Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction 2015
Making development sustainable: The future of disaster risk management

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Part II - Chapter 6
6.1 The HFA as a catalyst
Progress in some areas has been significant: over 100 countries now have dedicated national institutional arrangements for disaster risk management; more than 120 countries have undergone legal or policy reforms; over 190 have established focal points for disaster risk reduction; and 85 have created national multi-stakeholder platforms since 2007.
Governance refers to the different ways in which governments, the private sector and in general all individuals and institutions in a society organize themselves to manage their common affairs (UNDP, 2010

UNDP (United Nations Development Programme). 2010,A guide to UNDP Democratic Governance Practice, Bureau for Development Policy, Democratic Governance Group. New York.. .
). The concept of governance includes formal and explicit mechanisms such as legislation, policies, mandatory standards and administrative procedures through which societies are organized as well as the wide range of informal and implicit arrangements that mediate social, economic and political relationships and the management of territory and resources.
Governance arrangements evolve over time in the context of the broader political economy, reflecting how social, economic and political relationships emerge, mesh and interweave in space and time, and become infused with and justified by symbolic values relating to notions such as democracy, freedom, human rights or the nation-state (Ishiwatari, 2013

Ishiwatari, Mikio. 2013,Disaster Risk Management at the National Level, ADBI Working Paper Series. No. 448 November 2013. Tokyo: Asian Development Bank Institute.. .
Within this broader governance concept, disaster risk governance refers to the specific
arrangements that societies put in place to manage their disaster risk (UNISDR, 2011a

UNISDR. 2011a,Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction: Revealing Risk, Redefining Development, Geneva, Switzerland: UNISDR.. .
; UNDP, 2013a

UNDP (United Nations Development Programme). 2013a,Issue Brief: Disaster Risk Governance. .
Gall et al., 2014a

Gall, Melanie, Susan Cutter and Khai Nguyen. 2014a,Governance in Disaster Risk Management, 2015 Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction. Section on the Future of Disaster Risk Management. Hazards and Vulnerability Research Institute, University of South Carolina, July 2014.. .
) within a broader context of risk governance (Renn, 2008

Renn, Ortwin. 2008,Risk Governance: Coping with Uncertainty in a Complex World, UK and USA: Earthscan.. .
). This reflects how risk is valued against a backdrop of broader social and economic concerns (Holley et al., 2011

Holley, Cameron, Neil Gunningham and Clifford Shearing. 2011,The New Environmental Governance, Earthscan, Routledge.. .
). For example, the fact that a country adopts and enforces a seismic building code is as much a reflection of the importance of safe buildings for economic development and social well-being as it is a safeguard against earthquake risk.
The HFA placed considerable emphasis on different aspects of governance (Box 6.1), including the development of institutional and legislative frameworks, the allocation of resources and the mobilization of communities. The model of disaster risk governance proposed by the HFA was influenced by the approach adopted by Colombia in 1989 and subsequently by many other middle and low-income countries (with important variations). This model stressed a horizontally and vertically integrated systems approach with strong coordination across sectors and a delegation of responsibilities to the local level based on the principle of subsidiarity. It emphasized the adoption of regulation and other mechanisms to ensure compliance and provide incentives. The model also recommended specific budgetary allocations for disaster risk reduction, and it promoted the participation of volunteers and communities. At the same time, it stressed the importance of integrating disaster risk reduction into development policies, including poverty reduction, on the basis of strong political determination.
The model of disaster risk governance proposed by the HFA is one of the areas in which countries report greatest progress. And these efforts have involved not just a minority but a large majority of countries. Although it is still incomplete, the transition from emergency management to disaster risk management has picked up momentum.
In practice, however, most resources continue to be invested in strengthening capacities for disaster management, and there has been limited success in applying policies, norms, standards and regulations to manage and reduce risk across development sectors.
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