Note: This is a part of a comprehensive step-by-step approach for creating a Community Based Disaster Risk Reduction (CBDRR) program. Check out the main topic page, CBDRR Practitioners Guidelines, to learn more about the full guidelines.
This is the Identification of key RCRC participants and external stakeholders in the initial stages of a CBDRR programme. Who is identified and engaged depends on the context and type of programme under development. However, because disaster risk reduction is cross-sectoral and at times complex, it should systematically include a stakeholder identification process.
What do I need to know?
Why is this important?
Engaging stakeholders at all levels is important because successful risk reduction generally requires multiple actors to achieve sustained impact. Engaging stakeholders has many potential benefits:
- This is done in order to obtain stakeholder support and assure their continuing engagement for the duration of the programme and ideally beyond.
- Engagement can support scale-up or replication of the programme; it can attract additional financial resources and contribute to the sustainability of the interventions.
- It can provide access to external technical capacities along with access to new data and information which the NS may not have.
- It can improve the quality as well as inclusiveness of the programme; it can help avoid duplication of efforts.
- Information sharing and learning may be more effective if multiple actors are involved.
What are key questions to answer when deciding which stakeholders to engage?
- Who are the key stakeholders engaged with Disaster Management at community level, considering who is or might be involved before, during or after a disaster? Consider both sudden onset disasters as well as more chronic, long term ones like drought. Have epidemics been a problem in the general area under consideration?
- What is the stakeholder’s added-value? How might their skills and services complement the potential programme?
- What is the motivation and capacity of these potential stakeholders or partners?
- What is your primary motivation for engaging each stakeholder?
- How does engaging the proposed stakeholder impact, positively or negatively, on the NS mandate and RC principles?
- Was a risk analysis of a potential partnership with a particular stakeholder conducted? What were the results?
- What would be the role of this stakeholder in the design and implementation of the programme? What role could they play after the programme ends?
- Would it be easy to set up and maintain mutual trust and effective communication with this stakeholder?
What are the basic steps in stakeholder identification and engagement?
There are numerous ways to identify and engage stakeholders; practitioners will need to decide what makes sense for their context. Some suggested steps include:
- Brainstorming of potential DRR-related stakeholders with the project team and NS leadership. Assessment of their potential added value to the programme using key criteria or key questions suggested in the previous section.
- A workshop whereby the potential stakeholders are invited may be useful. In some countries engaging certain stakeholders may require endorsement by the government first.
- At the workshop map the existing CBDRR activities these stakeholders are currently engaged in to help identify the complementarity of support and prevent duplication of effort. Coordination mechanisms and potential management structures could be discussed.
- The workshop should help confirm partners who may be interested in working with RCRC to extend the impact of risk reduction efforts; ways this could be done should be the focus of the meeting.
- Some practitioners are more comfortable meeting with stakeholders individually or by organization initially before such a workshop or instead of a workshop. The purpose is the same – to identify their interest in working jointly to support disaster risk reduction.
- National Societies that already have a CBDRR strategy or numerous DRR projects could use such a workshop to further align national or regional efforts in DRR. In this case the meeting can be used to agree upon joint goals and objectives, formalize coordination mechanisms, develop management structures, assign roles and responsibilities etc.; such agreements should be captured in a formal way such as in a memorandum of understanding (MoU) or project agreement. Often this requires multiple meetings to achieve but is worth the effort.
What are some success factors or key determinants?
- Establishment of good coordination and communication mechanisms.
- Good understanding of the importance of assigning persons to oversee and manage the process.
- Ensuring accountability and transparency.
- Mutual trust and respect for RC principles and the Code of Conduct.
- Monitoring system of partnerships.
- Traditional leaders need to be consulted in this step
- The NS should lead the process and this should be endorsed by its leadership.
What are some useful tools and methodologies?
- Venn diagrams used for institutional network analysis at community level can also be applied at this higher level (see, VCA Toolbox with Reference Sheets. pp.119-122.).
- Development of a list of existing CBDRR partners, based on past collaboration.
- Mapping of potential stakeholders based on DRR platforms, NGO platforms and clusters.
- Development of questionnaire for potential stakeholders based on some of the key questions and considerations mentioned in this section.
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