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Mainstreaming Livelihood Centred Approaches to Disaster Management (LCDRR)

Submitted by Jim Noble 1st October 2009 20:23


Livelihood centred approaches in Nawalparasi, Nepal

Project summary

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.

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.

Methodology

The project enabled poor communities to build secure lives and cope better with hazards such as floods, landslides, droughts and wildlife intrusions that has impact on livelihoods and assets of the communities. It focused on the current threats of prevailing hazards as well as increasing resilience of the communities to cope with their extent in future events.

Target beneficiaries were 718 households directly through trainings, input support, physical infrastructure improvement, social and institutional networks and better management of natural resources. The project component included:

  • Community level integrated disaster risk reduction and development planning for different hazards such as floods, landslides, wildlife intrusion and fire by constructing embankments, spurs and dykes, fences
 
  • Strengthening local communities’ capacity to protect themselves, identify and implement appropriate land use and farming technologies to increase their livelihood by reducing the risks of crop failure and promote productivity in the long term.

Aims

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.

Coverage

January 2007-December 2010, Chitwan and Nawalparasi

Contact

Dinanath Bhandari