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Towards transformative action: the unfulfilled promise of resilient recovery

By Practical Action On 11.10.2023 DisasterResilienceNews

The increasing complexity, severity and frequency of climate disasters are causing a damaging and life-changing effect on the vulnerable in marginalised communities, with an unprecedented number of people unable to fully recover and rebuild their lives before the next climate shock hits.


Early recovery is a step in helping developing countries prevent loss and damage, and a new Zurich Flood Resilience Alliance report has identified resilient recovery as a priority; instead of ‘bouncing back’ after a disaster, there is an opportunity to bounce forward to create a positive transformation to address underlying risk factors.

In order for recovery to be resilient, the following must occur:

  • It requires a comprehensive risk management strategy, acknowledging the various concurrent threats and complex risks.
  • It must encompass social, human, natural, financial, and physical dimensions that collectively enhance resilience to climate threats
  • It must address the needs of all women, men, and children affected, particularly the most marginalized and vulnerable, empowering them to actively participate in locally-led recovery decisions.

In the new report, with the help of conducted post-event reviews of major flood events over the past ten years, the Zurich Flood Resilience Alliance has identified a new approach to help improve recovery efforts to better prepare communities for future climate risks.

A transformative speech on resilient recovery given in front of a red wall by Dr Dharam Uprety

Dr Dharam Uprety – Climate and Resilience Lead, Practical Action said “The aftermath of the 2015 Gorkha earthquake was a signal to Nepal, and indeed the world, that more needs to be done to pre-plan recovery efforts. Lessons have been learned, and some progress is being made, but significant gaps remain.”

“The ever-increasing frequency and intensity of climate-induced hazards means that it is more important than ever for governments of at-risk countries to get robust, properly-funded plans and strategies in place before the next disaster arrives.”

“Resilient recovery must become a top priority to protect all communities vulnerable to climate risks; only by taking a comprehensive, people-centred approach – one that represents all voices and goes far beyond merely rebuilding physical infrastructure – can the long-term recovery needs of women, men and children be met.”

Find out more about the recommendations needed to help enhance recovery resilience on the Flood Resilience Portal