Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction 2011
Revealing Risk, Redefining Development
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Chapter 4     Progress Against the Hyogo Framework for Action

National governments report major progress against the objectives and goals of the Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA), particularly in strengthening disaster management and the institutional and legislative arrangements and mechanisms that underpin it. Significant momentum in the implementation of the HFA is also being generated through the development of regional and sub-regional strategies, frameworks, plans and programmes. Although early warning systems can be further improved, investments in enhancing preparedness and response are paying off. As highlighted in Chapter 2, weather-related disaster mortality is now declining.

In contrast, many governments and regional organizations find it difficult to address the underlying risk drivers. Despite a manifest commitment to disaster risk management (DRM), few countries systematically account for disaster losses and impacts or comprehensively assess their risks. The political and economic imperative to invest in DRM remains weak, with few countries reporting dedicated national budget lines or adequate financing for risk reduction.

Factoring DRM into national and sector planning and public investment is a particular challenge for many countries, as is the use of social protection to help vulnerable households and communities. Whereas many countries reported improvements in their legislative and institutional arrangements and have decentralized functions to local government, this is not necessarily leading to more effective implementation. In addition, gender considerations must be better incorporated into DRM across all geographic and income regions.

This chapter is based on reports submitted by national governments as part of the HFA Progress Review process through the HFA Monitor. It does not present any additional information or attempt to triangulate the information provided by countries, but demonstrates how governments perceive their country’s progress and the challenges they face. Moreover, it is a representation of countries’ inputs into the risk reduction and management process rather than a reflection of outcomes, which to a large extent will only be measured against reduced losses in the future.

4.1 The 2009–2011 HFA Progress Review

The HFA Progress Review enables countries to reflect on past efforts, future challenges and opportunities in DRM. By offering a framework for analysis, it catalyzes both strategic and action-oriented planning.

The HFA is a comprehensive set of actions that a country can take to strengthen its risk governance capacities. The HFA Progress Review allows countries to reflect on their efforts to strengthen their capacities and to identify strengths and gaps (Box 4.1). By offering a framework for analysis, it catalyzes both strategic and action-oriented planning. Where governments have made serious efforts to engage key public, civil society and academic stakeholders in the review process, communication and consensus building have improved (see Box 4.2). Most importantly, the discussion of indicators helps generate a common language and understanding, thus fostering real dialogue.

Box 4.1 The HFA Monitor

In 2005, 168 member states endorsed the Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA), which aims to achieve a substantial reduction of disaster losses, in lives and in the social, economic and environmental assets of countries and communities by 2015.

The HFA Monitor is a multi-tier online tool for regional, national and local progress review, facilitated by UNISDR and led by country governments. Achievements in each core indicator are rated on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 representing ‘minor’ achievement and 5 indicating ‘comprehensive’ achievement.1  For the current review period, several questions have been added to allow more in-depth analysis. It also gives governments the opportunity to assess their achievements and challenges, and to upload relevant documents, such as legislation and reports.

More than 100 countries and territories used the HFA Monitor in 2007–2009, and 133 are participating in the 2009–2011 review. The process is led and owned by inter-governmental organizations, governments and local government institutions at regional, national and local levels, respectively. Many governments are engaged in consultation across key sectors, including agriculture, water, transport, health and education. For example, the review in Panama involved more than 43 actors from different ministries, including external relations, economic planning, education, housing and land management; the private sector; and civil society, including universities. In Cuba, the national statistics department, the ministry of information and communication, and the transport ministry are all involved in the process.

The quantitative and qualitative data in this section are derived from the HFA Monitor and are based on the 82 reports submitted up to February 2011 by the relevant authorities for the period June 2009 to May 2011.

Box 4.2 Using the HFA Monitor to reflect on the past and plan for the future in Indonesia2 

In Indonesia, the National Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction (NPDRR) is an independent forum that was established to support and facilitate cooperation among stakeholders in the HFA Progress Review. During the 2007–2009 review period, the role of the NPDRR remained limited because of its relatively weak status as a new organization. During the 2009–2011 review period, however, the National Platform was able to lead in the process.

Using the HFA Monitor tools provided by UNISDR, the NPDRR accommodated many different actors working in disaster risk management, and began a series of activities in support of the review process. With the HFA Monitor template as a starting point, the NPDRR organized focus-group discussions and national workshops to review progress.

Coordination among local platforms, international NGOs, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and UN agencies allowed a final draft report to be completed and submitted to UNISDR. Many stakeholders contributed to this process by providing in-kind and financial support for meetings and facilitation. The report has led to three major outcomes:

  1. A HFA Monitor report that has generated a better understanding of the HFA and its relevance
  2. to DRM and development in Indonesia.
  3. A multi-stakeholder dialogue that brings together different government departments, NGOs and international organizations, the media and business sector. The NPDRR aims to involve even more government stakeholders in the next review.
  4. A common language, vision and understanding of the responsibility for disaster risk reduction in Indonesia.

Although the HFA Monitor does not measure risk governance capacities directly, it identifies successes and highlights challenges, irrespective of a country’s starting point. The national reports do not provide in-depth reasons for progress or lack thereof, though a number of countries provide information on the underlying drivers and barriers to progress. It is also important to note that countries are addressing the HFA from very different baselines. There are enormous objective differences between, for example, the risk governance capacities of Switzerland or New Zealand and Afghanistan or Haiti (see Box 4.6). Regionally, 58 percent of the countries and territories in the Americas, 72 percent in Asia, 61 percent in Africa, 53 percent in Europe, and 28 percent in Oceania participated in the HFA Progress Review (Figure 4.1).

Figure 4.1
Regional distribution of participation in the 2009–2011 HFA Progress Review
Figure 4.1

The number and quality of the reports and associated documentation indicate continued and increased commitment to the HFA, which now constitutes the single most important source of information on DRM at the country level. It also provides a unique insight into where governments themselves see significant achievements and identify remaining gaps.

For this review period, local and regional monitoring frameworks, with attendant indicators, have also been developed. In light of the fact that local governments often have widely differing risk governance capacities, the national averages reported by the HFA Monitor hide large discrepancies in capacities among different areas within a country. For example, there are often dramatic differences between the capacities in a strong municipal administration in a capital or large city and those in weakly resourced localities in remote rural areas. The local monitoring framework factors local government contributions and community perspectives into national planning.

Municipalities and cities that have signed up to the ‘Making Cities Resilient’ campaign 3 have access to the Ten Essentials – a checklist that helps them monitor their progress in managing disaster risks. The Ten Essentials are aligned to the local indicators, thus allowing local progress to be highlighted (Box 4.3). The regional framework has also aided reporting by regional inter-governmental organizations.

Box 4.3 Using the HFA Monitor at the local level in the Philippines 4 

Albay Province in the Philippines applied the local-level HFA Monitor indicators in 2010 and assessed its progress as a province at 4.6 (with 1 representing minor achievement and 5 indicating comprehensive achievement). A good example of Albay’s commitment to DRM is its allocation of more than 4.5 percent of its 2010 budget to risk reduction and climate change adaptation.

Albay was used as a model for the Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act of 2010, which requires a Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office in every local government unit. The province has 25 permanent emergency research and disaster specialists, and risk mapping is a common and essential tool for all existing hazards. Early warning systems are in place and communications chains are clarified and tested. Safe schools and hospitals are a major priority. Whereas Albay is exposed to multiple hazards (typhoons, volcanic eruptions, landslides and floods), its governor, Joey Salceda, pioneered the ‘zero casualty policy’ with pre-emptive evacuation and a clear business-continuity plan for both government and the private sector.

Governor Salceda states that “disaster risk reduction is an investment, not a cost. It increases business returns”, particularly where critical infrastructure is effectively protected. Albay has seen a surge in investments in recent years, despite typhoons Reming and Milenyo, and the Mayon Volcano eruption. The Province is currently developing a Framework Plan that will emphasize reducing risks to its infrastructure.

1 See Annex for core indicators. For more information on the methodology, a complete set of indicators, key questions and means of verification and the HFA Monitor reporting template, see

2 Information provided by Hening Parlan, Indonesian National Platform, February 2011.

3 The 2010–2011 World Disaster Reduction Campaign “Making Cities Resilient” addresses issues of local governance and urban risk while drawing upon previous ISDR Campaigns on safer schools and hospitals, as well as on the sustainable urbanization principles developed in the UN-Habitat World Urban Campaign 2009–2013. For more information see

4 Presentation made by Government of Albay at the “Future of Cities”, ICLEI’s 20th Anniversary Congress, Session A2 on City Resilience, Incheon, Republic of Korea, 7–9 October 2010 (; and draft documentation of the work by Albay Province against the Ten Essentials, 20 December 2010 (unpublished).

GAR 11 Background documents

GAR11GAR 2011 Contributing Papers

Please see the list of Country Reports in the Section "What has been done".
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