Themes in disaster risk reduction

DRR-related themes and issues are wide and cross-cutting.

Most DRR topics cover more than one theme or issue, and some themes have a high degree of correlation with others. In each section, you can learn more about common DRR themes and see the latest developments.

Natural environment

  • Climate change
    Adaptation benefits, costs, measures, capacity; climate resilience, climate-proofing, climate risk management, climate change as a disaster risk driver.
  • Environment and ecosystems
    Deforestation, ecosystems and environmental management, environmental degradation, environmental impact assessment, INRM and land-use.
  • Food security and agriculture
    Agricultural micro loans and finance, agricultural risk management, climate smart agriculture, crop distribution, diversified cropping system, food storage capacity, rural land-use planning.
  • Water
    Sustainable water resource management, including: drinking water, freshwater, irrigation, preventive protection of drinking water supplies, sanitation, transboundary water management.

Human development and inclusion

  • Capacity development
    Capability utilization, capacity assessment, capacity development response, individual, community and institutional learning, development planning, training and development, institutional strengthening and development, functional capacities, technical capacities.
  • Children and youth
    Child-centred disaster risk reduction, child protection, orphans, information and participation of children and youth, impact of disasters on children and youth.
  • Civil society/NGOs
    Civic action, collective community action, community-based organization (CBO) action, grassroots action, integrative DRR, NGOs and PVOs.
  • Community-based DRR
    Community vulnerability assessment, community disaster response preparedness, community risk mitigation, local capacity assessment, local risk mapping.
  • Cultural heritage
    Heritage conservation, traditional methods, knowledge, know-how, housing; ancient communities coping practices and systems, community resilience mechanisms.
  • Gender
    Gender mainstreaming, gendered vulnerability, gender-sensitive disaster risk management.
  • Human mobility
    Participation and protection of migrants, refugees, internally displaced people; migration induced by disasters, climate migration, planned relocation.
  • Inclusion
    Participation, inclusiveness, empowerment, at-risk populations, including: children, orphans, women, disabled, elderly, homeless, LGBTs, migrants, etc.
  • Social impacts and resilience
    Coping capacity, cultural impacts, loss absorption, loss acceptance, loss of livelihood, psychological impacts, psychological support, social vulnerability.

Science knowledge and advocacy

  • Advocacy and media
    Advocacy and public awareness raising, disaster risk reporting, public information on disaster risk reduction, risk communication, social media.
  • Traditional and Indigenous knowledges
    Indigenous early warning system, local implementation, knowledge, skills, technical knowledge; traditional knowledge, transferable indigenous knowledge.
  • Science and technology
    Science-informed initiatives, technology and innovation output, informing policy-making and practice, co-designing, co-producing and co-delivering new knowledge.

State governance and economy

  • Economics of DRR
    Disaster damage and loss assessment, funding, financial effects, poverty, socio-economic impacts, cost-benefit analysis, forecast-based financing.
  • Fragility and conflict
    Humanitarian crisis, conflict, post-conflict, peacebuilding, violence.
  • Governance
    Accountability, empowerment, coordination, policy and legislative framework; regional, national, and local platforms; cross-border collaboration.
  • Insurance and risk transfer
    Disaster insurance, re-insurance, catastrophe bonds, contingency funding and credit, micro-insurance, loans, reserve funds, risk financing, risk insurance.
  • Private sector
    Business partnerships for DRR, civil action and public-private partnership, corporate social responsibility, government and private sector partnership.

Infrastructure and critical services

  • Critical infrastructure
    Communications systems and networks, health facilities, emergency evacuation shelters, elements of transportation systems, waste disposal, water supplies.
  • Education and school safety
    Disaster prevention education and curricula, education continuity, safe schools, school disaster management.
  • Health & health facilities
    Capacity of health practitioners, health facilities and services, preparedness, gender, mental health, psychosocial support, safe hospitals, trauma prevention.
  • Structural safety
    Building codes, building standards, building materials, construction, retrofitting.
  • Urban risk and planning
    Resilient cities, urban planning, urban management.

Understanding and managing risk

  • Disaster risk management
    Mitigation, preparedness, prevention, risk reduction plan, policies and strategies; preparedness and contingency planning, prospective disaster risk management.
  • Early warning
    Alert and warning dissemination; end-to-end warning system; monitoring, analysis and forecasting; people-centred early warning system, policies and strategies.
  • GIS and mapping
    Geographic information systems, hazard exposure mapping, vulnerability mapping, risk mapping.
  • Information management & technology
    Data and information exchange standards, databases and information management, portals, knowledge management, networks and communities of practice, ICT.
  • Risk identification and assessment
  • Small Island Developing States
    Small island and developing states (SIDS), Small Islands, coastal resilience.
  • Space & aerial technology
    Satellite imagery, earth observation, remote sensing, geospatial technology, UAV, drones, optical and radar imagery, meteorological satellites.
  • Systemic risk
    Systemic risks cascade across systems and sectors, triggering new hazards and amplifying existing threats – and eventually threatening entire systems. Managing systemic risks involves taking a systemic approach, working across silos.

Recovery

Recovery
Build back better, humanitarian planning for long-term risk reduction, early recovery, shelter, reconstruction, psycho-social issues for rehabilitation.

Related resources

Different symbols of hazards and disasters.
Hazards
The processes, phenomenons and human activity that may cause health impacts, property damage, social and economic disruption or environmental degradation.
Man overviewing earthquake scene
Foundational concepts and principles
Understand the concept of disaster risk, risk assessment, management strategies, and the importance of collaboration among stakeholders for effective disaster risk reduction.

Resource guides

Are you interested in a trending topic in disaster risk reduction? Do you want remain up to date on a particular subject?

The PreventionWeb resource guides bring together a selection of reference material on various disaster risk reduction topics and emerging trends.

AI for DRR

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Living with risk: A Global Review of Disaster Reduction initiatives

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A global blueprint aiming to substantially reduce disaster risk and losses in lives, livelihoods, and health, while also enhancing resilience and promoting sustainable development.

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