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OPPORTUNITY: CDKN invites research on climate-related disaster risk management and adaptation

Climate change is already affecting the frequency and severity of heat waves, droughts and heavy rain in many parts of the world. Amplified by growing levels of exposure and persistent vulnerability, these hazards are producing higher human and economic losses from disaster events than ever before. Disasters interrupt development progress at all scales, from the household level upward. Recognising this, governments are starting to prioritise the management of climate-related disaster risk and adaption to climate change in public investment decisions.

The impacts of disasters are not felt equally across the globe or by different social groups. Recent events such as Typhoon Haiyan and Cyclone Phailin in 2013 have served to highlight radically different experiences with disasters across regions due variations in risk management and vulnerability. It is well known that disasters have a disproportionate impact on the poorest and most vulnerable in society, who are often most exposed to hazards and have very limited capacity to prepare and recover from these extreme events.

To reverse the trend of increasing economic and livelihood losses, CDKN and others are working to support governments to integrate climate-related disaster risk management and climate change adaptation into development planning. This includes plans and policy for economic growth, development of urban settlements, agricultural production and infrastructure. A recent CDKN Guide on mainstreaming DRM in key sectors features a selection of CDKN-funded case studies working to achieve this goal.

Despite their widespread application, the effectiveness and socioeconomic impacts of disaster risk management and climate change adaptation policies are not well understood. Improved knowledge of the effect these policies have on income levels and on different social groups, for example, is needed to support governments in developing disaster risk management and climate change adaptation policies that are effective and which benefit the most vulnerable members of society. Similarly, there is limited understanding of the unique experience of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in managing disaster risk and adapting to climate change, including in the informal economy. Given that that the informal sector accounts for over half of global employment, almost 80% of MSMEs in developing countries, and provides employment especially for the most impoverished, this knowledge gap is a significant impediment to developing effective risk management and adaptation policies.

CDKN is therefore commissioning new research on these issues under the new Climate compatible development Impact Research fund. This research will deepen understanding of the nature of disaster risk management and climate change adaptation policies, their contribution to climate compatible development more broadly, and modalities for ensuring that benefits are felt by the poorest and most vulnerable.

See this page on the Climate compatible development Impact Research Fund for more details.


Image credit Oxfam.


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