Expert of the Week   for  04 - 10 May 2015

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Sanjaya Bhatia

Head of Office Incheon

UNISDR Office for Northeast Asia and Global Education and Training Institute for Disaster Risk Reduction at Incheon (UNISDR ONEA-GETI) Expertise:  Mainstreaming DRR and CCA into development policy, Recovery and reconstruction planning.

As Head of ONEA-GETI Sanjaya runs training programs focussed on mainstreaming DRR and CCA into development. Before taking this position he worked as a head of the International Recovery Platform (IRP) - Secretariat at Kobe, Japan where he led the development of the Guidance Notes on Recovery and oversees a capacity building program for national and local governments, along with other knowledge management functions. He trained over 850 government officials in that period. He has worked with the Government of India, the World Bank, and the United Nations in the field of disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation for over 25 years. He has managed projects for mainstreaming of disaster risk reduction and CCA and ex-post recovery in India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Haiti, Iran, Turkey, Lao PDR, Cambodia, China, Serbia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Pakistan, Honduras, Panama, El Salvador, Belarus, Ukraine, Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Ethiopia, Somalia, Georgia, Armenia, Mongolia and the Philippines. He was instrumental in the construction of 6,500 seismically safe primary school buildings. He holds a degree in law and a Masters Degree in Public Administration from New York University. He has authored a number of publications.

Build Back Better: An opportunity to mainstream DRR and CCA into development

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QQuestion by Ms Roberto brutus

your point is very realistic however my concern is that the responsibility of building back better has been reduced by unsound policies among central government people in many underdeveloped and least developing and some development countries as well , even after Hurricane Katrina in the USA which is a first world country it is still problematic? Pragmatically what do you propose straightforward

Ms Roberto brutus Instructor - Researcher | Norsouthed Cooperative Innovation Foundation

APosted on 06 May 2015

You are very true. Though build back better is logical, it is not being followed as a policy in most countries. In my view the gaps include:

1. Lack of awareness that build back better can be achieved

2. Not sufficient information on build back better, and limited access to real examples and cases of build back better

3. Lack of capacity and understanding of the topic

For the way forward, I can mention the International Recovery Platform, which provides very good compilation of cases and examples of how governments around the world, both developed and developing, have tackled the challenges of reconstruction and recovery, and have achieved elements of build back better. 

Have a look at:

The guidance notes have over 550 cases and examples, explained in very simple format.

The IRP also provides training on pre-disaster recovery planning, both directly and through the IRP partners. 

All organizations engaged in recovery need to help the governments build their capacity, and understanding of build back better.