Policies and Programmes in DRR
In 1998 the United Nations General Assembly decided to, “transfer to UNDP the responsibilities of the Emergency Relief Coordinator for operational activities for natural disaster mitigation, prevention and preparedness (A/RES/52/12B, para 16).” In 2001 UNDP’s Executive Board recognized that, “crisis prevention and disaster mitigation should be integral parts of sustainable human development strategies (DP/2002/2).” This resulted in the creation of BCPR to enhance UNDP’s efforts for sustainable development, working with partners to reduce the incidence and impact of disasters and violent conflicts and to establish the solid foundations for peace and recovery from crisis, thereby advancing the MDGs on poverty reduction. The UNDP Strategic Plan (2008-2011, extended to 2013) key result areas include enhancing disaster risk management capabilities and strengthening post-disaster governance to restore the foundations for local development.
Through more than 20 years of work in disaster reduction and recovery, UNDP has been able to define its niche areas of comparative advantage in an increasingly crowded field, specifically through: country office presence and trust of partners; capacity development and thematic focus; UN System Coordination through the RC system; capacity to build global partnerships for comprehensive DRR programmes; know-how to manage post-disaster recovery assessments and coordination of the Global Early Recovery Cluster.
UNDP’s disaster risk reduction and recovery programming at national level focuses on three key areas: (i) strengthening national capacities in disaster prevention, risk reduction and reducing vulnerability to future hazard events; (ii) supporting the post-disaster response and recovery efforts; and (iii) addressing programming principles of UNDP, namely gender equality and South-South cooperation. In 2008, UNDP developed an Eight-Point Agenda for women’s empowerment and gender equality in crisis settings. The complex interface of disaster with conflict and political instability is also an essential consideration in UNDP programming. To achieve these goals, BCPR has created positions for full-time senior regional disaster reduction advisors in all five regions in which UNDP operates and funds national disaster reduction advisors in UNDP offices in high risk countries.
At global level, UNDP provides services to high-risk countries such as policy guidance, advocacy, technical assistance, global knowledge sharing and partnership building with other global actors along the following key thematic areas:
• Global Risk Identification Programme
• Capacity for Disaster Reduction Initiative
• Climate Risk Management
• Urban Risk Management
• Governance and Mainstreaming of Disaster Risk Reduction into Development Planning
• Gender Sensitive Disaster Reduction and Recovery
• International Recovery Platform
UNDP has positioned itself as a key member of the UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR) system and plays leadership roles in specific technical areas in line with the priorities of the HFA through UNISDR mechanisms such as the International Recovery Platform, Global Risk Identification Programme, Capacity for Disaster Reduction Initiative and Partnership for Environment and Disaster Risk Reduction.