All India Disaster Mitigation
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Mithakhadi Railway Crossing, Ashram Road,
Ahmedabad – 380009,
Gujarat, India

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What's New

First SFDRR Aligned National Disaster Management Plan issue no. 148, July 2016:

In June 2016, India launched its first National Disaster Management Plan (NDMP) with the aim of improving the country's resilience to disasters and reducing the loss of lives and assets. Hailed as one of the first national level plans which is aligned to the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (SFDRR), India's NDMP not only adheres to the spirit of SFDRR, it also entails provisions to help India reach the goals set in SFDRR.

This issue of Southasiadisas is titled, 'First SFDRR Aligned National Disaster Management Plan'. It highlights the importance of the NDMP and its significance to resilience building in India. The articles in this issue address one of the five thematic areas of the SFDRR, viz. Understanding Risk; Inter-Agency Coordination; Investing in DRR – Structural Measures; Investing in DRR – Non-Structural Measures; Capacity Development.

This issue's contents includes: (i) India's National Disaster Management Plan: Clear on Risk Transfer and Insurance; (ii) Voluntary Action after Disaster; (iii) Locating Health in Smart Cities; (iv) Resilience in Flood Management through Technology; (v) Caring after Crisis: Meeting the Needs of the Caregivers; (vi) Photo Essay of Visit to Tamil Nadu after Tsunami; (vii) IMI and Disaster Risk Reduction: A Meeting Report; and (viii) Child Centered DRR–An Approach Addressing Lives, Rights and Needs of Children.

Some of the best thinkers, researchers, experts, and activists, including Mihir R. Bhatt with AIDMI Team; Divita Shandilya, Documentation and Research Officer, Voluntary Action Network India (VANI); Dr. Nitish Dogra, Sector Adviser (Health & Nutrition), TARU Leading Edge Pvt. Ltd., New Delhi; Amarjeet Singh; Anil Patil, Founder and Executive Director, Carers Worldwide, Hertfordshire, UK; Barbara Weber, Retired Licensed Clinical Social Worker from near Philadelphia, PA, USA; Mridula Paul, Programme Director, Integrated Mountain Initiative and Apoorva Patel, Assistant Professor of Social Work, Gujarat National Law University, Gandhinagar.


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Department of Social Work, Sardar Patel University Felicitated AIDMI

 All India Disaster Mitigation Institute (AIDMI) was felicitated for its contributions in societal development in Gujarat by the Department of Social Work, Sardar Patel University on September 10, 2016. The felicitation event coincided with the 2016 NGO meet of the department titled "Demystifying the Role and Impact of NGOs in Societal Development".


Mehul Pandya of AIDMI at the event shared his recent work on disaster risk reduction and climate change across Gujarat and six states of India, including possible areas of collaboration with the university faculty and students in creating and utilizing knowledge for Gujarat’s sustainable development. AIDMI works with over 12 universities in India and abroad. Recent focus of educational collaborations have been on co-creating knowledge for green growth.

Towards Drought Free India issue no. 147, June 2016:

One of the highest challenge to implementation of SFDRR in Asia is drought. Drought continues to impact on lives and livelihoods.

India was reeling under an intense drought situation a month ago which has affected close to 330 million people from 10 states.


Bad monsoons and weak policies around water security have further compounded the problem and precipitated a crisis. Rising temperatures and acute water shortages are adversely affecting human health as well as the economy which is primarily reliant on agriculture.

This issue of is titled 'Towards Drought Free India'. Droughts are complex, slow on set disasters which have great implications for society and the economy. With close to 60% of the population involved in agriculture and allied activities, droughts in India can be particularly debilitating. They disrupt rural livelihoods and lead to an increase in distress migration.

This issue's contents includes: (i) Drought in Gujarat: Need for Adaptation Measures; (ii) Drought to Jalyukta Maharashtra; (iii) National Disaster Management Plan Celebrated at AIDMI; (iv) Drought In Uttar Pradesh: Role of Job Cards; (v) Integrated Approach Plan for Drought in Jharkhand; (vi) Diversification of Land use Against Drought in Madhya Pradesh; (vii) Drought in Gujarat: Using MGNREGA; (viii) Drought in Andhra: Making DPAP Work; and (ix) Impacts of Water Scarcity and the Drought Situation in Bihar.

Some of the best thinkers, researchers, experts, and activists, including Mihir R. Bhatt with AIDMI Team; Ankita Padhalni, Disha Dwivedi, Meet J. Gadhvi, Nancy Bhengra,  Niranjana Hingane, Vira Chudasama, and Yuvraj Singh Rajput, Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Mumbai.

Theme: Drought, National Disaster Management Plan, Disaster Risk Reduction.

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Children Demand for Safe School and Safe Education

A consultation was held with over 54 children of 7 districts of Gujarat on August 5, 2016 at Ahmedabad. What is Safe School and Safe Education? This question was on the discussion agenda of the children. Three groups discussed this: one with visual representation, one with written representation; and one with debate.


The purpose of the consultation was to understand children’s perspectives on Safe School and Safe Education in Gujarat.

A discussion with children was initiated by defining what is a disaster. Impact on schools and children due to disasters was discussed. The children worked on four aspects: Health and Children, Preparedness and Children, Preparedness and School, Structural Safety and School. All children demanded for disaster management as a topic for their extra curricular activities in the school. Children feel that they should be part of assessing hazards and vulnerability of their school. Children wanted to know the use of mobile phones to make their school safe during emergency. AIDMI conducted this session. CRCG and UNICEF supported the session.

For more details Contact Vandana Chauhan at

Youth for Resilient India

A consultation with 15 youths of Ahmedabad city was held on July 30, 2016: What is Safe School and Safe Education? This question was on the discussion agenda.  The purpose of the consultation was to understand youths’ perspectives on what is to be added in National Education Policy 2016 in terms of Safe Schools and Safe Education.<


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The youths suggested to include them in safety assessments of schools and all educational buildings in their neighbourhood. Youths wanted to include their views on disaster management planning in National Education Policy 2016. They demanded more investments in awareness of risk and attribution of weather events. The suggestion included greater participation, use of technology, and investment in capabilities. Youths also suggested integrating disaster risk management and climate risk management in IT related courses at all levels from ITIs to IITS. Youths strongly emphasised on the use of emergency technology such as twitter and whatsapp in disaster management in India. Youths demanded to introduce disaster risk reduction education in civil engineering and mechanical engineering courses in attribution to humanities and science streams.  Youths showed their interest in awareness generation of DRR and attribution of weather change to extreme events such as heat wave and floods in urban areas.

Tweet to Transform Disaster Risk Reduction

All India Disaster Mitigation Institute (AIDMI) joined Oxfam India in Twit to Transform workshop in Delhi, July 22, 2016.

Shri Kamal Kishore, Member, NDMA, reflected on the recent use of twitter in humanitarian crisis in India.

“Have a social media strategy for the next disaster.


And be ready to change it as soon as the first message is sent out” said Shri Kishore. He was reflecting on recent disasters in India and how twitter can help reach out with relief to the unreached communities.

Each disaster has seen greater and wider use of twitter in India.

“Some crisis protocols have not changed for a century and twitter protocol will change in the next six months” he added, to point out that institutional protocols and technological protocols do not often match in India.

AIDMI pointed out the possible use of twitter in both, response and preparedness not only in India but also in Asia. AIDMI aims to work on reaching the poor and women who are often not reached by twitter in most cases.

India’s National Disaster Management Plan: Clear on Risk Transfer and Insurance

Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi released the National Disaster Management Plan (NDMP) on June 1, 2016. This is the first ever national plan prepared in the country. And it is the first national plan to align with SFDRR. The NDMP aims to make India disaster resilient and significantly reduce the loss of lives and assets.


It is based on the four priorities of SFDRR. (Press Information Bureao, Government of India, The NDMP of India is covering all the phases of disaster management and with detail roles and responsibilities allocated to all levels of the government. The integration of disaster management with development planning is also aimed in the NDMP to push the agenda of mainstreaming DRR with national development. The NDMP is an important step towards taking risk transfer and insurance agenda at a higher level of commitment and improvement from current stage, which is crucial to make India disaster resilient and directly reducing loss of assets.

As of now Government of India is acting as a self-insurer for the purpose of maintaining relief funds. These funds are monitored by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) in consultation with the Ministry of Finance. The amount committed for SDRF is invested by the Union in government securities. MHA has issued guidelines in consultation with the Ministry of Finance for the maintenance and encashment of the securities as and when required. However, need for projects or risk transfer instruments by private agencies is also acknowledged by the Government. The corresponding policy changes and fund requirement are to be deliberated in detail in consultation with the IRDA, insurance sector and other stakeholders. Thus, the risk transfer and insurance mechanism that targeting  is poor and vulnerable populations needs to work out next step. ‘Planning process is more important than making plans’, said by Shri Kamal Kishore, Member, NDMA, when he launched the plan.

Role of private sector such as insurance companies for ‘risk informed investments in recovery efforts’ is highlighted in the NDMP. However, from the field reality point-of-view, a long journey is ahead to reach risk informed investments. needed to make.

A recent initiative of the Government of India for promoting life insurance coverage through microinsurance products (name of the products) is well received by the Indian citizen. Based on the progress, Government and insurance companies should play a more pro-active role in motivating citizens in vulnerable areas to take non-life insurance cover. This could be done through suitably designed insurance policies for poor and vulnerable populations that cover non-life components, if required, with part funding from government. NDMA could play a major role in this area for pooling the risk of poor and vulnerable populations, including small and informal business operators. This type of protection will support the building back better approach and positive financial behavior of citizens who are contributing over GDP - 55% from the informal sector.

AIDMI with support from Stanford University and HIF, are sharing results from a pilot research project on how such mechanism can be created by the stakeholders in implementing NDMP.

Authorities should take insurance as a means of funding disaster related expenditures and as a tool to speed up the recovery. The role of insurance in financing disaster management for poor and vulnerable citizens needs to further evaluation. The sub-national (state) structure can be taken to target the vulnerable citizens in coastal areas (e.g. Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha that frequently affected by cyclone and/or floods), hilly areas (e.g. Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Sikkim), flood plains (e.g. Assam, Gujarat, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal). This requires leadership of sub-national authorities for bigger sub-national pilots with insurance and reinsurance companies to explore potential socioeconomic protection mechanisms for non-life component coverage. Mandatory property insurance solutions in respect of property tax payers living in high hazardous areas (against earthquake and cyclone and floods) can be a good beginning for risk transfer and insurance.

Microinsurance reaches a very small population of low-income groups, particularly from informal sectors such as small businesses. The obstacles include, regulatory systems, the insufficient understanding of the instruments, difficulties of estimating risks (particularly in light of climate change), interest of insurance companies to reach out to poor and vulnerable populations. Much can be learned from the field pilots, which puts people’s wants at the center of the design and implementation process.

The innovation is in the last stage of finalizing the insurance product; and designing the evaluation, which will result into a tool kit with the knowledge product from the project.

Indo-Myanmar Collaboration for Local Implementation of SFDRR

A diverse team of women leaders from Myanmar consisting of parliamentarian, social workers and community members visited AIDMI on July 9, 2016. Ways to implement Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (SFDRR) locally were discussed among delegates from Myanmar and AIDMI team. The demand to develop risk transfer policy from vulnerable communities and small informal business holders in Myanmar was discussed.


The group stressed upon the need of long term recovery evaluation of ‘Cyclone Nargis’. A need to develop National Disaster Management Policy and Plan for Myanmar was realised among delegates after India’s National Disaster Management Plan was shared. Myanmar’s participation in upcoming Asian Ministerial Conference for Disaster Risk Reduction was discussed with focus on finance, governance and local planning in disaster risk reduction.

Building Resilience for All: Lessons from Assam for Asia issue no. 146, May 2016:
How does disaster risk reduction work in one of the important states of India: Assam? What kind of lessons can building resilience in Assam offer for Asia? This issue has a strategic list of activities and ideas.

This issue of Southasiadisasters.n


et focuses on the theme of 'Building Resilience for All: Lessons from Assam for Asia'. It highlights some of the major initiatives taken up by Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA) and United Nations Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) in Assam. This issue focuses on the various areas on which ASDMA and UNICEF have worked in Assam such as children in emergencies, school safety, community based disaster preparedness, traditional coping mechanisms, etc.

The good work done by ASDMA and UNICEF offers a lot of lessons in resilience building for Asia, which suffers massive loss and damage due to disasters annually.

The challenges and opportunities in all these areas have been highlighted. The breadth and scope of all such initiatives bear testimony to ASDMA’s commitment to making a safe and resilient Assam.

This issue's contents includes: (i) Situational Analysis of Children and Women in Assam, 2016; (ii) School Safety including SDMP and Mock Drills: Challenges and Opportunities Ahead; (iii) Community based Disaster Preparedness; Challenges and Opportunities Ahead; (iv) Integration Disaster Risk Reduction with Climate Change Adaptation; (v) Children in Emergencies; (vi) Public Health in Emergencies; (vii) Traditional Coping Mechanisms; (ix) Earthquake Engineering; (x) The Journey of Assam Jatiya Bidyalay in Ensuring Safer Learning Environment to Children; (xi) Hospital Safety Audit; and (xii) Report on Commemoration of Child Protection Day in Assam.

Some of the best thinkers, researchers, experts, and activists, including Mihir R. Bhatt with AIDMI Team; V. K. Pipersenia, IAS, Chief Secretary, Government of Assam; and Dilip Kumar Dutta Choudhury with Gopen Barman, Assam Jatiya Bidyalay, Assam.

Theme: Building Resilience, School Safety, Children and Women, Disaster Risk Reduction, Hospital Safety.

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Discussion on National Disaster Management Plan at AIDMI

AIDMI team discussed India’s first and comprehensive National Disaster Management Plan (NDMP). Directions and guidelines given in the plan are aligned to SFDRR priorities and AIDMI team is committed to implement activities mentioned in the plan in AIDMI’s ongoing projects and activities.<


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The NDMP provides a framework and direction to the government agencies for all phases of disaster management cycle. The NDMP is a “dynamic document” in the sense that it will be periodically improved keeping up with the emerging global best practices and knowledge base in disaster management. It is in accordance with the provisions of the Disaster Management Act, 2005, the guidance given in the National Policy on Disaster Management, 2009 (NPDM), and the established national practices.

The NDMP incorporates substantively the approach enunciated in the Sendai Framework and will help the country to meet the goals set in the framework.

To view NDMP

One Humanity, Shared Responsibility

Statement of Commitments from Humanitarian Scholars at World Humanitarian Summit
Humanitarian Scholars present at the World Humanitarian Summit (WHS) and the International Humanitarian Studies Association (IHSA) made six commitments towards creating positive change in resolvinghumanitarian crises.


These commitments are aligned towards UN’s Secretary Generals ‘Agenda for Humanity’.AIDMI supports the directions and ideas. The commitments from Humanitarian Scholars can be found at: Statement of Commitments

Risk and Resilience: Indo-Japanese Areas of Collaboration

Mr. Kenichiro Toyofuku, (The Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion, “Japan Plus”) visited AIDMI on April 12, 2016. Japan has always taken a lead in building resilience against disasters. The naming of the Hyogo and Sendai frameworks for disaster risk reduction reflect Japan’s unwavering commitment to building resilience of countries and communities to various hazards.


Japan has invested a lot in the Indian economy, especially in the infrastructure sector. To ensure the safety and sustainability of these investments, Mr. Kenichiro suggested following areas to focus on:
1. Accurate Weather Forecasting
2. Insurance Companies and State Governments
3. Public Financing

Implementing COP21 Paris Agreement issue no. 145, April 2016:

How can Paris Agreement reduce emission as well as reduce poverty? To AIDMI this is the key question for implementation.

This issue of focuses on the theme of 'Implementing COP21 Paris Agreement'. It highlights the views of some of the most reputed academics and practitioners who have closely followed the evolution of this agreement.


Important aspects such as the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs), national mitigation and adaptation strategies have been highlighted in this issue. Similarly, this issue also highlights the role of international partnerships; public systems and sharing of technical know-how between nations in the pursuit of climate justice.

Developing countries like India have the additional onus of reconciling the development aspirations of their people with the commitments of the Paris Agreement. Therefore, it will be valuable to see how innovatively can India and other nations implement the Paris Agreement to make the world safe from the adverse impacts of climate change as well as reduce ongoing poverty.

This issue's contents includes: (i) Implementing Paris Agreement in India; (ii) Implementing Cop 21 Paris Agreement in South Asia: A View from India; (iii) COP 21 Paris Agreement What Can India–Russia Do to Implement it?; (iv) Chennai Floods 2015: A View from Cop 21 Paris Agreement Implementation in India; (v) Cop 21 Paris Agreement: A View from Pakistan; (vi) Why did Chennai Drown?; (vii) Role of Public Systems in Implementing COP 21 Paris Agreement in India; (ix) COP 21 in Paris: Politics of Climate Change; and (x) The COP21 Paris Agreement: Reducing or Creating Vulnerability?

Some of the best thinkers, researchers, experts, and activists, including Mihir R. Bhatt with AIDMI Team; Dr. Asif Sukhera and Dr. Sabina Imran Durrani, National Health Emergency Preparedness & Response Network (NHEPRN), Pakistan; Chitvan Singh Dhillon, Economist and Freelance Journalist, Chandigarh; Dr. Christoph Woiwode, Visiting Professor, Indo–German Centre for Sustainability, IIT Madras; Dr. I. Arul Aram, Asso. Professor, Department of Chemistry, Anna University, Chennai; Ilan Kelman, University College London; Rais Akhtar, Adjunct Professor, IIHMR, New Delhi; Uma Purushothaman, Assistant Professor, Central University of Keral, Kerala; and Vidhee Avashia, Doctoral Student, Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad, Gujarat.

Theme: COP21, INDC, Climate Change, Disaster Risk Reduction, Floods, UNFCC, India

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Building resilience for all

The Indian state of Assam is exposed to an array of hazards and is highly prone to disaster and climate risks. In response to the state's enhanced vulnerability, the Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA) in partnership with the All India Disaster Mitigation Institute (AIDMI), routinely takes up various initiatives to build the resilience of Assam and its citizens to such risks.<


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This position paper provides an overview of some of the main initiatives taken up by ASDMA and the related challenges and opportunities . More specicifally, the publication recounts projects taken up and related to the protection of children in emergencies, school safety through disaster management plans and mock drills, and integration of disater risk reduction with climate change adaptation.

Themes: Climate Change; Education & School Safety; Social Impacts & Resilience

South-South Cooperation in Action: Urban Resilience and Risk Transfer issue no. 144, March 2016:

How to make citizens in cities safe? This issue addresses this crucial topic.

A risk transfer mechanism like disaster microinsurance helps in transferring the risk of an impending catastrophe from an individual to an institution (insurance company).


This issue highlights the way in which contextualized risk transfer mechanisms can protect the livelihoods and assets of India's urban poor from disaster and climate risks. Such mechanisms will eventually help in making India's cities safe, sustainable and inclusive. For those who decide on 100 Smart Cities Programme of Government of India this issue is a ready reference.

This issue of focuses on the theme of "Building Urban Resilience through Risk Transfer and Insurance". It brings together the insights from the 8th South-South Citizenry Based Development sub-Academy (SSCBDA). This academy was organized in Ahmedabad, India from 11th February-13th February, 2015. It saw the coming together of academics, students and practitioners from the field of humanitarianism to discuss and deliberate upon the importance of risk transfer mechanisms as instruments for engendering resilience for India's urban poor.

This issue's contents includes: (i) 8th South-South Citizenry Based Development sub-Academy (SSCBDA); (ii) Learning Statement from the Academy; (iii) Financial Burden Due To Natural Disaster; (iv) Risk Transfer and Urban Resilience: Opportunities in COP21 and SFDRR Implementation; (v) Insurance, Women and Climate Change; (vi) Scope and Potential of Disaster Risk Transfer in Muzaffarpur; (vii) A German Social Start-up on its Mission to Revolutionize the Market for Construction Material in Bangladesh; (viii) Urban Resilience: Three Ideas for Action; (ix) I Will Stand Again and (x) Case Study of Sankar Muduli.

Some of the best thinkers, researchers, experts, and activists, including Mihir R. Bhatt with AIDMI Team; Denis Nkala, UNOSSC; Dr. Aditya Prakash, IAS, Probational DM, Muzaffarpur, Bihar; Arup Das, sSTEP, Assam; Ronak B. Patel, MD MPH, Stanford University; Ava Mulla, Co-Founder, CEO, Building Pioneers UG, Germany; Binapani Mishra, Secretary, Society for Women Action Development (SWAD), Puri, Odisha; and Shilpa Pandya, Development Consultant.

This issue highlights the critical everyday connections that link local processes with SFDRR implementation in Asia.

Urban Resilience, Risk Transfer, Micro insurance.

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Youth Leadership in Long-Term Recovery issue no. 143, March 2016:

This issue of is titled ‘Youth Leadership in Long Term Recovery’. Disaster recovery is an important phase of the disaster management cycle as it helps in the evolution of resilient communities. However, the voices of the youth are often left out of the recovery process.


In January 2016, the All India Disaster Mitigation Institute (AIDMI) invited 8 students from Oxford Brookes University to visit 2 districts of Gujarat to study the long-term impacts of recovery from the 2001 earthquake. This issue of is a compendium of the perspectives and views of these students on long-term recovery following 15 years after the Gujarat Earthquake. Contributions from John Twigg and other reputed academics are also included in this issue.

This issue's contents includes: (i) Youth Leadership in Long-Term Recovery (ii) The Puzzle of Long-Term Recovery: Finding the Missing Pieces; (iii) Sustainability in Long-Term Recovery: Reflections from Kutch Earthquake Response Work; (iv) Looking Back and Looking Forward: A view of long term recovery from the 2001 Gujarat Earthquake; (v) Recovery through Livelihood Restoration; (vi) Building Communities through Settlement Planning; (vii) A Multi–Hazard Approach to Long-Term Recovery; (viii) Built Back Better? Disaster Recovery as an Opportunity for Improvement; (ix) Youth, DRR and Sustainable Development, and (x) From House to Home: Allowing for the safe adaptation of housing in reconstruction projects.

Some of the best thinkers, researchers, experts, and activists, including Mihir R. Bhatt with AIDMI Team; Dr John Twigg, Co-Director, Centre for Urban Sustainability and Resilience, Department of Civil; Dr. Supriya Akerkar, Programme lead Senior Lecturer, CENDEP; Alexandra Freeman, Austin Snowbarger, Chanel Currow, George Williams, Katie Reilly, Leonie Smith, Martina Ferrao, Sonia Tong; MA and MArchD students, CENDEP, Oxford Brookes University, UK.

Theme: Youth Leadership, Sustainable Recovery, Resilience.

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World Conference on Humanitarian Studies: AIDMI’s Participation on Risk Transfer and Insurance; and Child Centered Disaster Risk Reduction

French Version
La World Conference of Humanitarian studies, qui s’est tenue du 5 au 8 mars 2016 à Addis Abeba, a réuni des acteurs d’horizons divers, partageant un même objectif d’échange d’information et de retour d’expérience.


L’ONG All India Disaster Mitigation (AIDMI) Institute a participé à cette conférence, présentant plusieurs défis que doivent relever les études humanitaires en Inde. AIDMI a ainsi présenté a la fois son travail sur les micro assurances contre les catastrophes naturelles à l’usage des petits commerce informels, ainsi que sur les droits des enfants et la résilience urbaine. Dr Kamal Lochan Mishra du département de gestion des catastrophes naturelles de l’Odisha, partenaire privilégié d’AIDMI était aussi présent.

AIDMI s’attelle à diffuser des micro-assurances contre les catastrophes naturelles pour les commerces informels. Les commerces informels sont en effet nécessaires au fonctionnement de l’économie urbaine, alimentant en biens essentiels les habitants et offrant la possibilité à d’autres types de services de se développer. Les habitants des bidonvilles s’appuient sur ces vendeurs de rue pour accéder à des biens de faible coût et pour leurs besoins immédiats. Ces commerces doivent pourtant faire face à des catastrophes naturelles qui ont des impacts économiques dévastateurs, ce qui dissuade souvent les nouveaux entrants sur le marché. Lorsque ces commerces font faillite c’est toute la communauté qui y perd un accès à des biens nécessaires.

Les micro assurances contre les catastrophes naturelles sont des outils qui peuvent aider les commerces informels à faire face aux catastrophes : par le paiement de modestes primes d’assurances à des ONG, des institutions de microfinance ou des compagnies d’assurances, ils acquièrent un soutien financier en cas de perte due à une catastrophe. Considérant le manque d’informations et de données sur les besoins de ces commerces, AIDMI en partenariat avec Stanford University et le Humanitarian Innovation Fund ont décidé de créer un projet qui protège les vendeurs de rue en cas de catastrophe.

La première partie du projet consistait en une étude de besoin dans trois villes : Puri (Odisha), Guwahati (Assam) et Cuddalore (Tamil Nadu). Les résultats furent ensuite utilisés pour concevoir des polices de micro assurance adaptées à chaque ville. L’objectif de cette enquête était de mesurer la connaissance des micro-assurances, de comprendre les besoins et désirs des commerces informels.

La méthodologie suivie a été de proposer l’enquête à un échantillon de vendeurs de rue. Le questionnaire comportait des questions sur le niveau de vie, la composition du ménage, l’impact des dernières catastrophes sur le commerce. Des partenaires locaux ont permis de récolter les informations voulues. L’enquête a été suivie d’un essai randomisé contrôlé : la moitié des répondant se sont vu attribuer une police de micro assurance, l’autre moitié jouant le rôle de groupe de contrôle. 

Les principales conclusions de l’enquête sont les suivantes :
-Il existe un large besoin de micro-assurance (ou autre mécanisme de protection contre les risques) pour les commerces informels.
-Très peu de répondants possèdent une assurance et parmi eux la plupart ont des assurances vies, parfois des assurances santés (provenant du gouvernement).
-La compréhension du fonctionnement d’une assurance est très limitée et les commerces informels n’ont pas accès à des sources d’information fiable dans ce domaine. Ce manque est l’un des plus gros obstacles à l’accès aux assurances.
-Beaucoup de répondants ont été affecté par une ou plusieurs catastrophes naturelles d’ampleur variable, souvent des inondations ou cyclones.
-L’enquête a révélé une importante méfiance à l’égard de tels produits. Les clients à faibles revenus estiment ne pas avoir besoin d’assurance, ne font pas confiance aux assureurs et pensent qu’ils ne pourraient pas payer.
-La plupart des commerces ont fait d’énormes pertes durant les catastrophes naturelles. Après celles-ci ils sont forcés d’emprunter à des créanciers locaux qui imposent des taux d’intérêts exorbitants, ce qui plonge les commerçants dans la dette.

Les résultats de l’enquête ainsi que des tables rondes et des consultations ont été utilisés pour concevoir des produits de micro-assurance. Des assurances ont déjà été distribuées à Puri, à Cuddalore elle est en cours de discussion et sera bientôt prête à Guwahati également.

Droits des enfants et résilience urbaine en Inde.
AIDMI a également présenté son travail relatif aux droits des enfants durant la conférence. D’après l’UNICEF, les enfants représentent 50 à 60% de la population affectée par les catastrophes naturelles. Les pluies torrentielles et hautes températures causent des maladies telles que la dengue ou l’encéphalite japonaise ; les mauvaises conditions de vie exposent les enfants à une importante pollution de l’air ; les inondations augmentent l’exposition aux eaux contaminées etc. Les déplacements de populations sont aussi une conséquence majeure des catastrophes. Durant ces déplacements, les familles sont séparées, les droits des enfants au refuge, à l’éducation, à la sécurité sont rarement garantis. Les trafics, abus et exploitations d’enfants augmentent significativement dans ces périodes de crise. Les violences faites aux femmes et aux jeunes filles sont également particulièrement accrues durant ces périodes.

Il est donc crucial d’organiser la protection et le soutien des enfants et familles, autrement que part des aides économiques. Les autorités locales et nationales ont beaucoup à faire en ce sens. Des mesures concrètes pour renforcer et décentraliser l’éducation, l’accès à l’eau, à l’hygiène doivent être prises. Intégrer la sécurité des enfants dans les plans de gestion des risques des villes et districts est aussi une nécessité. AIDMI a souligné la nécessité pour tous les acteurs de prendre part à cette protection des enfants, tout en leur faisant confiance et en les reconnaissant comme de véritables agents de changement qui peuvent participer à la réflexion et à la mise en place de mesures de protection qui les concerne.

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Emergency Management Exercise (EMEx) in Assam: Building Sub National Preparedness issue no. 142, February 2016:

The Indian state of Assam is highly prone to disaster and climate risks. A burgeoning population and haphazard planning further drive up the vulnerability of Assam's cities to such risks.

This issue of Southasiadisasters.n


et focuses on the theme of Emergency Management Exercises (EMExes) in Assam. The Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA) recently organized a series of EMExs across several cities of Assam. The objective of such exercises was to bring together various actors such as state and regional emergency responders, educational institutions, hospitals, health care professionals, humanitarian agencies, government departments, non-government organisations, civil society organisations and professionals from emergency management-related fields - to assess the cities' disaster preparedness and resilience, acquire new skills for emergency management and mass casualty events, and to develop a multi-disciplinary, inter-stakeholder, coordinated response during emergencies.

This issue's contents includes: (i) Journey from 2012 to 2015: A Sincere Effort in Improving Preparedness for Emergency Response; (ii) Child Centered DRR–The Thematic Focus in GEMEx 2015; (iii) Scaling Down the Idea of EMExs in Districts of Assam–the Approach of ASDMA; (iv) GEMEx, 2015: Learning Emergency Ways of Working of the Public Health Work Force; (v) Redefining Ownership–School Based Disaster Risk Reduction a Reality in Axom Jatiya Vidyalay; (vi) When Disaster Reduction Became a Reality–the Story to Share; (vii) Making Emergency Preparedness 'Walk the Talk'–Mission EMEx of Assam Reaches Nalbari; (viii) Lakhimpur Emergency Management Exercise (LEMEx), 2016 and (ix) Dhemaji Emergency Management Exercise (DEMEx), 2016.

Some of the best thinkers, researchers, experts, and activists, including Mihir R. Bhatt with AIDMI Team; Lt Gen NC Marwah, PVSM, AVSM (Retd) Member, National Disaster Management Authority, New Delhi; Kripaljyoti Mazumdar, Project Officer, Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA), Assam Secretariat, Dispur, Assam; Sunny Buragohain and Barnali Singha,  Program Coordinator, Doctors for You NERO Office, Guwahati and Md. Rafiqul Islam, Subject Teacher (English), Govt. Gurdon HS School, Nalbari.

This issue highlights the recently held EMExs from the various cities of Assam such as Guwahati, Nalbari, Lakhimpur, Dhemaji, Dhubri, Sibsagar, Darrang, and Sonitpur. Preparedness and coordination are crucial for an effective response to emergencies. Read on to know more on how these EMExes are helping in inculcating a culture of preparedness among the first responders to disasters in Assam's cities.

Theme: Emergency Response, Capacity Building, Preparedness.

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Building Youth and Women’s Leadership in Disaster Risk Reduction

Among demographic groups, youth and women are highly vulnerable to the adverse impacts of disasters. Their enhanced vulnerability is partly explained by their limited access to resources and partly due to restrictive social norms which limit their scope of opportunity. Despite this enhanced vulnerability, youth and women seldom find a voice in disaster risk reduction (DRR).<



To promote the leadership of youth and women in resilience building, the All India Disaster Mitigation Institute (AIDMI) organized an orientation programme on March 14th, 2016 with 28 female students of SNDT University, Mumbai. Titled ‘Building Youth and Women’s Leadership in Disaster Risk Reduction’, this programme introduced the participants to a youth and women centric approach to DRR. Through interactive sessions, various efforts to promote the role of youth and women in DRR were also discussed. 

Dr. Narayan Gaonkar (Health Specialist, UNICEF Gujarat) was the guest of honour at this programme. He also took one session to explain to the participants the concepts of ‘Child Centred DRR’. Perhaps the most important outcome of this programme was the views shared by the participants (mostly young women) on the risks they face and possible resilience building measures. AIDMI has captured these views and will incorporate them in its work of risk reduction for vulnerable communities in India and beyond.

Government Intervention for Flood Recovery of Small Businesses

In December 2015, heavy rains hit the Cuddalore District, causing flooding in several villages.  Due to the monsoon rains and floods, 7 Taluks - namely Cuddalore Kurinjipadi, Panruti, Annagramam, Kammapuram, Keerapalayam and Port Nova talukas- in which 323 panchayats- were affected by flood left 108 panchayats underwater.


In this same region, 199 lakes reached their full capacity and several cubic feet of excess water overflowed causing flooding and washing away many hamlets and villages around these lakes. It is reported that about 450 km of village roads have been damaged by this flood. About 85,000 people were evacuated from low lying areas and they were sheltered in relief centers in the District while food, water and sanitary facilities were provided by the District Administration.  The death toll reached 94 on the final count.

Small business were particularly impacted by these floods. Most were not able to open their business for over a month. While their houses were inundated, many of them were shifted to relief camps, driven away from their daily livelihood. Their business places were surrounded by water, their stocks were lost (by damage and expiration), their tent, tin sheet or other materials were washed away. When they did try to open the cost of raw materials to rebuild had gone up. Even when they were able to open, customers were missing due to the rain.

Understanding the impacts of the floods and the best response to give, the project team advocated the need to provide support to flood affected small informal businesses to the district and state administration. The government of Tamil Nadu also took part in the discussion. At the state level, it appeared clear that measures needed to be taken. Small businesses - who had lost assets because of the flood – are prone to take out loans often provided by private parties with high interest rates. Small business owners are at risk of falling into debt because of the floods. Disaster risk reduction strategies for small business vendors were discussed with the principal secretary and the advisors to the government of Tamil Nadu by AIDMI in the beginning of January 2016. During the meeting, the government appreciated the initiatives of AIDMI to support small businesses in Cuddalore and collecting data on assessing the impact of flooding to these vendors. This discussion was fruitful as the government issued a few  financial measures for the small businesses.

The government of Tamil Nadu on 13th January 2016 announced that the vendors and small shop owners would receive an interest free loan of up to 5000 INR each. No interest would be collected for these loans up to 5000 INR. Those affected by the floods, will need to repay the loans within 25 weeks. 10-day camps were conducted by the cooperative banks and potential beneficiaries were identified. The Government has also said that those repaying the loan on time would be eligible for another loan of the same amount at an interest rate of four percent.

The State of Children in Asian Cities issue no. 141, January 2016:
We know so little about the risks our children face in our cities! This issue addresses this gap to help better make Asian Regional Plan for implementation of SFDRR in Asian cities. This issue is also a first step to inform the upcoming UN Habitat III Conference on ‘Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development’, Quito, Ecuador, in October 17-20, 2016.<



This issue explores the extent of children's vulnerability and resilience to such risks in several Asian cities. Specific institutional arrangements, programmes and projects that aim to promote children's welfare in these cities are examined. The COP21 has rightly recognized many cities to be indispensable partners to achieving climate justice. Since climate change also enhances the risk profile of children, this issue also explores the theme of child centered climate change adaptation. The Asian cities highlighted in this issue include: Dhaka, Kathmandu, Mumbai, Phnom Penh, Thimphu, and Yangon.
This issue's contents includes: (i) Children and Youth are Agents of Change; (ii) Urban Resilience and Children's Rights in Dhaka; (iii) Urban Resilience and Children's Rights in Yangon; (iv) Understanding of Disaster and Development; (v) Urban Resilience and Children's Rights in Thimphu; (vi) Urban Resilience and Children's Rights in Phnom Penh; (vii) Urban Resilience and Children's Rights in Mumbai – The Case of NGO Schools in Mumbai; (viii) Urban Resilience and Children's Rights in Kathmandu; (ix) Urban Resilience and Children's Rights in Northeast India; (x) Turning Disaster into Development: Community Learning Centers — A Way to Recover from Disasters; (xi) An Ecologist View of Challenges in Restoring Coastal Habitats; (xii) Household Water Filter Evaluation What Works?; and (xiii) Urban Political Ecology and the Social Production of Urban Coastal Flooding.

This issue highlights the critical everyday connections that link local processes with the SFDRR implementation in Asia.

Some of the best thinkers, researchers, experts, and practitioners, including Mihir R. Bhatt with AIDMI Team; Feng Min Kan, Head, UNISDR Asia-Pacific Office, UNESCAP; Eleni - Styliani Galani, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, Germany; Meikhiambung Abung, Ambedkar University, Delhi; Giulia Georg, Universidade Federal de Pelotas, Brazil; Claire Alanoix, Sciences Po Paris, France; Marija Jankovic, University of Belgrade, Serbia; Delhi; Reema Nanavaty, SEWA; R.S. Bhalla (PhD), Sr. Fellow, Foundation for Ecological Research; Lauren McKown, Communications Coordinator, MIT, United States, and Bradford Powers, JD, LLM, Doctoral Fellow, Tulane University, USA.

The authors hope that this issue will help World Humanitarian Summit focus more directly on children and their protection in cities from humanitarian crises.

Theme: Children, Urban, Resilience, Children’s Right.

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Sonitpur Emergency Management Exercise, February 23, 2016, Assam

Sonitpur Emeregency Management Exercise (SEMEx), 23rd to 27th February, 2016 was kicked off on 23rd of February at the district library auditorium, Tezpur, Sonitpur. Addressing the gathering, Mr. Asim Kumar Chetia, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Assam State Disaster Management Authority elaborated the mission EMEx of ASDMA and stated that Sonitpur is the last EMEx for this financial year.


Ms. Laya Baduri IAS, Deputy Comissioner-cum-charperson DDMA, called it an opportunity to restrospect systems preparedness to deaal with any emargency in the district. AIDMI is facilitating the School Disaster Preparedness training track and will be co-facilitator in Table-Top. AIDMI will also be among the core group of obersvers for the field drill to be conducted on the last day.

2015 Disasters in Numbers

This infographic presents the disaster trends in 2015 linked to natural hazards. According to the analysis, there were 346 reported disasters in 2015, 22,773 people dead, 98.6 million people were affected by those disasters and US$66.5 billion of economic damages. The top five most disaster-hit countries were China (26), USA (22), India (19), Philippines (15) and Indonesia (11).


(source: UNISDR)

for more information:

Darrang Emergency Management Exercise, February 16, 2016, Assam

Keeping its commitment and support for resilient Assam, AIDMI team joins District Disaster Management Authority, Darrang for the conduct of Darrang Emergency Management Exercise, 16th to 20th February, 2016. AIDMI joined the event on the second day and is conducting the School Disaster Preparedness track (17th-18th February) Training of Trainers track comprising of the Education department officials, teachers and students. AIDMI will also support the conduct of Table Top Simulation and Field Drill. .


Sivasagar Emergency Management Exercise (SEMEx), February 13, 2016, Assam

Embarking something new, noble and necessary, the “Natya Mandir” (Drama Temple) Conference hall, Sivasagar witnessed the inauguration of Sivasagar Emergency Management Exercise (SEMEx), on 13th February, 2016. Amidst holy atmosphere on the eve of “Saraswati Puja”- the worship dedicated to the goddess of education, mission emergency preparedness reached its next destination in Assam as the SEMEx, 2016 was launched.


As a stakeholder in this mission of Assam, AIDMI is leaving no stone unturned to support the DDMAs and now DDMA Sivasagar in successful conduct of the five day exercises by providing its technical expertise in conduct of School Disaster Preparedness ToT, facilitation support to Table Top and assessment support in Field drills. This exercise in Sivasagar will continue till 17th of February, 2016.

Micro Disaster Insurance for small businesses

A training to project stakeholders on Micro Disaster Insurance for small businesses was conducted in the premises of Society for Social Transformation and Environment Protection (sSTEP) Guwahati was facilitated by AIDMI on 8th February, 2016. The objective was to introduce the project team together with small businesses about the basics of insurance, typology, and principles etc, the overview of the disaster micro-insurance product designed for Odisha and to chalk out joint strategies for conduct of effective conduct of Focused Group Discussion


s (FGDs) with selected small business owners in the city. The platform provided for greater interaction, sharing of views, ideas and feedback by Small Business Owners (SBOs) about further developments in the project. The small businesses agreed that FGDs with such evidences, tools, explanations and logic will be helpful in removing misconceptions among the small businesses owners (SBOs) about insurance and will promote risk reducing behavior through up-take of various available insurance products. The present SBOs assured all possible cooperation and support in organizing such FGDs at their respective business locations

The project team will capitalize upon the learning from the training and will move ahead with FGDs accordingly. As the product design for Assam is in Progress, the FGDs will lay the backbone for speedy implementation of the product.

Resilience through Risk Transfer: Lessons from the SSCBDA

The innovation is a small business disaster microinsurance programme to enhance recovery of local markets that play a critical role in providing goods and services to disaster-affected populations in urban settings.

The All India Disaster Mitigation Institute (AIDMI) in collaboration with the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC) organized the ‘8th South-South Citizenry Based Development sub-Academy (SSCBDA)’ in Ahmedabad, January 11-13, 2016. The supporting partners of this academy included th


e Humanitarian Innovation Fund, Stanford University, and Centre for Development and Emergency Practice, United Kingdom.

The theme of this year’s academy was ‘Building Urban Resilience through Risk Transfer: Protecting Small Businesses and Local Market Recovery’. This academy provided the perfect platform for several leaders, practitioners, students and members of various community based organizations (CBOs) and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to share their experience and knowledge of reducing risks in their communities and learn from the experience and knowledge of others.

It is often observed that local communities are the first responders to any disaster. This high level of risk exposure has led these local communities to partner with local Community Based Organizations (CBOs) and Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) to come up with coping mechanisms based on local knowledge systems. However, such risk reduction innovations from the grassroots often go unnoticed at regional and global levels. 

This year a total of 37 participants from 8 countries and 6 Indian states participated in the academy. These participants were drawn from reputed government bodies, multi-lateral agencies and universities. These included Mr. Denis Nkala, Regional Chief (Asia Pacific), UN Office for South South Cooperation; Ms. Nandita Hazararika, Deputy Secretary and SPO, Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA); Dr. Aditya Prakash, Probational DM, Muzzafarpur, Bihar; Dr. Kamal Lochan Mishra, Chief General Manager, Odisha State Disaster Management Authority (OSDMA); Dr. Supriya Akerkar, Lead Senior Lecturer, CENDEP, Oxford Brookes University (OBU); Ms. Prabha Pokhrel, Chairperson, Integrated Development Society (IDS) Nepal; and Dr. M.G.S. Silva, Chairman, Yasiru Mutual Provident Society Ltd., Sri Lanka. 8 students from Oxford Brookes University also attended the academy.

The academy was inaugurated by Mr. Denis Nkala and Mr. Mihir R. Bhatt, Managing Trustee, AIDMI. Both Mr. Nkala and Mr. Bhatt noted that small and informal businesses in urban locations provide social mobility and a dignified means of livelihood to the working poor. However, natural hazards and climate extremes threaten the continuity of these businesses. Risk transfer approaches such as disaster microinsurance for small and informal businesses may be a viable option for building the resilience of these businesses against disaster and climate risks. 

The first day of the academy consisted of three sessions which highlighted the sub-national and regional views on urban resilience and risk transfer. The day ended with case studies presented by CBOs from Assam, Odisha and Tamil Nadu. Important issues highlighted during the day included:
Haphazard urbanization driving urban risks 
The impact of disasters on informal workers 
The significance of data on informal settlements (slums), possible areas of insurance collaboration between the government, insurance providers and NGOs
Viable areas of overlap between disaster microinsurance and urban resilience
Incentivizing insurance for small and informal businesses and workers
The role that risk transfer approaches have played in building urban resilience in Nepal and Sri Lanka

The second day of the academy consisted of sessions on the themes of small businesses and risk transfer; urban resilience, risk transfer and inclusion; planning and finance for urban resilience; and climate risk insurance beyond South Asia. The important issues deliberated upon included:
The indispensability of risk transfer mechanisms for small businesses and street vendors
The role disaster microinsurance can play in engendering inclusion and promoting the welfare of women
Disasters can be viewed as opportunities for sustainable and inclusive development through the promotion of grassroots women’s organizations
Tweaking insurance services and offerings to match the needs of the urban poor
Perspectives on disaster and climate risk microinsurance from Argentina, Brazil and France

The third and final day of the academy aimed at summing up the knowledge and experience shared by the participants during the previous two days. The lessons learnt from the academy were then located in the goals of macro policy instruments such as the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (SFDRR) and recently ratified Climate Deal at the Conference of Parties 21 (COP21).

Dhubri Emergency Management Exercise, January 28, 2016, Assam

The Deputy Comissioner of Dhubri Mr. Nazrul Islam, aggresively and proudly delivered the speech of Chief guest while boasting of the proactive steps of ASDMA. He said that this five day long exercise exercise was targeted to change the mindset of the population towards pro-active steps in building up disaster preparedness and resilience in the district and beyond. .


Building youth leadership for Sustainable Development

The students from ‘Oxford Brookes University (UK)’ visited Gujarat to learn from long term recovery of Gujarat Earthquake. The All India Disaster Mitigation Institute, Ahmdabad is facilitated the study visit from January 3, 2016 to January 13, 2013. During 10 days of course, students were engaged in class room sessions, field visit to Patan, Kutch and Ahmedabad. Number of institutions were visited for interaction on long term recovery and other aspects related to disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation.


Youth in Bihar: Discuss Smart City

District Administration of Muzaffarpur District of Bihar with All India Disaster Mitigation Institute (AIDMI) organised a consultation with 115 youths of Muzaffarpur city on January 9, 2016. How to make Smart City, A Safe City? This question was on the discussion agenda.  The purpose of the consultation was to make youths aware of Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (SFDRR) in order to localize SFDRR at city level.


Youth’s perspectives on how to make Muzaffarpur “A Smart and Safe City” considering SFDRR priorities was considered.  Youths suggested to make citizens of their city aware about safety aspects of disaster risk, climate risk and conflict risk. Youth wanted to include their views on disaster management planning in their city and district planning. A yearlong activities are being planned with the Government of Bihar and the city authorities to let youth lead Smart city concept in Muzaffarpur.

8th South-South Citizenry Based Development sub-Academy (SSCBDA)

The regional office of the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC) and the All India Disaster Mitigation Institute (AIDMI) organized the ‘8th South-South Citizenry Based Development sub-Academy (SSCBDA)’ at Ahmedabad, Gujarat from 11-13 January 2016.<


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The 8thSSCBDA was organized on the theme of ‘Building Urban Resilience through Risk Transfer: Protecting Small Business and Local Market Recovery’. This year a total of 37 participants from 8 countries and 6 Indian states participated in the academy which had been organized by the AIDMI.

This academy provided the perfect platform for several leaders, practitioners, students and members of various community based organizations (CBOs) and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to share their experience and knowledge of reducing risks in their communities and learn from the experience and knowledge of others.

Learning Statement from the 8th South-South Citizenry Based Development Academy on Building Urban Resilience: Risk Transfer and Insurance

Assessing Floods Impact on Small Businesses – the Case of Cuddalore

The innovation is a small business disaster microinsurance programme to enhance recovery of local markets that play a critical role in providing goods and services to disaster-affected populations in urban settings.

Climate change has gradually emerged as a major challenge for developing countries like India where large scale climate variability exposes the country to enhanced climate risks.


As the world gathered at Paris to negotiate a better climate deal for saving the world, record breaking rainfall wreaked havoc in Tamil Nadu, giving a visual warning of the ferocity that nature can unleash upon us. Cuddolore town, the headquarters of a district with the same name was also not spared nature’s wrath. As Cuddalore reeled under drastic inundation, its economy took a severe hit.

Small and informal businesses in particular were drastically affected. Factors like sparse savings, the lack of legal status, along with the small scale of their operations all exacerbate the impacts of disasters on such enterprises. Under such a context, sustaining such enterprises in the local market becomes a challenge.

Trying to foster faster local market recovery through innovative risk transfer approaches like disaster microinsurance, this was a critical period for us to find out the real needs of such small and informal businesses and incorporate them in the long-term solutions. Since Cuddalore was one of our proposed research sites, these new developments had great implications for our study. The demand survey held earlier in Cuddalore largely highlighted the loss and damage to be induced by cyclones, where floods were not among the highest threats. However, this unprecedented flooding has shattered all previous perceptions resulting in a drastic recalibration of the risks and threats to such small and informal businesses.

A majority of small business owners have suffered huge losses due to the heavy flooding in Cuddolore. An assessment of the situation was conducted to understand the situation and to estimate the extent of impact upon the small businesses. The preliminary assessment suggests widespread loss and damage to all categories of small businesses. The submergence of entire neighbourhoods and localities has brought the daily livelihood activities of such businesses to a screeching halt.

Most of the small business owners’ shelters were inundated and their belongings were washed away by the flood waters. Some of them have shifted to the relief camps. Others suffered heavy losses. Many of the temporarily structured/moveable businesses did not suffer any physical damage, but lost a number of livelihood days which can push them into a vicious cycle of debt.

As per the rapid assessment report, the tragic impact of the floods on daily wagers, small businesses and the unorganised sector is harder to calculate. This is because of the great variation in the nature of business activity and mobility practiced by the various categories in this group. For instance, some small business owners sell their products by roaming from one place to another while others have set-up shop in permanent structures. This difference in set-up is also reflected in the losses suffered by them. Small businesses selling food and other perishables such as meat, fish, vegetables and fruits also suffered heavy losses as buyers could not venture out to purchase them. Most notably, the decreased supply of these essential items has pushed up their cost, thereby limiting affordability for many.

Having faced this disaster, such businesses are left with no appropriate options for recovery as none of them have insured their businesses/shelters. Now, as they gradually come to grips with the tragedy that has befallen them, a lot of them are ending up borrowing money from money lenders with interest rates that may vary between 24% to 60%.  The exploitation of helplessness small and informal businesses is alarming. The business owners who borrow money at such exorbitant interest rates run the risk of falling into a debt-trap. Moreover, the plight of small businesses would be neglected in the initial relief operations because livelihood recovery is deemed a long-term goal.

Our innovation (disaster microinsurance scheme for informall businesses) is precisely aimed to help small and informal businesses during such exigent times. Although the risk of flooding may not have figured highly in our initial demand survey, all the impacts that we now see had already been envisioned in the design of the product. The need for local market recovery still looms large. Our innovation aims to fulfill this need. This assessment has highlighted that the small business owners are carrying both a physical and psychological burden of loss coupled with worries for sustaining life once the flood recedes. There will be more to calculate and estimate once the water recedes from the shops and shelters. A detailed report of this assessment is also under preparation to capture learning from the situation.

Dhemaji Emergency Management Exercise (DHEMEx), January 8, 2016, Assam

Rapid and Solid- Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA) in association with DDMA’s in Assam is marking the beginning of a new era for emergency managers by successfully organizing Emergency Management Exercises. After a event full of learning and reflex actions (LEMEx, 2nd to 6th January, 2016), the next door step was opened on 8th January at Dhemaji when Mr.


Victor Carpenter, Deputy Commissioner-cum-Chairperson, District Disaster Management Authority, Dhemaji inaugurated the Dhemaji Emergency Management Exercise, 2016. AIDMI is there with the DDMA to render all possible support in making the district prepared which is often in the limelight because of the magnitude of floods. AIDMI re-affirms its commitment to contribute to Assam’s vision of becoming a disaster resilient state.

Mr. Victor Carpenter, Deputy Commissioner-cum-Chairperson, District Disaster Management Authority, Dhemaji addressing the house full of participants from different responding agencies, line departments, educational institutes, hospitals etc. He said” We must understand and functionalize our Incident Command System to deal with any eventuality. It is not about a single disaster like flood that we deal with every year, but, about a combination of unexpected and brutal events. We must be prepared and this EMEx is a strong step forward in this regard”.

Lakhimpur Emergency Management Exercise (LEMEx), January 2, 2016, Assam

Yet another disaster prone district brought under Mission Emergency Preparedness of the Assam State Disaster Management Authority with the inauguration of five day long Lakhimpur Emergency Management Exercise (LEMEx, 2016). Mr. Debeswar Malakar, IAS, Honorable Deputy Commissioner of North Lakhimpur district inaugurated the event in an energetic and motivational inaugural Ceremony at District Library hall, Lakhimpur.


The exercise which is inaugurated today (2nd January) will continue till 6th of January. AIDMI has also made itself a partner in this mission of Assam and is providing technical support in LEMEx through facilitating the School Disaster Preparedness track, supporting facilitation of Table top exercise and providing critical assessment inputs through acting as site observer during field drill. AIDMI will also support similar exercise at Dhemaji and Dhubri later this month.

Post COP 21 Paris: Now What? issue no. 140, December 2015:
Worth of Any Agreement is in its Implementation. And this issue exactly does so.
The negotiations at the 21st Conference of Parties (COP21) in Paris have yielded a historic agreement that promises to shape not only the global strategy for cutting emissions, but also the way we live on this planet.<



In bringing together competing interests and disparate voices from the developing and developed nations of the world, the COP 21 agreement provides an unprecedented opportunity for pursuing the imperative of climate justice through united and meaningful action.
This issue's contents includes: (i) COP21 Paris: Now What?; (ii) Renewable Energy for Climate Justice; (iii) Flexibility and Foresight for Meaningful Action; (iv) Climate Finance for Effective Adaptation; (v) Historic, but Room for more Ambition; (vi) Sunita Narain Highlights the Hits and Misses of Paris Climate Deal; (vii) CDKN on Paris Agreement; (viii) A Climate Agreement for a Resilient World; (ix) Unicef Seeks Ambitious Action on Climate Change; (x) Let’s Lead in Zero Emission; (xi) Climate Compatible Development: Synergies with the SDGs; (xii) Pressing the Wrong Climate Button; (xiii) Integrating of Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation in Myanmar; (xiiii) Resilient Odisha: Addressing Changing Climate and Disaster Risks at the Local Level; (xiv) Synergized Standard Operating Procedures for Hazardous Weather Events; (xv) Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation; and (xvi) COP21: Resources for New Climate Agreement.
This issue’s covered COP 21 Paris Statement by H.E. Mr. Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India; H.E. Mr. Nawaz Sharif, Prime Minister of Pakistan; H.E. Mr. Maithripala Sirisena, President of Sri Lanka; and Mr. Prakash Javadekar, Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, India. 
Some of the best thinkers, researchers, experts, and activists, including Mihir R. Bhatt with AIDMI Team; Sam Bickersteth, Chief Executive, CDKN, UK; Margareta Wahlström, UNISDR; Anthony Lake, Executive Director, Unicef; Sunita Narain, Down to Earth, India; and Ela R. Bhatt, SEWA, India; Christopher Webb, Deputy CEO, and, Helen Picot, CDKN; Sudhirendar Sharma, Director, The Ecological Foundation, New Delhi, India; Jana Junghardt, DRR Advisor, Caritas Switzerland; Seema Mohanty, State Project Officer, UNDP India; James Weyman, Former Project Manager, and Olavo Rasquinho, Former Typhoon Committee Secretary; and Rajashree Purohit, Program Officer, Catholic Relief Services, Bhubaneswar, India.
Theme: Climate Change, COP 21 Paris, Disaster Risk Reduction, Governance.

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Urban Resilience and Children’s Rights issue no. 139, December 2015:

City, Child, and Resilience interact with each other but not always to move towards sustainable development. This issue explores some of the key issues around this.

As the second most populous country in the world, India's has a greater share of young people in its population than other countries.


Almost 65% of India's population is under 35 years of age, of which 39% is18 years or below. Experts call this a demographic dividend. However, the optimism of this dividend is tempered by the dismal fact that more than 8 million children under the age of 6 years live in slums. This exposes a large number of children to a variety of risks. These risks are greatly amplified in the event of disasters, emergencies and climate extremes.

This issue's contents includes: (i) Smart Cities Must be Safe Cities; (ii) Urban Resilience and Children's Rights in Bangkok; (iii) Relocation, Resettlement, Rehabilitation: Key Challenges and Opportunities for Cities; (iv) Urban Resilience and Children's Rights in Sri Lanka; (v) Protecting Small Businesses in Urban Areas: From Disaster Response to Risk Reduction; (vi) The Impact of Heat Waves on Vulnerable Communities of Ahmedabad; (vii) Community Resilience: Why Cities are Different; (viii) The Vulnerability of Informal Settlements in Urban Centres of the Developing World; (ix) The Humanitarian Leadership Academy; (x) Looking Forward with Hindsight; (xi) A New Reality: Drought Situation in Brazil and Resilience and Sustainability for Smart Cities.

This issue of focuses on the theme of 'Urban Resilience and Children's Rights'. As Indian cities are constantly embattled against disasters and emergencies, its children often find themselves to be the victims of abuse, harassment and exploitation. This issue highlights the need for making children's rights to protection against the aforementioned risks indispensable in building 'Smart Cities' that are sustainable and resilient.

Some of the best thinkers, researchers, experts, and activists, including Mihir R. Bhatt with AIDMI Team; Seema Singh, Research Associate, The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), New Delhi; Costanza Ragazzi, Bangkok; Garima Jain, Indian Institute for Human Settlements, Karnataka; Alaa Sagaa, Sri Lanka; Enid Kabasinguzi Ocaya, DRR and Community Resilience Manager, World Vision Uganda; Jessica Yu, McMaster University, Canada; Laura Jump, Head of Business Development for the Humanitarian Leadership Academy, Save the Children UK; and Loy Rego, MARS Practitioners Network, India and Duryog Nivaran Fellow Traveler.

Theme: Smart Cities, Urban Risk, Community Resilience, Child’s Rights, and Governance.

Child Centered Disaster Management Planning issue no. 138, November 2015:

Though any child is a centre of any family is a vulnerable child is not at the centre of disaster management planning. This issue tells us how to do so.

Disaster management planning in India is gradually shifting from an exercise in post-emergency ad-hocism to one that encourages long term planning for preparedness.<


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This issue of focuses on the theme of 'Child Centered Disaster Management Planning in India.' As widespread poverty and climate change exacerbate the risk of disasters on children, it is time to embed corrective policy mechanisms that protect children against such risks. State and district disaster management plans are the instruments through which this objective can be accomplished. This issue highlights the ways in which children's rights to safety can be upheld in India. Most notably, the traditional knowledge of communities in reducing the risks of hazards has been discussed. Special attention has also been accorded to how the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (SFDRR) enshrines the protection of children against disaster risks.

This issue's contents includes: (i) Child Centered Disaster Risk Reduction in Long Term Recovery; (ii) Communities Addressing Local Risks; (iii) Sendai Framework on Disaster Risk Reduction; (iv) Views of Ahmedabad Youth on Disaster Risk Reduction; (v) Sendai Disaster Risk Reduction Framework Fails Millions at Risk of Disasters; (vi) Key Challenges in Vulnerability Assessment: A Personal Anecdote from the Field; (vii) Drought in Bangladesh: Recent Work and Plans of IUBAT; (viii) Skills for Safety: Possible Areas for Disaster Risk Reduction in North East India; (ix) Leveraging Risk at Local Level: Support and Facilitation of Civil Society towards Formulation of DDMPs in India; and (x) AIDMI's Commitment to India's Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC).

This issue is a must read for all interested in knowing more about the state of children's right to safety in India in the context of disaster risk reduction.

Some of the best thinkers, researchers, experts, and activists, including Mihir R. Bhatt with AIDMI Team; Sanjaya Bhatia, Head, Republic of Korea; Nikita Koka, President, AIESEC in Ahmedabad; Shafqat Munir, Regional Rights in Crisis Coordinator Asia, Oxfam Pakistan; Mohammad Shazed, Vulnerability and Capacity Assessment Facilitator, Bangladesh Red Crescent Society; Prof. M Alimullah Miyan, Chairperson, South Asian Disaster Management Centre, IUBAT, Dhaka, Bangladesh; and Aditya Saikia, Director of Strategy & Growth, Gram Tarang Employability Training Services, Centurion University, Odisha;  

Theme: Disaster Risk Reduction, SFDRR, Child and Risk, Governance.

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Risk Transfer and Insurance: Implementing SFDRR – 2015–2030

Investing in Disaster Risk Reduction for Resilience

The innovation is a small business disaster microinsurance programme to enhance recovery of local markets that play a critical role in providing goods and services as well as livelihoods to disaster-affected populations in urban settings.<


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The Sendai Framework places an emphasis on local actions. The success of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (SFDRR) will be measure by targets such as to reducing the number of disaster-affected people; reducing direct disaster economic loss; and reducing disaster damage to infrastructure and disruption of basic services. To achieve these targets, insurance products to protect vulnerable populations trying to overcome poverty and contribute to local recovery is highly important.

The project team is advocating for this risk transfer and insurance at different levels, especially for promoting and strengthening a mechanism for people contributing to the informal economy and located in poor areas that are exposed to various hazards including climate risks.

The project team is supporting the implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction. Priority 3 – Investing in disaster risk reduction for resilience – of SFDRR is directly linked to the efforts of the project – Innovative Disaster Microinsurance for Local Market Recovery. The project is directly putting efforts in line with the Sendai Framework calls for the promotion of mechanisms for disaster risk transfer and insurance, risk sharing and retention and financial protection in order to reduce the financial impact of disasters on societies, in urban areas. The evidence from the project is will be shared with state and national authorities to support the development of a regulatory framework and mechanism for insurance against hazards in India and a wider international audience for widespread scaling. To do so, this requires constant and active participation in policy dialogues. AIDMI joined the recent Asian Ministerial Meeting on Disaster Risk Reduction (AMCDRR) (ISDR Asia Partnership – IAP), November 17-19, 2015, New Delhi, India. The focus was on implementation of SFDRR in Asia and pathways towards ‘Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction 2016’ that the Government of India is hosting. This will be first post 2015 AMCDRR.

The project team emphasised the coverage of Risk Transfer and Insurance in the AMCDRR. The project team shared the learning from the project with the intention to highlight risk transfer and insurance as one of the key options to achieve the targets of SFDRR in the context of Asia, especially filling a need in urban areas that are market driven. The findings, based on the progress so far highlighted the need to build protection through disaster insurance that covers the damage of small informal businesses.

Mr. Mihir R. Bhatt was invited to join the panel on ‘Local Risk and Resilience’ of IAP. The following project based experience was shared with the audience:

1. There is a need to recognize the fact that microfinance products can only become a sustainable from a DRR perspective when they are perceived as risk transfer investments and combined with micromitigation and microinsurance in order to capture a greater variety of risk-reduction and recovery initiatives. Microinsurnace alone may not remove poverty or reduce of financial risk; it must be combined with mitigation. 

2. There is a strong need to develop a stabilization fund for microfinance institutions to help them respond to the overwhelming demand for loans and services immediately after a disaster. Such a mechanism would support and speed effective early recovery. 

3. Insurance and other microfinance programmes must combine the development and disaster recovery needs of the poor. Based on the demand survey findings, small businesses work hard, recover, save, repay and are willing to pay interest at market rates. Thus, mechanisms such as disaster insurance need to be developed to protect the growth of small informal businesses, the people they serve and the livelihoods they provide.

The project team is going to engage further with the NDMA and ISDR on implementation of SFDRR particularly on risk transfer and insurance under the upcoming project actions.

The project team is busy in the development of an insurance product for informal small businesses and also designing the 8th South-South Development Academy on Risk ‘Building Urban Resilience Through Risk Transfer: Protecting Small Business and Local Market Recovery’. Various state and national authorities and regional agencies have shown interest to join the event as partners. The project team is creating a platform with three objectives - promote risk transfer as a tool for urban disaster risk reduction in highly vulnerable cities and towns in South Asian countries; showcase risk transfer products and their impacts so far and other replicable approaches for urban disaster risk reduction an link it with adaptation to climate change; and understand gender in the context of DRR and the inclusion of women for a successful risk transfer model.

AIDMI’s Commitment to India’s Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC)

The year 2015 has been momentous for humanitarian policy and action, as it witnessed the finalizing of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (SFDRR) and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). As the year draws to a close, the nations of the world have convened in Paris at the Conference of Parties (COP 21) to settle on a new deal on climate change.


The Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) form the basis of these negotiations in Paris.

As a participating nation at COP 21, India has committed itself to an ambitious target of reducing its emissions intensity per unit GDP by 33 to 35 percent below 2005 by 2030, and create an additional carbon sink of 2.5 to 3 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide through additional tree cover. Since the past 20 years, the All India Disaster Mitigation Institute (AIDMI) has been at the forefront of disaster and climate risk mitigation in South Asia. This year we renewed our commitment to risk reduction by seeking to integrate the priorities of SFDRR, SDGs and now the INDCs in our work.

In pledging allegiance to India’s INDC, AIDMI has decided to focus on institutionalizing and mainstreaming activities at the local (district) level that will help in the achievement of the stipulated targets. On 3rd December, 2015 an internal discussion on India’s INDC took place among the team members of AIDMI. Several insights and areas of intervention emerged from this discussion. It was decided that the District Disaster Management Plans (DDMPs) present the perfect opportunity to institutionalize the INDCs at the local level by focusing on areas like livelihood security, children’s risks, urban planning, energy efficiency, natural resource management, finance, health, and sanitation along with water security.

In promulgating its INDC, India has put its faith in a unique model of climate sensitive development. It is up to civil society organizations like AIDMI to take this faith forward by working on the adaptation and mitigation measures at the local level.

Emergency Management Exercise, Nalbari 2015 (NEMEx)

Mission Emergency Preparedness continues in Assam. After the sucessful and eventful completion of Guwahati Emergency Management Exercise (GEMEx) from 14th to 18th December, 2015, Nalbari Emergency Management Exercise has been kicked off on 19th December at Harimandir Ground, Nalbari by His Excellency Dr.


Bhumidhar Barman, Honorable Minister, Revenue and Disaster Management, Government of Assam in presence of Mr. Asim Kumar Chetia, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Assam State Disaster Management Authority, the Deputy Comissioner, Superintendent of police, Nalbari and hundreded of participants including officials, civil socitieties, rescue agencies and other emergency support functions. AIDMI is invited to facilitate the School Disaster Preparedness track and is providing technical support in Organizing the EMEx at Nalbari.

Guwahati Emergency Management Exercise (GEMEx) 2015

 His Excellency Mr. Traun Gogoi, Honourable Chief Minister of Assam and Chairman of the Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA) addressing the jam-packed crowd of participants from 11 different training tracks during the inaugural ceremony of Guwahati Emergency Management Exercise (GEMEx) 2015.


His Excellency Mr. Bhumidhar Barman, Honourable Minister for Revenue and Disaster Management, Mr. V.K Pipersania, Honourable Chief Secretary, Government of Assam and other dignified guests paying attention to CM’s inaugural address.

The All India Disaster Mitigation Institute (AIDMI) being partner of GEMEx 2015 and also a facilitator of ‘School Disaster Preparedness’ track, joined the initiative to build the city disaster preparedness and also measure the impact from GEMEx 2012 to GEMEx 2015.

Building Resilience, Locally!

The best way to start building resilience – to climate and disaster risk – is to start locally.

Assam is taking the lead in taking local action in India. Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA) invited All India Disaster Mitigation Institute (AIDMI) to facilitate the two-day’s workshop on ‘Preparing Action Plan for Mainstreaming Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) and Climate Change Adaptation (CCA)’; December 4-5, 2015, Guwahati, Assam. The Preparation of action plan is for three department


s of Agricultures; Education; and Panchayat and Rural Department. Total 34 district and state Government officials joined the workshop to discuss and prepare the plan that support the department functions and stakeholders towards better preparedness for risk reduction and adaptation to climate change. Not many states have done this exercise in India.

Recently, ASDMA has conducted a training needs assessment (TNA) on DRR and CCA that resulted into integration of both. ASDMA moved ahead based on the TNA findings and initiated training for linking DRR and CCA at district level with ToT approach. The current planning initiative of ASDMA is to design sector specific actions with departmental officials for year 2016. 

AIDMI initiated local actions with district and state authorities that promote and strengthen the integration of DRR and CCA. The base of these actions is IPCC’s SREX findings and local implementation of SFDRR in India.

Above local action prepares India better address INDC challenge. It has taken up in COP21 in Paris. The workshop discussion emphasized the local implementation of the SFDRR, especially priority of action 3 – Investing in Disaster Risk Reduction for Resilience. The state and district departmental officials will initiate the pilots that build resilience at district level with support from ASDMA based on the outputs of this workshop. The safety of local institutions such as schools, hospitals; ways for financial inclusion such as microfinance and insurance; capacity building of stakeholders who engage actively in providing services were discuss by the group.

The workshop organised by ASDMA; facilitated jointly by ASDMA and AIDMI; under UNDP and GOI supported Project – “Enhancing Institutional and Community Resilience to Disaster and Climate Change”.

Humanitarian Innovation for Child Development issue no. 137, October 2015:

Children and Innovation do go hand-in-hand. But do humanitarian innovations and child development? Find out in this issue.

An unprecedented number of people in distress due to the crises triggered by disasters or conflicts have given rise to a series of daunting challenges faced by the global humanitarian system.


Children, in particular have been the worst affected demographic group in such crises. The 1.1 million Syrian children registered as refugees with UNHCR Worldwide and 1.5 million children rendered homeless by the Nepal Earthquake of April 2015 highlights the plight of children in humanitarian crises.

Some of the best thinkers, researchers, experts, and activists, including Mihir R. Bhatt with AIDMI Team; Ms. Christel Rose, UNISDR, Geneva, Switzerland; Bhadra B, Kochi Municipal Corporation, Kerala; Poonam Muttreja, Population Foundation of India, New Delhi; Leah Campbell, ALNAP; Michel Dikkes, CHS Alliance, Switzerland; Ms. Sumaya Rashid, Social Responsibility Asia (SR Asia), Bangladesh; Gregory Pearn, ADPC, Thailand; and Lucy Pearson, GNDR, UK. Hardly ever these authors have written on this subject.

This issue highlights how innovations in planning for humanitarian interventions can have a far reaching effect on improving the effectiveness of such interventions, especially for children. Improved humanitarian outcomes as a result of institutionalizing family planning and vocational training programmes in humanitarian interventions are cited as such innovations. Similarly, newer approaches to planning for safer schools by capturing the perspectives of the children attending those schools is also highlighted.

This issue's contents includes: (i) 24 Countries Commit to Implement the Worldwide Initiative for Safe Schools; (ii) Disaster Risk Management for Healthy Societies; (iii) Education and Knowledge in Building a Culture of Resilience; (iv) National Relevance of Vocational Education Development in Humanitarian System; (v) Kochi: Agenda for Sustainable Urban Development; (vi) Population Growth, Disaster Risk and Possible Way Ahead in India; (vii) ALNAP Urban Response Community of Practice; (viii) CHS Alliance: Ten Actions to Strengthen the Relevance and Effectiveness of Humanitarian and Development Action; (ix) Corporate Social Responsibility and Disaster Risk Management & Reduction in Bangladesh; (x) Bridging the Gap between Disaster Response and Government–Led Recovery; (xi) We Need a Reality Check; (xii) On Living History and Cultural Dynamic, and (xiii) Implementing SFDRR in Delhi City. Kindly ever this subject is addressed in there many ways.

This issue highlights the need and techniques of engaging children as active stakeholders in shaping DRR policies and practices in South Asia. An inclusive approach to DRR which makes the voices of children count would make humanitarian assistance and disaster relief more effective and efficient in the region. This issue is a must read for all interested to know about the role children can play in risk reduction strategies in South Asia.

Theme: Disaster Risk Reduction, Disaster Response, Child and Risk, Humanitarian Innovation, Urban Response, Safe Schools, and Governance.

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Children and Humanitarian Assistance in South Asia issue no. 136, September 2015:

What do children in South Asia want after a disaster? And what they receive makes any impact? This issue address these questions.

The enhanced vulnerability of children to the detrimental impacts of disasters and emergencies now qualifies as conventional wisdom in various humanitarian circles.


Almost 70% of the affected population of a disaster or extreme event are children. Consequently, a lot of government and humanitarian agencies have taken up the cause of protecting and promoting the rights of children to safety and security.

Some of the best thinkers, researchers, experts, and activists, including Mihir R. Bhatt with AIDMI Team; Jaivir Singh, Price water house Coopers Pvt. Ltd., Delhi; Emily Bild, UNICEF India; Atty. Lesley Y. Cordero, OPARR, Philippines; Mr. Lei Pun Chi, Typhoon Committee Secretariat; Prof. Smita Kadam, Saritsa Foundation, Mumbai; Ms. Abby Gwaltney and Dr. Hassan Virji, International START Secretariat, Washington DC; Dr. Henna Hejazi, Sphere India, New Delhi and Hamendra Dangi, University of Delhi explore the linkages between children and humanitarian assistance.

This issue of focuses on the theme of 'Children and Humanitarian Assistance in South Asia'. South Asia consistently ranks as one of the most disaster prone regions of the world as a result of which a lot of humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR) operations are concentrated in this region. However, children which comprise a third of the total 1.72 billion people in South Asia are rarely engaged as active stakeholders in the dialogue around disaster risk reduction.

This issue's contents includes: (i) City, Child and Risk in India: A View; (ii) Children and Youth – "Don't Decide My Future without Me"; (iii) Commitment to Safe Schools; (iv) Training on Child-Centred Risk Assessment; (v) Odisha Leads Mainstreaming Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation in India; (vi) Adaptation and Disaster Resilience in INDCs of India; (vii) Rebuilding after Typhoon Yolanda; (viii) Typhoon Committee's Role in Implementing Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction; (ix) Droughts in India and Saritsa Foundation's Contribution to Prepare People in India; (x) START: Two Decades of Impact in Asia; (xi) Role of Sphere India in Coordination in J&K Flood Response; (xii) Responsible Inc., and (xiii) 10 Years Later: Reviewing Recovery of Tsunami Affected Women from India.

This issue highlights the need and techniques of engaging children as active stakeholders in shaping DRR policies and practices in South Asia. An inclusive approach to DRR which makes the voices of children count would make humanitarian assistance and disaster relief more effective and efficient in the region. This issue is a must read for all interested to know about the role children can play in risk reduction strategies in South Asia.

Disaster Risk Reduction, Disaster Response, Child and Risk, Governance and Humanitarian Assistance.

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Launching a Disaster Microinsurance Scheme Based on Demand Survey in India

The innovation is a small business disaster microinsurance programme to enhance recovery of local markets that play a critical role in providing goods and services to disaster-affected populations in urban settings.

AIDMI in collaboration with Stanford University, with support from the Humanitarian Innovation Fund, is running a project ‘Innovating Disaster Microinsurance for Local Market Recovery’.


In developing economies such as India, small and informal businesses are one of the most important stakeholders at the local level. They not only provide the working poor with an effective means of gainful employment, such businesses also help in fulfilling the demand for affordable goods and services to consumers at the bottom of the pyramid. These are the very markets that serve disaster affected communities and need to be re-established for effective and lasting recovery. However, due to their informal nature, such businesses do not have access to coping or recovery mechanisms during disasters/emergencies. As a result, most of these businesses have to cease operations permanently or for months after a disaster or rely on a poor coping mechanism that have a multitude of costs to the individual owners and their families.

In the context of DRR, resilience is the ability to quickly recover from the adverse impacts of a disaster. At the local level, resilience translates into the capacity of goods and service providers to successfully overcome the exigencies brought on by a disaster and maintain function. Thus, enhancing resilience at the local level becomes synonymous for enhancing the capacities of the stakeholders at the local level to effectively respond to a disaster/emergency.

This project aims to enhance the capacities of the stakeholders at the local level by providing them access to a risk transfer mechanism. The project aims to aid the local market recovery by piloting a disaster microinsurance scheme with small and informal businesses from three cities of India: Puri (Odisha), Guwahati (Assam), Cuddalore (Tamil Nadu). This project has hitherto successfully conducted demand surveys among the small businesses in all the three locations. The purpose of these surveys was to map out the demand for a disaster microinsurance scheme and then design a scheme for the small businesses. 

The United India Insurance Company (UIIC) is the insurance partner for this project. After analyzing the data collected through the demand surveys, the UIIC has helped in developing a microinsurance scheme suited to the needs of small businesses in the aforementioned three cities.

Having factored in the findings from the demand surveys, a disaster microinsurance product has been designed for small and informal businesses of the project site – Puri, Odisha state. This microinsurance scheme covers all types of natural calamities, fire, burglary along with personal accidents – PTD, PPD (Permanent Total/ Partial Disability), Death. A detailed breakup of this product is as follows:

Particulars Sum Insured (INR)
Fire and Natural Calamities:
House hold goods 

Stock of Product 10,000/
Business Structure and Tools      30,000/
Personal Accident (PTD, TPD, Death) 30,000/
Total             1,50,000/

Puri, Odisha will be the first urban location where the aforementioned disaster microinsurance scheme will be launched. The scheme will be launched with 782 clients (small and informal business owners) who have been selected through the random sampling research method while the equally sized control group without insurance will also be followed. This randomized controlled trial was done to eliminate any bias in the selection of the clients and outcomes.

The next step in launching the disaster microinsurance scheme will be the orientation of the clients. This orientation will be done through Focused Group Discussions. In groups of 10-12 clients, these clients will be oriented on the various aspects of the insurance scheme, from the premium amount to the total coverage offered. These FGDs will be conducted in collaboration with the local partner, viz. SWAD.

An FGD guideline document has also been prepared to ensure standardization and quality of the FGD process. These guidelines will help in highlighting the importance, background, do’s and don’ts, coverage and limitations, immediate steps and the claim process, etc. The objective of these FGDs is to allow the clients to fully understand the benefits and the limitations of the microinsurance scheme in a clear and concise manner. After launching the disaster microinsurance scheme in Puri, the project team will reach out to the remaining two sites for creating an insurance product based on the demand survey findings, viz. Guwahati and Cuddalore.

Resilience is often viewed as the ability of local level stakeholders to effectively overcome the adverse impacts of a disaster. In this respect, enhancing the capacity of such stakeholders forms an important aspect of disaster risk reduction and adaptation to climate change. The team is hoping to build resilience for small and informal businesses and measuring the local market recovery in the aftermath of disaster.

Making Smart Cities Safe: Cities, Children and Risk issue no. 135, August 2015:

“It is smart to be safe” said Mihir R. Bhatt at 6th Annual Conference of the International Society for Integrated Disaster Risk Management, IDRiM – TIFAC 2015 “Disaster Risk Reduction: Challenges and Opportunities for Sustainable Growth” on Panel Session on Nepal: Beyond Disasters: Building Resilient Communities in Nepal?” What is true for a city is true for a child.

The Ministry of Urban Development (Government of India) ha


s recently released a list of 98 cities under its flagship ‘Smart Cities Mission’. The objective of the Smart Cities Mission is to promote cities that provide core infrastructure and give a decent quality of life to its citizens, along with a clean and sustainable environment through the application of ‘Smart’ Solutions. As the plan to invigorate the future of India’s urban ecosystem goes underway, important concerns about the safety of children in these ‘smart cities’ need to be addressed.

This issue of is titled 'Making Smart Cities Safe: Cities, Children and Risk'. According to various estimates, there are 158 million children in the country, about 26% i.e. 41 million live in urban areas and 8 million of them in slums. Hitherto, urban planning in India has not been very responsive to the safety and development needs of children. 

This issue's contents includes: (i) Urban Resilience and Rights of Children; (ii) Smart Cities: A Different View; (iii) Towards Smart and Resilient Cities in India; (iv) Urban Resilience and Rights of Children in Kolkata; (v) Development of Ahmedabad: What Worked?; (vi) Livelihood Recovery in Nepal: Key Issues and Challenges; (vii) City, Child and Risk in India: A view; (viii) Smart Cities and Climate Change Challenges and (ix) The Gujarat School Safety Week 2015.

This issue of highlights the necessity to make such needs of children intrinsic to the design of these safe cities.

Theme: Urban Resilience, Smart Cities, Risk Reduction, Climate Change and School Safety.

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Identifying Innovative Solutions at the Local Level

After successfully conducting a demand survey of small businesses to assess the demand for disaster microinsurance in Puri (Odisha) and Guwahati (Assam), a similar exercise was conducted in Cuddalore (Tamil Nadu). The city of Cuddalore falls in the eastern part of Tamil Nadu, which is prone to natural hazards such as tsunamis, cyclones and floods.


The district also experiences a hot and tropical monsoon climate, characterized by humid weather and erratic rainfall. Temperatures range from 19.9o C to 26o C in the winter and from 31o C to 42o C in the summer. Together, these conditions set Cuddalore’s enhanced vulnerability to various natural hazards. In particular, flooding and cyclones pose a serious threat to the city due to its long coastline, exposure and vulnerability.

The enhanced vulnerability of Cuddalore district also exposes the small and informal businesses of this city to a lot of climate stresses. Previously, in the aftermath of many disasters, these small and informal businesses had suffered heavy losses, sometimes forcing their closure altogether. While the incessant floods during the monsoon months is a source of distress for all the residents of Cuddalore, the small and informal businesses of the city feel a greater pinch of these climate stresses. Flooding causes widespread damage to the structure of the shop as well as the inventories of such enterprises. Since most informal businesses possess no safety nets to recover or sustain after an extreme event, a lot of them go out of business following an extreme event.

A potent way of overcoming this drawback for small and informal businesses is through promoting risk transfer approaches, in particular disaster microinsurance. The demand survey conducted in Cuddalore, seeks to accomplish two purposes. First, to assess the demand for a disaster microinsurance scheme among the small and informal business community of the city. Second, to disseminate information about the potential benefits of disaster micro insurance in protecting livelihood assets against any kind of natural disaster.

Some of the highlights of the demand survey conducted at Cuddalore are as follow: 
• Among the total small business surveyed (1746), 96% of the small business owners have been affected by a disaster every year and expressed the need of a disaster microinurance scheme.
• Most of the small and marginal business owners suffered huge losses of both livelihood and inventories. After a disaster strikes, they are forced to borrow money from local money lenders, at an exorbitant rate of interest which pushes them into a vicious cycle of debt.
• It was also found during the survey that there was limited understanding about insurance among the respondents. The survey revealed that only a few small business owners among the surveyed population had previously subscribed to insurance. While only 4% of the surveyed small business owners admitted to having any knowledge on micro insurance.
• The small business owners have expressed interest in purchasing business disaster insurance and they generally favor paying smaller premiums annually.
• Most of them wanted comprehensive programs that covered numerous risks. This design would include disaster, eviction, theft, and injury. A composite and integrated product at the right price point would likely be more successful.
• Moreover, the small business owners wanted insurance programs that protected against heat waves and sudden rainfall. A more permanent program should shield businesses from these conditions.

After such a thorough study, it is apparent that this vulnerable section of society needs a proper coping mechanism against the various hazards to which it is exposed. Thus, disaster micro insurance is a great instrument for the small and informal business owners. This form of insurance can also keep small business out of a cycle of loss/poverty by providing the critical post disaster liquidity required in urban environments.

Photo caption: Mrs. S. Rajakumari doing small-business of selling vegetables in Cuddolore City, Tamil Nadu, India.

World Conference on Humanitarian Studies

The World Conference on Humanitarian Studies on Changing Crises and the Quest for Adequate Solutions.

1. Humanitarian crises and development
2. Conflict and humanitarianism
3. The implications of climate change for humanitarian studies
4. New partnerships; new technologies; professionalism in crisis response

The 4th bi-annual IHSA conference will take place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from 5 to 8 March 2016.

Odisha Focuses on Disaster Risk Reduction

Wednesday, 30 September 2015 | PNS | BHUBANESWAR | in Bhubaneswar

Odisha is focusing on mainstreaming of disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation,” said Odisha State Disaster Management Authority (OSDMA) DGM PK Nayak while inaugurating a ‘Training of Trainers’ programme organised by the OSDMA in association with the All India Disaster Mitigation Institute (AIDMI) at Puri on Monday.<


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Nayak said Odisha had showcased effective response during cyclone Phailin. “There is a need to better understand and implement disaster risk reduction (DRR) and climate change adaptation (CCA) concerns into development process,” he added.

AIDMI managing trustee Mihir R Bhatt said Odisha has rich experience of DRR and CCA which can be informing development decisions for ensuring sustainable development in the State and beyond.

The training was attended by line department officials from different districts along with other leading non-Government practitioners. This training would create a pool of motivated skilled trainers who can take the cause to the grass-root development process, said Bhatt.

Among others, experts including Seema Mohanty from the UNDP and OSDMA’s social expert LN Nayak spoke in the training programme.

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Nepal Recovery: Building Back Better

No other recovery is as strategic and as promising opportunity to use findings of GAR 2015 and implement SFDRR than the in the emphasize recovery process of Nepal. And this Experience Learning Series shows how this opportunity can be availed.

The devastating quakes which struck Nepal on 25th April and 12th May, 2015 have left more than 8,000 dead, 22,000 injured and almost half a million homeless.


The death, dispossession and deprivation brought on by the catastrophe precipitated a humanitarian crisis of epic proportions. The widespread devastation caused by the quakes threatened to unravel the small Himalayan nation's social, economic and political fabric. Help came from all quarters but the sincerest of efforts from humanitarian and government agencies were frustrated by the sheer scale of the disaster. The United Nations agencies did their best and international agencies offered needed help. Government of India offered all that any neighbouring country can offer including people-to-people direct links.

As a disaster ravaged Nepal staggers towards recovery, it is faced with several challenges. The Government of Nepal has shown unmatched leadership. Notable challenges include putting the indigent nation's economy on the growth track again, sustainably rehabilitating the displaced and ensuring an equitable and sustainable recovery. This earthquake has in fact given Nepal an opportunity to 'Build Back Better'. And citizens of Nepal are ready to march on this path with pride.

This Experience Learning Series (ELS) by the All India Disaster Mitigation Institute (AIDMI) focuses on the theme of 'Nepal Recovery: Building Back Better'. Previously, AIDMI had produced two separate issues of its publication, on the Nepal quakes. This ELS blends in the two issues into one consolidated document aimed at highlighting the importance of building back in Nepal to all who have interest in rebuilding sustainable and prosperous Nepal. Needless to say this includes people of India, China, Japan, and many other countries.

This ELS offers a voice to a diverse set of interests as well as a direction to implement Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction through recovery in Nepal.

AIDMI expresses its gratitude to all the distinguished contributors who enriched this ELS with their invaluable insights. As Nepal takes its first steps towards recovery, it is hoped that the priorities of building back better are captured by all to ensure a robust, inclusive and sustainable recovery towards prosperous Nepal.

At a recent September 2015 launch of GAR 2015 in Colombo by Duryog Nivaran and Government of Sri Lanka, it was clear to all over 100 South Asian participants that Build Back Better is not only a recovery slogan but a basic sustainable development principle.

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National Consultation of Partner Agencies

AIDMI join the important national consultation of partner agencies and scientific and technical institutions on August 25, 2015 at IHC, New Delhi. Shri Kiren Rijiju, Ministry of Home Affairs of Government of India indicated ways to consolidate India’s capacities and Ms. Margareta Wahlstrom, SRSG, UNISDR indicated way ahead to focus in line with the AMCDRR 2016 objectives.


AIDMI was invited to join as the technical partner agency for AMCDRR 2016 by NIDM and NDMA. AIDMI pointed out India’s experience as the most important knowledge resource for reducing risk in India. ‘Widespread risk knowledge will reduce loss and damage faster and better’ said, Vishal Pathak of AIDMI.

Private Sector Partnership for Disaster Risk Reduction

AIDMI was invited by UNDP and FICCI to the national workshop on ‘Private Sector Partnership for Disaster Risk Reduction’ on August 24, 2015. The USAID was a co-sponsor and the Government of India took the lead role. AIDMI showcased ‘Innovative Disaster Microinsurance for Local Market Recovery’ with the objective to promote and strengthen the partnership of the insurance industries for the disaster risk reduction and humanitarian action.


Vishal Pathak of AIDMI joined the opening ceremony and shared Experience Learning Series (ELS) no. 67, titled Nepal Recovery: Building Back Better with Ms. Margareta Wahlstrom, SRSG, UNISDR, Geneva.

The workshop was inaugurated by Ms. Margareta Wahlstrom, SRSG, UNISDR and Shri Kiren Rijiju, MoS, MHA, Government of India. Mr. Mihir R. Bhatt, AIDMI, joined the final panel of summing up session of the workshop. He argued for systematic and system wide Government of India – Private Sector Collaboration; a 3-year Road map; and increased investments in local DRR initiatives in India.


Small and Informal Businesses Coloborate World Humanitarian Day at AIDMI

Small and informal businesses celebrated the World Humanitarian Day on 19th August, 2015. Since 2009, World Humanitarian Day is celebrated throughout the world to commemorate those people who have lost their lives in humanitarian service and those who continue to bring assistance and relief to millions.


This year the theme of the World Humanitarian Day was “Inspiring the World’s Humanity.’  This theme calls people to celebrate the spirit of humanitarian work by spreading awareness about humanitarianism.

Small businesses suffer significant losses, sometimes to the point of elimintaion, after a humanitarian crisis. At the same time, small and informal business play an active role in reviving livelihoods, markets and a sense of community after a crisis. All these roles are inspiring, but under-recognized and these victims remain largely unsupported in international humanitarian action worldwide.

Taking a small leaf out of this year’s theme, AIDMI joined to celebrate the World Humanitarian Day with a unique group of youth familiar with small and informal businesses. These youngsters came mainly from three categories, humanitarian workers, students from higher education, and those who had dropped out of school for one reason or the other, but are now pursuing their education through non-traditional systems such as the National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS). It was decided to introduce such youngsters to the different aspects of humanitarianism through humanitarian efforts in the field of disaster risk reduction and later on humanitarian innovation particular to risk transfer through mircoinsurance for small and informal businesses. The celebration was vibrant as the young participants came from different locations including Brazil, France, and India. 

The celebration started with a presentation which gave the group an insight into the background and different aspects of humanitarian work worldwide. This was followed by an interactive session where the presenters informed the group about the daily humanitarian work which people often undertake without even knowing it. The young people participated very enthusiastically in this discussion and pointed out how humanitarian action is colored by international and UN agency work and often overlooks the role and contribution of small business that revive local economies and livelihoods.

The next part of the celebration consisted of spreading awareness about ‘Innovating Disaster Microinsurance for Local Market Recovery’, a collaborative project between AIDMI, Stanford University and the Humanitarian Innovation Fund (HIF). The presenters stressed the humanitarian aspects of this project, which tries to address the post disaster financial needs of small and informal businesses. “Humanitarian action is not humanitarian if it leaves the recovering victims exposed to more and future risks”, said Mihir R. Bhatt of AIDMI.

Throughout the presentation, the importance of small and informal business was stressed upon. Such businesses offer the working poor a chance to improve their living conditions and move out of poverty. They also provide another important function, by making necessary items available to consumers from the bottom of the pyramid before, during and after a crisis. ”Humanitarian action is now narrowly defined” said Vishal Pathak, AIDMI. Rakesh Rathod, a young construction contractor said, “Humanitarian action is focused on formal action leaving informality out of humanitarian action”.

Due to poverty, illiteracy and other debilitating factors, these small business owners often do not get their businesses registered with the concerned authorities. As a result, they are left out of the ambit of any government policies and schemes which seek to promote business recovery in post-disaster situations. Disasters or extreme events are often the greatest threat faced by such businesses. Mohit Nagar said, “unseasonal rains caused greater loss to my business than the 2008 global financial slowdown.”

This is because disasters cause irreparable damage to the capital and assets of such small and informal businesses. Vandana Chauhan said, “it takes years to build up capital for women who run business”. The problem is further compounded because these businesses lie outside the scope of government schemes and policies. In the face of such adverse conditions, many small and informal businesses face closure after a disaster or extreme event. Risk transfer approaches in the form of disaster microinsurance seem to be a feasible solution to the problem of continuity and recovery of small and informal businesses in post-disaster situations. Hiren Rana, a data manager for a private company said, “information is key and awareness for timely recovery are is rarely available.”

The presenters stressed that the project “Innovating Disaster Microinsurance for Local Market Recovery” aims to do just that. The project is supported by the Humanitarian Innovation Fund. The need for a disaster microinsurance product for small and informal businesses was also highlighted through the following points:
• Small informal businesses are repeatedly exposed to disaster risks.
• Employment in the non-agriculture informal sector is close to 59% in urban areas of India.
• Loss assessments often ignores the loss of the informal sector, compensation takes too long and is often below market rates.
• Microinsurance can break the cycle of poverty by providing low income households access to post disaster liquidity.
• Currently it is mostly the “victims” who manage the majority of disaster recovery themselves. Microinsurance can help accelerate their efforts.
• The informal sector is restricted in its access to vital financial services such as microinsurance.

After briefing the group of participants about the needs of disaster microinsurance, the presenters related the progress of the project. The project has reached a stage as the data from the demand surveys of small businesses from 3 urban locations – Guwahati in Assam, Cuddalore in Tamil Nadu and Puri in Odisha - have been collated and analyzed for designing an appropriate insurance scheme. The final disaster microinsurance policy will be designed through stakeholder consultations that would synthesize the findings of the aforementioned demand survey with the suggestions of all the involved stakeholders. The final policy will be introduced to potential clients after these consultative procedures. The plan has been shared with the youth audience to get their views on possible approaches to awareness and capacity building on risk transfer through microinsurance with the small business community. The youth who are directly or indirectly involved in the operations of such businesses shared their views. The use of social media, using visuals in awareness materials including clients’ pictures, usage of an app like whatsapp and supporting data management systems were some of the key points shared by the youth.

The proceedings of the day ended with an interactive session between the presenters and the group of youngsters. The youngsters came to ask a lot of questions about the concept of microisnurance and the way it helps the working poor. The presenters answered all their queries and asked the youth to spread the word about the spirit of humanitarianism among their friends.

Rebuilding Nepal by Implementing SFDRR issue no. 134, July 2015:

Rebuilding Nepal offers most exciting opportunities. And here is a small but important collection of such opportunities described in terms of ideas, concerns, approaches, and experiences. This issue of focuses on the theme of ' Rebuilding Nepal by Implementing SFDRR'.


As three months have passed since the tragedy, it is time for the Nepalese government and other donors to chalk out a plan for the country's long term reconstruction. Consequently, a donors' conference is being organized to decide on the best course of action. All such efforts should be aligned with the SFDRR. A lot of experts have different perspectives on what should be the nature of this recovery and reconstruction. This issue of tries to highlight these eclectic perspectives and is a must read for all who are interested to learn about the challenges and opportunities of rebuilding Nepal. What is presented is rigorous, evidence-based and rich with testimony of professionals.

This issue's contents includes: (i) Preface by Dr. Govind Nepal, Member, National Planning Commission, Government of Nepal; (ii) Foreword by Margareta Wahlström, UNISDR; (iii) Lessons Learned from Nepal Earthquake by Kamal Kishore, National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), New Delhi; (iv) Nepal Earthquake: Agenda for SFDRR Compliant Donor Response by Mihir R. Bhatt; (v) Disasters: A Creative Moment; (vi) Making Gender Central to Nepal Recovery; (vii) Reconstructing Shelter in Nepal; (viii) A Model Response by Government of India to Nepal Earthquake; (ix) Building Back Better after the Earthquake; (x) Rebuilding Nepal: What Donors Must Fund; (xi) Role of AIESEC Nepal in Earthquake Recovery; (xii) Rebuilding Nepal: Ideas for Designers; (xiii) Rebuilding Nepal: What Donors Must Know; (xiv) Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women in Humanitarian Response; (xv) Nepal Earthquake: Lessons for Indian Himalayan Region (IHR); (xvi) Community Resilience Plan Nepal; (xvii) FINDER Search and Rescue Technology Helped Save Lives in Nepal; (xviii) Women to Women Relief; (xix) Nepal Quakes: World Vision India's Response; (xx) Coordination as Humanitarian Action in Nepal; (xxi) Livelihood Recovery Agenda for Nepal; (xxii) Research Agenda for Nepal: A Country Recovering from a Mega Disaster; (xxiii) Evidence Aid Response to the Nepal Earthquake; (xxiv) Demands for Rehabilitation; (xxv) Financial Requirements for Recovery; (xxvi) Priorities for DRR and Building Back Better (BBB) in Nepal; (xxvii) Round Table Meeting on Nepal Earthquake 2015: From Relief to Recovery.

This issue highlights the critical everyday connections that link local processes with SFDRR implementation in Asia.

Theme: SFDRR, Disaster Recovery, Earthquake, Lessons Learnt, Livelihood Recovery, Risk Reduction, Governance

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The findings brought to light by the demand survey on disaster microinsurance in Guwahati city of Assam, India were worth sharing with relevant stakeholders. The survey revealed that as risk is increasing over time with increasing frequency and extremes of weather related events due to climate change, the ability of urban small business to face these challenges is missing.


This was confirmed during the demand survey when small business owners explained their struggles without any support from the public or private sector. Disaster Micro Insurance is a pressing need for these small businesses, but no such product currently exists.

A roundtable conference was organized by the project team with the objectives of moving towards a well-designed micro disaster insurance product and to discuss the findings of the survey. The roundtable shared the key findings of the survey conducted with the small businesses and the needs that emerged after the analysis. These findings will feed into the preparation of the product for small businesses.

Staying together for a cause- the participants of roundtable on “Linking Disaster Risk Reduction with Risk Transfer: Protecting Small Businesses in Urban Areas” at Guwahati, India. Active discussion between State and District Disaster Management Authorities; Insurance Companies, Humanitarian Agencies and Small Businesses.

It was indeed an achievement for the project to have the State Disaster Management Authority attend the consultation with ownership and initiative. The one-day roundtable took place in the conference hall of the Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA, Government of Assam) with 38 participants from across various sectors including government officials from the state and district level disaster management authorities, public and private sector insurance companies, humanitarian agencies and representatives from small businesses.The event was inaugurated by Mr. Ashim Kumar Chetia ACS, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, ASDMA. In his inaugural speech he emphasized urban risks and said “The biggest challenge in DRR (Disaster Risk Reduction) for us has been the lack of coordination and contribution from all stakeholders. There is a need to work towards bridging this gap. The issues and challenges must be resolved with initiative and commitment from all stakeholders”. Mrs. Hazarika in her discussion on urban risk reduction highlighted efforts and initiatives of ASDMA and said “the overlap between disaster risk and climate risk cannot be ignored. The frequency of climatic events and rapid and uncontrolled urban development needs to be addressed by all stakeholders together. It is high time for climate compatible development”. Dr. Himansih Deb, Regional Manager, United India Insurance Company stressed upon the need for enhancing the knowledge and understanding among small businesses about the concept and importance of insurance products for the benefit of lower income groups. Mrs. Rupali Rabha, a small businesswoman from Bhangagarh, Guwahati said,”seasonal storms result in severe devastation in the market where we do business, almost everyone who suffer damage either uses his/her savings or resort by using informal credit”.

During the inauguration, Deputy CEO, ASDMA and SPO, ASDMA launched the latest issue of on ‘Disaster Microinsurance: An Innovation for Transformation’.

This consultation has revealed the existing plight of the small informal businesses in the context of disasters from varied perspectives and has laid the foundation for the evolution of innovative tools that will have the potential to address the multiple dimensions of risks suffered by these small businesses. The round table discussions helped the project build understanding. After the roundtable, the insurance companies that were present are now more sensitive towards this target group. The round table discussion provided an opportunity to raise awareness and arrive at an agreeable solution for reducing risk through disaster insurance for the urban small businessmen in Guwahati.


In an address during the launch of the Smart Cities Mission on June 25, 2015, the Prime Minister of India stated that “The city’s residents and leadership should decide how a city should grow.” This statement reflects the philosophy of the Smart Cities programme, a nationwide project launched by the Government of India.


It endeavours to cover 100 cities with INR 48000 cr. (USD 8 Billion) over five years. But are these smart cities safe cities? A recent survey on disaster insurance demand captures the perspectives of small businesses in urban areas of India for smart management of financial matters. It found that insurance coverage to small businesses makes a city safe, and a safe city makes a smart city.

A South Asian Summit on May 22-23, 2015 in New Delhi was organised by the Cities Network Campaign. Mihir R. Bhatt from AIDMI chaired a session on ‘Urban Vulnerability and Resilience – Climate Change and Adaptation’; the panel included Dr. B. C. Sabat, Senior Scientific Officer, Delhi Government; Dr. K. Vijaya Lakshmi, Vice President, Development Alternatives; Ms. Prarthana Borah, Senior Proograme Coordinator, Centre for Environment Education and Ms. Divya Sharma, TERI. The panel and overall summit raised many important issues. Among these, risk pooling and transfer came up during discussion as an important feature in the concept of smart cities.

Urban risk in India is ubiquitous. Cities are unsafe. According to the World Resources Institute, gross domestic product at risk of flooding in India may surge 10-fold by 2030 as cities expand and climate challenge worsens. Only sustained efforts can help avoid this scenario. We live in an era of historically unprecedented urbanization. With the influx of large swathes of people into cities, the carrying capacity of many urban systems is often exceeded. This pushes a greater number of people into the column of vulnerability, giving rise to newer risks while exacerbating those already there.

Action based research on risk sharing instruments should be encouraged in towns and cities located in climatic hotspots, and the best practices should be scaled up. Non-life coverage needs to be encouraged, especially for small businesses. Barriers such as the low level of awareness of risk transfer and insurance among vulnerable population needs attention by the relevant government and private institutions. The insurance industry is relatively weak in South Asia, and panelists highlighted the need to support it for better risk management. However, microfinance alone cannot remove poverty; it must include mitigation measures. Reducing risk comes first, and insurance exists to help deal with residual risk as one part of a comprehensive disaster preparedness system. Convergence of activity by academics, researchers, policy makers, donors, risk management practitioners, as well as victim communities is necessary.

Based on the above-discussions and project progress, the upcoming process of designing the disaster microinsurance product will reflect on the operational points of the programme and research. That is to say, if a smart city takes up micro disaster insurance for its small businesses, how will this risk transfer be governed?

Disaster Microinsurance: An Innovation for Transformation issue no. 133, July 2015:

It is high time that each humanitarian action is also risk reduction action. But how? Here is one way ahead: reduce exposure to risk and transfer risk.

This issue of focuses on the theme of 'Disaster Microinsurance: An Innovation for Transformation'.


It highlights the findings from Humanitarian Innovation Fund (HIF), Stanford University, and All India Disaster Mitigation Institute (AIDMI)'s ongoing project 'Disaster Microinsurance for Local Market Recovery'. This issue also contains insights from several other humanitarian practitioners that highlight different innovative concepts in the humanitarian system. Smart cities, community resilience, instant cities, relocation risks, etc. are just some of the innovative ideas explored in this issue. This issue is a must read for all interested in the themes of disaster microinsurance and humanitarian innovation.

This issue's contents includes: (i) Alternative Research to Capture Humanitarian Innovation; (ii) Urban Small Businesses: Risk Reduction through Disaster Insurance for Street Vendors; (iii) Disaster Microinsurance: An Innovation for Transforming Humanitarian Assistance; (iv) Community Resilience: Odisha's Response to Disasters and Climate Change; (v) Disaster Micro Insurance: A Protective Tool for the Street Vendors of Guwahati; (vi) Rising to the Call – Stories of Spectacular Adaptation to Climate Change in Different Parts of India; (vii) Banda Aceh Today: What Has Worked?; (viii) Reducing Urban Risk: Who Needs to Know?; (ix) Disasters and Instant Cities; (x) Sustainable and Smart Urban India: Locating Disaster Risk Reduction; and (xi) Reducing Relocation Risk in Urban India.

The issue through light on not only Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (SFDRR) priority areas but also the seven targets and contributes towards World Humanitarian Summit debates.

Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (SFDRR), Microinsurance, Humanitarian Innovation, Disaster Risk Reduction, Community Resilience, Urban Risk, World Humanitarian Summit (WHS)

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Networking National to International Resources for Effective Disaster Management: Envisioned by Dr. Abdul Kalam*

Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, fondly known as the 'People's President', passed away in Shillong on July 27, 2015.  AIDMI pays tribute to late Dr. Kalam.

In the First World Congress Disaster Management held from October 21 to October 24, 2008 at Hyderabad, he stressed on evolution of better management techniques for disaster prevention, disaster mitigation, disaster preparedness, disaster relief, rehabilitation and re-construction.


He asked each organization to have a disaster code of standards that would empower them to meet any emergencies in the nation for a disaster call. Global networking and access to resources for effective disaster management is a key. He stressed on the need of damage assessment simulation tools which could be used for timely provision of warning for evacuation of people and animals. The ideas on DRR shared by Dr. Kalam has given new directions to government, community and civil society. We pledge to continue implement his insights in AIDMI work.

For more information contact Gautam Bhut at

Planning for AMCDRR 2016

The All India Disaster Mitigation Institute (AIDMI) joins the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, on July 30, 2015 to plan for Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (AMCDRR) 2016, first such high level event after the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (SFDRR) which was accepted by 187 countries in Sendai, Japan, April 2015.


AIDMI has offered to host a series of strategic events and processes with a range of key partners to make Asia disaster risk free. Planning discussions for the same involved leading Indian NGOs, international NGOs, UN system, donors, and others. Work schedule; terms of engagement; challenges of knowing risk in Asia; emerging role of resilience in Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) results; and architecture of AMCDRR were also discussed at different levels. AIDMI is working with partners to offer further commitments for Asia wide connections in risk reduction; the role of artificial intelligence in risk reduction; and similar breakthrough technologies to give Asia a lead on the risk reduction front.

For more information contact Manish Patel at

Implementing SFDRR in Delhi City

All India Disaster Mitigation Institute (AIDMI) joins Save the Children in Making Schools Safer in Delhi Municipal Corporation, July 24, 2015. As part of implementing SFDRR AIDMI reaches out to cities and civil society organisation in India. The event was organized by Save the Children, chaired by Mayor Arya, and hosted by Delhi Municipal Corporation.



Protecting Small Businesses in Urban Areas: From Disaster Response to Risk Reduction

Press Release, G-plus. in, Guwahati, Assam, Date: 7/21/2015

The Round Table discussion on 'Linking Disaster Risk Reduction with Risk Transfer' was held today at the Conference hall of Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA). Different stakeholders including humanitarian agencies, government officials, insurance companies and small businesses of Guwahati participated in the discussion.


Assam which has active contribution in taking priorities of Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA) for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) at the local level is now moving further for linking disaster risk reduction with risk transfer. "The biggest challenge in disaster response for us has been lack of coordination and contribution from all stakeholders. There is a need to work towards bridging this gap. The issues and challenges must be resolved with initiative and commitment from all stakeholders", said by Mr. A. K Chetia, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, ASDMA during opening remarks.

"The overlap between disaster risk and climate risk cannot be ignored. The frequency of climatic events and rapid and uncontrolled urban development needs to be addressed by all stakeholders together. It is high time for climate compatible development, said by Mrs. Nandita Hazarika, ASDMA. The discussion moved ahead into concrete action plan that consider the linkages of climate risk in context of Guwahati city.

"We have been a strong advocate for the protection of street vendors and urban risk reduction cannot be visualized without involving them", said by Mr. Simanta Sarmah, a Guwahati based NGO - sSTEP (society for Social Transformation and Environment Protection). Small businesses shared the experience of dealing with climate risk and coping mechanism that they have adapted.

The round table discussion also had a special session on findings from a recent survey on the effect of disasters on small businesses with focus on disaster, response and adaptation to climate change in Guwahati. The survey revealed different coping mechanism that 53% using their savings; 37% sell their assets and 9% taking loans to recover from any disaster. This fact reflecting the lack of protection measures for small (informal) businesses. This is in contrast to the contribution - 56% in GDP - by informal economy at national level. Also in post-disaster, these small informal businesses contributing for recovery of local economy. This is based on the stories shared by small businesses. "The round table discussion has given an opportunity to raise issues and arrive at an agreeable solution for reducing risk of the urban poor particularly the urban small businesses in Guwahati, said by Mr. Vishal Pathak, representative from Gujarat based All India Disaster Mitigation Institute.

Ream more (Reduce risk, protect small business: ASDMA)

Asia meets to Implement Sendai Framework

AIDMI joined over 90 representatives from 17 countries in Asia and various regional and international organizations attended ISDR Asia Partnership (IAP) Meeting in Bangkok, June 3-5, 2015. (Photo: UNISDR)


Gujarat Floods 2015 : Update

Following the series of monsoon disturbances, a fresh wave of thunderstorms occurred into an area of low pressure on June 21, the Arabian Sea, off the coast of Gujarat which resulted into floods in drought prone region of Gujarat.  At least 70 people killed and thousands were evacuated to safer placesby GSDMA with NDRF support.

A group of people marooned in Amreli, clicked from an aircraft before it rescued them on Thursday. (Source: PTI photo)



Local Level Planning to Cope with Heat Waves in India issue no. 132, June 2015:

This issue of focuses on the theme of the 'Risk of Heat Waves and Climate Change in India'. This issue tries to highlight the phenomena of heat waves from the perspectives of various stakeholders ranging from the local authorities to the vulnerable communities such as street vendors, construction workers, children and the elderly.


The Ahmedabad Heat Action Plan has been highlighted as a policy level intervention worth emulating in other Indian cities. Similarly, an anthropological perspective to heat wave planning is also posited. 

The eclectic perspectives on heat waves and climate change highlighted in this issue will help the readers understand the challenges India faces and the opportunities it can leverage to protect its citizens from heat waves and other adverse impacts of climate change.

This issue's contents includes: (i) Need for National Strategy for Heat wave Preparedness; (ii) Heat Waves in India: Key Facts and Figures; (iii) Scaling up Heat Action Plans in India: The Ahmedabad Experience; (iv) Towards Climate Sensitive Disaster Management Plan in Gujarat; (v) Heat Waves and Disaster Management Plans in India; (vi) Why Every Authority should have a Heat Wave Preparedness Plan; (vii) Beating the Heat: Lessons from Ahmedabad's Heat Wave Action Plan; (viii) Ahmedabad's Heat Action Kids; (ix) Schools to Build Resilience against Heat Waves; (x) An Anthropological Approach to Understanding Heat Waves; (xi) Climate Change within Disaster Risk Reduction; and (xii) Documentation of Best Practice of the Community at Chaudangpathar Golaghat.

Theme: Heat Wave, Climate Change, Disaster Risk Reduction, Disaster Management Plan

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Humanitarian Action after Nepal Earthquake: Agenda for IAP issue no. 131, May 2015:

When will humanitarian action move ahead from relief to prospective, corrective, and compensatory risk management as its co-benefit? Does Nepal recovery offer a possible opportunity for such as approach?

The Nepal Earthquake of 25th April, 2015 has been one of the most devastating catastrophes in the history of the small Himalayan nation.


The loss in terms of human and economic costs has been exponential. This issue of focuses on the theme of 'Humanitarian Action after the Nepal Earthquake: Agenda for IAP'. The ISDR Asia Partnership (IAP) is committed to effective implementation of the SFDRR in Asia Pacific region and the Nepal earthquake represents significant challenges to this. As South Asia grapples with yet another disaster, the humanitarian community needs to draw important lessons for an effective response and recovery.

This issue of captures these important lessons. It is a must read for all who wish to explore the opportunities SFDRR offers in making Nepal recovery robust and sustainable.

This issue's contents includes: (i) Earthquake in Nepal: Beyond Loss and Damage; (ii) Nepal Earthquake: Challenges to be Addressed; (iii) AIDMI's Relief Activities Post Nepal Earthquake; (iv) Nepal Earthquake and Its Impact on Heritage Sites; (v) Disaster Research: The Quest for the New Normal; (vi) Nepal Earthquake: Top Thirteen "Not to Do's"; (vii) Emergency Response and Relief Work in Nepal: Reaching the Last; (viii) Dhaka Prepared for Earthquake that Damaged Kathmandu; and (ix) UNOCHA: South Asian Voices Shape Future Humanitarian Action.

The issue is aimed at ISDR Asia Platform (IAP) held on June 3-5, 2015 in Bangkok but is of great value to those reading PDNA results to formulate agenda for June 25, 2015 Donor’s meet in Nepal.

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Risk Insurance and Adaptation: Managing Urban Risks issue no. 130, May 2015:

How much are disasters costing our cities? And can these cots be covered with risk insurance?

Poor communities are often dependent on small and informal business units to earn their living. Since the majority of such business units do not posses any recovery mechanisms, they invariably fail to recover in post-disaster situations.


This issue of focuses on the concept of disaster microinsurance as an effective risk transfer mechanism for such informal and small scale businesses in urban settings. Titled 'Risk Insurance and Adaptation: Managing Urban Risk', this issue also highlights the findings and progress of AIDMI's current project funded by HIF which seeks to promote disaster microinsurance for local market recovery. Full of insights from experts from the field of disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation, this issue is must read for all interested to know more about disaster microinsurance as a risk transfer mechanism for the poor.

This issue's contents includes: (i) Effective Risk Transfer and Insurance Solutions and the SFDRR 2015–2030; (ii) The Demand for Disaster Microinsurance: Designing Demand Survey for Urban Informal Small Businesses; (iii) The Importance of Data and the Complexity of Getting It; (iv) Disaster Insurance, An Effective Risk Transfer Tool for the Most Vulnerable; (v) From Sendai to Dhaka: Regional Perspectives on Finding Insurance in Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction; (vi) Disaster Microinsurance for Local Market Recovery; (vii) Climate Change Adaptation through Microinsurance in Coastal Odisha; (viii) Risk Transfer through Microinsurance: Management of Loss and Damage from Climatic Stressors; (ix) Beating the Heat: Building Resilient Indian Cities in the Face of Climate Change; (x) Challenges of Disasters in Pakistan; (xi) Victims of Popular Research!

The issue argues that risk insurance makes good financial sense to both, cities and its citizens.

Rising to the Call

Changing our climate has not been all that difficult. Adapting to changed climate seems impossible. But this book shows that climate change adaptation for sustainable development is possible and within our human reach.

Adaptation is necessary to manage the risks posed by climate change.


Rising to the Call is a collection of stories from all over India about the nature of extreme weather events experienced, how communities are responding and successful adaptation practices emerging out of these experiences. It studies the impacts and replicability of the different approaches to adaptation and brings out valuable insights for developing countries in the region and beyond. 

Five regions are considered: The Indian Himalayan region, the Indo-Gangetic plain, the desert region, central and peninsular India, and coasts and islands. Case studies highlight crop diversification, payment for eco-system services, flood-proof housing, restoration of watersheds, protection of mangroves, groundwater management, weather forecasting and advisory services, flood-resistant rice, and more.

This book is a first-of-its kind that looks at adaptation with an ear to the ground. It looks into why some actions worked, the challenges and enabling conditions. Ecology, Growth, and Democracy in India may seem to be overwhelming concepts, especial when in interaction, to a citizen. But this book shows concrete ways to combine the three in our day-to-day life.


Voices of Leadership from South Asia issue no. 129, April 2015:

Who will implement Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction in South Asia and what do they say?

Plagued by a plethora of humanitarian challenges, the region of South Asia is consistently ranked as one of the most vulnerable regions exposed to the risk of natural hazards.


Recurring disasters in the region and the devastation followed in their aftermath only serve to highlight this enhanced vulnerability of South Asia. It is therefore timely and pertinent to focus on voices of DRR leaders from South Asia. The 3rd World Conference of Disaster Risk Reduction (WCDRR) was a perfect opportunity to focus on such voices. This issue of highlights the country statements issued by the dispensations of various South Asian nations at the 3rd WCDRR. A compendium of these statements helps in understanding the South Asian perspective on DRR. 

This issue's contents includes: (i) Voices of Leadership from South Asia; (ii) Regional Cooperation for a Resilient South Asia; (iii) Business of Reducing Risk; (iv) Building Back Better for a Culture of Preparedness; (v) Towards Inclusive Disaster Risk Reduction; (vi) Addressing Climate Change for a Safer Future; (vii) Building Resilience of Vulnerable Communities; (viii) Towards a Risk Sensitive Development Agenda; (ix) International Assistance for DRR in Developing Countries; (x) Addressing Vulnerability through Policy Level Mechanisms; and (xi) Way Ahead. This issue gives a view of what top leadership in South Asia is thinking about managing disaster risk for sustainable development.

Theme: Governance, Disaster Risk Reduction, Climate Change, Building Resilience

GAR 2015 and AIDMI: Acknowledging the Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation Integration Efforts at Local Level

The Global Assessment Report 2015 (GAR 2015) on Disaster Risk Reduction was published by UNISDR during World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (WCDRR) in Sendai, Japan, March 2015. This edition of GAR 2015 emphasized sustainable development as the future of Disaster Risk Management. All India Disaster Mitigation Institute (AIDMI) was invited for submitting input papers which were acknowledged in GAR 2015.


The two input papers are: - a) ‘Risk transfer through Microinsurance’; and b) ‘Institutionalising Climate Smart Disaster Risk Management Approach’. Both of these papers are discussing key issues related to promoting and strengthening the integration of Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) and Climate Change Adaptation (CCA) within development efforts.

The first paper ‘Risk transfer through Microinsurance’ deals with the concept of risk transfer through disaster microinsurance with case analysis of Afat Vimo, a community based innovative disaster microinsurance product which showed successful outcomes during 2013 cyclone Phailin in Odisha. The lessons learnt and the ways forward are included in the paper.

The second paper ‘Institutionalizing Climate Smart Disaster Risk Management (CSDRM) Approach in Civil Society Organisation’ is sharing the journey of integrating CSDRM in CSO. The paper is also sharing analysis of the pathways for institutionalization of community efforts.

AIDMI is finding ways to take GAR 2015 to sub-national level in key states of India in coming months as well as finding ways to fill in the gaps indicated by GAR 2015 in coming years. Initial sharing of some of the aspects of GAR 2015 with mayors and urban experts at South Asia Cities Summit on 22-23 May, 2015 in Delhi by AIDMI attracted keen city level interest in GAR 2015. AIDMI consulted state authority in Assam to find ways to upscale risk transfer in cities where GAR 2015 findings were shared with sub-national officials.  


20 Years of Fostering Community Resilience: From Disaster to Sustainable Development

On 26th May 2015, AIDMI finishes 20 years of making India Safer from disaster and changing climate risk. Never dull. Always meaningful. So much is done. And so much to do. Always upward. And always onwards.



School Safety Week 2015

Total 32 engineers from ‘Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan’ participated in a training programme on School Safety. These engineers are planning for in Gujarat ‘School Safety Week 2015’. The training has organized by GSDMA at GIDM on April 30, 2015. AIDMI was invited to join in the facilitation and planning process.



Earthquake in Nepal: Beyond Loss and Damage

Never before has an earthquake opened up so many cracks on so much ground as the recent earthquake in the Himalayas has.

The first crack is in our perception of disasters in South Asia. We have assumed that disasters are occurrences that stay confined to national boundaries; and neglected to register the boundary-scorning nature of natural disasters.


Floods, earthquakes, droughts, and cyclones are trans-boundary phenomena that require the joint efforts of neighbouring nations if they are to respond to their vulnerable citizens effectively. The Koshi River floods between Nepal and India should have taught us that lesson.

The second crack is in our understanding of the magnitude of loss and damage. This earthquake is only a small glimpse into the kind of damage and loss a future earthquake can cause across a wide swath of towns and villages in Nepal, India, Bhutan, and Bangladesh. Our response to this earthquake therefore cannot just be about addressing the current loss and damage, but an effort towards preparing and preventing future loss and damage.

The third crack reveals our indecision towards modes of recovery. The Gujarat model of recovery is widely considered as one of the best examples in South Asia. If that is so, how rapidly will India be able to use it in the borderlands of Nepal? Will it be to Nepal’s advantage? China has a faster and more accurate track record of both response and recovery; will that be a more attractive model for Nepal to follow?

The fourth crack throws light on the issue of financial exclusion. Financial exclusion not only pushes back development and economic growth, but we have seen that it also pushes back recovery. South Asian governments and financial institutions have done little to bring banking and financial services to its vulnerable citizens. Transporting food and water play an essential role in recovery; but that role is limited. Access to money to rebuild livelihoods has a far greater potential to build financial capacities.

Nepal faces a path in two directions. One direction is to rebuild, develop, and push economic growth along our current path. The second direction is to rebuild and develop with “clean”, “green”, and sustainable technology that shows awareness of climate change. The second path seems wiser and more promising, but is it the path we have the courage to follow?

A review and overhaul of local district disaster management plans across the country, but especially of earthquake hotspots is long overdue. A third party review of the plans of key districts is overdue. Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) has a method called The Stocktaking for National Adaptation Planning (SNAP) that can combine disaster preparedness and climate risk aversion in development plans.

Looking ahead, there are several measures that can be taken, and insisted on by the state and by citizens, towards disaster preparedness.

First, there is an obvious and urgent need to conduct safety audits of schools; safety audits of hospitals; and to lay down safe building practices for all new schools and hospitals.

Mock drills matter. This is not the last earthquake. Regular, monitored, and systematic mock drills across small town and villages in the region need to be conducted at the earliest possible time. This will enable us to detect weaknesses and gaps in the system.

Business and industry must become more involved in building a safer and more sustainable Nepal. Agriculture, transport, and urban development are some key areas where new, people-friendly and environment-friendly practices are needed--a challenge that the business community can take up.

I witnessed the aftermath of Japan’s Kobe earthquake a year after it took place in 1995, and was invited a few months ago to review its recovery efforts. I was invited to review recovery efforts. What a remarkable recovery Kobe and the surrounding area have made in the last 20 years! A robust and sustainable recovery is possible only if we are able to look beyond the immediate loss and damage, and turn disaster into an opportunity for sustainable development.

Disaster Preparedness in Schools

Long lasting response to any disaster is a preparedness. That is what exactly Gujarat State Disaster Management Authority (GSDMA) did from April 21 to 24, 2015 by conducting training of trainers on school safety at Gujarat Institute of Disaster Management (GIDM) under National School Safety Program (NSSP). It plans to celebrate school safety week from June 30 to July 4, 2015. Over 52 educators attended the programme and designed different safety actions for their respective district schools



From Sendai to Dhaka: Regional Perspectives on Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction

How does the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (SFDRR) look from a regional perspective?

The Institute of Disaster Management and Vulnerability Studies (IDMVS), University of Dhaka; and Duryog Nivaran, the South Asian initiative on Disaster Management organized a Round Table on “From Sendai to Dhaka: Regional Perspectives on Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction” in Dhaka University on April 2, 2015.


IDMVS is a leading centre of disaster risk reduction initiatives, and Dhaka University is one of the reputed universities of South Asia.

The keynote speech was given by Mr. Mihir R. Bhatt, All India Disaster Mitigation Institute (AIDMI), India and Chair, Duryog Nivaran. He welcomed the SFDRR as well as thanked Margareta Wahlstrom of ISDR and Government of Japan for World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction and enlisted areas for developing regional perspectives. This included, the role of new knowledge on risk and the use of science and technology for building resilience in South Asia. Issues of regional economic growth, demography, and city level governance came up in the discussion. Moderated by Mr. Muhammad Taher, Member of DN, the panel of discussants included Dr. Mahbuba Nasrin, Director, IDMVS, Dhaka University; Ms. Cathrine Tranberg Haarsaker of UNDP Bangladesh; Ms. Dilruba Haider, Coordinator, Gender and Climate Change, UN Women, Bangladesh; along with NGO and civil society leaders.

Dr. Mahbuba Nasrin pointed out the potential of women’s leadership in the region to reduce risks. Ms. Cathrine Tranberg built on the work of UNDP and suggested “risk informed” development in the region. Ms. Dilruba Haider argued for attracting new ideas and energies to address the long standing vulnerability of women and their work in South Asia. Dr. Soneji of Oxfam called for greater focus on demographic opportunity to reduce risk in the region.

It was decided to work out an action and research road map based on this discussion.

Bangladesh Disaster Report 2013

Bangladesh has offered new thinking and action on disaster management to South Asia, and we have one more example here.

The Foundation for Disaster Forum  has published the Bangladesh Disaster Report 2013 titled "Governance and Disaster Management". The main theme is good governance for effective disaster management.


It also documented the incidence of hazards in 2013 in Bangladesh. 

This report's contents include: (i) Good Governance and Disaster Management; (ii) Rana Plaza: Failure in establishing good governance; (iii) Tazreen Factory Fire; (iv) Climate change; (v) Nature’s Bioshield: Sundarban and Rampal power station; (vi) Drowning; (vii) Flood and affected area in Bangladesh; (viii) Tornado: not massive but destructive; (ix) Mohashen Cyclone 2013; (x) Monga free Northern region and lives; (xi) Lightening; (xii) Cold wave; (xiii) Fire accident; (xiv) Road accident; and (xv) New technology.

This report addresses priority 1 of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (SFDRR), viz. Understanding Disaster Risk. It furthers the understanding on various hazards in Bangladesh by highlighting all the aspects of vulnerability, capacity, exposure of people, assets and the environment.

For more information contact to Disaster Forum at
* Dhaka based National Disaster Preparedness Network of seventy humanitarian and development agencies, research institutions, government departments and independent activists who are working on various disaster and environmental issues with special focus on preparedness. Since 1994.

Demand Survey on Disaster Microinsurance for Small Businesses in Urban Areas

A demand survey for developing a suitable microinsurance product was initiated in Puri district of the Odisha state of India in February 2015. A similar demand survey will take place in the other two sites – Guwahati (of Assam state) and Cuddalore (of Tamil Nadu state). Both of these cities have different baseline hazards from Puri.


Cuddalore is a coast line city prone to floods and cyclones where as Guwahati is a higher density area prone to earthquakes, flash floods and landslides.

The demand survey is targeting around 1500 small businesses from each urban site. This demand survey will help define the insurance requirements related to the protection of small businesses from disasters, primarily climatic-related hazards.
Mr. and Mrs. Sahoo doing small-business of selling vegitables in Puri city, since more than decade, with permanent place but without permanent structure. Their business is affected by 2013 cyclone-Phailin and slowly gratdually they recovering by using their savings.
The initial demand survey in the Puri city of Odessa revealed the following physical structures of small businesses.
1. Permanent fixed shops (brick and cement material)
2. Fixed stalls, but wooden or makeshift material
3. Temporary stalls that are arranged and removed everyday
4. Mobile (like cycle and Trollies)
5. Home based manufacturing

Institutionalising HFA Priorities of Action: The case of All India Disaster Mitigation Institute

The principles of the global post 2015 development agenda of the United Nations are inherent in AIDMI’s organizational vision and mission. The vision of the post 2015 development agenda of the United Nations builds on the principles of respect for human rights, equality and sustainability. AIDMI’s work is aligned to these principles.


  Through action research, AIDMI works towards providing a safer life for all human beings, especially the poor and vulnerable.  AIDMI works with India’s poorest and most vulnerable communities.  The present case study offers an overview of how AIDMI’s humanitarian and risk reduction initiatives contribute to HFA goals and how it can help shape the post 2015 development agenda bottom-up through its institutionalisation of HFA priorities within AIDMI’s programmes and projects.

For more information:

‘Disaster management plan mandatory for all schools’: BMC

Written by Tanushree Venkatraman, The Indian EXPRESS, March 24, 2015

In the aftermath of the recent terror-attack in a Peshawar school where 132 school children were gunned down, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has made it mandatory for municipal schools to prepare a disaster management plan within the next two weeks.


On Monday, the BMC initiated a zone-wise workshop for principals who will be trained by officials from the disaster management department of the civic body, the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), the Mumbai Police and the fire brigade.

The workshop was attended by 50 principals on the first day. Though the civic body had asked the schools to create a plan last July, very few schools complied till date forcing the authorities to make it mandatory, officials confirmed. The Mumbai Police, meanwhile, have been reaching out to public and private schools across the city asking them to monitor their disaster-preparedness.

A senior civic official from the disaster management department said, “There have been several cases of major fire, building collapses, terrorist attacks or even food poisoning in both the country and the world. Most of the times, the first respondents to the incidents, the teachers in this case, are themselves not equipped to handle the situation. This training along with the formation of a specific plan can improve the response to any disaster.”

The workshop undertaken by BMC will include training in identifying hazards, listing safety measures that can be incorporated to combat the situation, a list of emergency numbers, formation of a disaster management committee and a first-aid committee in the school, creating a resource inventory and planning evacuation measures.

“In times of a disaster, schools don’t know how many children are in the premises, the fire safety equipment is not functioning or the first-aid kit has medicines which have expired. We cannot continue to risk lives,” another official involved in the training said. In the first phase, municipal schools will be asked to create the plan, followed by hospitals in the second phase and ward offices and private schools in the third and final phase respectively, an official said.

“At the end of two weeks, the same team that trained the principals will also visit the schools to see to it that they have implemented the plans. We can also take action in case of non-compliance,” the official added.


Third World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction

Sendai, Japan, 14-18 March, 2015

Country Statement by Union Home Minister, Government of India

Excellency, Ladies and Gentlemen!

1. It gives me immense pleasure to be a part of the Indian delegation for the Third World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction. On behalf of the Government and the people of India, I wish to congratulate the United Nations and the host, the Government of Japan, for organizing this event.<



2. The Hyogo Framework for Action has provided a blue print for disaster risk reduction activities including promotion of culture of prevention, mitigation, preparedness and resilience at all levels. Since then, considerable progress has been made by investing resources and enhancing capacities in dealing with the disasters. However, much needs to be done in the future. We are pleased to note that the post-2015 framework has provided us a practical and useful document with people-centered preventive approach to disaster risk. This would contribute to the reduction of disaster risks and strengthen resilience of the poor and the most vulnerable. We need to take risk informed decisions while making public and private investments. Mainstreaming disaster risk reduction in development programmes and community resilience building are some of the noteworthy features in the new framework. Indeed, the concurrent post-2015 focus on sustainable development, climate change and disaster risk would further provide the international community with a unique opportunity to ensure coherence and alignment across policies, practices and partnerships for implementation.

3. Recent events in India such as the landslides and floods of 2013 in the Himalayan State of Uttarakhand, cyclone ‘Phailin’ in Odisha in 2013, the floods and landslides in Jammu & Kashmir and cyclone ‘Hudhud’ in Andhra Pradesh in 2014 have once again brought into focus the need for multiplying our efforts towards disaster risk reduction. In addition, Typhoon ‘Haiyan’ in Philippines in 2014, Ludian and Yutian Earthquakes in China in 2014 and extreme weather events in United States of America and South Canada have taken place in the world. The unplanned development of cities and lack of proper infrastructure are the major challenges of the future. While communities, particularly women and children, exposed to these events are trying to adapt to these regular occurrences, the economic and social costs continue to mount year after year. In this context, we believe that there is a need to actively build synergies among the DRR framework, the climate change adaptation framework and the sustainable development framework to ensure that our collective efforts enable us to create a safe, secure and disaster-free environment.

4. In India, our ancestors gave us the concept of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’, which means that the whole planet -- with all its human beings, plants, animal, birds and natural resources -- is one family. This ancient realisation of our inter-connectedness is even more relevant and urgent today. I would like to call upon this august gathering to embrace this notion and enhance international cooperation through sharing of technology, expertise and necessary resources. Here I would also like to reiterate the commitment made by our Prime Minister in SAARC Summit last year by ensuring India’s help and expertise to the neighbouring countries.

5. India hosts the SAARC Disaster Management Centre which is working towards putting in place a framework to reduce disaster risks and promoting knowledge sharing among the SAARC countries. The Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services operates the Tsunami Early Warning System. This is a State-of-the-Art warning system which benefits not only India but also the littoral countries of Indian Ocean. As a part of SAARC Monsoon Initiative, an integrated Operational System for monitoring and forecasting monsoon weather systems has been set up to address monsoon induced hydro-meteorological disasters in the region. Our National Disaster Response Force which has the expertise in addressing national disasters also attends to disasters in the region and beyond. The National Institute of Disaster Management organizes trainings on various thematic domains of disaster risk management. We are keen to share our expertise and help other countries in disaster response and capacity building. We envisage a bigger role in capacity building in the Asia Pacific region and look forward to build sustained regional and international partnerships under the post-2015 Framework.

6. I would like to share that the Government of India has mainstreamed disaster risk reduction in its development policies at all levels, and has earmarked 10 percent of development funds towards innovation, disaster mitigation and restoration. Our Finance Commission, a constitutional body that recommends distribution of tax proceeds between the federal government and the states, in its recent report has called for hazard, risk and vulnerability assessment in all our states. This will be critical first step in ensuring that over time, notions of risk reduction are embedded in every penny we spend on development. We are promoting cooperative federalism and devolving more power and resources closer to the ground of action.

7. Before concluding, we pledge our support to the post-2015 Framework, its goals and priorities. We commit ourselves to work with countries in the region and beyond in building resilient nations and communities, against disasters. We would also like to call upon all entities, public and private, to strengthen the international support mechanisms for disaster risk reduction by sharing of reliable and affordable modern technology for capacity-building and enabling institutional and policy environment at all levels.

Thank you all....


Challenges of Urban Resilience in India issue no. 128 – March 2015

Rapid urbanization has emerged as an undeniable global trend. Ever since 2008, more people in the world live in urban areas than in the countryside. In 2014 alone, 54% of the world's population resides in urban areas. This puts an extraordinary level of pressure on urban centres which account for only 2.8


% of the world's land area. All these facts point to the distending of urban infrastructure and services beyond their carrying capacity. This leaves these urban areas highly vulnerable to new risks. India's urban infrastructure too is at risk with a projected surge in the number of its urban dwellers reaching 404 million by 2050.

This issue of focuses on the Challenges of Urban Resilience in India. As repeated disasters have struck India's urban centres, new risks and vulnerabilities have emerged. Weak institutional frameworks and gross social inequalities make the urban centres of the country particularly susceptible to the adverse impacts of disasters. Climate change has added another level of complexity to the mire of existing vulnerabilities. In this context, this issue tries to explore underlying facts, observable trends and the projected impacts of these urban risks and their implications on urban resilience in India.

This issue of is titled ' Challenges of Urban Resilience in India‘ contents includes: (i) What is Missing in India's Urban Resilience?; (ii) Risk on the Structural Margins; (iii) Chennai and its Urban Environmental Risks; (iv) Urban Risks and Vulnerabilities in India; (v) Urban Resilience in Uttar Pradesh; (vi) Lima to Delhi: What can be Learned on Urban Resilience?; (vii) Sericulture – A Potential but Vulnerable Source of Livelihood in Flood-prone Dhemaji Assam.

The contributions from Mihir R. Bhatt with AIDMI Team; Dr. Hari Baral, ENVITEC, Paris; Shailendra Rai, Jamsetji Tata Centre for Disaster Management, TISS, Mumbai; Dr. I. Arul Aram, Anna University, Chennai; Dr. A.K. Singh, Regional Centre for Urban and Environmental Studies, Lucknow; David South, Southern Innovator, UNOSSC.

Disaster Risk Management, Governance, Urban Resilience, Climate Change

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Understanding Drought in India issue no. 127 – March 2015

This issue of focuses on the important theme of 'Understanding Drought in India'. India's overdependence on rainfed agriculture and the increasing variability of monsoons due to climate change underscore the importance of understanding the varied impacts of droughts in the country.


Since the impacts of droughts are manifold, this issue focuses on the various aspects of droughts such as their incidence, their typology, their impacts on agriculture and other means of livelihood along with the plight of persons with disabilities (PwDs) living under drought conditions. All these factors serve to highlight the urgent need to evolve suitable mitigation and preparedness strategies to safeguard the country from the adverse impacts of this slow onset disaster.

Meticulously researched and engagingly written, this issue of is an attempt to further the understanding on this important theme. A must read for all who are interested in understanding the risk of droughts in India.

This issue of is titled ' Understanding Drought in India‘ contents includes: (i) Drought Risk and Agricultural Research in India; (ii) Droughts in India: Types of Occurrence; (iii) While Building Shields against Drought in Kerala; (vi) Drought and Persons with Disabilities: What is The Connection? Exclusion or Inclusion?; and (v) Water Deficit Himalaya.

The contributions from Mihir R. Bhatt with AIDMI Team; Dr. Kausalya Ramachandran, Shubhasmita Sahani, V. Praveen Kumar, DVS Sarma, Central Research Institute for Dry land Agriculture, Hyderabad; Asha Kiran, Shreyas Social Service Centre Karuvarakundu, Kerala; Arvind Patel, SoCH Development Support;  Dr. Anil P. Joshi, Himalayan Environmental Studies and Conservation Organization (HESCO), Uttarakhand.

Themes: Droughts, Water Deficit, Agriculture

Managing Risk and Building Resilience in Humanitarian Action in India issue no. 126 - February 2015

Disasters are known to kill, and cause widespread deprivation in the communities they strike. Apart from claiming lives and livelihoods, disasters also push back the progress and hitherto achieved. Especially in the context of humanitarian action, any progress achieved is as best precarious if it is not disaster proof.


Therefore, managing risk and building resilience against disasters should be cross-cutting themes in all areas of humanitarian action. However, this is not the case as these themes are looked upon as disparate areas and are not well integrated with other themes of humanitarian action.

This issue of is titled ' Managing Risk and Building Resilience in Humanitarian Action in India‘ contents includes: (i) Community Based Disaster Management of WOTR; (ii) Role of ADRRN in HFA2 Implementation ; (iii) A Toolbox for Assessing Loss and Damage; (iv) A Journey to Resilience: 10 years after the Tsunami ; and (v) Way Ahead in Uttarakhand Recovery.

The contributions from Mihir R. Bhatt with AIDMI Team; Dharmaraj Patil, Biodiversity Climate Science Unit Watershed Organisation Trust (WOTR), Pune; Mihir Joshi, (ADRRN); Kees van der Geest, UNU-EHS and Anam Zeb, LEAD-Pakistan; Abhinav Walia, LBSNAA, Uttarakhand.

Themes: HFA2, Loss and Damage, Floods Recovery, Building Resilience

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Children, Disasters and Cities of India issue no. 125 - February 2015

This issue of focuses on the important theme of Children, Cities and Disasters in India. It tries to highlight all the aspects of building the resilience of children, especially in urban centres to the adverse impacts of disasters and emergencies.


Containing very informative and well researched articles, the scope of this issue ranges from the proposed amendments to the HFA2 for building the resilience of children to the various impacts of the Kashmir floods on the children of that state. Instances of good practices as a case study are also included. This issue is a must read for all interested in understanding the important theme of building the resilience of children to disasters in India.

This issue of is titled ' Children, Disasters and Cities of India‘ contents includes: (i) Children and Disasters: Considerations for Post-2015 DRR Framework; (ii) Why do Small Disasters Matter too for Children Living in Cities?; (iii) Floods in Kashmir: Impact on Children; (iv) Where are the Children of Kashmir?; (v) Floods in Jammu & Kashmir. (vi) Jammu & Kashmir Floods: What went wrong? (vii) Advancing Children's Rights through Data (viii) A Commendable Journey for a Safer Environment in School; and (ix) Ensuring Fire Safety in Panbazar Girls HS School: Making of a Model for Replication.

The contributions from Mihir R. Bhatt with AIDMI Team; Sudhir Kumar, Disaster Risk Reduction Specialist, UNDP, Philippines; JC Gaillard, The University of Auckland, New Zealand; Marla Petal, Save the Children Australia; Jake Rom D. Cadag and Emmanuel M. Luna, University of the Philippines Diliman; Lourdes L. Pambid, Save the Children Philippines; Akke Boere, Asiya Niyaz and Shabnum Ara, MSF India; Ray Kancharla, National Humanitarian – DRR/CCA Manager, Save the Children, India; Ennio Valentino Picucci, NHTV University of Applied Sciences Breda, The Netherlands.

Themes: Children and Disasters, HFA2, Floods

Successful Community-Based Adaption in India issue no. 124 – January 2015

This issue of focuses on the theme of Successful Community Based Adaptation in India. It tries to highlight how low-cost, democratic and need based adaptation strategies have been successful in India. The primacy of local level adaptation strategies are stressed as the basis o