These guidelines were created by and for National Societies facilitating and implementing community-based disaster risk reduction (CBDRR) programmes and projects. The purpose is to enable practitioners to more easily design, implement, manage and complete disaster risk reduction programmes that make a lasting difference in the communities they serve. While numerous disaster risk reduction guidelines exist outside of the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement, practitioners felt that none adequately captured the full programming process nor included recent lessons and emerging standards. These guidelines provide a foundation for CBDRR programming but they will not yet address its application in every setting, such as in urban environments or when dealing with certain impacts of climate change. However we believe much of this guidance can be adapted for use in urban environments and it will also support practitioners to see more clearly how CBDRR can link to other community programmes. The guidelines are basic but provide a step-by-step approach to creating quality programmes in CBDRR. This document will be updated over time based on field lessons and users recommendations.
B. Stakeholder identification & engagement
C. Community selection criteria
D. Developing a program strategy
E. Build organizational capacities on CBDRR
1. Start up with communities
2. Meet the communities
3. Support CBOs
4. Vulnerability & capacity assessments
5. Community-led planning
6. Baseline surveys
7. Community-led implementation
8. Community-led M&E
10. Transition to community
G-H. Learning & dissemination
What do I need to know?
This document is intended for National Society CBDRR practitioners at headquarter (HQ) and branch or chapter levels but local government, CBOs and other partners may also find it useful. If you are completely new to CBDRR – welcome – there is much work to be done; before you start please see Annex 1 for a list of excellent resources to introduce you to community-based disaster risk reduction. Annexes 2 – 6 are additional CBDRR references for different parts of the programme cycle. Users of these guidelines should have some experience in supporting CBDRR programming; they should also have some knowledge of project and programme design.
How to use this document
The CBDRR Guideline will walk you through the basic steps to create a CBDRR programme at a provincial or national level as well as how to create individual projects at a branch or community level. This document outlines a series of steps - articulating what each step is and why it is important; it provides some basic advice on how to implement that step and points out some tips in good programming or may highlight recent lessons learned. It is not a training manual nor is it a detailed guide that describes every specific action that will be needed. It provides resources for additional information and links to tools that may be helpful. The guideline assumes the user will implement more detailed actions that are appropriate to his or her context and in the process be more innovative in reducing risk and in contributing to the building of safe and resilient communities. This guide also assumes that CBDRR practitioners will also reach out to and work alongside other relevant personnel and partners, such as those working in community-based health, organizational development and volunteer management. Their inputs and support, from the very beginning, can help ensure a more comprehensive and relevant approach for both the National Society itself as well as the communities involved.
Figure 1. Programme & Project cycle as depicted by ARUP
Figure 2. Overview of CBDRR Guidelines
Some users – those interested in developing a longer-term programme an in developing projects in multiple communities – may go through the whole process outlined in the guide. Others may be at the early stage of resource mobilization and may only go through steps A through E to draft a programme strategy in order to reach out to donors and to get ready for community-level projects; still others may already have a programme or even national strategy in place, may have funding and may be able to start with Step 1; Or it might also be a branch or local initiative that is starting and could begin at Step 1. Each user will have unique needs and will have to decide how best to use the guide to build on or supplement guidance that may already exist within their organization. It is important to keep in mind that the overall goal of disaster risk reduction is to ‘establish a foundation on which all Red Cross Red Crescent programmes, projects and interventions in DRR and all actions which contribute to the building of safe and resilient communities can be created, developed and sustained’ (Framework for Community Safety and Resilience, page 2).
This will require efforts to integrate DRR into policies, planning and longer-term programming; and to target disaster prevention, mitigation and preparedness and response activities and to build partnerships. That is, in the long-run will not achieve our goal if we continue to implement stand-alone projects at the community level; eventually a programme strategy should become an integral part of a National Society’s overall strategic plan and incorporate a realistic capacity-building programme.
Practitioners should always use their own organizational history and learning as a starting point for engaging with each step – asking the questions:
- What have we done before?
- What has worked well?
- What has not worked so well?
- What could we do differently?
This guide can help you move closer to the overall disaster risk reduction goal.
These guidelines are a result of a long process among CBDRR practitioners drawn from across the RCRC Movement. Brought together in a workshop in London in late 2012, they shared a commitment to establish a more consistent, and readily understood, step by step approach to CBDRR programmes and projects. The guidelines presented here are shaped by the experience and knowledge of those practitioners, but all of those present in London recognise that there is great experience across the whole Movement that our efforts can only begin to capture, so this document is a starting point. It will grow stronger and more valuable over time as it is improved by the contributions and experiences of others. We hope that it will enable managers and decision makers in National Societies, and the volunteers and staff in branches, doing the work and building relationships with communities, to define and develop a programme approach to CBDRR that all partners buy in to.
Success factors and key determinants
Throughout the guide success factors and key determinants are noted. These are based on research and lessons learned over the past several years. A key determinant is a factor that is known to be really important for the success of a step or action. Below are the main success factors or key determinants that apply to most of the steps in the guide. They are listed below rather than repeating them throughout each step of the guide. Each step will then include factors that are specific to that step, but keep in the mind the main list below also applies.
Motivation, ownership and capacity.
1. The motivation and capacity of the RCRC stakeholders, external actors and the strengths of the partnerships between them.
2. The motivation and capacity of the community and community leaders.
3. The level of community participation and ownership of the CBDRR programme.
4. Host National Societies must lead the CBDRR process and it should be endorsed by their leadership. Approaches should follow established National Society policy and procedures where possible and/or should support their development.
Time and money.
5. Having sufficient time to complete CBDRR programmes.
6. Having sufficient funding for the financial management of CBDRR programmes.
Communication & Coordination.
7. Establishment of good coordination and communication mechanisms.
8. The level of integration of CBDRR programmes with other sectors.
9. Having an appropriate balance between standardisation and flexibility.
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