Considering the important role that communities play in reducing vulnerabilities and responding to the early recovery phase of any disaster, the disaster management framework of India has identified community-based capacity building as an important element. This training manual will serve as a handy reference for Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRI) in India as well as other organisations working in the field of disaster management in the capacity building of the communities living in high-risk areas. It is a step towards laying a strong foundation to make at risk communities more resilient and proactive when disaster strikes. This would also facilitate institutionalising the efforts taken under the government’s and UNDP’s Disaster Risk Management Programme through the local government systems.
The programme envisaged people’s participation in identifying specific risks and their own existing capacities to cope with risk in the context of multi-hazards. Accordingly, the needs of the vulnerable groups were prioritized and plans were developed for preparedness and response through participation of communities and local self governments. The programme also developed capabilities of a core group of trainers to cater to the needs of PRI members in order to further the provisions of the Disaster Management Act (2005) and the Disaster Management Policy that promote involvement of PRIs in disaster management.
Building capabilities of functionaries and community members on the various facets of disaster preparedness and management was one of the major components of the partnership between the Government of India and the United Nations Development Programme’s Disaster Risk Management Programme (2002-2009). The programme was implemented under a multi-donor framework funded by AUSAID, DIPECHO, DFID, EU, Governement of Japan, UNDP, UNISDR, UN-Trust Fund and USAID.
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