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Community managed disaster risk reduction programme evaluation

Source(s):  Catholic Organization for Relief and Development Aid (CORDAID)

Cordaid's DRR programme is fundamentally rooted at the community level. The Community-Managed DRR (CMDRR) process uses a community-driven approach. After partners have been trained in the method, they then engage in community mobilisation, leading to a hazard mapping by the community and a community designed plan to reduce their disaster risks. Cordaid then generally funds some element of the plan.

The CMDRR programme was evaluated in 2009. The purpose of the evaluation was to gain greater insight into and understanding of the efficiency, relevance, and effectiveness of the Cordaid DRR programme and the best strategies for any future DRR programme.

The evaluation showed that when implemented well, Cordaid's approach works well. Some of the CMDRR interventions are already clearly sustainable, despite the relatively short time that the project has been running. In general, activities that broadened livelihoods or produced an income stream were more likely to be sustainable and to be replicated outside the project area. The most successful DRR interventions were those which leveraged community and government resources.

There are also points for improvement: While the CMDRR approach is a bottom-up community-driven development approach, decisions on funding the plans developed by the community are still taken in a centralised top-down way. Furthermore, the time frame of many projects was too short to enable either project success or a good return on the capacity-building investment; staff turnover had an important impact on the results of the programme; and the fact that DRR is not internalised within Cordaid, or within most of their partners puts it in a weak position when it comes to encouraging their partners to adopt such approaches.

The CMDRR evaluation was based on field studies in Bagladesh, Indonesia, Malawi and Ethiopia, as well as an online survey of Cordaid partners and interviews at Cordaid's headquarters. The evaluation was commissioned by Cordaid to Channel Research (John Cosgrave as team leader).

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  • Publication date 18 Feb 2010

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