Fundamentals of DRM South-East Asia _IDRM_ by rygoion


									Fundamentals of Disaster Risk Management:
How are southeast Asian Countries Addressing These?
Sanny R. Jegillos Director for International Operations International Institute for Disaster Risk Management Manila, Philippines
Creating Opportunities. Managing Risk.

Why is Asia changing its approach to disaster risk?
In Asia, natural and man-made disasters have had a devastating effect on the populations, environment, and economies of this region whose disaster profile is the most extreme in the world. Global disaster statistics for 1998 are staggering, with economic costs to $89 billion and 32,000 lives lost. On average, 60 percent of the economic losses, deaths, injuries and displacement are absorbed by Asia. The need for a more structured approach to build capabilities to deal with emergency and disaster conditions has become more apparent with the intensity and magnitude of recent spate of disasters in countries situated in the ASEAN (Southeast Asia) region. These disasters have also highlighted the urgent need for addressing the important fundamentals of disaster risk management.


Disaster Situation in Asia

In Asia, natural and man-made disasters have had a devastating effect on the populations, environment, and economies of this region whose disaster profile is the most extreme in the world. Global disaster statistics for 1998 are staggering, with economic costs to $89 billion and 32,000 lives lost. On average, 60 percent of the economic losses, deaths, injuries and displacement are absorbed by Asia. (Source: World Watch Institute, Washington U.S.A.) Of late, emerging issues of critical concern in the disaster sector are linked to increasing environmental degradation, poverty, rapid industrialization which are compounded by economic slowdown and shrinking public budgets in the face of increased demand for relief and social welfare. Also prominent this year, and on the rise, have been maritime accidents and air crashes which have claimed human lives and impacted negatively on international tourism and public budgets. Here are no known national institutions, which have the capacity of taking effective initiatives to reduce these vulnerabilities. Regional response has been typically characterized by weak cooperation and coordination among regional neighbors, reactive and heavy reliance on technical and financial resources from the international humanitarian assistance community, delayed reaction from regional countries in assisting crisis areas, incompatible and uncoordinated response systems and procedures, lack of protocols for regional cooperation and on-site coordination, lack of shared information bases, and poor strategic and logistical positioning of emergency supplies. As a result, disaster management is being recognized as an important aspect of the ongoing development processes in the Asian countries. Considerable amount of resources are being allocated by both the national governments and the international agencies coupled with extensive institutional capacity building to mitigate the impact of disasters in the region.

Copyright 2003 International Institute for Disaster Risk Management (IDRM)

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Disaster Management in Asia -- the changing paradigm

The last decade has witnessed a paradigm shift in most organizations and agencies in Asia from a traditional relief and disaster preparedness focus, towards a developmental approach incorporating hazard mitigation and vulnerability reduction concerns. In parallel with this paradigm shift, there has been a growing evidence showing that top-down approaches in disaster management may lead to inequitable, unsustainable and irrelevant results. A broad consensus is emerging in favor of community-based approaches to disaster management. This paradigm shift has significant implications for national disaster risk management and reduction policies and programs.


Fundamentals of Disaster Risk Management: The IDRM Conceptual Framework

Figures 1 and 2 (refer to the last page) illustrate the disaster risk and disaster risk management conceptual framework that the International Institute for Disaster Risk Management is promoting. A brief elaboration is described below:

From Emergency Response to Disaster Risk Management
The dominant capability on disaster management in Southeast Asia had been on post disaster activities particularly emergency response. This can be traced to the association of disasters with sudden, violent and uncontrollable natural phenomena such as earthquakes, typhoons, and volcanic eruption. In addition, the pioneers (such as the Red Cross and the Civil Defence authority) in disaster management evolved as a response to the problems of war and civil conflicts and that it was generally regarded that disaster management was the responsibility of “neutral” and /or mandated authorities. Since then, there was a significant improvement in the emergency response systems in the Southeast Asian counties such as in the Philippines at various levels resulting to a favorable decrease in deaths and injuries to human population. However, despite of these, there is clear evidence that economic losses and reduction in the efficiency of provision of basic social services are increasing in dramatic terms. At the same time, when disasters occur, these often uncover and highlight and sustainable relationships between affected communities and their surrounding environment, which go far beyond the specific emergency period, into the past and into the future. Research carried out particularly in the developing countries of South America that since 1970’s, the causes of disasters are closely associated with unsustainable development patterns, which increase the risks faced by large sectors of the population. The fact that emergency management does not confront this unsustainable development Paterson indicates the need for a new vision of disaster management. This new vision is called DISASTER RISK MANAGEMENT.

What is the Emergency Management Approach?
Focuses on the emergency itself and in actions carried out before and after the emergency, including emergency preparedness and recovery. It’s objective is to reduce the losses, damage and disruption when disasters occur and to facilitate a quick recovery. Assumes that disasters are recurring and inevitable.

Copyright 2003 International Institute for Disaster Risk Management (IDRM)

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What is the Disaster Risk Management Approach?
Focuses on the underlying conditions of risk, generated by unsustainable development and which lead to disaster occurrence, and on actions intended to manage and reduce those risks. It’s objective is to increase capacity to manage and reduce risks and hence the occurrence and magnitude of disasters. Figure 1 describes the conceptual relationships of a disaster risk. The combination of a number of factors constitutes the extent of a disaster risk. These are:

What is A Disaster Risk?
A probability that injury to life, damage to property, disruption of services and activities, effects to environment will occur. The extent to which risk is either increased or diminished is the result of the interaction of a multitude chain of events.

What is a Hazard?
An event or occurrence that has the potential for causing injury to life, or damage to property and environment. The magnitude of the phenomenon, the probability of its occurrence and the extent and severity of the impact can vary. Most natural hazards cannot be prevented or minimized. To the extent they can be transformed into environmental resource determine reduction of associated risks.

What is Vulnerability?
A set of prevailing or consequential conditions composed of physical, socio economic and/or political factors, which adversely affect its ability to respond to events. The community and its members may or may not be willing participants in contributing to or tolerating the conditions. Taken together, they create a dynamic mix of variables, each of which results from a continuous process. Vulnerabilities can be physical, social, or attitudinal and can be primary or secondary in nature. Risk mitigation will be achieved if vulnerabilities are reduced. Coping Capabilities: “Coping” is the manner in which people and organizations act within existing resources and range of expectations of a situation to achieve various ends. In general, this involves managing resources and also means how it is done in unusual, abnormal, and adverse conditions of a disaster event. In most cases, “Capabilities” are a combination of all the strengths and resources available in a particular location that are useful in reducing the effects of disasters. These include social, physical and the economic means. Coping capabilities are often unreported but it is necessary that they are well understood by those who will be involved in risk mitigation. Simply stated, improvement of existing coping capabilities will directly result to risk reduction. Adequate “enabling mechanisms” should complement an effective Risk Management Plan. These revolve around Policy, Strategy and Programs, Financial and Resource Support and a favorable Stakeholder and Social System. They are briefly described below.

Copyright 2003 International Institute for Disaster Risk Management (IDRM)

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Requirements for Effective Risk Management
• • • • • • POLICY: A clear and comprehensive policy, which addresses all aspects of disaster management and ensures that mitigation is given proper priority. HAZARDS AND VULNERABILITY AND CAPABILITY ASSESSMENT: Adequate assessment and monitoring of disaster hazards and vulnerabilities, so that the need for mitigation measures is accurately identified and defined. ASSESSMENT OF CURRENT RISK MANAGEMENT PRACTICES: Benefits, costs, participation, equity, support gained from various sector, sustainability, resources, and adequacy. REFORM AND QUALITY ORIENTED: Readiness of various sectors, government to institute continuous improvement to current practices. A RISK MANAGEMENT PLAN: A dynamic plan integrated into the city development plans including the immediate and long term cost benefit implications of taking or not taking mitigation action. AN ORGANIZATION: A basis of organization and planning centered on a permanent disaster management center. The Centre to identify the need for various mitigation measures as they may arise. To advise the government and the general public on needs for mitigation programs and the priorities that should apply. LESSONS LEARNED. A system for an effective post emergency or disaster review. This review must included advice to government and public on whether as a result of a particular disaster, mitigation measures are adequate or whether additional measures are needed. EFFECTIVE LINKAGES OF MEASURES AND POLICIES WITH REGIONAL AND NATIONAL SYSTEMS: A strategy that looks at the big picture and system, spatial considerations, communication and information systems, warning and assessment systems, codes and standards. EFFECTIVE IMPLEMENTATION OF SPECIALIST PROGRAMS: Implementation of programs that specifically target reduction of vulnerability of priority sectors such as local business, agriculture, urban poor, basic social services etc. PUBLIC AWARENESS AND EDUCATION PROGRAMS: Strategies implemented to ensure stakeholders and community participation in risk management. SUPPORT FOR TRADITIONAL AND INDIGENOUS MEASURES OF RISK REDUCTION: recognition of coping mechanisms of individuals and communities and strategies to strengthen them. SUPPORT FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF SELF-RELIANCE AND SELF-HELP AT COMMUNITY LEVEL.

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• • •


Different Stakeholders Involved in Risk Generation
The combination of hazards and vulnerabilities present in any risk scenario are socially generated over time.” Socially generated”, refers to the fact that it is actions of different stakeholders and particularly the social relations and inter actions between these, which generate hazards, vulnerabilities and disaster risks. The stakeholders are all the individuals and organizations, which one way or another intervene in the disaster risk scenario: including the community itself and its members, local and central government, land owners, private enterprises, NGO’s banks and financial organizations.

Copyright 2003 International Institute for Disaster Risk Management (IDRM)

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The actions and interactions of the stakeholders transform the environment (through agriculture, productive activities, building structures and infrastructure etc.), the economy and the society. When the stakeholders fail to take into account their impact on hazards and vulnerabilities, these may lead to increased disaster risk, which in turn leads to disaster occurrence and loss. Only when, the stakeholders become aware of the disaster risk scenario which they are configuring (often through the experience of a disaster) can they begin to modify and transform their actions and interactions in such as way that disaster risk is managed and reduced.

Sanny Jegillos has had over 20 years experience in conducting international consultancies and training on disaster management related programs and in managing poverty alleviation and community development projects. Between 1992 and 1998 Sanny was a senior manager and program coordinator at the Asian Disaster Preparedness Centre and in that capacity was involved in the strategic management of the Learning and Professional Development Unit and the International Consultancies Unit. Sanny was also the Course Director for 8 of ADPC’s Disaster Management Courses and pioneered and conducted courses on Community Based Approaches to Disaster Management in 1997 and 1998. Sanny has conducted programs throughout the Asia and Pacific regions and has a comprehensive knowledge and understanding of Asia and Pacific Government focal points, NGOs, Business sector, networks and programs related to disaster management. He also has a strong background in community organizing and participatory approaches. The International Institute for Disaster Risk Management (IDRM) is a regional, technical resource in disaster and risk management, delivering programs to both public and private sectors in countries of the Asia and Pacific regions. IDRM responds to the urgent need for strengthening the capability of countries in the regions for enhanced emergency preparedness, prevention, mitigation, response and recovery to both natural and man-made disasters and emergencies.

Copyright 2003 International Institute for Disaster Risk Management (IDRM)

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Conceptual Framework: DISASTER RISK



High/Low Hazards

High Risk to Vulnerable Element

High Vulnerabilities


Copyright 2003 International Institute for Disaster Risk Management (IDRM) :

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Transform Hazards into Productive Resources

Reduced Risk to Vulnerable Element

Transform Vulnerabilities into Strengths


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