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  • Catholic Organization for Relief and Development Aid CORDAID
    Lutherse Burgwal 10
    2512 CB The Hague
    Netherlands, the

    Phone: +31 70 3136 300

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Catholic Organization for Relief and Development Aid (CORDAID)

Non-Governmental Organization

Cordaid, an international development organization with a network of almost a thousand partner organizations in 36 countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America, combines more than 90 years' experience and expertise in emergency aid and structural poverty eradication. Its local partner organizations work...



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Cordaid, an international development organization with a network of almost a thousand partner organizations in 36 countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America, combines more than 90 years' experience and expertise in emergency aid and structural poverty eradication. Its local partner organizations work on various themes, including health care, quality of urban life, access to markets and peace and conflict. Each year around 170 million euros is spent on initiatives in the South. Of that, over 30 million euros is available for emergency aid. A small part is spent in the Netherlands on lobby, public support and consciousness-raising.
Cordaid has five programme sectors active in different countries: Conflict Transformation; Health & Well being; Entrepeneurship; DRR and Emergency Aid; Urban Matters

Disaster Reduction Goal

Disasters are occurring more frequently and more severely than before because of climate change. These hazards can often not be prevented; however they can be prevented from turning into disasters by mitigation and preparedness. Through Cordaids Disaster Risk Reduction programme, Cordaid aims to do exactly that. The goal is to have communities not only prepared but also able to prevent a hazard from turning into a disaster or to mitigate its effects.

Policies and Programmes in DRR

Since 2004 Cordaid has been supporting 100 southern partner organizations and the communities they work with in 10 countries (El Salvador; Honduras; Uganda; Kenya; Ethiopia; Malawi; Zambia; Indonesia; India; Bangladesh). Between those countries, the risks addressed differ: from landslides to volcanoes, and from droughts to floods.
Partners are trained in DRR, and in turn they train communities and staff of other development organizations. These partner organizations are increasingly gaining recognition from both their governments and peer organizations for the value of the work they are doing among the communities.
Cordaid is currently developing further ideas for expanding and scaling-up CMDRR and giving more emphasis to long term approaches that increase the focus on climate change adaptation. At the same time, Cordaid is continuing to work to integrate CMDRR and climate change adaptation (CCA) into all its development policies and programmes, like the conflict transformation programme. Furthermore, Cordaid is constantly liaising with partners, communities and other leading international NGOs for ways to improve the effectiveness of CMDRR and CCA.

Membership in Key Networks

Cordaid is part of the alliance Partners for Resilience together with the Netherlands Red Cross, CARE Netherlands, the Red Cross Climate Center and Wetlands International.

Making disaster risk reduction a policy priority, institutional strengthening (HFA 1)

Currently, Cordaid is aiming to mainstream DRR in all its other programme sectors: Conflict Transformation; Health & Wellbeing; Entrepreneurship; Urban Matters.

Risk assessment and early warning systems (HFA 2)

Community managed disaster risk assessment and analysis is part of the CMDRR programme. Disaster risk assessments and analysis are conducted in a participatory community setting. Partners facilitate this process, using different tools to analyze hazards, vulnerabilities and capacities of people. Examples of such tools are conducting a hazard history, making a hazard map with local materials (leaves, sticks, stones etc), filming of hazards and vulnerabilities by community members (this is a successful approach in Central America), conducting a problems- and objectives tree (including hazards and vulnerabilities), identifying and ranking of vulnerable groups and a matrix to order individual and community capacity.

Education, information and public awareness (HFA 3)

Communities are informed about the expected change in the climate in their area. Through the participatory risk assessment community members become aware of the risks threatening them and what they can do to reduce those risks.

Reducing underlying risk factors (HFA 4)

Underlying risk factors are reduced by community action plans, community organization and linking with the government. Community action plans fill the capacity gaps identified during the risk assessment. They are designed and implemented by community members. The intervening NGO takes a facilitating role in this, but is not the main actor, this is the community itself.
In order to make sure the action plans are carried out well, people get organized, for instance through DRR forums or committees: one can also think of Early Warning Committees, Rescue committees, Health committees, a Savings Group and others.
Once there is some progress in community action plans, communities show this plan to the government, who can then decide to support to plan financially, as has happened in several of our DRR programmes.

Preparedness for effective response (HFA 5)

Part of making an action plan to reduce risk is designing a contingency plan. In this plan, the way to act in case an emergency arises is put into detail. In the case of the Merapi eruption in Indonesia in October/November 2010 it was proved that these plans can actually make a difference in saving lives and livelihoods (See case studies about this uploaded by Cordaid).

Other activities

Participatory monitoring, evaluation and learning system. The ability to learn from events can further enhance resilience. This last step is still developing; it has been piloted in Kenya in November 2010.

Disaster Risk Reduction Focal Point(s)

Cordaids approach to DRR is Community Managed Disaster Risk Reduction (CMDRR). CMDRR is different from most other DRR approaches in that it starts at the community level, by stimulating and facilitating community members to increase their own capacity to address disaster risk. It is not implemented in communities, but by communities themselves, who lead the way. In this way, CMDRR enables communities and individuals to prepare themselves for hazards in a way that reflects their own priorities.


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