- Documents and publications
Local government powers for disaster risk reduction: A study on local-level authority and capacity for resilience
This report documents a baseline study to identify the type of authorities and capacities that local governments possess to undertake actions for DRR and making cities resilient conducted by the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) in partnership with the Center for Urban Disaster Risk Reduction and Resilience (CUDRR+R).
This report is the first attempt to develop some form of benchmarks with respect to Ten Essentials promoted by the Making Cities Resilient Campaign. It is based on a stocktaking research of the collaborating partners and Campaign cities all over the world. It enables DRR practitioners in both developing and industrialised countries to understand the current situation and compare how well their provinces, districts, cities, municipalities, and townships are doing in terms of becoming more resilient in the face of mounting impacts of disasters and climate change.
Examined, in detail, are seven types of authorities and capacities, and the level of legal or authorized (delegated or devolved) responsibility for local governments to undertake 13 DRR and resilience building actions. The analysis revealed how local governments differ in terms of level of powers (authorities and capacities) to undertake DRR actions/actvities. Local governments have the highest level of powers to “develop a city vision or strategic plan that may include concepts of resilience,” followed by powers to develop “riskinformed urban plans” and “disaster management plans.” Local governments share their powers with other institutions mostly for ecosystem services, to undertake risk analysis, and for post-disaster recovery and reconstruction. On the other hand, local governments have the least level of powers to develop and enforce the use of building codes and to connect to early warning systems (EWS).
As the different tiers of government recognize the significance of disaster risk governance and the need to allocate authorities and responsibilities for undertaking local level DRR action, capacity development necessarily follows as local empowerment promotes DRR action. This is essential in the implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction.