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Duryog Nivaran: Networking for Disaster Risk Reduction in South Asia

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Duryog Nivaran:
Networking for Disaster Risk
Reduction in South Asia
Presentation at Preliminary Consultative Meeting
Building a “Global Network of NGOs” for
Community Resilience to Disasters
Geneva, 25-26 October, 2006
--Amjad Bhatti, Regional Coordinator, Duryog Nivaran Secretariat, Islamabad,
What Duryog Nivaran stands for?
• Duryog Nivaran is a Sanskrit phrase meaning
disaster mitigation.
Duryog Nivaran, established in 1995, is a
network of individuals and organisations from
South Asia who are committed to promoting
the �alternative perspective’ on disasters and
vulnerability as a basis for disaster mitigation
in the region.
• The overall aim of Duryog Nivaran is to reduce
the communities’ susceptibility to disasters
and conflicts. This is achieved by
incorporating the �alternative perspective’ at
conceptual, policy and implementation levels
of disaster mitigation and development
programmes in South Asian region.
Dominant Perspective
Alternative Perspective
• Disasters and conflicts • Disasters and conflicts
are viewed as an
isolated event
• Less analysis on
linkages in society
during normal times
are part of the normal
process of
Analysing linkages in
society during normal
times is fundamental
to understanding
disasters and conflicts
Dominant Perspective
Alternative Perspective
• Technical and law and
• Emphasis is on solutions
• Centralised state
• Decentralised institutions
order solutions are
institutions dominate the
intervention. Less people
participation. People are
regarded as “victims.”
that change the
relationships and
structures in society. The
objective being to
strengthen people’s
capacity and reduce their
play the main role.
Participation of people is
paramount. People are
treated as “partners” in
Dominant Perspective
Alternative Perspective
• Implementing agencies
• Accountability and
• Interventions come after
• Interventions aim at
• The objective is to return
are rarely accountable
and their processes are
less transparent
the event
to the situation prior to
the event
transparency are
paramount in this
preparing communities
and mitigating the impact
of disasters
Disasters and conflicts
are viewed as
opportunities for social
DN Themes
Understanding linkages with society
Myths of science and technology
Regional cooperation
Understanding vulnerability and capacity
Risk and Livelihoods
Principles for Advocacy
• Disasters should be looked at as a part of ecology and they should
be managed rather than controlled.
• Disasters should be treated as issues of development and
governance; and states should be made responsive, sensitive and
accountable to the demands, needs and rights of disaster-prone
communities and areas.
• Disaster management policies should be redirected towards poverty
and vulnerability reduction instead of mere compensation and relief
Principles for Advocacy
• Disaster management strategies should integrate structural
measures (construction of embankments, dykes, resistant
buildings, etc.) with non-structural measures such as enhancing
the entitlements and negotiating power of the most vulnerable
communities and subordinate social groups.
• Disaster-prone communities should be engaged equitably into the
process of disaster-related decision-making and development
planning, implementation and monitoring.
Highlights of DN Activities
• Research and publications related to disaster preparedness and mitigation,
regional cooperation, gender and risk and livelihoods.
Initiate a process of building awareness of media on issues related to the
alternative perspective on disasters and community capacity building, and
on effective disaster reporting.
Policy discussions and debates on institutionalizing and mainstreaming the
�Alternative perspective’ in South Asia
Community-based initiatives in partner countries to demonstrate the
�alternative perspective’ in practice through the Livelihood Options for
Disaster Risk Reduction project
Developing the CBDM- Community-Based Disaster Management training
methodology, and training the stakeholders in the region to apply the
Highlights of DN Activities
• Conducting Localised CBDM
training programmes in India
and Sri Lanka
• Art and Poster Competition in
the region on “Seeing
Disasters Differently” in 1998
and publishing the booklet by
the same name.
• Workshops to discuss the issue
of better regional cooperation
• Building up a network of
partnerships through the
region, which includes
governmental organizations,
NGOs, academic institutions
and community members
Current Initiatives
• South Asia Policy Dialogue led to the Delhi Declaration
• The first SAARC-level policy conference on Disaster Risk
Reduction at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi on August 21-22, 2006.
• This meeting paved the way for a Road Map for Regional
Cooperation as part of the South Asia’s response towards the
growing threat of natural disasters and the challenge of their
• The main organizers are, National Institute of Disaster
Management (NIDM) in New Delhi, Practical Action South Asia
Programme based in Colombo Sri Lanka and Duryog Nivaran the South Asian network for disaster mitigation with its
secretariat in Islamabad, Pakistan.
South Asia Disaster News Service
• South Asia Disaster News Service (SADNS) is an
information pool on disaster risk related news, views,
comments, analysis, interviews, articles, editorials,
reportorial and case studies from across South Asia.
The core objective of SADNS is to track pre-disaster
risk, report occurrences and subsequent responses in
member countries. Moreover, SADNS aims to serve as
a ready reference on disaster risk reduction in South
Asia. SADNS can be accessed at
South Asia Disaster Report 2005:
Tackling with Tides and Tremors
• This is the first report on disasters on South Asia by
Duryog Nivaran. The report contests the stereotyping
of disaster at policy, planning and implementation
level and seeks to understand,
How hazards turn into disasters;
What were the consequences of the Indian Ocean
Tsunami (December 2004), the Himalaya earthquake
(October 2005); and Mumbai floods (July 2005) on
people, infrastructure, and development;
How did state and non state actors including local and
international communities respond to these major
natural disasters;
• Why some disasters are reported prominently and
some remain invisible;
• What are the existing institutional arrangements
addressing complex emergencies in South Asia; and
• What could be an alternative framework for effective
disaster risk reduction in the region?
Disaster Dispatch – An Occasional
Disaster Dispatch is a Newsletter aimed at collecting,
indexing, and disseminating news, views and research
updates on natural disasters and social conflicts in
South Asia . It intends to serve as a backgrounder for
policy, media and disaster related organizations in the
region. Previous copies of Disaster Dispatch can be
accessed at http// and
DN Book Shelf
• Gender Dimensions in Disaster Management: A Guide for South Asia (2003)
• Livelihood-Centered Approaches to Disaster Management: A Policy
Framework for South Asia
Disaster Communication- A Resource Kit for Media (2002)
Traditional Wisdom of Rainwater Harvesting: An Overview from South Asia
Assessing Participation (1996)
South Asian Women: Facing Disasters, Securing Life (1997)
Understanding Vulnerability South Asian Perspectives (1998)
DN Book Shelf
• Defeating Disasters: Ideas for Action (1999)
• Seeing Disaster Differently: Visions and Suggestions (1999)
• South Asian Series on Vulnerability Reduction: No.2
Food Security Strategies Under Drought Hazard: A Case Study of
Milamperumawa (1997)
• South Asian Series on Vulnerability Reduction:
Impact of Drought on Livelihood and Food Security of Farmers in
the Dry Zone of Sri Lanka: The Case of Vegetable Farmers in
Yodakandiy (1998)
DN Book Shelf
• Nine booklets on Food and Water Security: South Asia Case Study Series.
• Craft in the Aftermath of Disaster: Generating Independence as well as
Incomes, India.
Harvesting Rainwater: A Means of Water Security in Rural Sri Lanka.
Fallows and Village food security in rain fed areas, a case study from India.
Food and water security in times of malaria emergency, case study from
Floods and desserts - a case study from Rajastan , India
The Vulnerability of invisible workers, India.
Strengthening vulnerable communities from natural disaster reduction,
Technical briefs on tsunami and earthquake recovery and rehabilitation
Way Forward
• Recently established disaster management cell by SAARC and hosted by
National Institute of Disaster Management (NIDM) India has engaged DN
in advisory capacity to develop a roadmap for regional disaster risk
reduction in South Asia.
Keeping in view the wealth of knowledge and experience pooled by the DN
members, it is timely to develop and deploy and expand DN’s resources
and learning with an aim to inform, influence, strengthen and streamline
ongoing initiative on national and regional disaster management in South
Asian countries. These initiatives can also be taken as a strategic reference
point to the Hyogo Declaration issued at the World Conference on Disaster
Reduction held in January 2005 in Kobe, Japan. The Hyogo Declaration
underscores the importance of strengthening cooperative and synergistic
interactions among various stakeholders and promoting voluntary
partnership for disaster risk reduction.
Thank you!
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