Climate Change and Disasters – What we can do

The Special Report on Managing the Risk from Extreme Events and Disasters for Advancing Adaptation to Climate Change (PDF)  is a welcome resource  for Practical Action as it helps to confirm the direction we need to take for our 5 year strategic plan on disaster risk reduction.

 The challenge for our disaster risk reduction (DRR) programme is to systematically include the latest climate change information into programme design, project planning and monitoring and evaluation. Despite the latest Special Report providing assessments at the global, regional and sub-regional level, there are real challenges of including climate information for community based DRR planning. Data is often missing at the local level.

 To overcome this gap, Practical Action has developed a  handbook with a six stage process to bring climate data into our programme planning. We start with triangulating climate data, and climate change proxies of plants and animals with weather trends and communities perceptions.

We then use this information to understand the different scenarios communities may expect.  This provides us a way with working with uncertainty by understanding how climate change is increasing the intensity and frequency hazards and in turn the impact of these hazards on livelihoods.

From here, we turn to our Participatory Action Plan Development approach to build consensus on an action plan among a range of stakeholders. For us, this means working with local communities and national, meso and  local level authorities , as well as scientists, academics and the private companies to integrate climate information into DRR planning and participatory technology development.

The handbook for a holistic vulnerability and capacity assessment  includes the latest observed and projected changes in climate related hazards and non-climate related hazards, livelihoods and governance. This is to be used at the local level and fed into meso and national level DRR processes to build resilience of communities facing changing risks.

Stay tuned for our forthcoming release of our:

From Vulnerability to Resilience Handbook: Steps for Holistic Vulnerability and Capacity Assessment for Programme Design in a Changing Climate

2 responses to “Climate Change and Disasters – What we can do”

  1. Sergio Niala Samson Says:

    As the co-chair of the Barangay Development Council of Minoyan, Murcia, Negros Occidental,I am one of the people preparing our Barangay Disaster Risk Reduction Management Plan. Can you provide me a “blue print/format” of the aforesaid plan.

  2. Hilary Warburton Says:

    Hi Sergio
    It’s great to know you are preparing local DRR management plans!
    You can find a copy of the report that Maggie referred to, plus other information on Disaster Risk Reduction, by going to our webpages on Disaster Risk Reduction: Practice and Learning. We have a selection of documents and here are a few references you might find useful:

    “From Vulnerability to Resilience: A handbook for programming design based on field experience in Nepal”. This is the document Maggie referred to. It is a practical example of using resilient appraoches, emphasing the use of climate data: Link here:

    For more information about approaches to building resilience, try our handbook “From Vulnerability to Resilience”. This contains our framework for analysis and action to reduce vulnerability and strengthen the resilience of individuals, households and communities. The book is available from Practical Action Publishing or a soft copy is downloadable here:

    Lastly, our team in Zimbabwe produced training guidelines for communities on Disaster Risk Reduction planning, which proved very successful. Download the training guidelines “The LCDRR Guide” here:

    Very best of luck with developing the Barangay plans.

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