STEP 12

STEP 12. DISASTER RISK REDUCTION PLANNING

12.1 integrative action planning for DRR

The previous assessment of disaster risk paves the way for the planning of actions for reducing that risk through preventing the hazards, reducing the vulnerabilities or enhancing the capacities – or most often a combination of all strategies (see also Step 4). Although important, preventing hazards is often costly (in money, labor and time) and never ensures total safety as a dike may breach or be overtopped. Mitigating vulnerabilities is of crucial importance to address the root causes of disasters. However vulnerabilities are  frequently,  not  exclusively,  anchored  in  structural  issues  (unequal distribution of wealth within the society, ethnic or gender discrimination, unfair access to resources, etc.) which are beyond the reach of the locals. In that context it is often, not always, a utopia to promise participants that the  training  will  address  these  issues  although  it  may  lead  to  advocacy actions to emphasize local needs. As a consequence, it is usually easier and more realistic to give a prime, not sole, focus on enhancing capacities. Capacities are indeed most often intrinsic to the local community as they refer to local knowledge, social networks, traditional medicine, etc.

As mentioned in the previous sections, P3DM facilitates dialogue between members  of  the  local  communities  and  scientists,  local  government officials,  and  NGOs  (Figure  53).  It  serves  as  a  common  and  credible  tool that  allows  all  stakeholders  to  collaborate.  P3DM  enables  them  to  plan internally what can and should be done at the community level. The same tool  enables  NGOs  and  local  government  officials  to  plan  and  plot,  in collaboration with the community, top-down actions intended to meet local needs. Both a mutually acceptable tool and collaboration are essential to integrate bottom-up and top-down disaster risk reduction measures. These measures and actions appear more legitimate to stakeholders since they are ones who conceptualized and endorsed them using a common tool that is acceptable to everyone.

It  is  therefore  recommended  that  the  action  planning  stage  of  P3DM  for DRR  involves  the  largest  possible  array  of  stakeholders,  including  the participants who built the map but also staffs from the NGO, representatives from  the  local  government,  school  communities,  faith  groups,  scientists and the business sector.

Figure 53: P3DM activity involving a representative from a community-based organization, a local  indigenous people leader, a staff from a local NGO, an indigenous people, a municipal planning officer and  an elected public official (from right to left at foreground) in Josefina, Philippines (JC Gaillard, January  2010)

Figure 53: P3DM activity involving a representative from a community-based organization, a local indigenous people leader, a staff from a local NGO, an indigenous people, a municipal planning officer and an elected public official (from right to left at foreground) in Josefina, Philippines (JC Gaillard, January
2010)

12.2 Planning actions for DRR based on a 3D map

P3DM  provides  a  powerful  tool  for  planning  a  combination  of  actions  for DRR. Based on the table drawn at the previous stage and on the 3D map it is possible to identify the major issues which lead a particular area to be at high risk in facing natural or other hazards, and plan remedial measures according  to  available  local  resources  (Figure  54).  Such  action  planning necessitates not only the 3D map but also tools and methods which are not specific to P3DM. It is therefore highly recommended that facilitator refer to handbooks and manuals such as those authored by von Kotze and Holloway (1996) and Abarquez and Murshed (2004) amongst many others.

Figure 54: Debating hazard-prone areas on a 3D map in San Mateo, Philippines (JC Gaillard, February  2011)

Figure 54: Debating hazard-prone areas on a 3D map in San Mateo, Philippines (JC Gaillard, February 2011)

In  line  with  the  previous  activities  which  aimed  at  making  disaster  risk tangible to the locals it is suggested to continue to resort upon tables which draw upon the data and outcomes of the disaster risk assessment. Table 13 proposes a template which needs to be adjusted to the local context. Such tables should list areas identified during the disaster risk assessment from those at highest risk to those at lowest risk. For each area, it is suggested to:

  1. Remind the issues and problems faced by the local community based on the hazards, vulnerabilities and capacities identified in the disaster risk assessment table;
  2. Remind the reasons / root causes of these issues and problems;
  3. Identify the needs to address / overcome such issues in the context of the prevailing causes;
  4. Enumerate specific actions to be conducted to meet these needs given available resources and capacities as listed in the disaster risk assessment table. Draw upon the 3D map to assess the relevanceand pertinence of these actions and plot them if possible;
  5. Define a target date for the implementation of the aforementioned actions. Specify the hour, date and month if possible.
  6. Identify the specific persons / organizations who / which will be responsible in implementing and monitoring the activities. Locate them on the map to see whether they are the best located people / organizations.

It  is  often  appropriate  to  conduct  this  activity  through  gathering  the participants from each area so that different groups look at the places they know best and for which they are most concerned (Figure 55). It is however essential to eventually collate all actions into a community-based action plans to avoid redundancy and pool resources together. When collating all information and local suggested actions it is also instrumental to discuss with  outside  stakeholders  such  as  NGOs,  local  government  officials  and representatives from faith groups and school communities.

Box 4 – P3DM-based DRR planning in Sagrada, Philippines

Box 4 – P3DM-based DRR planning in Sagrada, Philippines

Table 13– A sample table for DRR action planning

Table 13– A sample table for DRR action planning

Figure 55: Groups of participants from different hamlets of La Carlota, Philippines, working on their action  plan near their 3D map (JC Gaillard, January 2011)

Figure 55: Groups of participants from different hamlets of La Carlota, Philippines, working on their action plan near their 3D map (JC Gaillard, January 2011)

The 3D map provides a tangible and solid basis for the planning process. It is therefore best to conduct the action planning around or near the 3D map. Normally, both the facilitator and the participants have to look back and forth at the 3D map while conducting the action planning. For example, planning  for  evacuation  in  facing  a  pending hazardous  event  requires identifying  the  safest  and  fastest  routes  as  well  as  locating  hazard-free evacuation  spots  /  centers.  The  vertical  dimension  is  most  useful  as  it provides  a  tangible  basis  for  identify  such  routes  and  evacuation  spots  / centers (Figure 56).

Figure 56:  DRR actions identified over a 3D map (left) and associated community-based DRR plan hung  on the wall of the village hall in Masantol, Philippines (JC Gaillard, September 2009)

Figure 56: DRR actions identified over a 3D map (left) and associated community-based DRR plan hung on the wall of the village hall in Masantol, Philippines (JC Gaillard, September 2009)

12.3 Prioritising actions and time shortage

The  3D  map  usually  enables  the  identification  of  many  issues  which underpin disaster risk within the community. It is often impossible during a single, short training to address all issues and plan actions in facing all hazards.  It  is  therefore  essential  to  focus  in  priority  on  the  areas  which have been considered at highest risk during the disaster risk assessment. Because P3DM provides local communities with a tangible, cheap and easy to  reproduce  methodology  for  assessing  and  reducing  disaster  risk  it  is expected that the participants will eventually take the lead in reproducing the activities on their own. In that view, the initial training should provide the momentum and the basic skills and knowledge for sustainable community based DRR.

In the long term, the 3D map can be used to mainstream DRR and other development issues at the municipal / city level. It is easy to reproduce in other  villages  and  is  very  affordable  in  terms  of  financial  requirement.  It should also be noted that the 3D map is a holistic tool and can be used in many ways (e.g. health survey, land use planning, zoning). The flexibility of the 3D map in terms of usefulness could give the village infinite benefits regarding several issues and problems, at any time providing a common tool among villages to produce data and knowledge needed at the municipal/city level.

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