Community Resilience: The Foundation of Resilient Nations

Date & Time:
Wednesday 22 May (09:00-11:00)

Room 2


Community Practitioners Platform for Resilience Global Network for DRR

Focal Point:
Ms. Regina Pritchet, Mr. Jhocas Castillo (CPP Members)
Mr. Marcus Oxley; Ms. Anne Akwango, Mr. Harjeet Singh (GNDR Members)
Ms. Suranjana Gupta
Mr Glenn Dolcemascolo, UNISDR (
Ms. Aurélia Blin, UNISDR (


Among the most significant developments in disaster risk reduction is the remarkably clear call for local action and community engagement in building resilience. Beyond the declarations, recent years have shown how community driven approaches are having impact and how partnership with communities promise a new scale of progress in reducing disaster risk. This session gives voice to a people centered approach and stimulates dialogue around principles that could underpin the HFA2. It encourages closer consideration of the enabling environment that supports partnership with community leaders and local social institutions. Particular attention is given to maximizing key entry points of common interest such as concern with extensive risk, preparedness planning for local action and risk information for local decision making.

The drive towards communities is rooted in the pragmatic recognition that the people who bear the burden of disasters – women and men, girls and boys, farmers and laborers, owners of small to medium enterprises – also have unique capacities to build resilience whether they live in developed or developing countries. Leveraging their knowledge, social institutions and commitment is arguably the greatest untapped resource in national efforts to reduce risk. Unlocking existing sources of resilience involves a community-driven process of experiential learning and innovation rooted in awareness of risks - where local people, local organisations and their leaders are the drivers of change, where change must come from within to be legitimate and lasting.

Moreover, community-based approaches are indispensable if we intend to address the needs of the most vulnerable. Low-income households are among the most affected, with women and children disproportionally suffering the greatest losses. For many of the most affected by disasters, the daily reality is one of poverty, informality and fragility, where vulnerable people face multiple threats from small-scale frequently occurring disasters. Conditions are even more severe in areas affected by conflict and insecurity where state institutions are weak. In these situations affected communities often have little choice but to assume primary responsibilities for the security and protection of their lives, livelihoods and assets.

Local communities all over the world are already innovating and testing solutions to advance resilient development. In order to sustain and scale up innovative solutions, communities must collaborate with institutional actors such as local and national governments who have the ability to formalize and resource community-driven resilience strategies and mainstream these into development. Where such collaborations and partnerships are underway with local or national governments, private sector or civil society, it is important to draw on these experiences in considering a framework for resilience beyond 2015.

An effective post-2015 DRM framework would adequately represent the local realities, including those in low-income households. Importantly, DRM frameworks must understand how formal state institutions can strategically connect with informal structures and dynamic social processes in order to strengthen community resilience. External actors and national government play a vital role in enabling, facilitating and nurturing processes to enhance community resilience. A clear articulation of engagement mechanisms, stakeholder roles, mutual benefits and challenges of partnering are key to understanding and replicating effective partnerships that can scale up the local implementation of DRR.

Session Objectives

To target, encourage and instruct a variety of stakeholder on how each can partner towards community-driven resilience.

To provide participants with evidence that community-driven practices and strategies are creative, viable and bankable.

To consider how the community-driven actions can feature in the HFA2.

Relevance of the initiative

Community centered approach highlighted in previous Global Platforms and Mid-Term Review of HFA.

Subject’s link to post 2015

Communities will be key constituents in post-2015 consultations.

Background documents (Attachments coming soon)

CPP manual, Outcome document from the Community Practitioners Academy, Views from the Frontlines research.

Other information
News items will be regularly published on the Global Platform homepage at:

Expected Outcomes

To have clearly articulated the roles, strategies and win-win outcomes of partnering with communities on DRR. From this, we hope to increase partnerships with organized groups of community practitioners who will be champions of community-driven DRR.


Moderator: Andrew Bidnell, InsideOut Consultant Company, United Kingdom

Speakers (as at 19 May)

• Ms. Haydee Rodriguez, President, Union de Cooperativas Las Brumas, Nicaragua
• Ms. Godavari Dange, Director of Sakhi Federation, India
• Ms. Jacqueline Araya Montero, Coordinator of Community Emergency Committee at Puerto Viejo and Social Promoter for Rural Water Systems, Sarapiqui, Costa Rica
• Ms. Ann Akwango, Director of Programs for Development Network for Indigenous Voluntary Associations (DENIVA), Uganda
• Hon. Alex Byarugaba, Member of Parliament, Isingiro District, Uganda
• Mr. Jiuta Korovulavula, Regional Disaster Program Officer, Foundation of the Peoples of the South Pacific International
• H.E. Ms. Nikki Kaye, Minister of Civil Defence, New Zealand
• Cel. Marcio Moura Motta, Sub-Secretary for Civil Defense, Rio de Janeiro State, Brazil
• Ms. Violet Shivutse, Shibuye Community Health Workers, Kenya


Communities in Action: Godovari Dange, Federation Leader, Swayam Shikshan Prayog (India)

Communities in Action: Haydee Rodriguez, President of Union de Cooperativas Las Brumas (Nicaragua)

Communities in Action: Ann Akwango, Director of Programs for Development Network for Indigenous Voluntary Associations (Uganda)

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