Voluntary commitment

Building disaster resilience through improved flood rescue capacity in middle and low income countries


Floods and storms are the most prevalent form of natural disasters around the globe. Mortality during such hazard events remains alarmingly high, pointing to a weakness in rescue and drowning prevention capacity. The RNLI – a voluntary organisation based in the UK - commits to developing two tools or training systems aimed at promoting flood rescue capacity within low and middle income countries.

One set of tools will be used to strengthen capacity of institutional services (such as National Emergency Services) who often have the responsibility for rescuing people in a disaster flood situation, but do not necessarily have adequate training and skills available for undertaking such operations.

The second training system is for the use of other INGOs who operate in these disaster situations and need training to ensure that safety of operational staff and community members.

Furthermore, the development process will also explore some of the equipment issues facing low and middle income countries by helping to develop low cost solutions for essential items such as throw bags.

The tools/training systems will be ‘open source’ and available on the internet for anyone to download - however, the RNLI also aims (within its resource and capacity) to provide specialist training for countries and organisations who are interested in developing water-based rescue skills for their rescue teams. The institutional training system is currently in development and is being trialed by the Bangladeshi Fire Service and Civil Defense and the INGO system is being trialed by Save the Children Bangladesh and Practical Action Bangladesh to reduce the risk for their own teams operating on the ground in flood disasters.


a. Fits within target 5 of the HFA2: Increased number of countries with national and local strategies by [a given percentage] by 20[xx]
b. Specifically within this commitment the target is to ensure that organisations with responsibility for flood rescue and prevention in countries that experience a high risk of drowning, are adequately trained by 20[xx]


a. Number of training systems completed by the RNLI
b. Number of countries that indicate which national institutions have primary responsibility for rescue in disaster flooding
c. What % of these organisations have a flood rescue strategy and training programme
d. What % of these organisations have teams trained in flood rescue
e. Number of teams available within each rescue service

Means of verification

a. Online and documentary evidence of tools developed by RNLI
b. Seek to align programmes with the United Nation’s INSARAG guidelines (International Search and Rescue Advisory Group)
c. Periodic organizational progress reports highlighting implementation of tools
d. Publications or policy documents by rescue organizations trained by RNLI


Training system complete by January 2016. Strategy for developing the indicators agreed by July 2016

Contact Person

Mr James Vaughan
International Director RNLI, Royal National Lifeboat Institution


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