All India Disaster Mitigation
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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 of effective community based adaptation.


This issue depicts the best practices in community based adaptation that range from WOTR's efforts to upscale adaptation in India to GIZ's experience in integrating climate change adaptation in sectoral policy formulation and from the instances of successful community based adaptations in Odisha to the role of GIS in facilitating effective community based adaptation. 

This  issue of is titled ' Successful Community-Based Adaption in India’ for All' contents includes: (i) Up Scaling Local Adaptations in India: What Works!; (ii) From Pebbles in a Small Pond, to Ripples of Change: Scaling up Adaptation in Rural India; (iii) Use of GIS in Community Based Adaptation; (iv) Community Adaptation to Flood: Kalana, Odisha; (v) Community Mobilisation and Disaster Recovery: A Case Study from South Odisha; and (vi) Community-based Adaptation in a Changing Climate.

The contributions from Mihir R. Bhatt with AIDMI Team; Neha Gupta, Watershed Organisation Trust (WOTR), Pune; Anju Sharma, Oxford Climate Policy; Somya Bhatt, GIZ; and Anna Kalisch, GIZ; Dr. M.Rajamanickam and Dr. G.Victor Rajamanickam Center for Disaster Management, PRIST University, Tamil Nadu;  Biswanath Dash, Jamsetji Tata Centre for Disaster Management, Mumbai; Dipankar Datta and Mark Furlong, Trocaire India; and Avani Dixit, Programme Analyst, UNDP Nepal.

Community Based Adaptation, Disaster Recovery, Disaster Risk Reduction, Climate Change

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Towards Climate Compatible Development in India issue no. 123 - January 2015

This issue of focuses on the important theme of Climate Compatible Development in India. As an emerging humanitarian ideal, climate compatible development can be described as the interface between development, disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation.


It strives to initiate short and long term adaptation measures that can lead to a resilient future and help in the achievement of nationally and internationally agreed development goals. This issue of contains articles that provide some of the experiences and expertise of the individuals and organizations that have strived towards this ideal in India. The scope of this issue ranges from Odisha's efforts to move in the direction of climate smart disaster risk management to the protection of India as a regional energy node from the onslaught of disasters.

This issue of is titled ‘Towards Climate Compatible Development in India’ contents includes: (i) Odisha Moving Towards Climate Smart Disaster Risk Management; (ii) Ahmedabad at Forefront of Climate Change Adaptation: Frances Beinecke; (iii) HFA2 Implementation Challenges and Opportunities: A Nepalese Perspective; (iv) Training Needs Assessment on DRR-CCA in Assam: Reviewing Resilience;  (vi) Promoting Sustainable Agriculture; (vii) Why Local Communities Participate in Enhancing Restoration Mangrove Ecosystems in Odisha to Mitigate Impacts of Cyclonic Storms?; (viii) Lucknow Declaration on Mainstreaming DRR and CCA in Development Planning; and (ix) Regional Energy Node and Disaster Risk Reduction.

The contributions from Mihir R. Bhatt with AIDMI Team; Dr. Dinesh Chandra Devkota, Mr. Keshav Paudel, and Mr. Sujit Karmacharya, IDS Nepal; Jay Anand, Chaudhury Shripati Mishra, B. Chandra Guptha, Trinath Taraputia, and V. A. Nambi, M S Swaminathan Research Foundation, Tamil Nadu; Chandra Sekhar Bahinipati, Gujarat Institute of Development Research (GIDR), Ahmedabad and Bijaya Kumar Kabi, Action for Protection of Wild Animals (APOWA), Odisha, India; Ms. Chicu Lokgariwar, India Water Portal.

Themes: Climate Change, Disaster Risk Reduction, HFA2, Community Perspective

Building Resilience for All issue no. 122 - December 2014

This issue of, focuses on the important theme of 'Building Resilience for All'. It highlights the actions that are needed and the best practices that are prevalent among humanitarian agencies across the globe to build the resilience of the most marginalised and neglected groups.


As eclectic as the field of resilience building, this issue contains a wide array of experiences and opinions on this important theme. The voices captured in this issue range from UNOCHA's changing role in Asia Pacific to the emergence of the global south in the global humanitarian system as donors and from the experience of Bangladesh in managing polders for flood control to the role of the education institutes in creating a skilled and trained professionals.

This issue of is titled 'Building Resilience for All' contents includes: (i) Changing UN OCHA in Asia Pacific; (ii) The Emergence of the Global South in the International Humanitarian System; (iii) Transfer of Risk — Case of Coastal Polders in Bangladesh; (iv) Disaster Risk Reduction in BRICS Countries; (v) Understanding "Post 2015" Process and Make the SDGs a Reality; (vi) What do Social Work Students Want to know about Disaster Risk Reduction?; (vii) Disaster Management Plans in India; and (viii) Education for Disaster Risk Reduction at Asian Institute of Technology (AIT).

The contributions from Mihir R. Bhatt with AIDMI Team; Oliver Lacey-Hall, UNOCHA, Thailand; Jacinta O'Hagan, Australian National University, Australia; Rezaur Rahman, Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET), Bangladesh; Oheneba Boateng, Free University Berlin Research Associate, Germany; Dr. Jean–Philippe Thomas, ENDA Tiers Monde Secretariat Executive, DAKAR – Senegal; Ms. Sadhana Adhikary and Dr. Bigi Thomas, Sardar Patel University, Gujarat; Dr. Indrajit Pal, AIT, Thailand.

Themes: Risk Resilience, Disaster Risk Reduction, HFA2

WCDRR briefings for delegations

These briefings give those without expert knowledge on disaster risk reduction the key facts that relate to the areas currently under negotiation.

Early warning systems and disaster risk information
This note provides information relevant to the agreement of target (vii) of the draft Post-2015 Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR), which reads: Ensure access to impact-based early warning and disaster risk information [to 90% of the people] by 2030 and its five variations.



Disaster damage to critical infrastructure and basic services
This note provides information relevant to the agreement of target (iv) of the draft Post-2015 Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR), which reads: [Substantially] reduce disaster damage to critical infrastructure, including health and educational facilities [by a given percentage] by 2030. Its variant (iv alt bis.) also covers basic services and points to developing their resilience.
Disaster mortality
This note provides information relevant to the agreement of target (i) of the draft Post-2015 Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR), which reads: Reduce disaster mortality per capita by 2030 and its variants (i alt bis. 

Managing disaster risk in policy and investment decisions at national and subnational levels
This note provides information relevant to the agreement of target (v) of the draft Post-2015 Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, which reads: [Substantially] increase the number of countries with national and local strategies by 2020; and its variant v (alt).

Number of people affected by disasters
This note provides information relevant to the agreement of target (ii) of the draft Post-2015 Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR), which reads: [Substantially] reduce the number of affected people per capita [by 20%] by 2030 and its two variants.
Finance for disaster risk reduction
This note provides information relevant to the agreement of target (vi) of the draft Post-2015 Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR), which reads: [Increase flow of additional, sustained and predictable means of implementation, in particular, provisions of financial resources for disaster risk reduction including public investments, technology transfers, capacity building etc.; from developed countries to developing countries by [x percentage of gross national income] per year up to 20[xx].

Economic losses from disasters 
This note provides information relevant to the agreement of target (iii) of the draft Post-2015 Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR), on economic loss, which reads: [Substantially] reduce direct disaster economic loss [by a given percentage] in relation to GDP by 2030 and its variant (iii) alt.

A Down To Earth Annual State of India’s Environment Report 2015

Disaster risks in India are often shaped and even multiplied by environmental factors. No disaster risk reduction (DRR) plan can overlook India’s environment.
The State of India's environment 2015 - A Down To Earth annual is a bigger and sharper version that would include write-ups from environmentalists like Sunita Narain.


The publication will also tell you why 2015 is a crucial year from the perspective of environment and development.

The annual is brought to you by Centre for Science and Environment, one of India's foremost environmental think tanks. It brings together a set of well-reasoned and crisply-written analyses, reportages, reviews and overviews on some of the most significant developments of 2014–in fields ranging from water, mining and agriculture to governance, forests and climate change. This report is useful to those who are starting to see disaster risk reduction in the light of its causes.

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The Demand for Disaster Microinsurance: Designing Demand Survey for Urban Informal Small Businesses

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.

A demand survey for evolving a suitable microinsurance product

The efficacy and uptake of any microinsurance product depends upon the extent to which it is synced to the needs of its target group. The first step in the piloting of our innovation will be to


initiate a demand survey on the need for disaster insurance by small businesses in the local economies of the selected urban sites. This will be immensely helpful in evolving a microinsurance product best suited to the needs of the target group.

Important aspects of such a policy such as the premium, timeframe, claim settlement mechanism, etc. will all depend upon the findings of the demand survey as well as consultations with relevant stakeholders (such as insurance companies, local implementing agencies and the local community). A literature review will also be done on the existing microinsurance schemes for urban communities. This literature review will be immensely helpful in drawing out the best policies, practices and processes that are present in the existing microinsurance products and schemes.

The demand survey will also include key research questions developed from the literature review that remains unanswered in previous disaster microinsurance projects. The most important of these, whether such an intervention induces behaviour change to reduce risk in addition to providing risk coverage, has not been addressed in any other study to date. Ideally, risk coverage through this insurance programme would not serve as an excuse to ignore risks but have a positive effect - promoting action to minimize and mitigate the impacts of those risks. Other questions will help develop a potentially generalizable understanding of what factors may drive or discourage insurance uptake.

The demand survey will consist of a questionnaire that will cover questions that provide an insight into the world of the target group for the innovation. The answers to these questions will shed light on the living conditions, economic status, disaster history, knowledge of and access to insurance services of the targeted group. The data collected will be analysed to design an appropriate disaster microinsurance product.

Pilot of the Questionnaire

The aforementioned questionnaire has already been drafted and piloted in order to finalize the questions. The piloting of the questionnaire has revealed certain interesting patterns about the expectations and the inhibitions of owners of small and informal business enterprises.  For instance, it was revealed that the foremost reasons for the low penetration insurance schemes among informal businesses were a lack of information and the inability of the people to afford the premium of normal insurance schemes. All these factors will be suitably addressed to evolve a microinsurance product that is acceptable and affordable.

The pilot questionnaire will now be adapted to make it better suited for the proposed cities where this innovation will be piloted. After questionnaire finalization, the demand survey will be conducted in the proposed sites in the coming months and the findings will shared with you.

Orientation of the team

Prior to the collection of the data through the demand survey, all the team members will take part in site specific orientation. This will help in bringing together all the project partners to accomplish the stated goals of the innovation. Moreover, the local partners will help in giving impetus to the local language during the demand survey to facilitate understanding and uptake by the target group.

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Self Study Programme at National institute of Disaster Management (NIDM)

Under the National Disaster Management Act 2005, the National Centre for Disaster Management of the Indian Institute of Public administration was upgraded to National Institute of Disaster Management (NIDM) on October 2003. Union Home Minister is the President of NIDM. The main role of NIDM is in human resource development, capacity building, training, research, documentation and policy advocacy in the field of Disaster Management.


National activities are done under key academic divisions namely Policy, Planning and Cross Cutting Issues; Geo-Hazards Risk Management; Hydro-meteorological Hazards Risk Management; and Response and training. Apart from various trainings, NIDM gives consultancy services to the officials and local authorities and performs knowledge integration on disaster management in the country.  NIDM also hosts the SAARC disaster management centre and publishes journals, newsletters, reports and training modules.

All India Disaster Mitigation Institute (AIDMI) is introducing the idea of integrating Disaster Risk Management (DRM) with Community Based Adaptation (CBA) in India with NIDM.

Self Study Programme on Disaster Management for Youth
National Institute of Disaster Management (NIDM) offers self study programme on disaster management. The course would benefit those who work or wish to work to manage disasters in India. The course aims to raise the level of knowledge on disaster management of government officials and other officials as also create interest and awareness on disaster management to general public. Citizens can register online at to any of the ten listed courses of NIDM web based programme. The registration is free of cost. The users can access the programme anytime and from anywhere after login. 
All India Disaster Mitigation Institute (AIDMI) is working with NIDM to develop integration of Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) with Community Based Adaptation CBA in self study courses.             
Online Courses on Disaster Risk Management for Youth
Looking at the need to enhance the capacity and to develop a sense of preparedness among communities, National Institute of Disaster Management (NIDM) in collaboration with the World Bank, Washington conducts online courses for various key stakeholders in the field of Disaster Risk Management (DRM).  This flexi time course is interactive and convenient for users. Apart from one basis course with a fee of Rs. 1500/- the institute offers nine thematic courses with a fee of Rs.1000/- each. These thematic courses are open to those who have completed the basic course or have basic subject knowledge. These nine courses focus on DRM such as Comprehensive Framework, Community Based, Earthquake, Identification, Assessment and Analysis, Safer Cities, Gender Aspect, Financial Strategies, Damage and Reconstruction Needs Assessments.

Asia Europe Meeting-East Asia Summit in Delhi in 2014

Many of the member countries of Asia Europe Meeting (ASEM)-East Asia Summit (EAS) have faced enormous socio-economic losses on account of devastating disasters.  With the rise of frequency and losses of disasters, ASEM 11th Foreign Ministers Meeting (FMM11) in November 2013 after the success of EAS-India Workshop on “Building Regional Framework for Earthquake Risk Management” laid down a Roundtable Meeting on Disaster Management for ASEM-EAS countries. The two days Roundtable was organised by Minister of Home Affairs and M


inister of External Affairs, Government of India on December 4-5, 2014. It focused on use of technology to save lives and reduce response time and building capacities through sharing best practices, developing joint ventures amongst ASEM member countries and to launch Virtual Knowledge Portal (VKP), deliberations on the board structure and functioning of the VKP.

All India Disaster Mitigation Institute (AIDMI) introduced the Climate Development Knowledge Network (CDKN) work in the event and the scope of its projects in the region.

Addressing Humanitarian Effectiveness issue no. 121, December 2014:

Humanitarian effectiveness becoming central theme of humanitarian action.


How do we address the challenge of humanitarian effectiveness?

This issue of contains articles and opinions that actively discuss the important theme of humanitarian effectiveness. Full of though provoking pieces, this issue not only raises the issue of redefining effectiveness in humanitarian action but also highlights good instances of effective humanitarian action from the field. Important issues discussed include 'Evaluating the Effectiveness of Finance in Community based Adaptation' to 'Redefining Effectiveness in Humanitarian Action' and from 'Tools Used by Agencies to Evaluate Humanitarian Action' to 'Building Leadership in the Humanitarian Context'.

Comprehensive in its scope, the present issue of is an attempt to capture the opinions of experts and practitioners from the field of humanitarian action on the theme of humanitarian effectiveness. This issue will no doubt prove to be a valuable resource to the consultative process for the World Humanitarian Summit.

The 121st issue of is titled ‘Addressing Humanitarian Effectiveness’ content includes:
(i) What is Effectiveness? It depends on where you are…; (ii) Evaluating the Effectiveness of Finance for Community–Based Adaptation; (iii) Unequal Access to Opportunities: Adolescent Girls Face the Brunt of Climate Change; (iv) Building Leadership: What it takes in a Humanitarian Context; (v) Education and DRR: School Safety Management Information System; (vi) Heat Wave in Indonesia: A Short Review; (vii) Tools Used by Groupe URD to Involve Communities in the Evaluation of Humanitarian Action; (viii) Emerging Opportunities in Disaster Risk Reduction – Climate Change and the Role of the Engineer; (ix) A Window to Charity in China; (x) Stabilizing Mali in the Aftermath of a Multidimensional Crisis; (xi) ALNAP's Research Work: 2013–2014 Highlights.

The contributions from Mihir R. Bhatt with AIDMI Team; Bonaventure Gbetoho Sokpoh, Groupe URD, France; Caroline Reeves, Ph.D., Associate in Research Harvard University, USA; Dave Steinbach, Ricardo-AEA, UK; David Gressly, Mali; Eka Hesdianti, Indonesia; Franziska Orphal, ALNAP, UK; Jez Stoner, Save the Children, UK; Md. Wazior Rahman, Save the Children, Bangladesh; Meghna Goyal; Paul Knox-Clarke, ALNAP, UK; and Steve Fitzmaurice, IMC Worldwide, UK

Themes: Humanitarian Effectiveness, Climate Change, Disaster Risk Reduction, Governance

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Managing Urban Risks in HFA2 issue no. 120, November 2014:

Cities are at risk. And there is no way we can get away from this fact without sustained efforts. We live in an era of historically unprecedented urbanization. With the influx of large swathes of people to cities, the carrying capacity of a lot of urban systems often gets exceeded.


This pushes a greater number of people under the column of vulnerability, giving rise to newer risks and exacerbating the existing ones.

Thus, it is imperative for the post-2015 framework for disaster risk reduction or the HFA2 to provide mechanisms which address the exigencies of urban risks.  This issue of focuses on the important theme of 'Managing Urban Risks in HFA2'. It highlights policy discourses and institutional mechanisms such as frameworks for city resilience and rapid vulnerability profiling that will help manage urban risk.

The important themes focused upon in this issue range from addressing risk in informal settlements to the challenges of urban resilience in South Asia; and from the need for climate resilient urban development to the role of governments in engendering urban resilience and sustainability. Insightful and incisive, this issue of is aims to emphasize sustainable solutions to the challenges of urban risk through a robust HFA2.

The 120th issue of is titled ‘Managing Urban Risks in HFA2’ content includes:
i. Loss and Damage: Beyond Numbers
ii. Addressing Risk in Urban Informal Settlements
iii. Loss and Damage in Urban Areas: Some Challenges in South Asia
iv. Installing Urban Resilience to Hydro-Climatic Risks
v. The Jigsaw Puzzle of Recovery in Disaster Management
vi. Pathways to Urban Resilience: Information, Communication and a New Community of Practice
vii. Urbanisation and its Impact on Ground Water
viii. A Framework for Rapid Vulnerability Profiling to Build Climate Resilient Urban Development
ix. A Lens to Recognise Urban Resilience: The City Resilience Framework
x. An Urban Resilience Agenda for India
xi. Urban Uncertainty in India and Climate Change
xii. Urban Resilience and Youth
xiii. Sustainable Urban Development and the Role of the Government
xiv. AIDMI: Addressing Risk in Indian Cities

The contributions from Mihir R. Bhatt with AIDMI Team; Aditya V. Bahadur, Overseas Development Institute (ODI), UK; Dr. Alankar, Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS), Delhi; Dr. Anil Gupta, NIDM, New Delhi; Dr. Budhen Kumar Saikia, Morigaon College, Assam; Diane Archer, International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), UK; Hina Lotia, LEAD Pakistan; Dr. Jyoti K. Parikh, and Miss Geeta Sandal, Integrated Research and Action for Development (IRADe), New Delhi; Mansoor Raza, Church World Service (CWS), Pakistan/Afghanistan; Mark Harvey, Communicating with Disaster Affected Communities (CDAC) Network, UK; Sachin Bhoite, Jo da Silva, and Braulio Eduardo Morera, ARUP, UK; Stephanie Andrei, International Centre for Climate Change and Development (ICCCD), Bangladesh; and Swati Bhattacharya, Hult International Business School, USA.

Themes: Urban Risk, Loss and Damage, Urban Resilience, Disaster management, Risk Resilience, Governance, HFA2

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Overcoming Implementation Challenges for the HFA2 issue no. 119, October 2014:

The Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA) was the seminal framework that guided the global response to the challenges of disaster risk reduction (DRR). Drawn for a period of 10 years (2005-2015), the HFA aimed to build the resilience of countries and communities against disasters.


With less than a year left for the HFA to culminate, the efforts to chalk out a successor framework have been gaining traction. Several consultations, workshops and roundtables have taken place to discuss a post-2015 framework for DRR (commonly known as the HFA2). All these efforts with CDKN support have yielded a pre-zero draft of the HFA2 which was circulated a few weeks ago.

The 119th issue of is titled ‘Overcoming Implementation Challenges for the HFA2: New Areas, Newer Insights’ content includes:
i. Overcoming Implementation Challenges for the HFA2: New Areas, Newer Insights
ii. Disaster Risk Challenges to the Asia–Pacific Region
iii. Trade and Disaster Risk Reduction in Asia: Challenges Ahead
iv. Livestock, Livelihoods and Disaster Response: Key Lessons
v. Planning Preparedness: Challenges in India
vi. Climate Compatible Development in Theory and Practice
vii. Lightning Hazard in Tropical Countries: Need for International Policy Intervention
viii. Role of State Disaster Management Authorities in India
ix. The Challenges of Reducing Risk in the Pacific
x. Helping Decision-Makers Before, During and After Disasters and Other Humanitarian Emergencies
xi. The ALNAP Evaluation of Humanitarian Action Guide and its Pilot Process
xii. GPS Tracking for School Buses and Disaster Risk Reduction
xiii. Enabling Local Level Action for DRR
xiv. Make Galle Disaster Free City
xv. Humanitarian Crisis or Crisis of Humanitarianism?
xvi. AIDMI's Contribution to HFA2 Process

The contributions from Mihir R. Bhatt with AIDMI Team; Alexandra Warner, ALNAP, UK; Allen C, Clarke M, Kayabu B and Mellon D, Evidence Aid, UK; Dr. Aniket Sane, Planner for Disaster Risk Reduction, Indore; Cathy Watson, Livestock Emergency Guidelines and Standards (LEGS); Faisel T. Illiyas, Institute of Land and Disaster Management, Kerala; Lise Grande, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP); Manu Gupta, ADRRN; Minquan Liu and Khan Kikkawa, Asian Development Bank Institute, Japan; Pedro J. M. Edo, Asian Disaster Preparedness Center (ADPC), Bangkok; Pradeep Ehan and Darshana Maduranga, E.C. Holdings, Sri Lanka; Praveen Gupta, Founding Partner at, Hyderabad; Dr. Samrat Sinha, O.P.Jindal Global University, Haryana; and Subhajit Bandopadhyay, Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) Dehradun.

Themes: Hyogo Framework for Action, Disaster Risk Reduction, Risk Resilience, Disaster management, Lightning Hazard, Humanitarian Crisis, ISDR, CDKN

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Stakeholder Consultation on Post 2015 Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction

All India Disaster Mitigation Institute (AIDMI) contributed to Stakeholder Consultation on Post 2015 Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction organized by Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India and United Nations Development Programme, India on September 19, 2014, Delhi. AIDMI highlights the need to bring more focus on integrating disaster risk reduction and climate compatible resilience in the pre-zero draft..


Innovation and Refugees

The title – ‘Innovation and refugees’ – of this special FMR (Forced Mitigation Review) supplement reflects the focus of the Humanitarian Innovation Project (HIP) with whom we have worked to publish this collection of articles. The eleven articles include contributions from HIP’s Humanitarian Innovation Conference (held in Oxford in July 2014).<


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This supplement is available in print and online in English only.

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Climate Change and the Himalayas issue no. 118, September 2014:

The Himalayas are reeling from the adverse impacts of global warming and climate change. Affecting ecosystems, livelihoods and biodiversity, food and water security, the Himalayan region faces an escalated threat from climate change due to its fragile environment.


Sikkim, the 2nd smallest state of the Indian Union also falls in the Himalayas and experiences precarious environmental and ecological imbalances due to climate change. All these factors necessitate a concerted adaptation effort in Sikkim and in the Himalayas at large.

This issue of focuses on the important theme of Climate Change and the Himalayas. It entails a detailed description of the multifaceted impacts of climate change in the Himalayan states and of the varied adaptation strategies they have elicited. It covers a diverse range of topics that extend from Livelihood Security in the Himalayas to Community based Adaptation and from Vulnerability Assessments in the Himalayas to Adaptation Initiatives in Sikkim.

Enriched with contributions of reputable academics and seasoned practitioners from the field, this issue of provides an overview of the impacts of and the initiatives related to climate change in Sikkim and other hilly regions. Immensely informative and thoroughly engagingly, this issue is must read for all who are interested in this important theme.

The 118th issue of is titled ‘Climate Change and the Himalayas’ content includes:
i. The Impact of Climate Change on Sikkim
ii. Livelihood Security in the Himalayas
iii. Climate Change in the Himalayas
iv. Vulnerability Assessments and Adaptation in the Hindu Kush Himalaya (HKH)
v. How to Better Engage Businesses in Climate Change Adaptation
vi. Summary of Community-Based Adaptation (CBA)8
vii. Disaster Management and Climate Change Adaptation: A Pacific Perspective
viii. Study on Flood Related Adaptation: A Combination of Options
ix. Civil Society Networks in South Asia: Challenges of Humanitarian Action
x. Miles to go to achieve Resilience
xi. Urban Resilience Work of TERI in India

The contributions from Mihir R. Bhatt with AIDMI Team; Cristina Rumbaitis del Rio with The Rockefeller Foundation, NY; Dr. Dinesh Chandra Devkota and Sujit Karmacharya with IDS, Nepal; Divya Sharma with TERI, Delhi; Dr. Hannah Reid with International Institute for Environment and Development; Nand Kishor Agrawal with ICIMOD, Nepal; Neha Khara, Pooja Rana, Chhemet Lamo and Saikhom Kennedy with Sphere India; Omparkash Bhatt with Sarvodaya Centre, Uttarakhand; Dr. P.G. Dhar Chakrabarti with TERI, New Delhi; Rupesh Desai with Pragya India; and Dr. Suman Kumar Karna with UNDP Fiji.

Themes: Climate Change, Disaster Risk Reduction, Risk Resilience, Livelihood Security, Vulnerability Assessment, Community-Based Adaptation, Flood, Humanitarian, Urban Resilience

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Risk Sensitive Heritage Conservation in Sikkim issue no. 117, September 2014:

The destructive potential of disasters to human life and property is known to all. However, what is not known is the detrimental impact that disasters have on the heritage of the areas they strike. Heritage monuments and structures are repositories of centuries of history, culture and tradition and are therefore an integral part of the identity of an area and its inhabitants.


However, the damage and destruction of such heritage sites due to disasters often goes unnoticed and is not properly addressed.

This issue of focuses upon the important theme of the ‘Need for DRR Sensitive Heritage Conservation in the Himalayas’.  The Himalayan states of India are home to a lot of heritage sites and structures, which include palaces, temples (gompas), monasteries, stupas and old neighbourhoods. The high risk profile of the Himalayas makes a disaster risk reduction (DRR) sensitive approach to conservation of such heritage sites and structures imperative. This issue of highlights such efforts from Sikkim and other Himalayan states of India.

Full of information on information on good practices and projects that have promoted DRR sensitive heritage conservation in the Himalayas, this issue is must read for all those interested in this important theme.

The 117th issue of is titled ‘Risk Sensitive Heritage Conservation in Sikkim’ content includes:
i. The Need for DRR Sensitive Heritage Conservation in the Himalayas
ii. Assessment of Heritage Buildings in Context of 2011 Earthquake: A Report by INTACH
iii. Conservation of the Wall-Paintings in the Gangtok Tsuklakhang in Sikkim
iv. Cost of Disasters to India Unknown
v. Heritage Hazard Vulnerability and Capacity Assessment Tool for Hilly Regions
vi. Update on Rainfall Insurance at SEWA

The contributions from Mihir R. Bhatt with AIDMI Team; Aditya Jain, Mehul Pandya, Paola Jani, and Reema Nanavaty.

Themes: Heritage Conservation, Climate Change Adaptation, Disaster Risk Reduction, Risk Resilience

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Poster Competition for Students on “Home Safety & Local Preparedness for Disaster Risk Reduction”

October 8 is celebrated as National Disaster Reduction day. On this event National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) with support of National Institute of Disaster Management (NIDM) has organised a Poster Competition for Students on “Home Safety & Local Preparedness for Disaster Risk Reduction”  for all schools across India.


Dr. Satendra is leading this idea to thousands of in schools across India.

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Climate Compatible Development in Theory and Practice

Development literature abounds with terms such as climate, development, poverty, resilience and livelihood. However, the key concept of Climate Compatible Development (CCD) is yet to find considerable traction in the development literature. A concept to which the Climate and Development Knowledge Network (CDKN), CCD proposes bundling together migration, adaptation and global transformation for the benefit of poor people at country and sub-national levels.


Gradually, with time the CCD approach will also get due importance and coverage in development theory and practice. The following three books allude to the different aspects of the CCD approach:
1. Climate Change and Development
By- Tom Tanner and Leo Horn-Phathanothai

2. Planetary Economics
By-  Michael Grubb, Jean-Charles Hourcade and Karsten Neuhoff

3. Convenient Action
By- Narendra Modi
To read a detailed review of these books follow the link below:

Managing Risk and Reducing Vulnerability in Humanitarian Action issue no. 116, August 2014:

Hardly anything new can be said in the HFA2 process about managing risk and reducing vulnerability. However, when scoped in detail, both these concepts offer gaps as wide as a gateway to march in. Newer and rarer voices of leaders from Asia and beyond point to these gaps and ways to bridge them through the HFA2 process.


What are minimum standards for managing risks? What do visually impaired women have to say about disaster risk reduction? Which challenges continue on the agenda of recovery from Typhoon Haiyan? To find out answers to such questions, and more, read this issue. This issue is also relevant to upcoming World Humanitarian Summit by the United Nations.

This issue of is titled 'Managing Risk and Reducing Vulnerability in Humanitarian Action'. As apparent in its title, this issue deals with the various aspects of disaster management. Climate change, unplanned urbanization, institutional failure and civil strife have become characteristic features of the developing countries in this day and age. All these factors compound the exposure level of the citizens of such countries, thereby pushing a greater number of them into the embrace of vulnerability.

This issue contains articles that expound upon the various measures to manage the risk of natural hazards and reduce underlying vulnerabilities. Lucidly written and meticulously researched, this issue contains articles on diverse topics from the field of DRR, ranging from the impact of disasters on agricultural trade in Africa to the importance of GIS in disaster management; and from the key challenges to typhoon Haiyan recovery to empowering visually impaired women from DRR. The content includes:
i. Need for Minimum Standards
ii. R!SE is Important for Global Disaster Risk Reduction
iii. Impact of Disasters on Agricultural Trade in Africa
iv. Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda), Philippines Recovery and Reconstruction: Key Challenges
v. Changing Role of National Authorities in South Asia and the Disaster Response Dialogue
vi. Incident Command System (ICS) for Crowd Management
vii. How Useful is GIS in Disaster Management in India?
viii. Challenges of Disaster Risk Reduction in South Social Work Studies
ix. Achievement of Hirrak Development Center
x. PMRDF: An Experiment to Bridge Bharat with India
xi. Empowering Visually Impaired Women for Disaster Risk Reduction
xii. Reducing Risk, Strengthening Response: The British Red Cross and its Partners in South Asia

The contributions from Mihir R. Bhatt with AIDMI Team; Arpit Asthana; Dagmar Milerova Praskova; In Hye Sung; Biswanath Dash; M. Rajamanickam and G. Victor Rajamanickam; Colonel Nagar M Verma; Dr. P.G.Dhar Chakrabarti; Ms. Sadhana Adhikary and Dr. Bigi Thomas; Samuel Carpenter; Sebastien Penzini; Sudhir Kumar and Connie delos Santos; and Zafar Lund.

Themes: Risk Reduction, HFA2, Climate Change Adaptation, Disaster Risk Reduction, Agriculture, Risk Resilience, Crowd Management, Empowering Visually Impaired Women, WHS.

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DRR in Hilly Regions issue no. 115, July 2014:

In many ways HFA2 process has strived to include citizens who face a high altitude disaster risks. But more can be included, especially more insights and evidence coming from specific locations and events.

This issue of Southasiadisasters.n


et aims to highlight the challenges to effective DRR in Sikkim and other hilly states of India. The articles in this issue are based on various topics subsumed under this vast theme and range from the risk of climate change in DRR to the exigencies of DRR sensitive heritage conservation in such hilly states. Needless to say the role of India’s national authority and Sikkim’s State Disaster Management Authority are a key to reducing risks caused by disasters in Sikkim.

The 115th issue of is titled ‘DRR in Hilly Regions’ content includes:
i. The Challenge of DRR in Sikkim and other Hilly States of India
ii. The Rationale of the Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation Convergence
iii. Disaster Risks in High Mountain Regions
iv. Planning Disaster Preparedness in India: Key Thoughts
v. Overview of the State Action Plan on Climate Change (SAPCC) for Sikkim
vi. Living with Floods in Assam
vii. The Vulnerability of Sikkim to Multiple Hazards
viii. Regional Consultation for West and Central Africa: Co-Chairs' Summary Report
ix. The Need for DRR Sensitive Heritage Conservation in Sikkim
x. Disaster in Devbhoomi: A Year After the Floods in Uttarakhand

The contributions from Mihir R. Bhatt with AIDMI Team; Sima Mostofi Javid; Hari Krishna Nibanupudi; and Kanchan Gandhi. Each contributor keeps global and national efforts for DRR in mind and offers ideas, insights, or evidence to make HFA2 process include India’s experience.

Themes: Risk Reduction in Hilly Areas, HFA2, Climate Change Adaptation, Disaster Risk Reduction, Floods, Hazards in Sikkim, Heritage Conservation

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Towards Urban Resilience issue no. 114, July 2014:

Cities and urban citizens are moving centre stage from HFA to HFA2 process. And that is overdue.

We live in an era of unprecedented urbanization. Since 2008, for the first time in human history, more people live in cities and towns as compared to the countryside.


Moreover, the number of city and town dwellers is expected to swell up to 5 billion by 2030. This great number has huge implications for the risk profile of urban centres.

As the pressure on the resources of urban centres gets escalated, more and more people get pushed into the column of vulnerability. This issue of focuses on the theme of urban risk and resilience. This issue has been titled 'Towards Urban Resilience' as it contains articles detailing the efforts made by various agencies and organizations to reduce the risks faced by urban centres. The theme of urban resilience is also important to focus upon as it is inextricably linked to broad development outcomes.

Meticulously researched and lucidly written, the articles in this issue provide the reader with a broad overview of the best practices and interventions apropos urban resilience with special focus on Asia. Interesting pieces such as the disaster risk reduction plan of Shajahanabad in Delhi and the pilot risk assessment of Ahmedabad have been included. This issue is a must read for all those who are interested in the broad and ever evolving area of urban resilience. And each write up offers new insight into shaping HFA2 for us all.

The 114th issue of is titled ‘Towards Urban Resilience’ content includes:
i. The Importance of Urban Resilience
ii. The Urban Resilience Approach
iii. How Resilient is India's Infrastructure?
iv. Towards Urban Resilience
v. Disaster Risk Reduction Plan Case: Shahjahanabad (Walled City), Delhi
vi. Disaster Management in India: The Case of Mumbai Floods and Cyclone Phailin
vii. South–South Cooperation for Cities in Asia
viii. Urban Risks in Uttar Pradesh
ix. Possible Heat Action Plans for Small Towns of India
x. Cost Effective Green Building Techniques for Disaster Resilient Cities
xi. Important Aspects of A Successful Safe City Approach
xii. HIF Funds Three New Projects with Disaster Resilience Focus

The contributions from Mihir R. Bhatt with AIDMI Team; Dr. A. K. Singh; David Sanderson; David South; Deepanjan Saha; Gulrez Shah Azhar, Priya Dutta, Ajit Rajiva and Dileep Mavalankar; Hari Baral; Leah Campbell; and Mutum Chaobisana Devi. Each contributor adds to HFA2 process.

Themes: Urban Resilience, Disaster Risk Reduction Plan, HFA2, Urban Risk, Climate Change, Disaster Resilient Cities, Heat Waves, Safe City

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AIDMI becomes a member of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network

The All India Disaster Mitigation Institute (AIDMI) is pleased to announce to its readers that it has just secured membership to the prestigious Sustainable Development Solution Network (SDSN). The SDSN works closely with United Nations agencies, multilateral financing institutions, the private sector, and civil society.


The SDSN mobilizes scientific and technical expertise from academia, civil society, and the private sector in support of sustainable development problem solving at local, national, and global scales. AIDMI will now work closely related to the activities of SDSN.

World Humanitarian Summit Online Discussion on July 16, 2014

Want to know more about the outcomes of our first regional consultation in West and Central Africa? Join us for a live webinar/ Q & A on Wednesday, 16 July! Register here:

Join us on Wednesday, 16 July , to discuss the outcomes of the World Humanitarian Summit onsite regional consultations for West and Central Africa.


This will be an opportunity to learn more about the results of the event, ask questions from panelists who were involved in it, and give your input and feedback on the outcomes. The event will be held in French, with English closed captioning.

Panelists for the event will include Allegra Baiocchi, Head of OCHA's Regional Office for West and Central Africa; Anaïs Lafite, Regional Representative for West Africa of Action Contre la Faim; and Liliane Bitong, Regional Representative for West Africa of ICVA.

The World Humanitarian Summit’s regional consultation for West and Central Africa was held in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, on 19-20 June 2014. It was co-chaired by the governments of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Côte d’Ivoire.  The consultation brought together over 180 participants from 24 countries to discuss the future of humanitarian action in the region. This included representation from regional organisations, national and local governments, non-governmental organizations, affected communities, local and international civil society, the private sector, academia, the media, donor governments, and United Nations organizations.  

The Summit, convened by United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and managed by OCHA, is bringing together all interested humanitarian stakeholders together to set out a new course for how we collaborate in the vital effort to prepare for and respond to natural disasters and man-made crises around the world.

Event time
New York:  10:00 – 11:00
Abidjan/ Bamako/ Dakar:  14:00 – 15:00
Abuja/ Niamey/ Yaoundé:  15:00 – 16:00
Geneva:  16:00 – 17:00
Amman/ Nairobi:  17:00 – 18:00
Bangkok:  21:00 – 22:00

Participation is free, but space is limited, so please register in advance  to ensure that you are able to participate. You can join the online event either via your web browser (no installation is required) or by calling in using your phone. Instructions will be provided in the email confirming your registration.

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Missed in Asia Ministerial Conference for Disaster Risk Reduction (AMCDRR)

What Asia Ministerial Conference for Disaster Risk Reduction (AMCDRR) did not discuss are the links between growth, inequality and subsidies with Disaster Risk Reduction in Asia. This is an overlooked area of understanding, AIDMI finds. Does upswing in growth lead to reduced risks?  Does more inequality mean more risk? Do subsidies stabilize further fall into greater risks? Very little is known or discussed, argues AIDMI, and calls for more policy research.



Adding to the Agenda of the 6th AMCDRR issue no. 113, June 2014:

The 6th Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (AMCDRR) will be held from June 22—26, 2014 in Bangkok, Thailand. As we inch closer to this conference, it becomes necessary to introspect on important issues that should be raised there.


The theme of this conference is Promoting Investments for Resilient Nations and Communities. This is a vast theme that merits deliberation on a lot of important factors related with DRR in Asia.

This issue of is an attempt to deliberate on these important issues related to disaster risk reduction (DRR) in Asia. This issue contains articles on a variety of DRR issues ranging from Kosi floods to Tsunami rehabilitation, and from urban risks to under nutrition. The idea behind this issue of is to present the readers with an overview of important DRR aspects that should be included in the deliberations at the 6th AMCDRR.

The 113th issue of is titled ‘Adding to the Agenda of the 6th AMCDRR’ content includes:
i. The 6th AMCDRR: Setting the Agenda for Future Deliberations by Ali Sheikh, Director, Climate & Development Knowledge Network (CDKN) Asia, and Chief Executive Officer, LEAD Pakistan
ii. Adding to the Agenda of the 6th AMCDRR by Kshitij Gupta
iii. Climate Change: What Cities Can Do? by Mihir R. Bhatt
iv. Today's Imperative: Strengthening Resilience – Ten Years After Tsunami by Zenaida Willison, DRR Consultant, Thailand
v. Water Related Disaster – A Case of Kosi Pralaya (Havoc) by Dwarika Nath Dhungel, Senior Researcher, Former Executive Director, Institute for Integrated Development Studies (IIDS) and Former Secretary, Ministry of Water Resources, Government of Nepal
vi. Under Nutrition in Humanitarian Crisis: What is Missing in South Asia by Tarik Kadir, Regional Operations Director/ Directeur Régional des Opérations Asia, Action contre la Faim, France
vii. Impact of Climate Change to Farmers of South Asia by Appanah Simmathiri, Climate Change and Bio-energy Officer (acting), FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific
viii. Ten Years of Disaster Risk Reduction in Bangladesh by Mahbuba Nasreen, Ph.D., Director and Professor, Institute of Disaster Management and Vulnerability Studies, University of Dhaka, Bangladesh
ix. Governance of Hyogo Framework for Action 2 by Mihir R. Bhatt
x. ResilientAfrica Network (RAN) by Harriet Adong, Communications Manager at Makerere University School of Public Health, Uganda
xi. Post Tsunami Housing Reconstruction: Mainstreaming the People's Process by Lalith Lankatilleke, Senior Human Settlements Officer UN-Habitat, Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific Fukuoka, Japan
xii. UN-Habitat in Sri Lanka Plans Ahead by Saman Ekanayake, Programme Manager, UN-HABITAT, Sri Lanka
xiii. Tourism: A Potential Tool for Community Resilience by Ennio Valentino Picucci

Themes: HFA2, Disaster Risks, Risk Resilience, Disaster Recovery, Climate Change

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Preparing for the 6th AMCDRR issue no. 112, June 2014:

The 6th Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction is scheduled to happen from 22–26 June, 2014. A biennial conference, organized jointly by UNISDR and various Asian Countries, the AMCDRR brings together several stakeholders to exchange ideas, innovations and best practices related with disaster risk management.


The theme of this year's conference is Promoting Investments for Resilient Nations and Communities.

This issue of tries to highlight pertinent areas of disaster risk management from Asia to prepare for the upcoming conference. The articles in this issue provide an overview of key challenges and best practices in the field of disaster risk reduction from Asia. Voices of local community members on the importance of livelihood support against disasters have also been highlighted with the purpose of making them heard to policy makers and experts. A news section on the major developments around the globe related to disasters of various kinds has also been added.

Rich in content and topical in nature, this issue of is a must-read for all those interested about the recent developments and achievements of DRR in Asia.

The 112th issue of is titled ‘Preparing for the 6th AMCDRR’ content includes:
i. The 6th AMCDRR: Towards a Resilient Asia by Cherian Mathews, Asia Regional Director, Oxfam GB, Bangkok
ii. The 6th AMCDRR: Asia on the Threshold of HFA2 by Kshitij Gupta
iii. Disasters, Targets and Indicators for Post 2015 Development Agenda: Some Concerns by Mihir R. Bhatt
iv. Impact of Disasters on Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs): Agenda for HFA2 by AIDMI Team
v. Capturing Disaster Risk Reduction Voices in A sia by Ennio V. Picucci
vi. Beyond Scarcity: The Arsenic Disaster by Karthik Seshan, Research Associate, Saci WATERs, Andhra Pradesh, India
vii. A Recipe for Disaster Resilience? by Alex Barrett and Matthew Pritchard, Chars Livelihoods Programme (CLP), Bangladesh
viii. The Importance of GIS in Disaster and Emergency Management by Abhinav Walia, Centre For Disaster Management, LBSNAA, Uttarakhand, India
ix. Flood Management in Bangladesh: Recent Evidences and Future Challenges by Prof. Rezaur Rahman, Institute of Water and Flood Management, Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET), Dhaka, Bangladesh
x. Disaster Risks of Dhaka City by Farid Hasan Ahmed, Senior Program Officer, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), Embassy of Switzerland, Dhaka
xi. Youthful View on Hyogo Framework for Action 2 by Mihir R. Bhatt
xii. Impact of Tsunami: Lessons on Post-disaster Recovery by Japanese Corporations by Cindy Yoshiko Shirata, Professor, University of Tsukuba, Japan
xiii. Let there be Cyclone, We are Ready! by Onno Ruhl, Country Director, The World Bank, New Delhi, India
xiv. Post Disaster Shelter Rehabilitation in Cambodia by Piotr Sasin, Spatial Planner and Country Director, People in Need, Cambodia
xv. Voices from Small and Medium Entrepreneurs of Puri, Odisha on 2011 Floods by AIDMI Team
xvi. Oxfam Minimum Standards for Gender in Emergencies by Kshitij Gupta
xvii. Engaging SAARC for Resilience and Cross Border Facilitation for Rapid Response in Disasters by Shafqat Munir, Regional Rights in Crisis Coordinator Asia, Oxfam
xviii. The Safer Schools Project, Ayeryawaddy Delta, Myanmar by John Norton, President, Development Workshop France (DWF), France
xix. Almost Ten Years after the Asian Tsunami, What Worked? by Ajith Tennakoon, Senior Program Adviser, Sevalanka Foundation, Sri Lanka

Themes: HFA2, Disaster Risks, Risk Resilience, Disaster Recovery, Safer Schools

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Report of the Task Force: A Review of the Disaster Management Act, 2005

In regards to environmental damage, disasters and hazards earlier too few states had their own disaster management laws and various legislations. For the first time Disaster Management Act 2005 defined a legal framework in India. This report gives broad review of this Act with the analysis Act’s relevant provisions. For more information about report


World Environment Day 2014: Where HFA2 stands?

The HFA2 process can give far more attention to the environmental issues than it has given so far. Key environmental issues of water, forest, and clean air have remained on the margins of HFA2 discussions so far. So what should be done? AIDMI held discussions with key team members and came up with the following list:
• Link DRR Projects with local environmental issues.<


br /> • Define DRR results in terms of environmental gains.
• Audit environmental management performance of existing DRR projects.
• Enhance environmental learning from DRR projects.
• Increase visibility of DRR projects that has included environmental management.
• Scope ways to develop joint projects that include DRR and environmental concerns.

In the above UNEP has an active role to play. IUCN developed several projects after tsunami that integrated environmental management with Disaster Risk Reduction. CDKN worldwide has developed initiatives that integrate ecological and disaster risk management concerns.

AIDMI was reviewing training needs of over 2000 local officials in 3 districts in India. The training needs related to integration of environmental management and DRR at local level came up with above six items.

(For more information contact Vishal Pathak at

Bridging Gaps in Urban Resilience

The efforts towards achieving Urban Resilience on global level are still facing gaps at numerous levels. Regarding the same issue an exchange of dialogue took place between AIDMI and McMaster University, Canada.


From the exchange of thoughts it was concluded that to understand the gaps there is a need to document the feedback at three levels, 1. The slum residents, who are at the receiving end of this cycle, 2. The civil society organisations and other social organisation who acts as bridge between slum residents and Govt. officials, and 3. The Govt. sector, which is responsible during the process of making policies. AIDMI helped in expanding the areas of study and capturing the local voices.

Safer Schools for Safer Education issue no. 111, May 2014:

Schools and Education cannot be separated. Nor their safety.

Children spend the major part of their day at schools. Therefore, any concerted effort to enhance the resilience of children to disasters must focus on making schools safer from the adverse impact of disasters.


This issue of focuses on the key policies, strategies and practices related to the important theme of school safety.

Apart from important policies related to school safety and child welfare in disaster situations, this issue also consists of the experiences and lessons learnt by organizations that are involved with school safety campaign in India and beyond. Engagingly written and meticulously researched, this issue seeks to underscore the role of school safety for the overall development of children. A must read for all interested in this important area.

The 111th issue of is titled ‘Safeguarding Schools: Safer Schools for Safer Education’ content includes:
i. A Lesson from Child Centered Community Based Disaster Risk Reduction
ii. Exploring Adolescence in Our Changing World
iii. Disasters Make a Child Choose the Path of Crime: A Case
iv. Building up Community Resilience through Mock Drills: BSDMA Leads
v. ASDMA's Gender Sensitive Approach
vi. Challenge Toward School Safety
vii. Children and Holi Risks
viii. Safety in School for Child Welfare
ix. Steps Toward School Safety Initiative
x. AIDMI’s Suggestions for Key Area 4 of HFA2
xi. The Role of NHAZCA in Reducing Risks form Natural Hazards
xii. Disasters and Emergencies NEWS
xiii. Recent Publications on Child Safety

The contributions from Mihir R. Bhatt with AIDMI Team; Amit Prakash and Anand Bijeta; Jayanta Hazarika; Mukul Kumar; and Paolo Mazzanti.

Children, Disaster Risk, Risk Resilience, School Safety, Gender, Adolescence, HFA2, Natural Hazards

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HIF Funds Three New Projects with Disaster Resilience Focus

Disaster insurance for micro-enterprises is among three pioneering projects to be awarded grants by the Humanitarian Innovation Fund (HIF).

The successful projects, which will be run by Massachusetts General Hospital, All India Disaster Mitigation Institute and Humanitarian OpenSteetMap Team, will be developing and testing a range of innovations to help save lives and reduce suffering.


The projects, who will work collaboratively with partners, will receive over £400,000 in total. This was the sixth round of funding since the HIF was launched in 2010.

The HIF, supported by the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), funds projects across the world to develop and implement innovative products or services to improve the global response to natural disasters and humanitarian crises.

The three projects to receive funding in this round are:
Open Aerial Map (Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team)

Open Aerial Map aims to be the first free, robust, and openly accessible online archive of satellite and aerial imagery. High-resolution satellite imagery is invaluable for disaster preparedness as ground imagery can be utilised to create base maps of disaster prone areas. During disasters, the imagery can provide situational awareness to aid interventions.

Strengthening resilience: low cost uterine balloon tamponade package (Massachusetts General Hospital)

The project will optimise, test and evaluate a device in Sierra Leone to mitigate postnatal haemorrhage – the leading cause of maternal mortality in this country. The innovation involves placing a balloon in a woman’s uterus and inflating it with water to stop bleeding. The procedure is highly cost effective as materials can be sourced locally and includes a training package for local health workers.

Urbanization and Crises Program (All India Disaster Mitigation Institute with Harvard Humanitarian Initiative)

The project will pilot disaster insurance for micro-enterprises to improve the recovery of local markets that play a critical role in providing goods and services to vulnerable disaster-affected populations in urban settings.

More information about these projects will be available through their project profiles and blogging facility on the HIF website shortly.

Survey about

As you might know, we recently published the 110th issue of, a milestone of which we are very proud. It is now almost nine years and over 400 contributors from 37 countries have contributed to this newsletter and this was only possible thanks to our readers!

In order to improve the quality of our newsletter and make it more appealing to our readers we are reviewing southasiadisasters.n


et using a survey. As your opinion is of great value to us, we would highly appreciate it if you could take five minutes of your time to fill out our survey!

In order to fill in the survey please click in this link

Thank you very much and we look forward to your feedback!

With best wishes from AIDMI to you.

Adaptation in Retrospect: Perspectives from Successful Community-Based Adaptation Interventions issue no. 110, April 2014:
So what do community based adaptation look like? And how do we think about them? This issue offers exactly this from global to local and East to West directions.
The 110th issue of is titled ‘Adaptation in Retrospect: Perspectives from Successful Community-Based Adaptation Interventions’.


This issue focuses on the theme of community-based adaptation. It entails an overview of the successful community based adaptation interventions from the developing world. A must read for all interested in understanding the direction in which the global effort for adaptation to climate change is headed at the community level. The content includes:
i. New CDKN Guide
ii. Women, Rural Livelihoods, Risks in India: Landesa Promotes Community Based Adaptation
iii. What Makes CDKN Unique
iv. Reducing Disaster Risks: Creating Community Risk Mitigation Champions
v. ActionAid Kenya: Ways in Engaging Communities in Humanitarian Crisis
vi. Resilience to Climate Change and Disasters in Odisha
vii. CARE International’s Framework for Community-Based Adaptation
viii. Risk Transfer as a Community Based Adaptation Mechanism
ix. Community-Based Adaptation Dimensions of 'Safer Schools Campaign'
x. Survey about

The contributions from Mihir R. Bhatt with AIDMI Team; Basundhara Tripathy; Elizabeth Righa Wakilo; Shantanu Gaikwad; Simon Maxwell; and Surekha Ghogale.

Themes: Climate Change, Risk Resilience; Community Based Adaptation, Risk Transfer, HFA2, School Safety

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Inputs in HFA2: Building the Resilience of Nations and Communities to Disasters

The All India Disaster Mitigation Institute (AIDMI) welcomes the recently circulated 'Asia-Pacific Input Document for HFA2: Building the Resilience of Nations and Communities to Disasters' and finds this work to be timely, grassroots' oriented and far reaching for the Asia Pacific region.

Greater focus can be given in this document to South-South Opportunities in Asia Pacific; small and marginal enterprises can be more highlighted in the definition of corporate and business entities; and minimum standards for local climate smart


disaster risk management can be spelt out for all 7 Key Areas. This input is the last chance for Asia Pacific to find out what is being left behind in the HFA2 process in the region; how central sustainability — economic and ecological — is to HFA2 and is this draft good enough to generate green and clean transformative jobs and growth in Asia-Pacific?

AIDMI invites individuals and institutions to detail out the comments and revisions. For more information kindly contact Mr. Vishal Pathak at as soon as possible.(To view the input document please follow the link:

Envisioning Resilience: Towards Climate Compatible Development issue no. 109, April 2014:

What is the vision of resilience? Here is an issue that addresses it.
The 109th issue of is titled ‘Envisioning Resilience: Towards Climate Compatible Development’ explores the important theme of ‘Climate Compatible Development’.


As a novel approach, climate compatible development tries to address the overlap between climate change adaptation (CCA) and disaster risk reduction (DRR) for the achievement of broad development goals. This issue of entails an overview of the climate compatible development approach. The main purpose of this issue is to highlight the existing and evolving systems of knowledge that can help in tackling these emerging risks. The content includes:
i. Defining Climate Compatible Development
ii. Addressing Loss and Damage with Micro-insurance
iii. Aiding Typhoon Haiyan Victims in Philippines
iv. Cartagena de Indias: A Pioneer in Becoming a Climate Compatible City
v. The Need for a New Cadre of Leaders in the Face of Climate Change
vi. Education and Research at the Nexus of Disaster Resilience and Climate Adaptation
vii. A Road Map for Disaster Risk Reduction Post-2015
viii. Debris Management: Critical for Disaster Management
ix. HFA 2 in Nepal: Priorities for Action
x. How Space Watch on Agro Drought Reduces Disaster Risk
xi. LEAD Pakistan and Disaster Risk Reduction
xii. Why Advocacy Matters?

The contributions from Mihir R. Bhatt with AIDMI Team; American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee; Hina Lotia; Kees van der Geest, Michael Zissener, and Koko Warner; Eric Chu; JC Gaillard and Jessica Mercer; Kiran Sura; Mathieu Lacoste; Megh Ranjani Rai; Oscar Rojas; Sudhir Kumar; and Williams Johnson.

Themes: Climate Change, Loss and Damage, Risk Transfer, Micro-insurance, Climate Compatible Development, Disaster Risk Reduction, HFA2

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Children in Urban Space: Making Child Friendly Cities issue no. 108, March 2014:

So much is said about future of cities and yet city planning is not done by those who have a long future: children. This is odd.

The 108th issue of is titled ‘Children in Urban Space: Making Child Friendly Cities’ highlights the concept of a ‘Child Friendly City’.


This issue of outlines the key pre-requisites to make child friendly city by documenting the experiences and expertise of organizations and individuals that have strived towards this ideal. The content includes:
i. Making Child Friendly Cities through School Safety: A Case Study
ii. Child Friendly Schools in India
iii. SAARC Framework for Care, Protection and Participation of Children in Disasters
iv. Building Child Friendly Cities: A Framework for Action
v. Child Friendly Spaces: A Healthy Environment for Children in Emergencies
vi. Campaign Against Japanese Encephalitis(JE) and Acute Encephalitis Syndrome(AES) in U.P.: Leads by NDMA
vii. Early Intervention Programmes for Children and Disaster Risk Reduction
viii. Lessons from Typhoon Haiyan Response
ix. Children as 'Active Agents' in Climate Change Adaptation
x. Khadija Khatun–An Agent of Change for Climate Change Adaptation
xi. Earthquake-Proof Table for Schools
xii. Towards Child Friendly Education

The contributions from Mihir R. Bhatt with AIDMI Team; David Mcloughlin; Monika Jaryal; Dr. Muzaffar Ahmad; and Syed Matiul Ahsan.

Themes: Children, Climate Change, Disaster Risk, Risk Resilience, School Safety

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We Can Not Leave Everything to God: Children and Crowd Management in Schools issue no. 107, March 2014:

The 107th issue of is titled ‘We Can Not Leave Everything to God: Children and Crowd Management in Schools’ explores the important theme of Crowd Management. Crowd management is extremely important for a country like India that routinely witnesses stampedes.


Replete with views of experts from the field, this issue provides vital information on Crowd management policies, practices and procedures. The content includes:
i. We Can Not Leave Everything to God
ii. Assam Jatiya Vidyalaya: A Case of Crowd Management at Schools
iii. Need for Stampede Management at School Level
iv. Major Stampedes of India
v. Proactive Approach to Disaster Response In India: Adoption of Incident Response System
vi. Crowd Management at Heritage Sites
vii. Role of Switzerland in Making World Safer from Disasters
viii. School Safety Assessment of Cyclone Thane - Affected Schools
ix. The EU's Disaster Risk Reduction Work in India
x. Children in the Uttarakhand Disaster
xi. School Safety and Crowd Management

The contributions from Mihir R. Bhatt with AIDMI Team; Col Alok Raj; Arjun Clair; Brig (Dr) BK Khanna, Mrs Angeli Qwatara and Nina Khanna; Daniel Ziegerer; and Omprakash Bhatt.

Themes: Children, Crowd Management, Disaster Risk, Risk Resilience, School Safety, Stampedes

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Between the Global and the Local in Humanitarian Action: Key Areas for Action

AIDMI team on its Annual Day 2014, March 21, discussed the nature and extent of links between the local and global in disaster risk reduction.  So what are the key links that offer special value to HFA 2 process? Child’s Right to Safer Schools is one such link that translates global policies across communities.


Engaging Children in Local Disaster Risk Reduction Planning is another link that offer huge potential for the global idea to be rooted into local action. Making Children Visible in Global Policies is third area where the link is very thin and fragile. As if children have no global vision in this day and age. Children in National Authorities is fourth link which needs more strengthening so that authorities treat children as citizens with resources to reduce present and future risks.  AIDMI is inviting experts to join this process of mapping by April 20, 2014.

Drinking Water and Disasters

“Safe drinking water for all” also applies to disaster victims and communities vulnerable to disaster across India. But not much attention is paid to access to and availability of drinking water for victim and vulnerable community beyond relief. And this is odd.
AIDMI reviewed this situation in India and invites partners to join its efforts AIDMI address this gap across key questions of: a) why women and children are last to have access to water from relief to recovery phase?; b) what measures can be take


n to reduce drinking water loss and damage after a disaster? and c) who among the private sector is best suited to take actions to fill this gap?  

Individuals and institutions are invited to join possible scoping.

IRDR Conference 2014

The (Integrated Research on Disaster Risk) IRDR Programme, in partnership with the China Association for Science and Technology (CAST), will host the 2nd IRDR Conference, under the theme “Integrated Disaster Risk Science: A Tool for Sustainability,”  from 7 – 9 June 2014 at the Beijing International Convention Center (BICC) in Beijing, China.


The Conference will place emphasis on the importance of science as a tool to address hazard risks and issues of sustainable development.

This will be accomplished through a series of plenaries and break-out sessions dealing with the challenges of implementing integrated disaster risk research, inter-organisational collaboration, and policy, as well as the interaction with sustainable development activities. The sessions will address the range of environmental hazards, vulnerability, and sustainability, in both global and local contexts.

IRDR Conference 2014 will bring together leading experts in the field of disaster risk reduction from all academic and professional specialities to help create a “global IRDR community,” and bring continued worldwide attention to the IRDR programme.

* Register today!

For more details:

Adaptation to Climate Change: Linking DRR with Microinsurance issue no. 106, March 2014:

This issue explores the important role played by microinsurance in building up the resilience of communities vulnerable to the address impact of disasters and climate change. The content includes:
i. EU’s Work in Phailin


nbsp; MIA's Work on Climate Change and Microinsurance in India
iii. Role of NRSC in Better Response during Cyclones
iv. Role of Insurance to Address Loss and Damage Associated with the Adverse Effect of Climate Change
v. Loss and Damage: Times Ahead
vi. Climate Change in the Indian Mind
vii. Protecting Heritage from Disaster Risk
viii. Institutionalising Climate Smart Disaster Risk Management in Women Based Organisation
ix. Climate Change in Northeast India
x. Climate Variability and Climate Change Disaster Risk Scoping Study for Gujarat
xi. Immunising Natural Disaster Impacts with Natural Infrastructure
xii. Enhancing Safety and Market Opportunities for SME by Promoting Best Applicable, Green Technology
xiii. Bangladesh: On the Forefront of Loss and Damage Research
xiv. ADB, Partners Aim to Protect Asia's Urban Poor from Climate Extremes
xv. How Resilient is India's Infrastructure?
xvi. A Climate Smart Disaster Management Reform in Odisha
xvii. Cyclone Phailin Mitigation

The contributions from Mihir R. Bhatt with AIDMI Team; Andreas Pecnik; Anthony Leiserowitz and Jagadish Thaker; Arjun Claire; Binapani Mishra, Himadri Changmai; Kashmala Kakakhel; Micro Insurance Academy; Nisha D'Souza; Paola Jani; Shababa Haque, Erin Roberts, Stephanie Andrei and Saleemul Huq; Vinay Kumar Dadhwal; and William Martirez.

Themes: Climate Change, Community-based DRR, Economics of DRR, Insurance & Risk Transfer, Social Impacts & Resilience

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Disaster insurance in Odisha

Thousands of women of Odisha now demand for Afat Vimo (disaster insurance). Over a hundred claimants received a payout post 2013 cyclone Phailin. Ms. Laxmi Sethi, community leader of Jayapur in Puri district, Odisha said, “Today’s actions will determine our future. Risk transfer mechanisms can such as Afat Vimo can speed up the recovery process.&


rdquo; To get perspectives of various stakeholders about the experiences of disaster insurance, its effectiveness, challenges and usefulness for vulnerable, a workshop ‘Disaster Insurance in Odisha: Afat Vimo for cyclone Phailin affected communities’ was hosted in Bhubaneswar, Odisha in India on March 01, 2014. The insurance, Afat Vimo was designed by All India Disaster Mitigation Institute (AIDMI) and replicated in Odisha in 2012 with a women’s civil society organisation Society for Women’s Action Development (SWAD). The inaugural session was graced by Ms. Nibedita Nayak, Chairperson of State Social Welfare Board (SSWB) and Mr. Ambika Prasad from UN Development Program, Odisha. Mr. Prasad chaired the function and said “up scaling such efforts will make the coastal communities resilient and sustainable”. Ms. Nayak handed over the cheques and said “women’s leadership in drawing microinsurance is path breaking”. Odisha has set an example for the rest of India by successfully evacuating vulnerable communities before the landfall of cyclone Phailin; and now it has proved with the insurance settlement and demand that it is leading in mitigation measures as well.

Joint International Comparative Research on Community Empowerment and Area Recovery from Disaster – A Study Tour

Tsunami had hit southern part of the India, and Tamil Nadu. How the tsunami affected community recovered? How much the community empowered and what was the community recovery process? How resilient community is? To know all these, Seven Scholars from Nagoya University, Kinki University, Kwansei Gakuin University, and Shizuoka University, Japan in collaboration with All India Disaster Mitigation Institute visited tsunami affected communities of Cuddalore district of Tamil Nadu from February 16-21, 2014.



Addressing HFA2: Building Community Resilience issue no. 105, February 2014:

How to address HFA2? There is no one way. HFA2 must be addressed by many in many ways.

As the Hyogo Framework for Action (2005-2015) enters its final phase, the consultations for a post 2015 framework for disaster risk reduction are being finalized and synthesized to form a new framework.


The result of these consultations has been the identification of certain key areas or themes that need to be focused at and addressed by this framework (or HFA 2). The following key areas have been identified for HFA 2 particularly for the Asia-Pacific region.

The 105th issue of is titled ‘Addressing HFA2: Building Community Resilience’ explores these key areas of HFA 2 with special focus on addressing ‘Building Community Resilience’. The content includes:
i. Towards a Post 2015 Framework for DRR (HFA2)
ii. Nansen Refugee Award
iii. Disaster Risk Management in India: Who are most Vulnerable yet Excluded? The Proposed Panacea
iv. Disaster Risk and Handicap India: An Overview of Key Issues
v. Addressing Vulnerabilities of the Elderly: A Snapshot of Sri Lanka
vi. Addressing Urban Disaster Risk in South Asia
vii. Disaster Risks in Himalayas
viii. Himalayan Tsunami – Challenges and Roadblocks in Relief Actions
ix. DRR: Advantages and Challenges of Gender in Kerala
x. The Political Biography of an Earthquake: Aftermath and Amnesia in Gujarat, India
xi. West Bengal's Disaster Risk Reduction Challenges: A View from Communities
xii. Capacity Building Gaps within Humanitarian Agencies: Key Areas of Actions
xiii. Extending Business Engagement from Disaster Relief to Community Resilience

The contributions from Mihir R. Bhatt with AIDMI Team; Dr. Anil P. Joshi, Anthony Chettri, Arvind Patel, Asha Kiran, Edward Simpson, Helen Roeth, Jonathan Potter, Marc Forni, Rupesh Desai, Sepali Kottegoda, and Shakeb Nabi.

Themes: HFA2, Disaster Risk, DRR voices, Civil society in South Asia, Governance and Risk, Urban Disaster Risk, Gender and DRR, Risk to Resilience

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Towards a Resilient Future: Children and Disasters issue no. 104, February 2014:

A lot more need to be known to reach HFA goals and far more needs to be done during HFA2 process.

The 104th issue of is titled ‘Towards a Resilient Future: Children and Disasters’.


This issue explores the challenges and constraints of building up the resilience of children to disasters and emergencies.

Furthermore, this issue advocates the best policies and practices that protect and promote the rights of children against the exigencies of disasters. This issue of directly addresses the key area of ‘Building Community Resilience’ of the HFA 2 process.
The content includes:
i. Addressing Climate Change in South Asia, with More Focus on Children
ii. Blighted Childhoods by Uttarakhand Disaster
iii. Addressing Children’s Vulnerabilities in Tsunami Rehabilitation
iv. Climate Refugees
v. Building Safer Education in Urban Areas: A Case of School Disaster Management Plan
vi. Disaster Risk Reduction for Children by Children
vii. Children and Disasters
viii. Children's Participation in Building Resilience
ix. Women and Disasters
x. Child-Centred Hazard, Vulnerability and Capacity Assessment
xi. Child-Centred Disaster Risk Management Planning

The contributions from Mihir R. Bhatt with AIDMI Team; Vositha Wijenayake; Omprakash Bhatt; and Reuben James.

Themes: Children, Climate Change, School Safety, Disaster Risk, DRR voices, Civil society in South Asia, Governance and Risk, Gender and DRR, HVCA, Building Resilience

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World Bank Supports Odisha in Post Phailin Recovery Process

Following the severe Cyclone Phailin which hit the coast of Odisha on October 12, 2013, the World Bank has approved a sum of $153 Million to Disaster Recovery Project. Mr. Onno Ruhl, World Bank country director in India informed that this project will focus on both reconstruction and disaster preparedness.&


nbsp; Mr. Deepak Singh who is the senior disaster risk management specialist and the task team leader sees long term disaster risk reduction possibilities in Odisha through this project.


Unequal Humanitarianism?

“Equality in Aid – Addressing Caste Discrimination in Humanitarian Response’, a report by International Dalit Solidarity Network (IDSN) funded by the European Commission Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection Office (ECHO). The report refers to the low caste-communities in South Asia.


It cites examples pointing out the caste-based discrimination in disaster prevention and response in the region. The report says it is important that humanitarian programmes revisit and build the principles of equality and participation on equal terms into the heart of the project. The report concludes by stating that Humanitarian stakeholders are called upon to follow the recommendations listed in the report. This is an important report for all heads of NGOs and authorities in India.

Source: First Post World, January 29, 2014

What it takes to Integrate Climate Compatible Development with Disaster Risk Management?

A total of 32 representatives from government and nongovernment organisations attended a round table discussion at Dhemaji, Assam on January 22, 2014. Shri M. S. Manivannan, IAS, Deputy Commissioner, Dhemaji emphasised and encouraged the heads of different departments for integration Climate Compatible Development (CCD) with Disaster Risk Management (DRM) in their work.


ASDMA organised the workshop. AIDMI facilitated the process. “Integrating the climate change agenda in the government’s planning and budget will strengthen the resilience against the impacts of climate change and natural disasters such floods that affect Dhemaji district every year”, said by Shri M. S. Manivannan. Thrust areas of Assam State Action Plan on Climate Change were shared and discussed with the group for awareness generation; followed by discussion in context with Assam and Dhemaji district. Issue of water, agriculture, energy, and disaster risk reduction were debated. The discussion was enriching.  More research on policies and plans was recommended on issue of risk at district level by the Round Table.

Climate Compatible Development and Disaster Risk Management Integrated

A total of 38 officials including government officers from various line departments (such as P.W.D (Roads), P.W.D (Building), Water Resources, Irrigation, A.S.E.B, Education, Health, ICDS etc.) and representatives from nongovernmental organizations (specialising in rural development and livelihood) joined the workshop organised in Morigaon, Assam by ASDMA.


The group actively participated in the exercises and discussions on current and future possible impact of climate change; efforts on adaptation and mitigation in Assam; and importance of integration Climate Compatible Development (CCD) in Disaster Risk Management (DRM). Different methods including group work, videos and sector presentation were used to ensure participation and discuss the issues in the local context of Assam.
The participants demanded direct technical assistance, research, and advocacy inputs into integrating climate compatible development with disaster risk management at district level in Assam. All India Disaster Mitigation Institute (AIDMI) facilitated the Climate Smart Disaster Risk Management (CSDRM) process it has developed in Odisha.

Towards HFA2: Addressing Local Level Action issue no. 103, January 2014:

As the Hyogo Framework for Action (2005-2015) enters its final phase, the consultations for a post 2015 framework for disaster risk reduction are being finalized and synthesized to form a new framework. The result of these consultations has been the identification of certain key areas or themes that need to be focused at and addressed by this framework (or HFA 2).


The following key areas have been identified for HFA 2 particularly for the Asia-Pacific region.

The 103rd issue of is titled ‘Towards HFA2: Addressing Local Level Action’ explores these key areas of HFA 2 with special focus on addressing ‘Local Level Action’. The content includes:
i. Towards a Post 2015 Framework for DRR (HFA2)
ii. SAARC on Child Safety
iii. Climate Change and Uttarakhand Disaster
iv. Silchar is Getting Prepared: Big Risks in Small Towns
v. Small and Many Voices on SiEMEx 2013
vi. Taking Risk Reduction to the Last School
vii. Gender Gap in Hyogo Framework for Action?
viii. Cities under Restoration
ix. Facilitation of Disaster Information Management: GLIDE
x. Towards HFA 2: Some Remaining Items
xi. Rights Protection, Accountability and Disaster Risk Reduction
xii. Partnership with Private Sector in Preparedness

Theme: HFA2, Child Safety, Climate Change, DRR voices, Civil society in South Asia, Governance and Risk, Ecosystem Based DRR, Gender and DRR, Risk to Resilience

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Capturing DRR Voices Since 2005 issue no. 101, January 2014:

All India Disaster Mitigation Institute has recently completed more than 100 issues of This success is possible mainly due to the contribution of over 345 policy makers, community leaders, UN team members, academics, youth leaders and heads of authorities belonging to 188 organizations from India and 33 countries, covering 13 disasters, spanning over 30 themes and 11 important national and international policy discourses. Perhaps this is the longest an


d largest such effort to capture Disaster Risk Reduction in action in Asia.

The 101st issue of is on ‘Capturing DRR Voices Since 2005’. The content includes:
i. Capturing Disaster Risk Reduction Voices Since 2005
ii. The Uniqueness of in Capturing Disaster Risk Reduction Voices
iii. From May 2005 to December 2013
iv. Shaping HFA2 with focus on Gender and Risk Transfer Perspectives

Themes: HFA, Disaster, DRR voices, Civil society in South Asia, Governance and Risk, Ecosystem Based DRR, Cyclone, HFA2, Gender and DRR, Risk to Resilience

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Nansen Refugee Award

The UNHCR Nansen Refugee Award is conferred annually by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to an individual, group, or organization in recognition of outstanding service to the cause of refugees, displaced or stateless people. The strongest candidates are those who have gone beyond the call of duty, who have demonstrated perseverance and courage, and who have personally, directly and significantly helped forcibly displaced people.


Sister Angélique Namaika was the 2013 winner of UNHCR’s Nansen Refugee Award. Nominations are open at Sister Angélique teaches women to make clothes in the remote town of Dungu, which is in the area of north-east Democratic Republic of the Congo most affected by LRA (Lord’s Resident Army) activities and displacement(

Community Leaders from Ladakh met Her Excellency the Governor of Gujarat State Dr. Kamla Beniwal

A group of 19 community leaders from Ladakh led by Shri Tsewang Norboo, of CENSFOOD, Ladakh, met Her Excellency the Governor of Gujarat state Dr. Kamla Beniwal as a part of their exposure visit to Gujarat on January 18, 2014. This group consisted of women SHG leaders from the rural parts of Ladakh.<



This exposure visit was facilitated by All India Disaster Mitigation Institute (AIDMI) and saw the group visit the various communities and CBOs of Gujarat. This exposure visit helped the group to learn about the various community managed initiatives on “Livelihood Recovery” in Gujarat in the past 10 years.

Reducing Risk in Assamese lanugage

Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA) CEO Shri Ajay Tiwari with the ASDMA Team released the Assamese language publications on “The Town, The School and The Child’ and “Children and Climate Smart Disaster Risk Reduction” on January 10, 2014 for wider dissemination in Assam.  From left to right: Ms. Kakoli; Ms. Bhupali Goswami; Ms. Nandita Hazarika; Shri Ajay Tiwari; Mr. Mihir R. Bhatt; Kripal Mazumdar; and Ranjan Borah..


Shaping HFA2 with focus on Gender and Risk Transfer Perspectives: Experience of 2013 Cyclone Phailin

Evidence from the grassroots is important to shape the global HFA process post 2015. AIDMI organised a round table with the poor working women of Puri district in Odisha, a coastal state of India, to meet Ms. Margareta Wahlström, Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) for Disaster Risk Reduction at United Nations International Strategy of Disaster Reduction (UNISDR) on December 20, 2013.


The discussion focused on the key role of women in building resilience through livelihoods; integrating sustainable development, disaster risk reduction and climate change risk with the existing work on women's hand.  During the discussion, it was also decided that more opportunities should be offered to women to take local action by organising the dialogue in Odiya, Hindi and English along with developing a series of case studies in the Mahanadi Delta of Odisha, India.

Towards Post Disaster Framework for DRR : AIDMI Celebrates its 3rd Quarterly Review Day

Risks cannot be reduced if they are not reviewed on ongoing basis. With this in mind, All India Disaster Mitigation Institute (AIDMI) has started monitoring its work every quarter on ongoing basis.

On 4th January, 2014 the 3rd quarterly review of the All India Disaster Mitigation Institute (AIDMI) for 2013-2014 was held at the premises of FPI in Ahmedabad.


At this quarterly review, the team members of AIDMI discussed and reviewed the work done under various projects and initiatives in 3rd quarter of April 2013 to March 2014.

The overarching theme of all the discussions was the impact of AIDMI’s work in the Asia Pacific region and its contribution to the Post 2015 Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction. At this review meeting, the team of AIDMI realised the importance of integrating the agenda of disaster risk reduction (DRR) into development planning and discussed the modalities of achieving this integration. In this regard, the need for DRR integration with Climate Change Adaptation (CAA) policies, programs and practices was acknowledged as paramount.

Other highlights of this quarterly review included an avid discussion on AIDMI’s gender sensitive approach in implementing various DRR projects and programs, the need for building the resilience of businesses to disasters along with private sector engagement and the advocacy of climate smart and gender sensitive district disaster management planning in India. The achievements of AIDMI’s work in addressing the 5 priorities of the Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA1) were also highlighted. The feat of publishing over 100 issues of AIDMI’s newsletter, was also celebrated by the team members.

Most importantly, the emerging seven key themes of the post 2015 framework for disaster risk reduction were discussed, wherein it was unanimously decided that henceforward all planning, execution and implementation of AIDMI’s projects would be attuned to these seven key themes.

Towards the end, the chief guests Dr. Shyam Sunder (Dean, School of Management, Yale University) and Dr. Shubha Desai (ex- HOD, Dept. Of Medicine, NHL Medical Hospital, Ahmedabad) congratulated the AIDMI team members for their achievements in this quarter. Shri Mihir R. Bhatt, Managing Trustee of AIDMI lauded the efforts of the team members emphasizing the need to take inspiration from previous achievements to achieve new milestones in future in a timely and cost effective manner.

Women Led Recovery to Development: An Exposure Visit from Ladakh to Gujarat

A 90 minute session on Climatic Hazards and Adaptation was held on December 24, 2013 with 19 participants from Leh district of Ladakh in India. The session was done through a short presentation; short videos including Floods in Uttarakhand, basic science of climate change; and an animation on climate change; and group exercise to think Climate Smart Disaster Risk Management (CSDRM).


The session revealed the following concrete points raised by the group:
1. Building scientific education among community that focus on climate change and adaptation.
2. Promoting and strengthen livelihood diversification with focus on green livelihood and balanced between farm and non-farm.
3. Establishment of microinsurance with integration of microfinance services move beyond than saving. This is as an approach to deal with climate change situation and extreme events.
4. Building education among community (especially in women) related to health, women and climate change.

All India Disaster Mitigation Institute (AIDMI) has been promoting CSDRM for many years.

Climate Smart Disaster Risk Management in Action issue no. 102, December 2013:

Integrating disaster and climate risk at local level is the way to go. But how it happens? All India Disaster Mitigation Institute has recently completed more than 100 issues of This success is possible only due to the contribution of 345 writers belonging to 188 organizations from India and 33 countries, covering 13 disasters, spanning over 30 themes and 11 important policy discourses.

The content includes:
i. Institutionalising C


SDRM Approach: Towards Effective Results to Cope against Climate Change
ii. India’s Commitment to CBDRM
iii. Conference of Parties in Warsaw: What It Hesitated to Discuss?
iv. National Commitment to Minimise the Negative Impact of Disasters
v. How can Communities Help Unravel the Adaptation Finance Web?
vi. Coping with Disaster – Home Truths from the Cyclone Aila
vii. CIVIL SOCIETY and the STATE: Turkey after the Earthquake
viii. Innovations in Green Economy: Top Three Agenda
ix. Reducing Mismatch in CSDRM Priorities
x. Livelihood Diversification: Reducing Climate Dependency
xi. Significant Accomplishments of GSDMA in 2013
xii. Understanding Disasters Differently
xiii. Ecosystem based Disaster Risk Reduction
xiv. Cyclone Phailin
xv. Gender and CSDRM Approach: A Social Science View
xvi. Sustainable Energy for All

The contributions from Mihir R. Bhatt, Khyati Halani, Vishal Pathk with AIDMI Team; David South, Editor, Southern Innovator, UK; Emily Wilkinson, Research Fellow, Overseas Development Institute, UK; Kaustubh Devale and Sheena Arora, RedR India; Dr. R. Bannerji (IAS), CEO of GSDMA, India; Dr. Rita Jalali, Middle East Technical University, Turkey; and Shibaji Bose, Upasona Ghosh, and Lyla Mehta, UK.

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Silchar is Getting Prepared: Big Risks in Small Towns

Disaster preparedness in urban area is mainly focused on big cities. This is odd. Because the fastest growth and the greatest vulnerability has been observed in smaller towns in India. All India Disaster Mitigation Institute (AIDMI) has argued this since 1999 Kandla Cyclone. And continued its campaign to attract national attention on smaller towns.


Mock drills are one of the best ways to focus on disaster preparedness in smaller towns.

AIDMI conducted a track on "School Disaster Preparedness" in the five day long Emergency Management Exercise in Silchar City  scheduled from November 25–29, 2013. This was the third city level emergency management exercise of AIDMI in Assam and sixth in India. The exercise was inaugurated by Shri Prithbi Majhi, Honorable Minister for Revenue and Disaster Management, Government of Assam on November 25, 2013.

Total of seven simultaneous tracks were carried out including:
1. Emergency Management Planning and Comprehensive Trauma Life Support, 2. Emergency Nursing Service and Mass Causality Handling, 3. Community Based Disaster Risk Reduction, 4. Public Health in Emergencies, 5. Coordination of Response for Heads of Line Departments, 6. Search and Rescue and Incident Response System, and 7. School Disaster Preparedness. These tracks were carried out from  November 25–27, 2013 with facilitation from Resource Persons from various organizations. These tracks were followed by Table Top Exercise on November 28, Mega Mock Drill and Hot Wash on November 29. Leaders from NDMA and ASDMA were present throughout this exercise.

A total of 74 school teachers from key schools of Cachar district participated in the training on School Disaster Preparedness on November 25, 2013. Sessions on Concepts of DRR, Exercise on school level Risk Assessment and Making of School Disaster Management Plan were carried out and explained to the participants following track evaluation. Participants demanded that such trainings should be held twice in a year for their schools.

The teachers pointed out that national and international attention on small towns as victims of disasters as well as engines of preparedness was missing. Small towns have more poor. Small towns face greater hazards in large areas. Small towns lack basic early warning system. Children in small towns need more disaster preparedness trainings. Perhaps small towns perform better in recovery even without preparedness investments. The trainings demanded greater focus on small towns in HFA2 as well.

New Generation of Risk Reducers issue no. 100, November 2013:

The 100th issue of titled ‘New Generation of Risk Reducers’ takes stock of a wide variety of issues from the field of disaster risk reduction. This issue contains articles covering emerging issues such as the rebuilding process in Uttrakhand, building resilience in Asia and the Pacific, disaster preparedness in Jammu and Kashmir, the Warsaw Climate Change Conference, and shaping the HFA 2 agenda. Energetically created this issue of Southasia is a must read for all interested in following the recent developments in field of disaster risk reduction from key policy initiatives, workshops and events.

The content includes:
i. Rebuilding Uttarakhand: Challenges Ahead
ii. How Do Partnerships Reduce Risks?
iii. AIDMI in 2nd Quarter 2013–14
iv. New Generation of Risk Reducers
v. Disaster Preparedness in Jammu and Kashmir Schools
vi. Reducing Risk in the South
vii. Still Time at Warsaw
viii. Building Resilience in Asia and the Pacific
ix. Shaping HFA-2 Agenda

The contributions from Mihir R. Bhatt, Gautam Bhut, Jyoti Agrawal, Kshitij Gupta, Vandana Chauhan, and, Vishal Pathak, All India Disaster Mitigation Institute; Denis Nkala, Regional Coordinator, South-South Cooperation - Asia Pacific; and Dr. Shamika Sirimanne, UNESCAP.

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Reducing Risk in the South

Integrating Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) into development must take place at many levels, from villages to global meets. And that is exactly what the All India Disaster Mitigation Institute (AIDMI) strives to do with its very limited resources and small team.

The Global South-South Development (GSSD) Expo, 2013 was hosted by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) at its headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya from 28 October to 1 November 2013, and AIDMI was invited to be a part of this expo. A Partnership Forum titled as Global


Centre of Excellence for South-South Citizenry-Based Development Academies (SSCBDA) and South-South cooperation for improving pollution management and environmental health in low-and middle-income countries was organised on October 31, 2013 by AIDMI with the UN Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC) and the World Bank.

Distinguished participants from Asia, Africa and other continents attended the forum. This included donors interested in partnership, NGOs interested in hosting and think tanks promoting South-South cooperation in various capacities.
The partnership forum focused on South-South Cooperation at the local level in two areas:

First, the overwhelming demand expressed by participants in ongoing SSCBDAs for a similar event to be held in their countries. There were two prime objectives of this partnership forum. The first was to bring the concept of the SSCBDA to other regions and the second objective was to bring in potential funding partners to participate in the SSCBDA. Thus, the overall focus was on scaling up and mobilization of financial resources and operational links.

Second, South-South cooperation program on pollution management and environmental health being developed by the World Bank in close cooperation with China, prospective donors and World Bank client countries. The overall focus was on obtaining perspectives and views of government and other client country stakeholders for collaboration in further developing and implementing this pollution management and environmental health program in the light of reducing risk.

The forum was divided into three key parts; a) introduction of the South-South Development Academy, its objectives and achievements so far, future outlook; b) UN Office for South-South Cooperation vision for the Citizenry-Based Development Academy and; c) South-South cooperation for improving pollution management and environmental health in low-and middle-income countries.

The discussion on SSCBDA was organised bearing in mind the growing demand for similar academies across Asia and between Asia and Africa. The expected outcome was scaling up of activities for the global centre, mobilisation of resources and engaging partners.

The first presentation of the session was made by Denis Nkala, Regional Coordinator, South-South Cooperation (Asia Pacific, UNOSSC) on UN Office for South-South Cooperation vision for the Citizenry-Based Development Academy. He presented how these academies were making a difference in both, the concept of reducing risk as well as on the details of activities in Asia over the years. The concept of use of cash transfer in relief and recovery and Child's Rights to Safety in Schools was well received by the participants from several Asian countries.

The second presentation of the forum was made by Mihir R. Bhatt, Founding Director, AIDMI on the introduction of the South-South Development Academy, its objectives and achievements so far along with its future outlook. Mr. Bhatt introduced the Global Center for Excellence in organising the SSCBDA hosted by AIDMI in India by explaining that the main role of the Centre is to spearhead the implementation of the sub-academies in the Global South with support and inputs from a regional advisory group. He pointed out the contributions made in this process by Zenaida Delica; Asian Disaster Preparedness Centre in Thailand; Centre for Disaster Preparedness in Philippines; and Tsunami & Disaster Mitigation Research Center in Aceh, Indonesia.

He stated that in line with the objective of the UNOSSC, the Center contributes to the enhancement of the capacity of government, civil society and communities, including UN agencies in the Global South through the SSCBDA for achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDG); the goals of the Hyogo Framework of Action (HFA) and; climate risk adaptation priorities of the developing countries in the Global South.

Launched since 2010—a Southern learning platform for sharing knowledge, skills and practices—the SSCBDAs brings together representatives from communities, civil society organisations, local government, Universities, the local private sector and UN Agencies in an enabling and empowering learning environment for a suitable period of time to deliberate on a specific issue concerning the global South, he explained.

Mr. Bhatt shared the key achievements of the SSCBDAs and stated that these academies have improved South-South networking across 200 organisations from South and Southeast Asia and enhanced understanding of Southern issues on disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation, including 'Green' recovery and safer development.

These academies (see the table) have identified, discussed and captured a number of relevant development approaches currently being practiced in the Global South such as climate smart disaster risk management approach, small and micro-businesses focused approach, micro-insurance and cash transfers approaches, rights and risk reduction approach, data transparency approach and sanitation and water security approach.

He mentioned that the SSCBDA has tremendous potential for replication and scaling up keeping in view the constantly growing demand. He explained that it is a sustainable mechanism under the UNOSSC and is now institutionalized as part of the GSSD Academy platform. Mr. Bhatt, in the end stated that the stage is now set for SSCBDA to move from academy based support to institutional support and demanded 3 year institutional support for expanding the activities of the Global Center for Excellence in organising the SSCBDA from donors and UNOSSC.

The demand for AIDMI's active role in integrating DRR with development is tremendous, from Cambodia, Brazil, China, Thailand, and Nepal. Ways are being found to address this demand.

Still Time at Warsaw

How can the impact of the Warsaw talks be improved? The Climate Change Conference which started on November 11, 2013 and would end on November 22 at Warsaw is a landmark for taking up issues that are transforming our economies to be greener and cleaner. The welcome statement by Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) set the tone and direction towards sustainable development.


So far difficult questions have been asked about carbon emission rise, and areas that were not directly addressed adequately such as enhanced business engagement—including engagement with the coal industry—are now being discussed at Warsaw. Concerted efforts are being made to build cooperative spirit among the developed and developing countries with the result that the poorest countries have finalized and shared comprehensive set of plans to deal with wide range of impacts of climate change. But what is still demanding attention before the conference ends on November 22, 2013 to transform our economies? The following four top the list if we look at local demand:

  1. The Delta areas of the world require direct attention. The Nile delta in Egypt, Mahanadi delta in India, or for example Brahmaputra delta in India and Bangladesh are home to some of the most fragile economies. Not only will they suffer from possible sea level rise but also from more salinity ingress, cyclones, floods, and droughts. And these will lead to loss of lives as well as large scale loss of livelihoods of the poor and farm labour. At the same time the communities in delta areas are taking measures with their own resources, ingenuity, and hard toil to survive and move out of poverty. Climate and Development Knowledge Network (CDKN) supported initiative in the Mahanadi delta highlights this struggle. Such efforts and their vulnerability demand global attention so that these communities take up climate smart jobs and livelihoods more fitting to the new economy that we aspire to build. Without focus on livelihoods our economies cannot be transformed to be green and clean.
  2. Even more focus is needed on individuals who will be affected by climate change. They are citizens. They have a voice. And their voice must be heard in global events. The new NAMA Handbook is one such step by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and United Nations Environment Recovery Programme (UNEP) to bring all such voices to the global forum. But how to move from published voices to direct voices in the discussions and decision making? The citizens most vulnerable to climate risk still don't a have substantial and systematic say in such debates and discussions. Warsaw must decide to find a way to do so. The inclusion of the victims in the decision making will lead to effective, open and accountable institutions to address global transformation of economy at local level. The Global Facility for Disaster Risk Reduction (GFDRR) with its clout of money and expertise has a role to play here.
  3. A greater focus on water and food security is needed in coming two days at Warsaw. Right to Fresh Air, Right to Food, and Right to Water have never been under more threat than now because of the direction in which our economies are growing. And this threat is not inevitable. There are other climate smart and sustainable ways for economies to grow. The International Strategy for Disaster Reduction's (ISDR) efforts to shape the Hyogo Framework for Action 2 (HFA 2) is narrowing down on building food and water security as one of the best ways to protect the poor who are vulnerable to climate change. Discussions in Warsaw strengthen these efforts.
  4. The role of BASIC countries—Brazil, South Africa, India, and China—is becoming crucial. What can they do to accelerate the transformation of global and regional economies? One idea that comes up again and again is their role to make sure that no country is left behind in these discussions and debates on transforming economies. Their regional spread, growing markets, and upward push offer such an opportunity. May be an agency such as Swiss Agency for Development Coopration have a role to play as an independent but sympathetic third party to work with BASIC countries in developing such inclusive processes.
Time is always in short supply. But it is what we can achieve in the given time that is important. And there is still time at Warsaw to move closer to transforming our economies to be climate smart. This opportunity should not be missed.

Disaster Preparedness in Jammu and Kashmir Schools

A two-day training programme on School Disaster Preparedness at Jammu dated November 15-16, 2013 was organized by the Jammu Divisional Commissioner Office, the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), the University of Jammu, and the All India Disaster Mitigation Institute (AIDMI). Educators across Jammu participated in this training programme with the intention of building a safer education in Jammu.<


br />
Shri Ajaz Ahmed Khan, Hon'ble Minister for Revenue and Disaster Management addressed the participants of the training programme.

The minister welcomed this initiative. He suggested a detailed review of needs at the district level. The needs assessment should be done from primary school level to university level. The minister emphasised that disaster risk reduction programmes such as this training programme also demand a review of governance, greater focus on early planning, direct links with school inspectors and educational department officers, integration with Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, and inclusion of Disaster Risk Reduction lessons in school curriculum.

AIDMI demanded a major change in National School Safety Programme from its experiences in Bihar, Assam, Tamil Nadu, and Jammu and Kashmir. AIDMI demanded the making of district level School Disaster Management Plan in each district.

New Generation of Risk Reducers

Who will reduce the risks of disasters in 2020 or say 2050? The Children in the Indian state of Bihar offer an answer.

The Bihar State Disaster Management Authority and UNICEF India with the support of Save the Children, Plan India, Aide et Action, Caritas India and Bihar Inter Agency Group (BIAG) organised a round table with children on reviewing the progress of Children's Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) on November 13, 2013 at Patna.


The event was organised to consolidate the activities of Children's Platform which was launched on December 5, 2012 in Patna, Bihar. A total of 70 children from 8 districts of Bihar participated in the event with enthusiasm and energy. They presented their risk reduction work done during last year for increasing their safety. They also made plans for the year 2014 on how to spread the message of safety among more children and schools in Bihar.

Shri Anil K. Sinha, Honorable Vice President of Bihar State Disaster Management Authority chaired the round table. He said that the way in which the involvement of children in Disaster Risk Reduction is governed is very important. There should be something like state level business plans to reduce risk as suggested by the team from the All India Disaster Mitigation Institute (AIDMI). Financing children's involvement must focus on results and not expenditure, he said. Shri Nisha Jha,

Former Chairman SCPCR, Shri Snigdha Kanth, Chair of Parents Teachers Association of Notredame School, Ms. Shaina Khan, President of Parents Teachers Association of Notredame School and Shri Bella Das, State Expert on Gender also joined the round table. Dr. Nisha Jha suggested that a greater focus on Dalit girls was needed in the process.

The discussion touched upon issues of involvement of tribal children in this process in the coming months by organizing such events in districts with substantial tribal population.

Issues of energy security also came up in the discussion. The children said that if there is no electricity, then there is no education, as it is not possible to read or write after darkness. Briefly the flood disaster in Uttarakhand was introduced to the children. The children asked about the nature and extent of loss suffered by children in Uttarakhand. The children also demanded district level discussions on energy security and ways to look at loss and damage to children after disasters.

The children demanded the inclusion of Children's Charter into School Curriculum, integration of school level mitigation measures into District Disaster Management Plans (DDMPs) in all districts and Right to have a Safe Education.

Drinking Water: Triangular Cooperation between Dhaka, Delhi, and Islamabad?

Delhi, Islamabad, and Dhaka face drinking water challenge. Nothing new. The challenge is acute for its poor who live in slums. Nothing new. And yet a cooperative regional effort is yet not conceived to reduced the thirst of the citizens in these three cities. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has mobilized a $250 million loan to expand the coverage and quality of water supplies to nearly 11 million people in Dhaka, Bangladesh's vibrant and fast-growing capital city.


And here is an opportunity for a triangular south-south cooperative effort.

Not only the amount is large but what it will do to the drinking water system in Dhaka is far reaching. What can Dhaka learn from Delhi or Islamabad? Let us draw from All India Disaster Mitigation Institute (AIDMI) work on Climate Smart Disaster Risk Management (CSDRM) in India to suggest a few challenges.

Though the context and challenges are different in Delhi and Islamabad, what is common with Dhaka is the way of thinking ahead about citizens.
Dhaka has been drawing heavily on groundwater but the current rate of extraction is no longer sustainable with the water table falling by 2-3 meters a year. In addition, the Sitalakhya River — the city's main source of surface water — is becoming increasingly polluted. Same is true for Jamuna in Delhi, and many more cities in India.

The Dhaka Environmentally Sustainable Water Supply Project will develop a new raw water intake at the Meghna River, about 30 kilometers east of the city, with a pumping station that has the capacity to provide 2 billion liters of water a day. It will also fund a treatment plant at Gandharbpur capable of handling 500 million liters a day, and install raw and treated water transmission pipelines. These initiatives are expected to reduce groundwater extraction by 150 million liters a day and help the city water authority raise its overall surface water supplies to 1.9 billion liters a day by 2021. The cost of pumping and treatment plants as well as delivering water is huge and will have issues of financial sustainability as well as large carbon footprint. This is one challenge common to Dhaka, Delhi, and Islamabad. Second challenge is how to turn this one time project input into rapid as well as environmentally sustainable growth in water sector? The third challenge is how will this project pay direct and visible attention to the needs of the poor and also of women in the city? These questions are being asked among the stakeholders. These are the real challenges.

Most people living in informal settlements rely on supplies from illegal water lines for which they pay high charges. Community-based organizations will be set up to help poor households obtain water through legal metered connections at a lower price. The groups will be responsible for paying water bills and maintaining supply points while public awareness programs will improve community knowledge on water quality and public hygiene.

Large water projects aim at participatory ways of working but how to make the growth of water sector in Dhaka, and Bangladesh more participatory?
How the access to better quality and quantity of water supply will lead to improved living condition of women in Dhaka? Again, these questions are being asked among the stakeholders. These are the challenges.

The above challenges are being shared as key lesson for Dhaka from Delhi. Triangular Delhi-Dhaka-Islamabad cooperation is never more needed.

How Do Partnerships Reduce Risks?

Risks cannot be reduced in isolation; effective risk reduction requires collaborative efforts. Sustainable, creative and invigorating partnerships are a key to effectively reduce risks. The Hyogo Framework for Actions (HFA) has put emphasis on building and maintaining partnerships to reduce risks.


But what is the new wisdom gained from the HFA process so far that helps us to plan ahead?

The study titled Missed Opportunities: The Case for Strengthening National and Local Partnership-Based Humanitarian Responses1 looks at the current and future potential of partnership with national non-governmental organisation and their humanitarian response, based on the lessons from across the commissioning agencies in four major emergency settings: Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) conflict 2009-2012, Haiti earthquake 2010, Kenya food crisis 2010 and Pakistan floods 2010. Though the focus is not exclusively on disaster risk reduction but the findings are useful and can be generalised for HFA2.

International agencies tend to build capacity of national and local NGOs to implement their aid programs. However, this is easier said than done. It is found that the partnerships between international humanitarian actors, national and local actors are under-used as a strategy for strengthening humanitarian performance. This is because the approach taken to build partnerships for humanitarian responses tends to be reactive, unsystematic and driven by emergency. Nor are these partnerships build on parity. In addition, the humanitarian agencies funded by international agencies have a fixed approach towards resilience as they focus on the academic methods and past successful experiences. But resilience is many things to many people in many contexts. Resilience is a dynamic concept that evolves with time and experience.

The contribution of the partnerships looked at in the study to improve humanitarian aid effectiveness were in five specific areas: relevance/appropriateness, effectiveness, connectedness, efficiency and coverage. The first three areas strongly contribute to humanitarian performance. Developing on these specific areas will ensure that program designs are contextually appropriate, culturally sensitive and responsive to the needs of the people. Moreover, it will contribute to the speed, accountability and community engagement. Lastly, local partners can link the different silos of resilience, preparedness, response, recovery and development if given a voice by inviting them to make decisions.  

The study is an excellent first step to open up discussion on partnerships. However, more work is needed on: impact of global economic crunch or humanitarian partnership; emerging agenda for investing in local partnerships; transparency in humanitarian partnerships and emerging agenda for Development, Research and Training (DRT) on partnerships. AIDMI is requesting the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR) to consolidate global knowledge on how partnerships reduce disaster risks.
1 Commissioned by ActionAid, Cafod, Christian Aid, Oxfam GB and Tearfund.

Rebuilding Uttarakhand: Challenges Ahead

Rebuilding Uttarakhand is not an easy task. The process has started off well and is moving ahead. However, it is useful to anticipate the challenges that will be faced in rebuilding Uttarakhand.  

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) will provide $200 million to help the Indian state of Uttarakhand in order to recover from the unprecedented losses suffered after the June 2013 floods and landslides that have affected close to a million people.


But how will this money be used?

In mid-June 2013, major cloudbursts, heavy rainfall, and floods washed away several fast growing hill settlements in Uttarakhand. The districts of Bageshwar, Chamoli, Pithoragarh, Rudraprayag, and Uttarkashi were the worst affected. Almost 600 people lost their lives and more than 5,400 people are still missing. A joint damage and needs assessment by the government of Uttarakhand, ADB, and World Bank estimated the preliminary cost of rehabilitation to be close to $700 million. However, the final cost could rise to more than $1 billion.

ADB's loan will be used to rebuild 2,400 kilometers of state roads and repair or reconstruct 16 damaged bridges.

In 8 to 10 towns, the funds will be used to repair 20 kilometers of urban roads and rehabilitate water supply facilities, including water treatment plants and 56 km of water pipelines. This rebuilt infrastructure will improve access to services, markets, and jobs, benefitting people and companies. The design has attracted wide spread interest.

On top of the $200 million loan, ADB will also provide $15 million to repair damaged energy sector facilities under an already approved $300 million ADB financing facility that has been earmarked for the Uttaranchal power sector. This has given rise to certain questions such as: Who needs the energy the most? And what is the capacity to use it?

The rehabilitation works, due to be completed by the end of 2016, will be designed to better withstand future disaster hazards. But what are these future hazards? What risks do they pose and to whom? And who should take what measures to better design rehabilitation? Civil society in India is increasingly seeking answers to these questions.

The State Disaster Management Authority of the state of Uttarakhand will execute this project. But does the authority have the team capacity to execute this project? What sort of skills are missing in its capacity? What gaps can be anticipated in its skills and how can these be strengthened? These are some of the challenges that can be encountered in the long road to recovery and rehabilitation in Uttarakhand.

WhenPreparednessWorks:Case ofCyclonePhaili issue no. 99, October 2013:

This issue of focuses on the preparedness activities that took place against the backdrop of Cyclone Phailin. Based on the theme ‘When Preparedness Works’ this issue of provides a lot of information and insight into the roles of all major stakeholders that responded proactively to the threat of Phailin to keep the damage resulting from the cyclone to its bare minimum.

The content includes: 


. Odisha Braces for Cyclone Phailin, NDMA Sends Troops
ii. UNISDR on Phailin Preparedness
iii. National Disaster Management Authority’s Role in Cyclone Phailin
iv. Movement of Phailin Over Indian Sub-Continent
v. Leadership during Cyclone Phailin
vi. Reducing Loss and Damage of Poor
vii. When Preparedness Works: The Case of Cyclone Phailin
viii. Gender Balanced Recovery Post Cyclone Phailin
ix. The Act and the Actions
x. Human Resource and Capacity Development after Cyclone Phailin
xi. A Day before Cyclone Phailin
xii. Advice from Dr. Ian Davis to Students Seeking Work in Cyclone Phailin Relief and Recovery
xiii. Field Updates: Cyclone Phailin
xiv. International Conference on Humanitarian Logistics
xv. Where Will My Help Come From?

The contributions from Mihir R. Bhatt, Kshitij Gupta, Vishal Pathak, and Khyati Halani, All India Disaster Mitigation Institute; Brig. (Dr.) B.K. Khanna, Senior Specialist in NDMA, Govt. of India, and Nina Khanna, Ph.D. Research Scholar in Disaster Management; Prashanta Bahera, United India Insurance Co. Ltd., Bhubaneswar, India; Madhavi Ariyabandu and Brigitte Leoni, ISDR, Sri Lanka.

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Building Back Better: A More Resilient Sikkim Post 2011 Earthquake issue no. 98, October 2013:

Earthquake in Himalayas is shared nightmare. The 2011 earthquake in Sikkim offered built pilot of experience. What does this experience tell us? A small effort is made to capture the experience in Sikkim.

This issue of Southasiadisasters.n


et focuses primarily upon the recovery and rehabilitation of the Indian state of Sikkim post the 18 September 2011 earthquake. Filled with well researched articles and summary reports, the theme of this issue is ‘Building a More Resilient Sikkim Post 2011’.

The content includes:
i. Two Years after the Sikkim Earthquake: Important Lessons Learnt
ii. AIDMI and the Sikkim Earthquake 2011
iii. Summary Analysis Sikkim State Disaster Management Plan 2010-2011
iv. Getting Climate Smart for Disasters in Sikkim
v. Lessons of Preparedness from Uttarakhand to Sikkim
vi. Managing Disaster Debris
vii. G20 Summit – A Missed Agenda?
viii. Riots in Uttar Pradesh: What Should National Integration Council Discuss
ix. Disaster Management and Mitigation Plan 2013
x. Rebuilding the Uttarakhand from Ground Zero
xi. School Safety in Sikkim: NSSP and Beyond

The contributions from Mihir R. Bhatt and Kshitij Gupta, All India Disaster Mitigation Institute; Langdon Greenhalgh, Managing Director, Global Emergency Group; and Divyesh Desai, Regional Marketing Manager, Hazira LNG Private Limited, Ahmedabad.

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A Day before Cyclone Phailin

A lot is known about what happens after a disaster strikes. However, little if any knowledge resources are available that describe what transpires before a disaster strikes. The war like footing preparedness measures of the Odisha government before the advent of Cyclone Phailin provide such a rare opportunity to peek into the important events taking place before disaster in the form of Cyclone Phailin struck Odisha.


The following is a summary of the important events and activities taking place in Odisha to enhance its preparedness in the face of an imminent Cyclone Phailin.

The All India Disaster Mitigation Institute (AIDMI), which is championing Odisha's unique and pioneering experience in reducing risk, established and facilitated a series of meetings for Dr. Sam Bickersteth, Global CEO, Climate and Knowledge Development Network (a global network in key 74 developing countries to mitigate and manage climate change) when he visited Odisha in October 2013 to learn from the UN Development Programme, civil society and the government about climate smart disaster and development initiatives in Odisha.

Shri Arvind Behera, a long standing national expert on disaster risk reduction explained the first ever initiative of Odisha post the super cyclone 1999; and how that has been useful for taking preparedness actions against cyclone Phailin.

Shri Surya Narayan Patro, Minister of Revenue and Disaster Management, Odisha shared his views about how the intensity and frequency of climate related extreme events have increased. He further added that defence and other agencies such as National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and Odisha Disaster Response Action Force (ODRAF) have been positioned in vulnerable areas; and that immediate relief food was being prepared for the people.

Humanitarian organisations were allotted responsibilities to reduce the duplication of relief efforts in an emergency pre -Cyclone Phailin meeting called by the Odisha State Disaster Management Authority (OSDMA) and the Special Relief Commission (SRC). This meeting was attended by several national NGO and international NGOs. Shri Ambika Prasad Nanda, State Programme Officer at UN Development Programme, Odisha explained how humanitarian organisations can play an active role by mobilising thousands of volunteers across the cyclone-prone region that are trained in first aid and can support evacuations and aid distributions post disaster.

A visit to Balapur village (Puri district) by AIDMI and CDKN members along with discussions with the community members helped to understand if the early warnings had reached the communities and if the necessary preparedness actions were taken by the community. The community members said that they were cutting the tree branches (as a preventive measure to stop deaths by branches falling on people); stocking  essential goods such as kerosene, water, keeping important documents in plastic bags and moving to closest shelters or safer locations.

Mrs. Binapani Mishra, Secretary of a community based organisation called the Society for Women Action Development (SWAD) in Puri district related how the sarpanch and the panchayat ward members kept on receiving early warnings and alerts from state government to work towards achieving the goal of zero casualties by evacuating the villages in the most vulnerable and low lying areas to safer locations or cyclone shelters.

Odisha has set an example for the rest of India by using all the resources efficiently in the pre-disaster stage. This efficient planning of preparedness activities in the pre-disaster state is perhaps the greatest reason behind the minimal loss of life after the cyclone. Other reasons include the constant monitoring of weather patterns and warnings, clear instructions to district authorities, positioning of relief materials and teams well in advance, coordination with the central government for defence and other agencies' assistance, and most importantly, the evacuation of a large number of vulnerable citizens to safe locations.

Gender Balanced Recovery Post Cyclone Phailin

The minimal loss of life resulting from Cyclone Phailin has relegated this disaster to the periphery of our collective consciousness. For, as news of the minimal loss of life post Cyclone Phailin started to circulate, the quota of eyeballs, column inches and news channel specials to be expended on this disaster waned considerably.


But before we heave a collective sigh of relief, certain important issues need to be addressed and certain uncomfortable questions need to be answered.

Among these issues and questions of importance, is the ongoing recovery process. The importance of the recovery process emanates from the devastating economic loss and the increased vulnerability of floods in Odisha following the cyclone. Thus, a renewed focus on recovery efforts in the post disaster situation has become imperative.

Within the broad area of a robust recovery, the issue of gender parity in the recovery process needs special attention. It is almost conventional wisdom that women bear a greater burden of disasters than men. The source of the greater vulnerability of women to disasters is the difference between the socially determined roles of men and women. This difference in turn, perpetuates a reduced access to resources and decision making powers to women. The most common manifestation of this difference in socially determined roles of men and women is the limited access of women to food resources and life saving skills such as swimming and tree climbing1.

The recovery of Cyclone Phailin presents an opportunity to carry out a gender sensitive recovery in India. At a time when gender is one of the weakest areas of humanitarian response, the moral and pragmatic imperative to have a gender sensitive recovery post Cyclone Phailin seems indispensable2.

Gender issues are inextricably linked with all aspects of disaster recovery cutting across several themes. Unless these issues are addressed clinically, all recovery efforts will fail when assessed on the parameters of gender parity. In order to have a gender sensitive recovery for Cyclone Phailin certain basic conditions need to be met. These conditions include mainstreaming gender in recovery institutions, identifying gender specific recovery needs, engaging women in recovery initiatives and facilitating a gender balanced economic recovery3.

Such a gender sensitive recovery plan will lead to certain indicative outcomes which include an equitable distribution of resources in recovery between men and women, increasing the visibility of women’s issues in all areas of humanitarian action such as housing, human settlements, water, sanitation, health, livelihood recovery, etc. The following diagram aptly portrays the outcomes to be expected out of a gender sensitive recovery process4:

Thus, it is proposed that a gender parity review of the recovery effort in Odisha post Cyclone Phailin is taken up to address the following important questions:
1. Is there a decreasing impetus on gender themes in relief and recovery projects?
2. Is there an uneven distribution of loans and grants addressing gender concerns in relief and recovery?
3. Is there limited visibility of gender equality in certain districts and certain sectors of Odisha?
4. Are there gender specialists in place to sustain increased gender equality in areas where it exists?
5. How can gender parity be increased in other sectors like emergency, transport, city development, rural infrastructure, etc. in Odisha after Cyclone Phailin?

The state government of Odisha has justifiably won many accolades for its stellar handling of the disaster situation resulting from Cyclone Phailin. It is sincerely hoped that just as the Odisha government has set a new benchmark in preparedness levels in response to Cyclone Phailin, similarly it sets a new standard of an increased gender sensitive recovery post the cyclone for others to emulate.

1  A Practical Guide to Gender Sensitive Approaches to Disaster Management,
2  Active Learning Network for Accountability and Performance in
Humanitarian Action, 2005,
3  Guidance Note on Recovery,
4  Guidance Note on Recovery,

Naveen Patnaik’s Leadership during Cyclone Phailin

The prompt response by the government apparatus of Odisha to cyclone Phailin is evident in the minimal loss of life witnessed in the aftermath of this disaster. It seems that the government of Odisha has redeemed itself from the infamy that it earned following the human tragedy that took place after the 1999 super cyclone in the state resulting in 9894 casualties1.<



While the government of Odisha has been praised for its preparedness level, the stewardship of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to see his state through this dark hour deserves a special mention as well. Firmly believing that disguised opportunity is an inevitable concomitant of any crisis, the Chief Minister identified the opportunity of showcasing the preparedness levels of his administration to the country during this crisis.

The state administrative machinery went into full swing at the behest of the Chief Minister as soon as the warning of the cyclone started to disseminate. The effective response of the state government was evidenced in massive and forceful evacuation drives conducted in the state. For, as many as 10, 13,647 people had been evacuated from the coastal areas in the state2. The state government was ably supported by the UNDP in its efforts to effect an evacuation on a scale unprecedented in the recent history of India.

The contributing factors which led to minimal loss of life from the cyclone are better weather monitoring, formalising of standard operating procedures, coordination among various agencies, mass evacuations, preparation of cyclone relief spaces and more3. The Chief Minister’s effective leadership during this crisis was also noted and praised by Ms. Margareta Wahlström4 (special representative of United Nations Secretary General). Ms. Wahlström congratulated the Chief Minister over the phone.

Another remarkable feature of Mr. Patnaik’s leadership during cyclone Phailin was the fact that he gave a carte blanche or a free hand to officials and people’s representatives to achieve his vision of zero casualties in the cyclone. The Chief Minister’s trust in his ministers and the bureaucrats working under them was fully vindicated by their competence and commitment. For instance, Mr. Surya Narayan Patro, a minister of the Odisha government reached out to listen to as many voices as possible during the cyclone. He took decisions by consulting people from various quarters, right from the head of the Indian Meteorological Department to the district collectors (of the affected districts) to the various community members. The swiftness of the ongoing recovery and rehabilitation process which resulted from quick decision making at the top also bears testimony to the effective leadership of the Chief Minister of Odisha.

Perhaps the greatest achievement of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik is that he has restored the faith of the common man in the ability of the state to take pre-emptive measures to avert large scale tragedies. It can only be hoped that this response by the state of Odisha under Naveen Patnaik serves as a benchmark for future disaster responses in a country still coming to grips with an epic tragedy that struck Uttarakhand just a few months back. A new standard of leadership has been set. Let us hope that the Chief Ministers of other states are able to live up to this new standard when the next disaster strikes.
1  Facing Disasters Saving Lives Preparing for cyclone PHAILIN 2013,
2  Facing Disasters Saving Lives Preparing for cyclone PHAILIN 2013,
3  Cyclone Phailin: We must all follow lessons Patnaik learned from 1999. Read more at:
4  UN appreciated Odisha Government for effective handling of cyclone Phailin
See more at:

When Preparedness Works: The Case of Cyclone Phailin

The preparedness to mitigate the adverse impacts of cyclone Phailin has invited praises from all corners. With the death toll resulting from the cyclone being 25, the preparedness level in the face of this natural disaster has been exemplary1.

The greatest contributing factor to the minimal loss of human life resulting from this cyclone is the mass evacuations that took place in Odisha and Andhra Pradesh.


In Odisha alone 700,000 people have been evacuated from the coastal districts to various storm shelters. The evacuees were put up in some 20,000 cyclone shelters, schools, colleges and other safe places. In Andhra too close to 80,000 people have been evacuated which was responsible for minimal deaths2.

This raises the question of what actually worked to lead to minimal loss of life. All evidence points to the indomitable will of the state government to effectively plan and coordinate the one of the largest evacuation exercises that in India in recent history. The state government in its efforts was also supported by an empathetic and alert centre government that was wise enough not to dictate decisions to the state government. The uniqueness of the preparedness efforts for this cyclone was that the centre facilitated the processes that were initiated by the state government.

The efforts of the Odisha State Disaster Management Authority (OSDMA) merit a special mention. The OSDMA was instrumental in coordinating between various government departments to affect this mass evacuation. For instance, the Panchayati Raj Department, goaded by the OSDMA issued detailed guidelines for preparedness for an impending cyclonic storm as early as October 9, 2013. Similar preparedness activities included the setting up of control rooms in Ganjam and other nine coastal districts, updating and verification of the mobile numbers of all public officials, the cancellation of the holiday leaves of all back-bone staff on stand-by and stocking food and other relief material at the district level.

Another important reason for the successful preparedness during cyclone Phailin is that the Government of Odisha (GoO) sought counsel from the best in the field: United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) for coordination and cluster preparedness as well as the visiting CDKN global chief for ways to integrate climate change and development concerns in preparedness from evacuation to rescue teams. This advice included ways to reduce mismatch between what citizens expect and what public institutions can deliver. Loss of livelihoods of women, especially during evacuation was discussed.
Thus, it can be inferred that it was the active and assertive coordination between various departments that helped in making preparedness drive by the government of Odisha for Cyclone Phailin successful.
1 After Cyclone Phailin, Odisha battles floods
2 Phailin's trail,

Floods in Uttarakhand: A New Relief Deal issue no. 95, August 2013:

The flood recovery in Uttarakhand is of great interest to not only national authorities but also international organizations such as World Bank; Asian Development Bank; United Nations Development Programme; Climate and Development Knowledge Network; and others.<


br />
This issue of covers articles related to disaster risk reduction and the Floods in Uttarakhand. The content includes:
i. Floods in Uttarakhand: A New Relief Deal
ii. Floods in Uttarakhand: Opportunities to Reduce Risk in Recovery
iii. Real-time Capacity Building in Uttarakhand
iv. The Uttarakhand Disaster: A wake call to stop the rape of our fragile Himalaya
v. Enterprise Development: And Safer Way in Uttarakhand?
vi. Early Warning and Alert Systems
vii. Global South-South Development Expo 2013
viii. NSET Completes 20 Years of Action
ix. Man-made Reasons for Uttarakhand Floods: An Epic Tragedy in the Land of the Gods

The contributions from Mihir R. Bhatt, Gautam Bhut, Hui-Chi Goh, Khyati Halani, Kshitij Gupta, and Mehul Pandya, All India Disaster Mitigation Institute; Dorothea Hilhorst, Wageningen University, The Netherlands; Khadga Sen Oli, Advocacy and Outreach Manager, National Society for Earthquake Technology (NSET), Nepal; Saket Jha, Director, Special projects, Unified Messaging Systems and Services Pvt Ltd; Sanjaya Bhatia, UNISDR; Sheena Arora, RedR India; and Dr. Vandana Shiva, India’s most important thinker and doer around issues of biodiversity and climate change risk.

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Where Will My Help Come From?

A Story of Courage and Positive Thinking in a Fight against Elusive and Transforming Drug-Resistant Cancer


Denis Nkala was a young management trainee, fresh out of graduate school and newly returned to his home country of Zimbabwe, when he met Fidelia aboard a staff bus on his way to the hospital to visit his mother.


Her kindness and genuine concern for the plight of a stranger touched him, and their friendship blossomed quickly. Before long, her easy smile and air of dignity carved their way deep into his heart.

When they joined their lives together in marriage, they had no idea of the difficult trials they would be called upon to face. Fidelia, with her husband always by her side, battled various cancers in an effort to live long enough to see their children grow. Now Denis writes to communicate the courage, love, and faith that she held throughout her struggle.

This touching true story details the life of a wife and mother as she battles an aggressive, mutative cancer. Told from the perspective of her husband, who was her diligent caregiver throughout her twelve-year battle, this narrative encompasses the gravity and pain of a long fight with cancer as well as the suffering and dedication of those who supported the fight.

About the Author:
Denis Nkala was born in Zimbabwe. He holds a PhD in applied management and decision science and works for an international organization. He currently lives in New Rochelle, New York, with three of his children and fond memories of his wife, Fidelia.

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Child’s Right to Participation in National School Safety Programme: Key Challanges

• What is the meaning of authentic child’s participation?
• Why is it important to local democratic governance?
• What motivates children and civil society to participate?
• What are the pre-conditions for authentic participation?
• Where the pace for participation?
• How are the voices of marginalised girl child, dalits child, children of minorities and other excluded children incorporated in the local democratic governance?



Safer School Campaign in HFA2

The achievements of safer school campaign in Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA) may not be finding its due place in the discussions around HFA 2. Time, money and efforts are put in by communities and countries in Asia Pacific, in addition to donors and the UN system to launch and make effective the global campaign to make schools safer from disasters.


The results may remain scattered. Would HFA 2 build on these plans and results? How? Who? And in what direction? AIDMI requested International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR) to initiate a timely discussion on this to ensure that achievements are enhanced and sustained in Post 2015 HFA. The safer school campaign initiative is too important to be overlooked on HFA 2 process.

Climate Change, Children and Finance

All India Disaster Mitigation Institute (AIDMI) team members gathered on September 16, 2013 for a brief discussion on Climate Change, Children and Finance. Mr. Brij Chauhan showed a presentation on Climate Change, Food Security and India, A case for greater action. Centrality of Children was discussed.


Ms. Hui Chi Goh presented on Guidelines on Emergency Management Exercise-Outline and Audit of Assam’s District and City Disaster Management Plans and the Audit in Assam. More focus on children and the risk they face was discussed. Mr. Aditya Jain showed daily chores carried out by the people in Ahmedabad’s ‘Desai ni Pol’ and issue of heritage, children and finance were discussed. It was decided to look out for key partners for taking next steps.

ALNAP Humanitarian Networks Event

ALNAP is holding an event on humanitarian networks entitled A Networked Response? Effective Humanitarian Networks and you have the opportunity to watch and participate remotely since it will be streamed online.  The event builds on ALNAP/ADRRN research carried out in the Philippines, Afghanistan and Bangladesh in order to explore what makes humanitarian networks authentic, impactful and sustainable.


As such it is very relevant to us as a Network and it would be great if you could participate should you have the time.

The event will be held on FRIDAY 20 September 2013 from 14:30 - 16:30 (GMT+01 (BST)) which is in general a bit later in the evening for us, if not night time.  For more details and to register for participation kindly visit

National Disaster Reduction Day: Poster & Slogan Writing Competitions for Students on "School Safety"

October 9 is celebrated as National Disaster Reduction day. On this event National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) with support of NAtional Institute of Disaster Management (NIDM) has organised a 'Poster & Slogan Writing Competitions for Students on "School Safety"' for all schools across India.

For more information please visit:



Towards HFA 2: Emerging Insights from the Grassroots

Perhaps the Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA) by International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR) is its single most important action with long lasting impact on the disaster risk reduction thinking and action. But how can we know this? Where is the evidence? Instead of asking others to show evidence All India Disaster Mitigation Institute (AIDMI) decided to find out what it has done in this regard.


And the modest efforts with a range of stakeholders are a fairly informative evidence of what happens on the grassroots.

This issue of covers articles related to disaster risk reduction and the Post-2015 Development (Hyogo Framework for Action) Agenda. ‘AIDMI Statement of Contributions to HFA During 2012-13’ describes activities in a detailed manner and shows how a range of activities are more and more in sync with the principles of development as envisioned in the UN’s post-2015 development agenda. The content includes:
(i) The Role of Civil Society in the Post-2015 Development Agenda: Lessons Learned from India (ii) Submission to the Civil Society Dialogue with the High-Level Panel on the Post-2015 Development Agenda (iii) Disaster Risk Reduction and the Post-2015 Development Agenda: Agenda for the Asia-Pacific (iv) Inputs to National Workshop on Post-2015 Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (v) Shaping Post-2015 Development (HFA) Agenda Bottom-up (vi) Capacity Building for HFA: Taking Stock and Moving Forward (vii) Developing Concrete Action on South-South Cooperation in Asia Pacific Region (viii) SEI Invests in Enhancing Resilience to Disasters and Climate Change in Asia; and (ix) Protecting School Children from Heat Waves in Ahmedabad.

The Preface is written by Sanny Ramos Jegillos, Asia Pacific, UNDP; contributions from Mihir R. Bhatt, Gautam Bhut, Hui-Chi Goh, Kshitij Gupta, Mehul Pandya, Vandana Chauhan, and Vishal Pathak, All India Disaster Mitigation Institute; Sheena Arora, RedR India; Frank Thomalla, Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI), Bangkok; and Dileep Mavalankar, Gulrez Shah Azhar, Priya Dutta and Ajit Rajiva for the Ahmedabad Heat Action Group.

For more information: or wrie to:

School Safety Trainings in Assam

Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA) with All India Disaster Mitigation Institute (AIDMI) launched School Safety training in Nagaon district of Assam during August 01-03, 2013. 40 participants with 42 children explored ways of making school safer from risks, nature of risk; and the planning process for reducing risks.


Need for better use of science and technology in reducing risk came up in the training. So did need for better and faster early warning of risks. The leadership role of teachers was explored by the participants.

Wastewater Management and Risk Management

Promoting innovations in wastewater management is in focus across Asia and the Pacific, but innovations that protect and prepare wastewater management from disasters are yet not on agenda. Not only we do not know the nature and extent of impact of disasters on wastewater management but also what knowledge is available, what technology options are open before us, who can finance such risk reduction, and are there private sector business opportunities in such a process?

Wastewater action plans after wastewater action plans acros


s Asia remain isolated from disaster risk management. Key cities and towns, in the hotspot of cyclone or flood or earthquake risk areas remain ill prepared. Neither key stakeholders, including donors, are eager to look at disaster risk management aspect of wastewater management, nor those who plan increasing investments in wastewater management. AIDMI is drawing from its work and partners to map out issues and develop action agenda. Interested stakeholders are invited.

(For more information contact Gautam at

Message from Vice Chairman NDMA



Adapting Climate Change: Diversifying Rural Livelihoods

The author is sharing the preliminary findings of a research project (Getting Climate Smart for Disasters) supported by CDKN which is run by a consortium of Intercooperation in India, AIDMI (All India Disaster Mitigation Institute) and IDS (Institute of Development Studies) in the UK. Part of the project is examining the prospects for rural livelihood diversification as part of strategies for adaptation and increased disaster resilience.


A paper on this topic will be available later in 2013. In addition this will be published soon: Terry Cannon, “Rural livelihood diversification and adaptation to climate change”, Chapter in Community Based Adaptation to Climate Change: emerging lessons, 2013, edited by Jonathan Ensor, Rachel Berger and Saleemul Huq, Practical Action Publishing. For more information:

Ecosystem Based Disaster Management Planning

This issue of covers articles related to ecosystem, climate change recovery, gender with relation to disaster management planning in India and beyond. The content includes: (i) Ecosystem Based Flood Relief to Recovery in Uttarakhand (ii) A View from Delhi: Emerging Challenges of Disaster Risk Reduction for Asian Development Bank (iii) Ecosystem Based Disaster Risk Reduction (iv) Climate Risk and District Disaster Management Plan: Puri District, Odisha (v) Climate-Smart Revolution (vi) Addressing Natural Hazards in Plannin


g (vii) Long-Term Recovery Issues in Disaster Management Planning: Emerging Global Trends (viii) Yogyakarta Declaration on Disaster Risk Reduction (ix) Disaster Risk Reduction in Post Disaster Shelter Reconstruction: Case Study in the Indian Sunderbans Delta (x) Gender, Risk, and Community Mobilization in Uganda (xi) What does the IPCC SREX Report Mean for India? (xii) Protecting Communities from Climate Change (xiii) IUCN in Asia: A Note for Exploration The Preface is written by Munish Kaushik, Cordaid Advisor and Ritesh Kumar, Wetlands International – South Asia; contributions from Mihir R. Bhatt, Kshitij Gupta and Khyati Halani, All India Disaster Mitigation Institute; Prabakar Nanda, Rural Welfare Institute, Odisha; Sanjaya Bhatia, UNISDR; Ansuman Das, Sabuj Sangha, Kolkata; Puji Basuki - Uki, Ministry of Foreign Affairs Republic of Indonesia; Anisha Rajapakse, Ka Tutandike Trust UK; and Dr. Jean Luc Poncelet, American Health Organization (PAHO), USA.

For more information: or wrie to:

Disaster, Conflict and Society in Crises: Everyday Politics of Crisis Response

Consonance between policy and practice is imperative in the field of humanitarian action. Humanitarian crises that emanate from natural disasters, political anarchy or conflict need interventions on a war like footing to restore the normal order of things. There is an underlying need to have institutional responses to these emergencies that will help in mitigation of the damage caused.


In this respect, there ought to be greater degree of alignment between policy and practice. Dorothea Hilhorst in her new book called, ‘Disaster, Conflict and Society in Crises: Everyday Politics of Crisis Response’ provides an overview of the responses to disasters in terms of international policies and local responses. This book is a seminal work that gives rich insights into the ways structures and policies are framed to cope up with disaster and conflict situations. For more:

First Quarterly Day of Year 2013–14

First Quarter Review was held on July 1, 2013 with focus on impact of AIDMI work and emerging new approaches to vulnerability in its work. All results were on schedule except one. New initiatives on urban risk in six cities, drinking water in Gujarat and Rajasthan and climate smart delta development in two states were developed..


Enterprise Development: And Safer Way in Uttarakhand?

More and more attention is being given to enterprise development in conflict and crisis areas worldwide. But is this development protected from disaster risks? And this is not always clear. The floods in Uttarakhand have destroyed large number of small and local enterprise—those related to tourism we hear in our media reports but those not related to tourism we do not.


What will work in reviving these small and medium economic enterprise of the region? There are three areas available for action. (a) It is found that cash transfer is one way to reach out to enterprise with cash incentives to take both, mitigation and preparedness measures. The need for cash can often be estimated with self assessment tools that are now available with organizations such as CDKN. (b) The enterprise in food industry or food trade are more vulnerable to disaster risks but are also more likely to bounce back and restore food security in the local area. They not only offer food and food items but also revive and open up local food markets. Experience of Save the Children in Odisha in 2010 floods is encouraging. (c) Role of Red Cross has been a key to responding to disasters in the past and in its response to Uttarakhand flood damage response Red Cross has made effort to play an active role. This role is system wide and bottom up linking government and NGO at local level. Red Cross support to local enterprise development will be so timely and effective in Uttarakhand. The above three action areas are a starting point. What is needed is finding ways for safer enterprise development in Uttarakhand. (For more contact Khyati Halani at

For more about Floods in Uttarakhand A New Deal Relief

Food Security: Key Questions around Cluster Coordination

This is a short note on key questions around food security and cluster coordination coming up at district level in India. But they have larger use in South Asia as well as in UNOCHA’s work in Asia Pacific. The issues are drawn from ongoing process of 22 District Disaster Management Plan reviews by All India Disaster Mitigation Institute (AIDMI).


• How to measure, analyse and design cluster of coordination for food security outcomes? • What new strategies are coming up and evolving food security market place around cluster coordination? • What leadership strategies are being developed and shaping for evolving food security cluster? • Are there ethical issues around coordinating food security that are being overlooked in the rush for humanitarian action? • Time ripe to add series of case studies for coordinating food security into ongoing other teaching methods for cluster coordination? • Food, Work and Well Links seem obvious but do we need more attention to be paid on the overlap of food and work security? The questions are also relevant to upcoming coordination in flood affected Uttarakhand in India. For more information contact Ritu Saxena at

Tracking Long Term Recovery

We know about recovery, and we know about long term recovery but do we know enough about long term tsunami recovery? What recovers and how? What fails to recover and why? And how tsunami recovery is different from other recoveries? With the aim to explore the above questions AIDMI and Nagoya University of Japan launched joint international research on role and significance of community empowerment in tsunami recovery.


The study will focus on key location in Tamil Nadu where AIDMI has done work after tsunami. The multi disciplinary team will offer findings in June 2015.

Uttarakhand Floods: Key Macro Planning Issues



Making Ahmedabad A Hub of International Youth Exchange

Ahmedabad is becoming a hub of international youth exchange. And plans are expanding! Mr. CA Savan Godiawala of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu India Pvt. Ltd; Mr. Mihir R. Bhatt of All India Disaster Mitigation Institute; Mr. Palak Sheth of Pandit Deendayal Petroleum University; and Mr. Nehal Shah of Foliage Real Estate Developers Pvt.


Ltd joined the youthful AIESEC team member to make Ahmedabad a hub of international youth exchange in 2013-14.

In 2012-13 more than 100 students from Ahmedabad went abroad and almost the same came to Ahmedabad and Gandhinagar to study and share a global view of sustainable world. AIESEC Ahmedabad team—Rajaram, Surianarayanan, Sagar Desai, Rahul Vadgama, and others—leads this effort.

IUCN in Asia: New Areas for Exploration

There are some new areas of exploration for the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in Asia. The first area of action is building coastal resilience with a special focus on mangroves and livelihoods. Greater direct focus on island communities, coastal agriculture and marine conservation is emerging as a major area from the work done in the delta of Mahanadi in Odisha in India and also Mekong delta in the South East Asia.


The second area of action is climate change adaptation. Since the area of climate change adaption ranks high on IUCN's agenda, it is promoting ecosystem based approaches into climate change adaptation, disaster risk reduction, food security, and livelihoods as important areas. The need to further develop these concepts through pilots in urban areas is corroborated by the experience of working in the flood prone parts of Assam.

The third area of action is the water programme where IUCN's focus is on management and equitable allocation of water resources for ecosystems and people. Addressing inequality in management and allocation of water resources is very relevant to the work on disasters. New initiatives with IRC of the Netherlands and Government of India suggest greater focus on drinking water within water management. IUCN has done good work on water conservation in Asia, but can do more on protection of water sources from disaster impact and offer a case for more direct work on drinking water sources.

It seems that IUCN can do more in arid and semi-arid regions. More work on droughts and desertification is overdue.

IUCN work can have more evidence of mainstreaming ecosystem-based approaches in DRR systems, case for environment-accountable and sensitive aid. This is an advocacy issue for IUCN with donors. IUCN work can be better used to influence donor thinking with reports and scoping studies based on IUCN work on the ground in Asia.

IUCN can do more in sensitizing and involving children in its work. A case for regional and campaign in each country on "Children for Conservation" is overdue. Centre for Environment Education (CEE) of India has done excellent work on this which can be scaled up as well as spread out in Asia.

It is proposed to set up a small group to discuss and develop these ideas in Asia.

Addressing Natural Hazards in Planning

Addressing hazards and vulnerability in local disaster management planning is not a new area. What is new is the rapidly changing socio-economic context in which hazard and vulnerability assessment takes place and the process of disaster management planning. The ongoing review of key 22 District Disaster Management Plans (DDMP) across India shows the following concerns: 1. How to


How to define and estimate economic prospects of recovering victims?
2. How much of humanitarian funding goes into nutrition?
3. What is the nature and extent of HIV epidemic among humanitarian crisis victims?
4. What is climate resilient and low carbon recovery from natural disaster crisis?
5. How can hospital reforms in rural areas include disaster safety audit?
6. What is the local evidence of violence against women in humanitarian crisis?
7. How to reduce risks faced by rural and indigenous producers?
8. Do enterprise survey and business environment assessment of humanitarian victims help plan better economic recovery?

The review is being done with the help of the framework developed by National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) of Government of India. The findings will feed in the ongoing DDMP process in Odisha, Assam, Bihar and Ladakh at local level and into the NDMA’s Core Group Policy formulation for Community Based Disaster Risk Management at national level.

AIDMI Supports Flood Safety Week of Bihar State Disaster Management Authority (BSDMA)

AIDMI was invited to support an innovative initiative of Bihar State Disaster Management Authority (BSDMA). BSDMA celebrated Flood Awareness Week from June 1 to 7, 2013. Drawing from its work on floods in Assam, AIDMI suggested key areas for focus in 2013. Emergency Response with right people at right place at right time with strong and diverse team; Response Preparedness with good planning with humanitarian community teams and government authorities to rapidly identify, evaluate and respond; and Humanitarian Synthesis by gathering and managing


information in real time across the system. BSDMA is one of India’s leading authorities rapidly changing the way disasters are managed at state level in India.

Humanitarian Values in Asia Pacific

AIDMI discussed Asia and the Pacific wide policy issues with private sector leaders such as from GHK; explored regional response research needs from an APEC leader; exchanged emerging research themes with the Indonesian university; and debated the tension between humanitarian values and private sector roles in humanitarian action with a Sri Lanka leader.


Anthropology of humanitarian action in Mongolia was discussed and role of NGOs in Community Based Disaster Management (CBDM) in Korea was discussed. The opportunity was offered by the UN’s regional office in Bangkok. Humanity, neutrality, impartiality, and independence of humanitarian action in Asia Pacific was discussed.

Working with National Disaster Management Authority to Reach out to Communities

National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) of Government of India is leading basic changes in the way disasters are dealt with in India. NDMA is brining community more and more in the centre of its work through Community Based Disaster Risk Management (CBDRM) guidelines. AIDMI is invited to contribute to this process.


AIDMI has contributed National Guidelines on Community Based Disaster Management (CBDM): Process Overview; Outline of CBDM; Draft Work Plan to facilitated development of National Guidelines on CBDM for National Disaster Management Authority; Draft Content Framework for Institutional Framework for Operationalising CBDM; and Framework as submitted by Sub Group 2 – Key Elements of Resilient Communities for 26th June 2012 at Third Core Group Meeting on CBDM to NDMA over past year. Focus on children, dalits, minorities, tribals and casual labour is promoted in AIDMI contribution to NDMA. Children and DRR are in top priority in working with NDMA.

AIDMI Contributes India’s Humanitarian work in Asia and the Pacific

UN OCHA regional Humanitarian forum, 2013 was held at Bangkok, 28 to 29 May 2013. Over 50 individuals from humanitarian sector in the Asia-Pacific region discussed newer approaches to understand risks from natural disasters. All India Disaster Mitigation Institute (AIDMI) was invited to present newer approaches to understand risks from natural hazards in the Asia-Pacific region.


AIDMI built its presentation on what citizens of India are doing at local level to reduce risk. The need for integrating local approaches with international approaches was realised. Participants also discussed approaches to integrate international humanitarian actors with local challenges. Focus on woman, children and casual labour in low income communities exposed to disasters was demanded by AIDMI. The focus on developing innovative risk transfer mechanism & community preparedness requires more attention than crisis response. Participants agreed on need to establish an enabling environment for Humanitarian Innovation and integrate it in current risk reduction efforts across the globe. Citizens of India can contribute to these regional processes as well as benefit from it. AIDMI shared the learning experience of CSDRM in Odisha.

National Workshop on Post-2015 Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction

A one-day National Workshop on Post-2015 Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction was organized on May 11, 2013 at India Habitat Center by Children Coalition India (UUNICEF, Save the Children, RedR, SEEDS, Plan and AIDMI). The workshop facilitated by Save the Children. The event is one of pre-workshop of National Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction (NPDRR) for pushing children’s perspectives from local to national level of Government of India. .


Participation of Children in NPDRR of Government of India

The first session of the National Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction (NPDRR) saw representation from children from 4 states (Bihar, West Bengal, Delhi and Odisha), who shared their voices and experience of disaster risk reduction. For more


First Session of National Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction: Opportunities for Humanitarian Workers for Financial Risk Reduction

The first session of the National Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction (NPDRR) was organised from May 13-14, 2013 at Delhi. Dr. Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of India inaugurates the first session. Total 6 different sessions were conducted under NPDRR. The NPDRR attended by hundreds of people across India and beyond.


AIDMI made presentation on ‘Financial Risk Reduction and Recovery before Disaster Strikes: Opportunities for Humanitarian Workers’. NDMA, World Bank, GI Council and AIDMI representatives made presentations during this key session of NPDRR session on ‘Risk Financing Mechanisms’. The session chaired by Shri T. S. Vijayan, Chairman IRDA. The valedictory session was chaired by Shri Shashidhar Reddy, Vice Chairman, NDMA.

Getting Climate Smart for Disasters

Intercooperation Social Development India (ICSD), Delhi; Institute of Development Studies (IDS), UK and All India Disaster Mitigation Institute (AIDMI) organized the training workshop on FORIN and M & E for CSDRM. The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) chaired opening session. The two-day workshop was organized on May 8-9, 2013 at Bhubaneswar, Odisha.


The workshop is to search ways of monitoring climate smart disaster risk management. The workshop explored climate smart tools of reporting disasters named FORIN and Climate Smart ways of monitoring and evaluation of projects and plans. For the first time new tools and methods are being brought to Odisha which is at the forefront of climate risk impact as well as adaptation by the communities. The workshop was attended by the participants from Delhi, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Odisha and West Bengal. For more information contact Mr. Vishal Pathak at

Website Road show

All India Disaster Mitigation Institute (AIDMI) strives to link local communities to national and international levels of risk reduction, relief and long-term recovery policies and programmes. Recently AIDMI revised its website and opened first time by the community of Small, Micro and Medium Enterprise at Balapur village of Puri district of Odisha, India.


The new version of the website is user-friendly and providing platform to different communities to share their voices on disaster risk reduction. Savitri Mahapatra, running stone carving enterprise in Balapur village opened the new version of website first time. The community enjoyed ‘the community voices’ section in the website.

Shaping post 2015 development (HFA) agenda bottom-up: AIDMI statement of contributions to HFA during 2012-13

The principles of the global post-2015 development agenda of the UN are inherent in the All India Disaster Mitigation Institute’s (AIDMI) organizational vision and mission. The vision of the post-2015 development agenda of the UN builds on the principles of respect for human rights, equality and sustainability.


AIDMI's work is aligned to these principles. Striving to be 'a peoples' organization' in the field of disaster and risk reduction through action research, since 1989 AIDMI has been working towards achieving a safer life for all human beings, especially India’s poorest and most vulnerable communities. The following statement offers a brief overview of how AIDMI's humanitarian and risk reduction initiatives and their results have contributed to the HFA goals and how they can help shape the post- 2015 development agenda from the bottom-up.

For more information:

Disaster Risk Reduction and the Post-2015 Development Agenda: Agenda for the Asia-Pacific

This short discussion note was written in early February for the Global Thematic Consultation on Disaster Risk Reduction and the Post-2015 Development Agenda, held by the Government of Indonesia in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (ISDR) and the United Nations Peacebuilding Support Office (PBSO) from February 19-20, 2013 in Jakarta, Indonesia. Its purpose was to draw attention to the local and grassroots issues f


aced by poor and vulnerable communities across the Asia-Pacific region which may not otherwise reach the post-2015 development agenda consultations. Rather than repeating the issues already in discussion from the GAR process in Geneva and the fifth Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction held in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, the note was designed to add and augment the other valuable contributions to the post 2015 development process. It was prepared by the All India Disaster Mitigation Institute (AIDMI) based upon its work with local partners at the ground level in India and in the Asia-Pacific region. It offers six concrete areas including human rights protection (especially child and youth rights), accountability and governance, the over-monetisation of risk reduction, and the need for increased national focus on financing disaster risk reduction measures, for consideration.

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Submission to the Civil Society Dialogue with the High-level Panel on the Post-2015 Development Agenda

This briefing note details the All India Disaster Mitigation Institute’s submissions, made in January 2013, to the High-level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda’s civil society consultations on how the future development framework should take shape. Almost 800 responses were received globally and a number of AIDMI’s key suggestions – building a risk resilient framework, achieving sustainable development, and empowerment approaches for poor and vulnerable people – were included in the United Nations Non-Governmental Lia


ison Service’s synthesis report on the consultations for the High-level Panel.

Drawing upon its years of working with the most vulnerable communities in India, AIDMI’s over arching suggestion is that to be truly resilient the post-2015 framework must enable disaster risks to be addressed concurrently with other social, environmental and economic agendas, such that they become a default, inherent consideration in any activity that is being carried out. The post-2015 development agenda must enjoy the culture of risk reduction worldwide.

For more information:

Youth For Disaster Risk Reduction

On the 13th April, 2013 the All India Disaster Mitigation Institute hosted a group of 52 students from the Social Work discipline of SDM college of Arts, Commerce and Science Ujire, Karnataka at the request of their faculty guide Mrs. Mary Joseph. Consequently, an event featuring presentations on AIDMI’s annual results, AIDMI’s vision 2020 and AIDMI’s renewed internship program was organized for the benefit of these students.


The event proved to be a resounding success with all the youthful participants finding the aforementioned presentations extremely useful. The interactive nature of the exercise made it extremely enriching for all the participants. Ideas about adopting innovative, inclusive and community based approach to disaster risk reduction were discussed. A presentation on AIDMI vision 2020 given by Mr. Kshitij Gupta was also shared with the students and they gave their insights on making disaster risk reduction more people centred.

Towards the end a presentation on AIDMI’s internship programme by Mr. Gautam Bhut was also shared with the students which elicited a lot of queries from the students interested to be associated with AIDMI. Mr. Mihir R. Bhatt, the managing trustee of AIDMI delivered a vote of thanks to the students and teachers of the college and reinforced AIDMI’s commitment to involve more and more young people like the participants in disaster risk reduction efforts. The proceedings of the day ended with high tea.

Training on School Safety through Mock Drills and School Disaster Management Plans

The National Disaster Management Act of 2005 has been endorsed by the state of Assam. Consequently, a statutory body has been created as per the rules of the aforementioned act called the Assam State Disaster Management Authority or ASDMA which became fully operational from 2010. ASDMA, since its inception has implemented a series of programs on Disaster Risk Reduction.


On the basis of an open call of 'Expression of Interest', AIDMI, which has two decades of experience in working with schools to ensure school safety has been selected for imparting training on school safety on a pilot basis for the financial year 2012-13 in the state of Assam.

The Project is to be implemented in all the 27 districts of Assam with a target to cover 1600 teachers through 40 training exercises. The project will aim to strengthen the resilience of the schools of Assam by ensuring the safety of students, teachers, and staff members and minimize the effects of disasters through effective planning and preparedness.

Annual Day 2012-13 held by AIDMI

All India Disaster Mitigation Institute (AIDMI) organized its Annual Day 2012-2013 on March 26, 2013 at the Ahmedabad Management Association, Ahmedabad. AIDMI team shared its results to make India safer. Mr. Arvind Krishnaswamy, Chairperson, Board of Trustees, AIDMI and Ms. Firoza Mehrotra, member of Board of Trustees of AIDMI joined.


The theme of the Annual Day was “Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction”. A review of the projects carried out during the period from April 2012 to March 2013 was done in an interactive way. The way ahead was designed based on the key learnings from a wide range of communities in cities and districts across 12 states of India and three neighboring countries. The year was marked with accelerated growth of activities at local and policy level. Energy, commitment and enthusiasm of the team accelerated the growth. Future directions include more work in urban areas and planning disaster management at local level. Greater focus on women, children and tribals is planned.

Putting Children at the Heart of Disaster Risk Reduction

In the landscape of risk reduction where do children stand? As victim? As risk reducers? As risk managers? As future citizens? This issue explores all these possibilities and more for those who wish to look at Post HFA Agenda from the eyes of the children at risk. Those interested in Post 2015 Development Agenda including members of Expert Reference Group may also find useful insights.


BR/>This issue covers articles on Promoting Child Rights and Child-Centered Disaster Risk Reduction in India. The content includes: (i) Child Centerd DRR Means Putting Children at the Heart of DRR; (ii) The Role of India's National and State Governments in Promoting Child Rights and Child-Centered Disaster Risk Reduction; (iii) Promoting Child Rights and Child-Centered Disaster Risk Reduction at the Policy Level; (iv) Emergency Management Exercises as Tools for Developing Child-Centered Disaster Management Plans; (v) Child-Centered Disaster Risk Reduction in Guwahati, Assam; (vi) Child-Centred Disaster Risk Reduction and Child Rights; (vii) Launch of State Platform for Children in Bihar.
The ideas and insights are of use to those who work on local projects and those who advocate rights of children to safety in international policy events such as ADB’s 46th Annual meeting in Delhi or Global Thematic Consultations on Disaster Risk Reduction and the Post 2015 Development Agenda.
In many ways the insights reinforce what is now being documented by Tsunami and Disaster Mitigation Research Centre (TDMRC) of Ache in Indonesia. Unequal treatment of children in disaster risk reduction is a concern.
The Preface is written by Margarita Tileva, Chief Emergency, UNICEF India; contribution from Mihir R. Bhatt and Vandana Chuhan, All India Disaster Mitigation Institute. With this publication AIDMI is promoting Child Rights and Child-Centered Disaster Risk Reduction at the State, National and Regional Levels for Policy Influence and the Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in Yogyakarta follow up.

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Making Guwahati Prepared

Risk in cities concerns all. The UNISDR has launched a major global initiative on urban risk reduction. The UNFCC is aiming to develop ways of addressing loss and damage in cities due to disasters. But what are citizens doing to prepare their cities? This publication gives an inspiring example from the city of Guwahati in Assam, India.


BR/>This issue covers articles on different Emergency Management Exercises (EMEx) in India. The content includes: (i) Emergency Management Exercises (EMEx) - What are they?; (ii) Guwahati Emergency Management Exercise; (iii) Successes of The Guwahati Emergency Management Exercise 2012; (iv) Mega-Mock Drill Across Guwahati; (v) All India Disaster Mitigation Institute and Emergency Management Exercises; (vi) Preparing Guwahati's Schools and Higher Education Institutions for Emergencies; (vii) GEMEx Table-Top Exercise: Some Lessons and Challenges; (viii) Guwahati Emergency Management Exercise: International Perspective; (ix) Guwahati Emergency Management Exercise: The Way Forward; (x) AIDMI at the Delhi Emergency Management Exercise (DEMEx 2012).
So far, EMExes have been held in some of India's most disaster-prone cities - Mumbai (2008, 2010), Chennai (2011), Delhi (2012), and most recently, Guwahati (2012). AIDMI has conducted five city-wide mock drills across India with authorities and institutions. But what are the causes of growing urban risk? Why are these risks growing so rapidly? And what are its human and economic impacts? How stable or efficient urban risk reduction efforts are? At city level? At global level? Such questions came up in these five drills.
Though the output material is from one city but what it offers is directly relevant to Post HFA discussions both, within India and outside. Focus on centrality of children in disaster risk reduction is clear. The insights are also useful for Post 2015 Development Agenda.
The contributors include - Sarbjit Singh Sahota of Emergency Specialist, UNICEF India; Dr. Jo-Anne Bennett of Senior Research Scientist, Monitoring, Evaluation Office of IT Strategic Planning and Policy Analysis, New York City; Richard Garfield of Columbia University; and Mihir R. Bhatt, All India Disaster Mitigation Institute. In many ways this publication consolidates issues discussed on urban risk at Asian Ministerial Conference in Yogyakarta.

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What Makes Relief Better?

The relief package declared by the Government of India this week—Rs. 2892 crores for seven states to ‘deal with the impacts of calamities’ —may be the biggest in the recent history of India but is it the best? Or at least better than other packages? Such overwhelming questions can often be answered with more than one answer. But a


But a multitude of answers given at once can drown the question being asked in the first place.

It is therefore useful to focus on one key answer to the question at a time. One such key answer is that this relief package can be the best if it at least directly addresses the question of drinking water for the drought, flood, and landslide victims of 2012. In other words, if it provides drinking water to satisfy the immediate needs of the thirsty victims, and also addresses short and long-term drinking water insecurities in the estimated 4000 villages, only then will it be the biggest and best relief package in India’s history.

The recent Round Table in Delhi, ‘Sustainable Drinking Water Services at Scale: Everyone Forever’ was held on March 13, 2013, at the same time when the relief package was being worked out by the Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM) of Government of India. The Round Table was organized by the International Water and Sanitation Centre (IRC), the Netherlands, with the Centre of Excellence for Change, Chennai and All India Disaster Mitigation Institute, Ahmedabad. It was also held at a time when the country faces a major crisis in water due to its rapidly industrialising economy, urbanisation, population growth, climate change, environmental degradation, and increased disasters.

The 40 participants—donors, CSO networks, think tanks, NGOs, and central and state drinking water departments—at the Round Table discussed the life-cycle costs of drinking water with fresh economic analysis being provided by Dr. V. Ratna Reddy from the Livelihoods and Natural Resources Management Institute of Hyderabad. A key point raised was that often we do not know if the cost of providing drinking water after a drought or flood is more than the everyday operating costs of the drinking water provision scheme. Yet the social and economic costs of not providing water during droughts or floods are also huge. But there is limited or no system-wide data on this issue and as a result the costs of restoring the life- cycle of a drinking water service, not to mention the human costs incurred from not having proper supplies of water, can be almost equal to the disaster shocks endured. Using the relief money to reduce drinking water insecurity in disaster-affected villages can bring down life-cycle costs – the question now is will it be put to such a purpose?

The presentation by Jean de la Harpe from the IRC’s division in South Africa drew a global picture of drinking water insecurity. India is rapidly facing widespread water insecurity. The drinking water insecurity hotspots across India are well known now and in many cases they overlap with disaster-prone areas and civil unrest hotspots. With these three crisis areas overlapping, the results can only be catastrophic. As was noted in the Global Thematic Consultation on Disaster Risk Reduction and the Post-2015 Development Agenda, disasters can create or intensify existing or deepening inequality in access to resources. Joep Verhagen of IRC International Water and Sanitation, The Netherlands pointed out that the Government of India is taking detailed and sustained measures to arrest and avert drinking water insecurity, but these measures would be even more effective if they were combined with measures to address disaster risks and civil unrest. Such effectiveness could be further enhanced if the relief package is used to directly reduce drinking water insecurities both in the aftermath of droughts or floods, and in the long-term.

The capacity of water boards and authorities to manage water supplies has improved over the years in India. Dr. Vibhu Nayar of the Centre of Excellence for Change from Chennai offered innovative ways to make such changes effective and efficient in the country. But these authorities and boards have yet to move away from approaches which focus on crisis management to risk reduction in India’s water sector. A critical question is therefore whether the relief package will be used to further develop the water authorities’ capacity to better manage drought and flood risks, and to steer them towards risk reduction approaches.

An excellent paper on the growing water insecurity in India by Dr. V. Kurian Baby from the IRC in the Netherlands, created great debate amongst participants on how water quality and quantity can create or even contribute to water insecurity. This question is even more pertinent in disaster situations for droughts, floods and cyclones can contaminate, destroy, or damage water sources. Again, very little is known about this and as a result, at present relief packages may end up only providing once-off or short-term water relief.

‘Perhaps one way to move ahead is to shift the focus from groundwater to surface water’, said Shri Pankaj Jain, IAS, Secretary, Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Government of India. That is one possibility, but a limited one, for India’s groundwater sources are in a severe state of crisis and the country has few surface water sources. The ones that do exist are already being over-exploited and are badly polluted. He pointed out that rather than focus entirely on finding new sources of water, attention should also be directed at encouraging better use and storage of water, such as rainwater harvesting. This is one critical area which the relief package could be used to invest in at a larger scale.

And who will measure the performance of the relief package? Or for that matter, any sort of aid which is being provided to vulnerable communities? It cannot be left to those who are the relief or aid providers alone. Investments must be made in developing third party performance ratings and standards of humanitarian aid, and even more importantly, to encourager their adoption. Groups such as ALNAP in the United Kingdom offer methods and platforms to rate aid measures, and there are accountability standards already available (for example the Humanitarian Accountability Partnership’s 2010 Standard in Accountability and Quality Management), but the uptake by our relief departments still remains extremely limited. But interest in better and faster relief is widespread.

Relief must both offer relief and also reduce the risks that cause the need for relief provision in the first place. If this approach is taken the National Disaster Relief Fund, the recently-announced relief package, and all relief given generally, will achieve a much greater impact.

It is not the size of the relief package that matters now in India, but the level of performance of the package. And that level of performance is to be determined by whether disaster risks are reduced and if the basic needs of vulnerable communities are addressed both in the short and long-term.

The ultimate test though, is whether the relief so provided enables the nation to achieve development. Yet development which fails to provide sustainable drinking water for everyone, forever, can hardly be called development.

40 participants from donors, CSO networks, think tanks, NGOs, and central and state drinking water departments participated in the round table on ‘Sustainable Drinking Water Services at Scale: Everyone Forever’ was held on March 13, 2013 at New Delhi. Organised by the IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre, the Netherlands, with the Centre of Excellence for Change (CEC), Chennai and All India Disaster Mitigation Institute (AIDMI), Ahmedabad.

for more information contact: