Displacement in Cities: Agenda for Initiatives; (ii) Adapting to an Urban World: Strengthening Urban Food Security Analysis in Humanitarian Crises; (iii) Shelter Associates – Shelter, Risk and Agenda for Asia; (iv) Early Warning and Forecasting System for Earthquakes: An Insight; (v) Few Good Men and Women; (vi) Ten Years Ago and Now; (vii) Kutch and Aceh Recoveries: A View; and (ix) Children Demand for Safe School and Safe Education.

Some of the best thinkers, researchers, experts, and activists, including Mihir R. Bhatt with AIDMI Team; Atle Solberg, Head of Coordination Unit, Platform on Disaster Displacement, IEH Geneva, Switzerland; Marina Angeloni, Global Food Security Cluster Rome, Italy; Ross Plaster, Architect, Shelter Associates, UK; Sangeeta Baksi, Scientist, New Delhi  and Akarsh Mishra; Sandeep Shaligram, Consultant, Pune, India; Sarwar Bari, Pattan Development Organisation; and Dr. Marjaana Jauhola, Adjunct Professor, Academy of Finland Fellow, University of Helsinki, Finland.

Theme: Building Resilience, Early Warning, School Safety, Urban, Disaster Risk Reduction.

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FINAL Q&A: REFLECTIONS ON A MICRO-INSURANCE PROJECT

INTERVIEW WITH RONAK PATEL, STANFORD UNIVERSITY
“Our greatest achievement is breaking the myth of feasibility, once you break the myth that selling insurance to this target population is not viable, insurance companies are interested”.

IN ONCE SENTENCE CAN YOU DESCRIBE WHAT YOUR HIF-FUNDED PROJECT AIMED TO DO AND WHY IT IS INNOVATIVE?

The project aimed to measure the impact of disaster micro-insurance on informal businesse

 


s for local market recovery, livelihood recovery and to improve resilience after a disaster.

It is innovative for three reasons, design, delivery and purpose:

  • Design: It is designed around target populations. While most products are off-the-shelf products pre-designed by insurers, this product was designed around target populations by assessing different needs such as what the micro-insurance needed to cover and what target populations were able to afford.
  • Delivery: Most insurers have a product that they market and sell. This product is delivered with a partner-agent model in which community based organisations (CBOs) create a link between informal businesses and insurance companies who wouldn’t normally target this population either because they don’t see value in doing so or they don’t have the capacity to cover the time and effort it requires.  CBOs will not only explain and sell the insurance but may also help process claims. This model was necessary to make this project functional.
  • Purpose: it is intended to complement cash based programs that are meant to spur demand by focusing on the supply side of the equation to help the local businesses recover. This can mitigate the risk of inflation with cash based assistance.


INSURERS AND COMMUNITIES MUST HAVE A LOT OF TRUST IN THE CBOS, HOW DO THOSE RELATIONSHIP WORK?
Trust is key to ensuring these relationships are effective particularly between the CBOs and communities, because they are not used to having a product like this or find it difficult to understand how paying in such a small amount can give them such big benefits. Also, many of the populations we were working with had already been victims of a scam so using already existing CBOs that had built social capital through their other programs was essential to develop trust with the beneficiaries.

Developing trust between the CBOs and insurance companies took a lot of meetings and effort in order to help insurers understand that this target population is worth serving and can be a reliable client base.

The final element to build trust was to engage the state disaster management authorities to give the project weight and demonstrate that the state was supporting it. Initially they were involved as invited partners but now they are more engaged and demonstrating to the insurance companies that they are behind this product.

DO CBOS RECEIVE PAYMENT FOR THEIR ROLE?
No, right now they are doing it as part of their work and part of the grant is being used to fund this effort but if this project were to go to scale it would have to be built into the premium price of the insurance, which isn’t the case at the moment. The current cost is very low so we could add in a few rupees to each policy to ensure it is a financially viable product.

WERE THERE REGULATORY HURDLES TO OVERCOME?
No because there is nothing new about the product it’s just a smaller product for a different target population.

FROM A USER PERSPECTIVE, TALK US THROUGH HOW THIS PROCESS WORKS?
We began with focus group discussions with communities to assess their needs, disaster risks, expectations and what they could afford, the wealthier enterprises wanted a more expensive product that covered different types of risk but the insurance companies wanted something universal for a price that was agreeable to everyone.

Awareness was already raised through this formative research phase so we didn’t need to do much in terms of advertising. Then CBOs went out with a pamphlet to explain the product and got people to sign up and pay for annual cover, the CBOs hold all of the policies but we are making photocopies so that beneficiaries have their own copy. Later we asked beneficiaries if they still understood the policy and what it covered and there was positive feedback. The product doesn’t just cover business but homes and life insurance are also built into it. In terms of claims, beneficiaries have a phone number for the insurance company and the CBO can also make a call on their behalf. We haven’t tested it yet as there hasn’t been a significant disaster to activate it.

WHAT ARE THE CHALLENGES OF SELLING ONE FIXED PRICE PRODUCT IN TERMS OF THE VARIABLE VALUE OF BUSINESSES?
The insurance companies wanted to keep it simple and only offer one product therefore you can only insure yourself up to a certain value, this means there are some businesses on the upper end that don’t cover all of their financial risk and some on the lower end that may have too much coverage, but this is the only way we could make it work.

WHAT WERE THE SPECIFIC REQUIREMENTS THAT SMALL BUSINESSES WANTED COVER FOR? DID THEY HAVE TO MEET A CRITERIA TO BE COVERED E.G. HAVE A PUCCA STRUCTURE?
We picked these areas because they are at high risk of flooding and cyclones which are extremely high cost disasters, some also wanted fire, burglary, theft etc. cover. One site was particularly challenging because the insurance company didn’t want to cover flooding because the risk would so high they thought it wouldn’t be financially viable, or mobile businesses because of the risk of fraud. We didn’t have these issues in the other sites, anyone could be covered, and in fact the insurance company in Puri has national links and are interested in the potential to scale this product on a national level.

HAS THERE BEEN ONE TYPE OF BUSINESS OWNER THAT HAS BEEN MORE ENGAGED THAN OTHERS?
Diverse businesses were engaged from the very beginning when we were designing the product and they became our champions by spreading the word.

IN WHAT WAYS DID BENEFICIARIES’ KNOWLEDGE GAP ON INSURANCE AFFECT THE PROJECT AND IN WHAT WAYS DID YOU ADDRESS THIS KNOWLEDGE GAP?
People struggled to understand how it worked, that is, how a small amount of money would cover them for a disaster, they were used to life insurance and other typical types of insurance but not this type of micro-insurance for their business. They were also worried it was a scam and this was overcome by the CBO’s explaining it not just at their businesses but in their communities and their homes. We think this is a great achievement, in some ways more so than the financial viability, because if people don’t know about or understand your product they won’t buy it.

WHAT ARE SOME OF THE MAIN OUTCOMES?
Even without the impact data we have generated some useful knowledge. An insurance company in one area said that the risk of flooding was so high that they could never afford insurance. However, this project has proved that there can be a product that can support small businesses which may not cover all of their financial risk but will enable them to cope and be resilient without having to take out loans etc. so it is financially viable. The other cool thing is that this is a private sector product that insurance companies can make money on and it is a big market. This project also demonstrates that locally developed financial instruments from the bottom-up may be the most successful means to design products for this population.

IF SUCCESSFUL IN ENABLING RESILIENCE TO A DISASTER, HOW DO YOU FORESEE THIS PROJECT COULD BE SCALED UP? WHO WOULD NEED TO BE INVOLVED?
There are challenges to scaling this such as engaging insurance companies to invest in this market and ensuring that CBOs are present and have the capacity, both technically and in terms of man power, to engage communities.

In Haiti there was a similar project which collapsed due to a catastrophic disaster that wiped out the insurance pool, they realised that if they had to pay everybody then it wasn’t financially viable. We chose three different sites to mitigate this issue and demonstrate to insurance companies that if you spread out the risk then you still have a financially viable product. One problem is that we have a different insurance company in each site, ideally this would be the same company. We also need to ensure that we back stop risks by engaging reinsurance companies (companies that allow insurance companies to buy insurance on their insurance program), national governments or international bodies like the World Bank to be involved so that if there is a catastrophic disaster that can wipe out the whole pool, the insurance companies don’t go under.

Nationally there is good potential to scale, we just need an appropriate product through an insurer and to engage CBOs to facilitate it being rolled out.

TELL US MORE ABOUT THE CHALLENGES OF DATA COLLECTION ON SUCH A LARGE SCALE?
As the demand survey highlighted, the majority of people wanted to sign up and it was very hard to explain to them and even the community based organization why we were doing a randomised control trial (RCT), people just didn’t understand it, eventually we had to tell them that we only had enough insurance for a certain number of beneficiaries and that if it worked the insurance company could expand this to everyone.

We have not yet done a post-disaster impact survey of the innovation and we will have to ensure that we can reach the entire study sample in a timely manner to ensure a snapshot of recovery.

An outstanding question highlighted in the literature review was related to risk taking behaviour, if someone was covered by insurance did this induce them to be less inclined to take risk reduction measures? This is another reason for the RCT trial; to assess not only the impact but whether there will be a difference in risk reduction efforts by those that would opt to purchase insurance.

IF SOMEONE WANTED TO CARRY OUT RESEARCH OR A PROJECT SIMILAR TO YOURS, WHAT WOULD BE YOUR ADVICE?
Don’t underestimate the start-up time needed, it is far greater than you expect. You need to find a champion within the insurance companies to help get the right people to sign off the product and see the value in it.

WAS THERE ANYTHING UNEXPECTED THAT YOU LEARNT, OR A USE FOR YOUR PROJECT YOU DIDN’T EXPECT?
It was a surprise that insurance companies wouldn’t want to insure mobile businesses, but reinforced the idea that microfinance products are often hard adapt for the very poor and most vulnerable segments of society. I also hadn’t anticipated how engaged beneficiaries were and how vital they would be in championing the product.

DID YOUR UNDERSTANDING OF INNOVATION CHANGE OVER THE COURSE OF THE PROJECT?
Innovation to me was and ‘idea’ but the innovation that was really required was all the grunt work, that is grinding out the meetings between various stakeholders and finding champions and people that would think outside the box to help move the project forward.

ARE YOU PLANNING TO SOURCE FUNDING TO TAKE THIS PROJECT FURTHER? WHAT’S THE NEXT STEP?
We are in the process of seeking other funding from the Millenium Alliance but there is commitment from AIDMI and the insurance companies to do another round even if we don’t get the funding. We are able to forego certain expenses of our own at the moment to ensure that we can operate on a minimal budget temporarily; primarily this involves supporting the CBOs until we can get another round of funding.

The next step is designing questions for the impact survey e.g. how quickly do business and livelihoods recover, the impact on household coping etc. We plan to present our findings at the MunichRE micro-insurance conference in Peru in 2017.

We are also considering doing a tool-kit as a step by step guide to the product and how it works but not sure which audience we will target yet.

WHAT WAS YOUR EXPERIENCE OF WORKING WITH THE HIF? ARE THERE ANY AREAS IN WHICH WE COULD’VE PROVIDED FURTHER ASSISTANCE?
We had good interactions, always encouraging and very easy communication with the HIF team on small and large matters alike.


Towards Green Growth: Achievements and Opportunities

The Climate and Development Knowledge Network (CDKN) organised a National Round Table on “Towards Climate Compatible Green Growth Development: Achievements and Opportunities. The round table was held on Monday August 29, 2016 in New Delhi. This was as a follow up to the COP 21, Paris Agreement and India’s commitment towards green growth.

 


The main objective was to discuss possible actions to move Pre 2020 plans towards green growth and integrate them with the existing policy framework and development programmes.

Translating green growth commitments into policies, programmes and investment plans is key to fully operationalise and realise the set targets that lead to India’s economic growth. Thus, the round table, in line with India’s current need around broader climate narrative and international negotiation, discussed the achievements in moving towards green growth and enlist opportunities to move forward.

The Round Table also discussed national agenda of India; achievements so far; opportunities ahead and focused on cities, energy, forests and finance. Discussion on Robust mechanism for Implementation as well as Pre 2020 plans will come up in discussion.


Turning Challenges into Opportunities: Insurance for Informal Sector

Challenges are often accompanied by alternative opportunities that need exploration. This blog showcases the process oriented exploration of various alternatives which ultimately led to successful completion of a crucial objective in a pilot research project. Stanford University and AIDMI with support from HIF are experimenting with ways to enhance risk transfer options through insurance to small and informal businesses in urban areas as a way to improve local market recovery, sustain livelihoods and build resilience. Designing an affordable

 


and useful disaster insurance product and extending the product to eligible small businesses is aligned with the SFDRR priority two “Investing in Disaster Risk Reduction for Resilience.” Though a product was developed after a number of formal and informal consultations with insurance companies, the insurance companies raised several points presented challenges to operationalizing an insurance product for small businesses. These include the high frequency and scale of flooding; the characteristics of informal businesses (mobile businesses, the lack of legal documents, proof of inventory, etc.), and misperceptions from insurance providers about the client group.

As the course of negotiations proceeded various alternatives were explored such as one company offering to cover all risks except floods which was not acceptable considering the need and demand. After repeated consultations and exploration of possible alternatives, a private insurer agreed to offer a full product to small business with Pucca (Bricks-Cement) structures. The project team initiated internal technical reviews and consultations to judge the relevance, validity and possible effectiveness of the proposal in the context of the project and it was finally decided to proceed with it since primary testing of this product may offer different perspectives and evidences which can be very useful in relation to the research hypothesis despite not covering more transient structures. This insurance product for Guwahati city in the state of Assam covers multiple scenarios, including flood, earthquake, fire, storm, landslides and other disasters, and a personal accident coverage for the business owner. The product has been extended to 106 clients whose business structures comply with the requirements of the product designed. The premium amount was finalized at INR 656 for each client. The insurance product is a combination of components that includes burglary and robbery, personal accident and covers inventory, furniture and equipment. The total coverage is INR 300000.

The project team explored an alternative solution to the challenge and geared up for rolling out the product with extensive interpersonal consultations with the selected clients and supplementing the consultations with disaster risk reduction education. This project comes at an opportune time as India has just evolved its first ever National Disaster Management Plan, which encourages risk transfer approaches while involving and acknowledging the contribution of non-government actors. 

This development in the north-eastern part of India has tremendous potential for generating evidence for the effectiveness of such a mechanism in making vulnerable communities resilient. The client small business has been oriented to the insurance company procedures. 

The project team is consolidating the knowledge and outputs of the project. The team is also finalizing a plan with project partners so that the efforts can be continued with mainly two aspects – promoting and strengthening risk transfer through disaster insurance with small businesses and testing the effectiveness and impact of the insurance product when a disaster strikes.


Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR)

Southasiadisasters.net issue no. 151, October 2016:

The various aspects highlighted in this issue of Southasiadisasters.net on the theme of 'Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR)' serve to describe how India has a long-standing tradition of corporate philanthropy, by explaining the CSR tradition in the country and different examples in which it has been applied.

 


The clause 135 of the Companies Act 2012 describes the areas in which CSR projects are developed, however the guidelines do not mention directly the need for investing in DRR. Companies should comprehend that by investing in DRR as a strategic CSR activity they will preserve livelihoods from disasters and at the same time they will ensure their business viability.

Therefore, this issue will show different examples of how business sustainability can be reached by contributing CSR donations into DRR. Experiences such as CAIRN in India; the need for children and youth as equal partners in all stages of DRR in Post Sendai Framework; and the importance of social media, Geographical education, IGU and Science-Policy are some examples this issue will address in order to understand the importance of integrating DRR as a strategic CSR activity for building a resilient society. It highlights the importance of building resilience societies by investing in DRR as a strategic CSR activity.

This issue's contents includes: (i) DRR and CSR: What Must be the Agenda?; (ii) DRR and CSR: Experience of CAIRN in India; (iii) Role of The Akshaya Patra Foundation in Relief; (iv) Children and Youth in the Sendai Process; (v) The Private Sectors and Disaster Risk Reduction; (vi) CSR and DRR: The Indian Narrative; (vii) Geography and IGU for DRR through CSR; Human Geoscience based Policy Making; and (viii) CSR and Disaster Risk Reduction.

Some of the best thinkers, researchers, experts, and activists, including Mihir R. Bhatt with AIDMI Team; Ms. Madhu Singh Sirohi, Former Country Head, Vodafone Foundation; Sahima Hannan Datta, DGM, CSR, Cairn India Limited, Gurgaon, New Delhi; Mr. Muralidhar Pundla, Director - Quality &  Continual Improvement, Projects, The Akshaya Patra Foundation; Moa Herrgard, UN MGCY DOP for DRR; and Annisa Triyanti, UN MGCY DRR SPI Focal Point; Tyrone C. Hall, Communication and Culture, York and Ryerson Universities, Canada; and R.B. Singh, Vice President-International Geographical Union (IGU) & Member, ICSU Scientific Committee; Department of Geography, Delhi School of Economics, University of Delhi, New Delhi.

Theme: CSR, DRR, Private Sector.

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Enriching The Asia Regional Plan: Inputs from India

Southasiadisasters.net issue no. 150, September 2016:

The various aspects highlighted in this issue of Southasiadisasters.net on the theme of 'Enriching The Asia Regional Plan Inputs from India' serve to depict the manner in which India has developed their NDCs by accepting the need of investing in Green Technologies.

 


Also, it will be discussed the importance of making safer cities. They are comprised of systems, which include human, economic, physical, political and social systems that are impacted by internal and external 'disturbances' which provide an opportunity to adapt, transform, or decline and therefore there is a need to make them safer spaces for the population. This could be done by taking action to re-shape the humanitarian response through following the Core Humanitarian Standard.

In addition, India compromises to give especial attention to the future Structural Mitigation Plan by promoting the construction of safe buildings and smart cities where the Urban Ecosystem ensures a healthy humane habitat. Other aspects this issue takes into account are the need to develop a Disaster Preparedness Plan, giving especial attention to Select Religious Places in India, due to the large amount of population that attend these places every year; and the need to build resilience Child Sensitive Social Protection with Technology in the country. It highlights the importance of what India can, should, and will do in order to develop a Disaster Resilient Society.

This issue's contents includes: (i) India’s NDCs – An Opportunity for Co-creation of Green Technologies; (ii) Urban Disasters and the Core Humanitarian Standard; (iii) An Assessment of Disaster Preparedness Plan of Select Religious Places in India; (iv) A Road To Earthquake Safe Buildings in India; (v) The Importance of Humanitarian Standards in Asia; (vi) Can we have Smart Cities without Smart Citizens?; and (vii) Building Resilience of Children and their Communities by Integrating DRR, Child Sensitive Social Protection with Technology.

Some of the best thinkers, researchers, experts, and activists, including Mihir R. Bhatt with AIDMI Team; Pamela Sitko, Urban Technical Advisor, Disaster Management, World Vision International; Hamendra Dangi and Anish Krishna, University of Delhi, India; Sudhir K. Jain, Professor, Civil Engineering, Gandhinagar, India; Emily Tullock, Communications Officer, CHS Alliance, London, UK; Prof. Aneeta Gokhale–Benninger, Executive Director, CDSA, Pune, India and Vinay Iyer, Project Director, Save The Children, India.

Theme: NDC, Risk Resilience, Smart Cities, DRR.

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Policy Brief for Asian Region Plan

Utilizing SFDRR Priorities to Strengthen Local Governance and Local Disaster Management
The SFDRR Framework highlights the need for competent local governance and local disaster management solutions. It promotes the importance of local governance and the “engagement of all State institutions of an executive and legislative nature at national and local levels and a clear articulation of responsibilities across public and private stakeholders.&rdqu

 


o;The SFDRR also states the need to empower local authorities and local c