Terminology

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Capacity

Source(s):  United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) [ 2 February 2017 ]

Definition:
The combination of all the strengths, attributes and resources available within an organization, community or society to manage and reduce disaster risks and strengthen resilience. Annotation: Capacity may include infrastructure, institutions, human knowledge and skills, and collective attributes such as social relationships, leadership and management.

Coping capacity is the ability of people, organizations and systems, using available skills and resources, to manage adverse conditions, risk or disasters. The capacity to cope requires continuing awareness, resources and good management, both in normal times as well as during disasters or adverse conditions. Coping capacities contribute to the reduction of disaster risks.

Capacity assessment is the process by which the capacity of a group, organization or society is reviewed against desired goals, where existing capacities are identified for maintenance or strengthening and capacity gaps are identified for further action.

Capacity development is the process by which people, organizations and society systematically stimulate and develop their capacities over time to achieve social and economic goals. It is a concept that extends the term of capacity-building to encompass all aspects of creating and sustaining capacity growth over time. It involves learning and various types of training, but also continuous efforts to develop institutions, political awareness, financial resources, technology systems and the wider enabling environment.

  • About the Terminology The UNISDR Terminology aims to promote a common understanding and usage of disaster risk reduction concepts and to assist the disaster risk reduction efforts of authorities, practitioners and the public.

Please note: The 2009 Terminology was updated following the request of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (paragraph 50), which recommended the establishment of an open-ended intergovernmental expert working group.