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Mainstreaming livelihood-centred approaches to disaster management

The 'Mainstreaming livelihood-centred approaches to disaster management' (LCDRR) was a five year project, funded by the Conflict and Humanitarian Fund (CHF) of the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and implemented by Practical Action's country offices in Peru, Zimbabwe, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka, with coordination from the UK office.

The project focused on the  importance of strengthening livelihoods in enabling people to cope better with disasters and on the roles and linkages between vulnerable communities, district and national level government institutions and humanitarian agencies with regard to disaster preparedness and mitigation.

At the international level, the project was in line with the Hyogo Framework for Action. This was an international agreement that outlined priorities for action on Disaster Risk Reduction and offers guiding principles and practical means for achieving disaster resilience. The Hyogo framework stresses the relationship between disaster risk reduction, sustainable development and poverty eradication and the need for building capacity at all levels to build a culture for disaster prevention and increased resilience.

As poor local communities are worst affected and likely to suffer most from the impact of stresses and hazards, Practical Action has focused on building the resilience of these communities. But community-based approaches tend to be small-scale, location-specific, and operate in isolation to wider national initiatives. They usually fail to be considered in wider development planning with the result that local level environmental, conflict and other hazards are not incorporated into national plans. These community-based approaches need to be scaled up and linked into wider national agendas and institutional structures and not viewed in isolation. While communities may be able to cope under normal circumstances, at times of extreme crisis they need access to external resources and expertise.

The project had four main aims:

•To establish and test models in several locations where livelihood-centred approaches to disaster management are linked with wider institutional structures involved in disaster and development planning. The locations selected encompass areas and communities with exposure to a mixture of disaster risks including drought, flood, disease and conflict.

•To develop guidelines and training materials on livelihood-centred disaster management for use by local and national service providers, planners and humanitarian agencies.

•To learn lessons from experiences in implementing this approach, including an analysis of best practice in building consensus amongst stakeholders on how to link most effectively with and support communities' own disaster planning in a sustainable way.

•To influence policy makers at all levels involved in disaster management and development planning to adopt a livelihood-centred approach to disaster risk management.

Besides providing evidence of the positive impact of the livelihood-centred approach to DRR, strategic alliances have been formed with other NGOs active in disaster management such as the DFID DRR Coordination Group, BOND, regional networks, such as Duryog Nivaran and La Red, and international platforms such as UNISDR to disseminate project findings and provide a platform for policy discussion and advocacy.

Further information about this project can be found in the documents below:

Practical Experiences of Community Based Disaster Risk Management

Practical Experiences of community based disaster risk management

The LCDRR Guide

The concept of livelihood centred disaster risk reduction is relatively new to Zimbabwe. This guide has been produced as a result of experiences that Practical Action has had in implementing the project "mainstreaming livelihood centred approaches to disaster management" in Matabeleland South. It has been produced to assist development practitioners, including District and Provincial government personnel from a range of disciplines, NGOs and communities to implement LCDRR approaches that increase their resilience.

The livelihoods centred approach to DRR - lessons from Matabeleland South

This document describes how hazards - especially drought - impact on the lives and livelihoods of resource-poor rural people. By strengthening existing strategies and adopting new ways of making a living, people are able to increase their resilience to future hazards, stresses and shocks.

Coping with Drought

This paper is based on research carried out in two drought-prone districts of Matabeleland South. Rather than being passive victims waiting for the arrival of humanitarian aid, rual people reliant on agriculture as a main means of making a living having developed coping strategies which enable them to cope with and recover from increasingly frequent droughts.

Livelihood centred approaches to disaster risk reduction

This brief note describes disaster, disaster risk, and its management in the cycle, ie before, during and post disaster situations.

Mainstreaming livelihood centred approaches to disaster risk reduction

An illustrated project information brochure in English and Nepali, outlining the mainstreaming livelihood centred approaches to disaster risk reduction project methodology and expected outputs.

Mainstreaming livelihood centred approaches to disaster risk reduction

A more detailed report on the mainstreaming livelihood centred approaches to disaster risk reduction project

Strengthening Livelihood Capacities to Disaster Risk Reduction: compilation of change studies

This book documents the lessons learned during the Livelihood Centred Approaches to Disaster Risk Reduction project in the Chitwan and Nawalparasi districts of Nepal. It describes the prevailing physical, institutional and socio-economic context, and details the activities and its interventions.

Understanding disaster management in practice

Communities are not passive victims waiting for disasters to strike, but rather have the capacity to build their resilience to disasters.

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