International Strategy for Disaster Reduction
Latin America and the Caribbean   

Newsletter ISDR Inform - Latin America and the Caribbean
Issue: 13/2006- 12/2006 - 11/2005 - 10/2005 - 9/2004 - 8/2003 - 7/2003 - 6/2002 - 5/2002 - 4/2001- 3/2001

EIRD Global


On-line conference on Disaster Risk Reduction Framework

The ISDR secretariat and UNDP have initiated a process to develop a framework to guide and monitor disaster risk reduction. The basic goal of this collective and iterative endeavour is to encourage and increase effective disaster risk reduction practices. As part of this process, an on-line conference was organized, with the specific objective to provide a forum for stakeholders to exchange views and identify the course of action needed to develop a framework for understanding, guiding and monitoring disaster risk reduction at all levels. It sought to bring into the process voices from varied professional, geographical and institutional groups.

The purpose of the online conference was to exchange views on the development and use of a Framework for disaster risk reduction. The discussion was to spark dialogue along the following major areas:
1. Discuss how to achieve ownership and wider participation, determine the possible audience (users and contributors), raise potential technical and political challenges;

2. Get feedback on the content of the proposed Framework;

3. Get feedback on the use of the Framework for monitoring and measuring progress or achievements in disaster risk reduction, including benchmarks and indicators.

4. Reflection on possible next steps to develop the Framework further.

Nearly 300 people registered with the on-line conference and approximately fifty of the participants contributed to the debate. Participants came from a wide variety of experiences, representing different continents and professional backgrounds. This diversity and the possibility for people “outside the margin of big name professionals” to express and share their opinions were appreciated by the participants. A participant list, including email addresses, will be kept on for future reference as well as to facilitate communication among the participants.

A framework for disaster risk reduction was regarded as useful and timely by participants as it would establish some agreed fundamental principles that could be applied on a global basis for regional, national, local as well as institutional adaptations. On one hand, all were unanimous in agreement with the value of developing a Framework for disaster risk reduction and the value added from this online exchange of ideas. On the other hand there have been a number of different interpretations of what a framework is, its possible audiences and its uses.

The Framework was regarded as relevant and useful for all actors in disaster risk reduction from the international level such as the UN, to national decision makers and planners as well as local level actors, NGOs, civil organizations and trade/labour unions. Academia was mentioned as a contributor to develop the Framework which could also guide research. Some participants put emphasis on the local level, stating that all action and implementation should lie with the local authorities, communities and the civil society. Others stressed that influencing the decision makers and planners at all levels was essential for the dissemination and political acceptability of the Framework.

The Framework will be further discussed and disseminated through technical and political consultations in regional, national and thematic meetings. It is expected to guide the review of progress in disaster reduction during the last decade (since Yokohama Strategy and Plan of action, 1994). It is also expected to shape priority areas to target for the next decade, including the programme of action to be endorsed at the second world conference on disaster reduction (January 2005, Japan). The Framework will become the backbone for regular monitoring of progress at all levels, as well as for the dissemination of achievements and identification of areas for further action

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