Disaster Risk Reduction Tools


Over the past few decades, it has become increasingly clear that conflicts, climate change and disasters are affecting the poorest and most vulnerable people in greatest numbers, with years of development gains being destroyed time and time again. They often face a complex array of threats, which need to be addressed by taking a holistic view, and considering problems and their answers in relation to each other.

Through shared experiences of dealing with emergency response and DRR ActionAid has created a number of tools to guide DRR work. These include:

Resilience Building: A Guide to Flood, Cyclone, Earthquake, Droughtand Safe Schools Programming

The resilience framework helps design programmes that build the capacity of individuals, households, communities and governments. Resilience programming needs to be guided by five principles: diversity and flexibility, long-term and future orientation, ecological sustainability, working across different levels, and integrated programming. Resilience is about building three key capacities: absorptive capacity or the ability to cope with and absorb the effects of shocks and stresses; adaptive capacity or the ability to structurally adapt to shocks and stresses; and transformative capacity or the ability to change the existing status quo and tackle unequal power balances. <Download>

South Asian Women Resilience Index (A report prepared by The Economist Intelligence Unit)

The South Asia Women’s Resilience Index (WRI), a tool that assesses countries’ capacity for disaster risk reduction and recovery and the extent to which the needs of women are being integrated into national resilience-building efforts.  South Asia has been affected by a number of disasters in recent years—natural, economic and conflict-related—drawing attention to the region’s vulnerability and pushing disaster risk reduction (DRR) and resilience up development and policymaking agendas. <Download>

A Tool Kit For Women Led Community Contingency Plan

The promotion of women rights and leadership is central to strengthening community resilience and disaster preparedness, building capacity and awareness and shifting power.  Women and girls are the first responders and decision makers to take the lead in accessing services to reduce their vulnerability and overcome the risks of disasters.Thus women led preparedness plans are required to address the myriad issues pertaining to women. The plans led by women would result in paradigm shift from women as vulnerable victims to women as leading the disaster preparedness, response and rehabilitation processes in the village. This is an empowering tool seen in action in 21 villages in Ganjam district of Odisha, India where it was piloted. <Download>

Through a Different Lens: ActionAid's Resilience Framework

This tool is prepared with the hope to work closely with women, children and poor and marginalised groups to analyse their vulnerabilities to different shocks and stresses, take individual and collective action to address the direct and root causes of this, and with this ultimately shift the power dynamics that are keeping people vulnerable to the worst effects of conflict and disasters <Download>

ActionAid Resilience Handbook: A Guide to Integrated Resilience Programming

This handbook aims to support the effectiveness of ActionAid’s work with communities by providing guidance, tools and resources to support resilience building in our programming. It provides readers with a framework for resilience that can be applied in different programme environments, and includes principles of effective programming, good-practice examples, and tools and resources that can be used to build and enhance resilience. <Download>

Measuring People's Resilience: A Gender Sensitive Toolkit

This toolkit, commissioned by ActionAid Australia, aims to support ActionAid Country Programmes and Local Rights Programmes (LRPs) to score women’s and men’s resilience at the local level. It helps ActionAid Country Programmes and LRPs to identify any differences that exist between the two sexes in terms of resilience to disaster risks. They can then use this information to identify areas that need to be strengthened, and can advocate for positive change to build women’s and community resilience at the local level. <Download>

NOTE: Photocopies of all or part of these publications may be made provided that the source is acknowledged. ActionAid would appreciate receiving details of the use of any of this material in training, research or programme design, implementation or evaluation


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