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Disaster risk management

As a result of climate change, the frequency and severity of heat waves, droughts, flooding events and storms across the globe is increasing. Amplified by higher levels of exposure and persistent vulnerability, the increasing hazard risk is resulting in higher human and economic losses from disaster events. The impact of losses is felt by governments and communities alike.

Unless climate-related disaster risk management is integrated into plans for economic growth, expanded agricultural production and infrastructure planning for example, countries will face ever more serious economic and livelihood losses and interrupted development progress. Efforts to make countries more resilient to climate-related disasters and to scale up short- and long-term disaster risk management strategies are urgently needed.

We are committed to enhancing the effectiveness of disaster risk management in climate compatible development policies and practicies, at national and local levels.

In support of this goal, CDKN funds a large body of research, technical assistance and knowledge management work on different aspects of climate related disaster risk management, across Africa, Asia and Latin America and the Caribbean. We are working to:

1. Increase the availability, accessibility and use of scientific information on disaster risks for a wide range of decision makers in developing countries.

2. Understand and shape how national systems for managing disaster risks are adapted to the impact of climate change.

3. Improve the integration of disaster risk management in effective climate compatible development at national level and especially within powerful parts of government.

4. Encourage more coherent climate-related disaster risk governance across ministries, civil societies and private sector bodies.

Examples of the breadth of projects relating to disaster risk management include: a series of policy outreach events and sets of thematic and regional briefings to bring key messages from the IPCC's Special Report on Extreme Events to policy and practice audiences; a research project working with the Ahmedabad municipal government in India to reduce the health impacts of extreme heat events, resulting in the government's launch of a Heat Action Plan; and support to the El Salvador government in developing a National Climate Risk Management framework, enhancing the government's management of and response to climate-related disasters.

See a full list of CDKN's projects on climate-related disaster risk management,

As part of the Climate-Related Disaster Risk Management Theme, CDKN is also funding targeted research addressing key knowledge gaps, and conducting a series of learning events and activities. A Latin America & Caribbean-based project is investigating the drivers and barriers to the use of climate and disaster risk assessments by local and national governments, and holding a series of national and regional workshops with stakeholders to discuss this issue in late 2013. In Asia in June 2013, CDKN convened project partners and other key stakeholders in Bangkok to promote collaboration, move their projects forward, and share experiences of what it takes to integrate disaster risk management in key sectors across government. Ahead of this Learning and Innovation Hub, CDKN's Dina Khan shares her reflections on some key questions examined in the workshop in a blog on the CDKN website. A briefing note drawing on learning from this workshop will be available on this site at a later date.

CDKN's Climate-Related Disaster Risk Management Theme is led by Tom Mitchell, and ODI Research Fellow Emily Wilkinson is this theme's Technical Advisor. Please contact Theme Coordinator, Amy Kirbyshire in the first instance for more information.

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CDKN Highlights

Sheltering From a Gathering Storm: Temperature Resilience in Pakistan

This case study, Sheltering From a Gathering Storm: Temperature Resilience in Pakistan, explores the economic impact of temperature on shelter, the fastest growing segment in the rapidly growing cities of Pakistan. It provides insights into the economic and nonfinancial returns of adaptive, resilient shelter designs that take into consideration hazards such as typhoons, flooding, and temperature increases. [more...]

Sheltering From a Gathering Storm: Flood Resilience in India

This case study, Sheltering From a Gathering Storm: Flood Resilience in India, focuses on key issues related to housing in Gorakhpur, India, and provides insights into the economic and nonfinancial returns of adaptive, resilient shelter designs that take into consideration hazards such as flooding, and temperature increases. [more...]

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