Está en la página 1de 19

Capacity Building in Asia using Information Technology Applications (CASITA)

Module 7

UNDERSTANDING VULNERABILITIES:
III (Challenges in Vulnerability Reduction)
Goal
To provide an understanding of issues that promotes
or hinders disaster reduction activities at national,
community and individual level.
Learning outcome
After completing this session, you will be able to
critique and review existing mechanisms in your
country for disaster reduction
Learning objectives
As you work through this session you will learn to
9 Appreciate the need for decentralization of
disaster reduction activities
9 Recognize the need for appropriate disaster
reduction policies, action plans and response
plans
9 Accept the need for knowledge dissemination and
awareness creation
9 Discuss the
necessity
of mainstreaming
vulnerability reduction with development
9 Appreciate the importance of community
participation
9 Recognize the need for public commitment
9 Value the role of NGOs in disaster reduction work

Keywords/phrases
Decentralization
Policies
Action plans
Emergency response
plans
Governance
Dissemination of
knowledge
Public awareness
Science and
technology
Standards and codes
Professional
capability
Implementation
Community
participation
NGO
Public commitment
Learning lessons

1.

Understanding Vulnerability
Myths prevail
conditions. The
non-vulnerable
comprehended
responsibility.

that vulnerable incumbents cause vulnerable


role of improper decisions, policies and activities of
sectors to increase vulnerability is not either
or is deliberately ignored to shun the mantle of

Vulnerability reduction is possible only through development.


However, improper development policy will increase vulnerability of a
society. For example, unsustainable development policies increase
the dependence of a nation or a community on external sources and
assistance. The community becomes powerless to do anything
about vulnerabilities caused by exogenous sources.

This course material is being made available by Asian Disaster Preparedness Center (ADPC),
Bangkok under Capacity Building in Asia using Information Technology Applications (CASITA)
project, to the participating universities and institutions for educational purpose only. Reproduction of
materials for educational purpose is encouraged as long as ADPC is acknowledged.

Capacity Building in Asia using Information Technology Applications (CASITA)

2.

Module 7

Decentralization of Vulnerability Reduction


Much has been learnt from the creative disaster prevention efforts
of poor communities in developing countries... Prevention policy is
too important to be left to governments and international agencies
alone. To succeed, it must also engage civil society, the private
sector and the media.
Kofi Annan, Program Forum 1999, July 1999, Geneva
For a long time, the state was considered as the center of all
authority as well as action in dealing with disasters. Disaster
reduction was understood in the strict sense of providing relief to the
victims, recovery from the damage, and rehabilitation of damaged
infrastructure.
Concepts have changed significantly with the shift of focus on
mitigation and preparedness. As a new concept, it requires the
participation of all, from the top of the government to an individual
potential victim.
In this context, disaster mitigation cannot be effective if the past
thinking is allowed to continue. A positive intervention is required to
decentralize the efforts of disaster management. With the
decentralization of power and devolution of governance authority,
mitigation efforts at grassroots levels should be supported, and
necessary funds created to support such initiatives. Centralized
funding cannot produce decentralized disaster reduction.
Decentralization of disaster risk reduction efforts and responsibility
should be coordinated at the municipality, wards or village level.
Local institutions should bring together others such as business,
trade unions and NGOs for local action and sustainable partnership.
Mutual understanding and rules and regulations should be explicit,
transparent and uniform. Currently, there is an institutional vacuum
in many countries.
IDNDR helped to take the concept of disaster reduction from the
level of central governments to the outside, and in terms of
responsibilities, from central government to district or provincial
levels. Now ISDR, as the new conceptual framework, needs to assist
communities to own and internalize the process, both in terms of
concept and knowledge, and implementation.
This requires a new structural arrangement. Countries, the UN,
bilateral agencies and financing institutions, all directly or indirectly
involved in disaster management, should realize the need to
consider implementing projects not only with the central
governments but also with the local governments, the private sector,
academia, NGOs and CBOs. Mechanisms need to be sorted out to
support grassroots level development or vulnerability reduction
initiatives.

Capacity Building in Asia using Information Technology Applications (CASITA)

2.1

Module 7

Appropriate disaster reduction policies

2.1.1 Review, revise, update and implement disaster risk reduction


policies and Acts
Many developed and developing Asian (such as Bangladesh, China,
India and the Philippines) have worked out policies, plans and legal
instruments in detail. But they need to be reviewed for the
incorporation of the advances of recent thinking on disaster
management, including the shift of emphasis from mitigation to
response, and top-down centralized to bottom-up decentralized
approaches.
Several of the weaker economies do not have detailed policy and
legal mechanisms. Their acts still focus on relief as the principle
instrument of disaster management. For instance, the Natural
Calamity (Relief) Act of Nepal, promulgated in 1982 with the latest
amendments in 1989, is focused on the better organization of relief.
It naturally does not incorporate the basic findings of IDNDR or
recent advancements of the science and technology of disaster risk
management.
2.1.2 Review and update the national action plans for disaster
management
Many countries prepared National Action Plans for disaster
management in mid-90s and presented them to the IDNDR
Yokohama Conference. Implementation and monitoring of the Action
Plans have seen varying success in different countries. Since then,
countries have learned many lessons in aspects of disaster
management. It is now time to update the Action Plans for countries
that have not done so thus far.
2.2

Integration of disaster management in governance


The past decade witnessed a paradigm shift in the role of the
government from the omnipotent and solely responsible agency for
managing all activities in the disaster cycle, to that of a facilitator
which undertakes certain key responsibilities and assists individuals,
communities and the private sector in preventing exposure to risks,
and in responding to emergencies and provision of relief with clear
understanding and acceptance that the powers, responsibilities and
resources of the governments are limited (Wisner, 1994). Such a
change in the emphasis of the role of government requires that a
consensus be developed on what government should do and what
the individuals, communities and others should do. Clearly,
government has a vital role to play in hazard mitigation and disaster
response, but it must marshal and focus its limited resources if it is to
be effective to deliver good governance (Eisner, 1994).

Capacity Building in Asia using Information Technology Applications (CASITA)

Module 7

The following responsibilities are identified as the essentials for


governments for effective integration of disaster risk reduction in
governance.
2.2.1 Generate and disseminate basic knowledge on potential
hazards
Governments should continue supporting departments, universities
and research centers that conduct basic research on seismology,
climatology, hydrology and other sciences to provide an
understanding of the countrys hazard phenomena. Research
priorities should be based on the criteria of applicability of the
research to the immediate needs of the country in terms of hazard
identification and mitigation. Developing countries should be careful
not to enter areas of fundamental researches (such as earthquake
prediction) that require huge resources and take a long time for
effective use of the research results for mitigation. The potential for
saving lives and properties from potential disasters, improvement of
environment, alleviation of poverty, and improvement in the quality of
life should be the basic screening criteria, especially for the least
developed of the developing countries.
2.2.2 Apply science and technology in disaster mitigation
Governments should also support institutions, within or outside the
government, that develop and implement effective mechanism for
the translation and utilization of research findings for awareness
raising, mitigation and preparedness.
Science and technology to the doorsteps of the potential victims of
natural hazards should be the guiding principle for effective
governance. Government officials (central and municipal) as well as
private practitioners should be exposed to the new opportunities
offered by science and technology by way of seminars, workshops
and specialized training programs. The government should also
support public education programs, such as disaster safety day or
earthquake safety day. This would facilitate widespread
understanding of the risks faced by the community, and catalyze
them to take measures for mitigation.
Recently developed tools like GIS and GPS offer new possibilities in
mitigation and early warning. Maximum utilization of such
techniques, together with the use of the Internet in communication,
could open new possibilities in hazard mapping and risk assessment
as well as for rescue and rehabilitation. Publication of ongoing
findings, sharing of information, knowledge and experiences, and
communication among disaster risk managers becomes much easier
using these techniques.

Capacity Building in Asia using Information Technology Applications (CASITA)

Module 7

2.2.3 Develop and implement standards and codes


Development and enactment of codes and standards to protect the
public safety is the accepted responsibility of government, which
should act to reflect the acceptable risk of the nation. Codes should
cover new construction as well as retrofitting of existing structures
and infrastructure.
Development of codes or standards is easy, but implementation is
difficult because effective implementation requires prudent decisions
and confidence in their applicability and affordability.
For this, governments should set examples by implementing the
codes and bylaws in public buildings. If the government decides to
build earthquake-resistant offices, this will set precedence, and
convince private individuals to follow disaster-resistant construction.
The same is true for retrofitting of existing buildings. Government
should stop leasing buildings without earthquake resistance in
seismic countries like Nepal. This will positively influence market
forces to construct earthquake resistant buildings or retrofit existing
ones.
2.2.3 Develop emergency
capability

response

system

and

professional

Several jurisdictions are involved in emergency response, especially


after a large disaster: emergency management is much more than
maintenance of law and order, rescue or relief operations, or
provision of emergency health care. Therefore, even emergency
preparedness planning and management cannot be vested in only
one or two public safety institutions. It should be a system with clear
definition of all actors, but located at the policy level of government,
separate and at a higher level in the organization than operational
functions such as fire suppression or rescue and relief agencies. The
system should be able to address the need for broader management
actions that accommodate several jurisdictions and agencies.
Considering constraints in the financial resources of governments, it
is necessary to incorporate private sector and non-governmental
capabilities into preparedness and emergency response planning.
At operation levels, professional capabilities should be installed to
deal with disasters specific to the country.
2.2.4 Ensure fail-safe operation of critical facilities
Existing critical facilities such as communication, electricity, water
supply, and transportation lines are usually rendered non-operational
by large disastrous events, resulting in a hindrance to effective
response. For this, a two-pronged strategy should be adopted. The
first strategy is to develop redundancies or alternatives. Developing

Capacity Building in Asia using Information Technology Applications (CASITA)

Module 7

networks of satellite telephones, VHF radios, amateur HAM radios


can be an effective alternative to regular communication. Installing
appropriate generators in critical facilities can help meet electricity
requirements during a disaster. Capabilities for installing makeshift
field hospitals and drilling of water wells could greatly assist
emergency response.
The second strategy is to develop capabilities for rapid restoration
for damaged utilities. Agencies operating critical facilities usually
have repair and maintenance capabilities for normal wear and tear.
Improvement is needed to manage emergency situations following a
large disaster.
3.

Mainstreaming Vulnerability Reduction With Development


The concept of disaster risk management is rather new for many
countries, despite the IDNDR efforts at national levels. Disaster risk
management continues to be looked upon as a separate effort,
rather than a component of any ongoing development program.
Disasters continue to be regarded as abnormal phenomena and
disassociated from the normal development process. Most crucially,
disaster management has become separated from the development
of everyday affairs that create vulnerability (Lewis, 1999).
Such a situation hinders juxtaposition of disaster management
initiatives with ongoing development. It is usual to respond to more
pressing needs such as basic health, basic education, nutrition and
AIDS programs. The result is that disaster management issues are
given lower priority, and do not get the needful level of investment.
Resource constraints are always cited as the excuse for the lack of
planning and implementation of disaster risk reduction initiatives.
The result is that even public buildings continue to be constructed in
hazardous areas without consideration of disaster vulnerability,
without considering the land capability, and without incorporation of
proper mitigation measures in the design, construction, and use of
the structures. Even international funds are being used to build
schools in flood plain areas, and multilateral funds continue to be
used to build schools and health-posts without considering
earthquake resistance in highly seismic countries such as Nepal.
The urgency of development and provision of basic services to the
people are taken as an excuses, not only for non-consideration of
disaster risk potential, but also for forgetting to note that vulnerability
has frequently been made, or made worse, by development
(Lewis, 1999). Poverty alleviation programs or urban development
plans in many countries do not have built-in disaster risk reduction
agenda. There is little or no practice of disaster risk assessment and
mitigation in infrastructure development projects.
Risk reduction measures are now being talked about and
implemented to varying extent during reconstruction and

Capacity Building in Asia using Information Technology Applications (CASITA)

Module 7

rehabilitation following a larger disaster. For example, incorporation


of earthquake-resistance has been mandated for building
reconstruction in the areas affected by the Gujarat Earthquake of
2001. However, the same is not true for communities impacted by
smaller disasters, especially those not covered by the international
press, and consequently, not being assisted by the donor agencies.
Thousands of buildings were damaged, many seriously, in the
districts of Gorakha and Dhading in western Nepal by a magnitude
5.1 Richter earthquake on 16 July 2001. Unlike in Gujarat, there is
no formal program of reconstruction or retrofitting, and it is hard to
conceive that that will be any improvement in seismic safety of the
buildings that will be reconstructed or repaired by the building
owners in future.
There is an obvious need to emphasize the mainstreaming of
disaster risk reduction in the development agenda, especially for the
least developed countries of Asia. This, however, is a tall order, and
requires a coordinated and comprehensive approach that includes
creating a conducive policy and legal environment; management
mechanism; awareness raising, training, and education; and
incentives, controls, and penalties.
The problem of integrating disaster risk management with
development suffers also from the fact that many Asian countries,
especially those with weaker economies, do not have financial
resources available in country and have to depend significantly on
external donor or financial agencies. On the other hand, the
international donors and international financial agencies do not
appear to be investing much in pre-disaster mitigation and risk
management as they are prepared for post-disaster emergency
response and reconstruction. In view of the lack of preparedness
planning on a national scale, investments in emergency response
and reconstruction in most cases do not incorporate sustainable
disaster risk reduction during implementation.
3.1

Community participation
Experiences from both the development and disaster management
processes dictate that neither will be successful unless there is full
participation by communities, the end-users of the processes.
Communities are not only the potential victims of disasters, but also
the first responders, the carriers of traditional coping mechanisms,
and also the users of post-disaster actions. Their participation is a
must for any pre-disaster mitigation or preparedness.
However, there are several constraints to effective community
participation in disaster risk reduction.

Capacity Building in Asia using Information Technology Applications (CASITA)

Module 7

3.1.1 Lack of state-of-the-art knowledge and low general awareness


Thus far, the possibilities for effective disaster management offered
by science and technology have not reached community levels. This
requires the implementation of an effective awareness-raising
program, the sole purpose of which should be bringing in the fruits of
science and technology to the doorsteps of the potential victims in a
language understood by the community. Knowledge is not to be
distributed but to be internalized by the communities. This requires
sincere efforts on the part of those who possess and generate
scientific and technological knowledge, and those who have
authority, to transfer the ownership of ideas, methods,
responsibilities and even authority to the communities.
3.1.2 Existing Coping Mechanism May Not Work Fully, but Should Be
the Starting Point
Communities have inherited coping mechanisms against disasters
over thousands of years. However, dazzling advancements in
science and technology has obscured these. Further, the existing
coping mechanism may not suffice because of changing situations
and concepts, which are also causing the slow death of traditional
ways and wisdom. Changing community relationships also preclude
continuation of the old wisdom, and demand additions or
improvements to traditional wisdom.
3.1.3 Weak economies of developing countries render mitigation as a
into low priority
In many parts of Asia, the level of acceptable risk is high due to
rampant poverty. This precludes effective participation of societys
weakest segments, which are also the most vulnerable, in disaster
risk reduction initiatives.
Such conditions require careful planning and execution of
awareness-raising and mitigation programs. The participation of
communities in disaster reduction should be without any
preconditions. If disaster risk management has not been a high
priority agendum for the government, how could one demand from
the community high level of commitments, including financial
commitments?
3.1.4 Potentials
Generally, communities do not have as strong an inertia against new
ideas as the government sector has, and they can internalize even
complex concepts. However, their full participation is possible only if
the effort is based on mutual trust, clear definition of the decisionmaking process, and transparency of financial expenses and
management. Most of the weaker segments in different countries
want to be trusted, to have their voices heard, and to be involved in

Capacity Building in Asia using Information Technology Applications (CASITA)

Module 7

the decision-making process, including implementation of mitigation.


Scientists and engineers have the challenge to translate their
research findings into language understood by the communities, and
of suggesting mitigation measures that are easily adopted by the
community. A low-tech approach is the only practical solution in
many cases. What the community can and wants to implement
should perhaps outweigh what is necessary as prescribed by
scientists. Communities have been able to inherit the traditional
wisdom and local coping mechanism to deal with disaster and these
should be exploited.
Community participation and involvement in disaster reduction is still
an area where not enough experience has been gathered. Advocacy
for more community-based initiatives needs to be implemented for
developing better insights.
3.2

Involvement of non-governmental organization (NGO)


In Asia, non-governmental organizations have been playing
significant roles in disaster management. This was demonstrated in
the aftermaths of the 1934 Great Bihar-Nepal Earthquake, the 2001
January Gujarat Earthquake and management of flood disaster in
Bangladesh.
In recent times, NGOs have also been involved in pre-disaster
mitigation planning, preparedness and implementation. Experiences
in Asia shows that primary roles of NGOs in disaster risk reduction
lie in awareness-raising (e.g., organization of national days for
natural disaster reduction, hands on training such as earthquakeresistant construction), and advocacy for improvement in policies
and legal environment to reflect the necessary shift of emphasis from
response and relief to the proactive approach of planning and
preparedness.
Some countries of Asia, for example Bangladesh and India, have
developed elaborate policies, strategies, and legal and operational
mechanisms covering the participation of NGOs in development
including disaster risk management. The lack of similar mechanisms
in other countries creates operational difficulties for many
organizations because of NGO status in dealing with both local and
international institutions. In several countries, NGOs have a
tarnished reputation as corrupt and ineffective. Internationally, many
agencies are not able to work with NGOs, because they require
direct relationships with governments. This limits funding
opportunities.
However, NGO status offers tremendous benefits. The flexibility of
the non-government groups allows fast and cost-effective work.
Their staff and programs remain stable throughout the project
duration, whereas governments and bureaucrats periodically
change. NGOs appear to have much better institutional memories,

Capacity Building in Asia using Information Technology Applications (CASITA)

Module 7

and hence the capability for learning from past lessons and for
replication of successful experiences than other institutions.
3.3

Role of private Businesses in Disaster Risk Management


With the growing economic impact of disasters, private businesses
should be encouraged to enhance their emergency preparedness
and contingency planning within the business community also.
At present in Asia, there does not seem to be any effective
networking of business and industry, dedicated to issues of disaster
management. It is regarded necessary to encourage businesses and
industries of the region to establish networks for emergency planning
and preparedness. The Business and Industry Council for
Emergency Planning and Preparedness (BICEPP, 1999) of
California may serve as an example.

4.

Learning Lessons from Disasters


Disaster events provide unique opportunity to learn not only the
physical process and the intricate relationship between society and
the hazardous process, but also to reveal vulnerabilities and help
identify the adjustments necessary in society to avoid similar
destruction in future. Such events reveal the inherent weaknesses in
our construction practices, approaches and coping mechanisms, and
provide the lead for prioritizing actions. The lessons are mostly valid
beyond a single community, country, and region.
However, there is a tremendous gap in existing capabilities to learn
lessons and implement them for vulnerability reduction. In the 1990s,
there were several disastrous earthquakes in India, Turkey, Taiwan,
and Japan. Each of these provided valuable lessons that have been
well documented. Many of the lessons indicate a range of policies
and practices that if implemented could drastically reduce the
damage and sufferings from subsequent disasters. However, the
disaster and lessons-learned cycle has repeated itself several times
with the link of implementing the lessons missing every time. Many
countries in Asia still do not have the required mechanisms to
include the lessons learned from past disasters into their vulnerability
reduction process. It should be emphasized that many lessons are
not costly to implement. About 85 high-rise buildings fell in
Ahmedabad primarily due to the flaws in design, the detailing and
quality control implementation of which would not have demanded
costly interventions when compared to the losses sustained.
Disaster victims do learn the lessons on an individual basis. But
usually, it is beyond their capability to introduce changes in a
significant way, simply because disasters are more of a social
problem.

10

Capacity Building in Asia using Information Technology Applications (CASITA)

Module 7

Questions therefore remain about how to create obligatory


mechanisms in countries and regions to avoid cyclic repetition of
mistakes. Who is responsible for the mistakes? Who should be
booked?
5.

Measuring Disaster Reduction is a Difficult Task


Measuring the progress of disaster risk reduction in a country or a
region requires different frameworks at different time scales.
In the long-term, indicators of sustainable development, such as
financial (GNP and its growth), improvement in quality of life (growth
of private consumption, improvement in nutritional status, mortality
rates, literacy, access to health, education and sanitation) and
improvement in poverty indicators can also serve to measure the
extent to which a community has become resilient to disasters. Care
should be taken to look at the data not in isolation.
In the medium term, the progress of an individual country in disaster
reduction could be measured indirectly by considering the extent to
which the results of the recent research in science, technology and
development disciplines have been integrated into practice. For a
preliminary assessment of the status of seismic zonation for selected
countries, Hays et al (1998) used indicators such as existence of
hazard maps and use of loss estimation models, knowledge of the
causative factor of vulnerability, incorporation of integrated risk
assessment and management as a legal requirement, percentage of
national budget allocated for disaster risk reduction, prioritization and
implementation of mitigation initiatives, capacity of real time
monitoring and early warning, presence of databases, and use of
knowledge in the development and implementation of public policies.
Notwithstanding the uncertainties associated, the results of a survey
did provide insights on the current status and trends in the selected
countries.
Quantitative measurement of the impact of individual disaster risk
reduction initiatives or projects, which span a relatively shorter time
period, is much more difficult if not impossible, unless there occurs a
significant hazardous event, damage assessment of which could
provide data for comparison with the existing baseline before the
disaster. Implementation of established vulnerability reduction
measures will surely reduce the disaster risk, but quantitative
statements on the reduced risk is not possible at times, even for a
structural intervention. Death and damage still could occur even if a
building is constructed as per the applicable building code and
prescribed measures pertaining to land use under the most
sophisticated policy and legal environment. Non-availability of
suitable mathematical models for predicting the risk reduction gives
grounds to the traditional skeptics to malign the efforts, especially in
a developing country. How can you prove that you have reduced the
extent of potential damage to the school building and averted the

11

Capacity Building in Asia using Information Technology Applications (CASITA)

Module 7

deaths of school children was the unanswered question in a school


building retrofit program recently implemented in Kathmandu.
Recourse could however be made to measure the success of such
programs indirectly. Such indicators of the impact of disaster risk
reduction initiatives could include acceptability of the disaster risk
reduction measures by communities, their involvement in the
decision-making processes and subsequent replication of the
measures in the community, raised awareness, development and
enactment by the community of disaster preparedness and
emergency response plans, conduct of drills, incorporation of
disaster preparedness in school curricula, number of masons trained
in earthquake resistant construction and their increased demand
and salary.
There is yet another problem demanding attention. One measure of
the success of disaster risk reduction initiatives could be the level of
acceptability by the community. This is based on the premise that
what is accepted is more important than what is necessary, that the
occurrence of a disastrous event larger than what was agreed as
acceptable might destroy the belief on risk reduction initiatives. The
scale effect needs to be told to the community right at the beginning.
Extreme disaster events are dangerous as they can significantly
undo the positive impact of a successful project.
6.

Dissemination and Internalization of Vulnerability Reduction


Message
Lessons from past disasters have not been sufficiently disseminated
to the general public, and they unfortunately continued to be
confined within the affected populations or within the academic circle
despite the fact that the studies and researches are done by different
national and international groups of professionals after the events
and reported around the world using electronic media. For example,
most of the victims of the Indian (Gujarat) Earthquake would have
had very little if any knowledge of the lessons learned in the Turkey
earthquake. The lessons belong not only to the fields of better
design and disaster-resistant constructions, but also to individual and
collective survival from a hazardous event, or to the effective means
of managing emergencies and provision of relief. Some of the
lessons of past disasters, for example those on building
vulnerabilities and proper codes, take longer time to implement no
doubt. But there are several other life-saving lessons learned that
can be used for effectively reducing the disaster impact. For
example, it became widely known during the Armenian earthquake
of 1988 that about 3-5% of the injured persons required immediate
dialysis to flush out the poisonous toxins generated in the body due
to crush injuries. But how many medicos in the developing world
know about this necessity? Similarly the myth of epidemic outbreak
prevailed during the Gujarat earthquake of 2001, and limited
resources were diverted to contain such outbreak, whereas it is well

12

Capacity Building in Asia using Information Technology Applications (CASITA)

Module 7

known that earthquakes did not trigger epidemics including those


from the decaying dead bodies.
Of more importance could be the lessons learned on the vulnerability
of non-engineered masonry or adobe buildings constructed of
traditional materials such as brick, stone, mud and timber.
Therefore, information should be even more widely disseminated
using organized and institutionalized approaches and mechanisms
so that people not only have access to the lessons learned, but they
practice them as well.
7.

Promotion of Public Commitments


The declaration by the General Assembly of the International
Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction was perhaps the greatest
expression of public commitments for disaster risk management on
the part of the governments. Almost all Asian countries created
IDNDR National Councils with representations largely from the
various sectors of national economy and also from the academia,
NGOs and the private sectors. They prepared the National Action
Plans that were discussed with expression of commitments for
implementation at the Yokohama Conference on Disaster Reduction
in 1994. Subsequently, Asian representatives met in 1999 in the
IDNDR regional meeting for Asia and the Pacific and charted an
Agenda for the 21st century that called for strengthening of existing
frameworks and further regional and sub-regional professional and
institutional frameworks. In many countries, however, the IDNDR
national councils ceased to exist or became inactive after the
Decade was over, due to various reasons, even without
incorporating disaster risk reduction agenda in their long-term
policies.
People of the region have realized that public commitments and
accountability for disaster reduction should cover a much longer term
than the four or five years of any political group in power in a
country.
Such commitments should be consolidated in the long-term planning
documents and incorporated in national policies and development
concepts.
In Asia, there are only few developing countries (such as China and
Syria) where integrated risk assessment and risk management is
reported to be a legal requirement (Hays, 1998). Excepting a few,
building codes are not mandatory in many countries.
Almost all governments of the region have, however, initiated
processes towards better risk management. Such initiatives and
expression of commitments are taken generally after a disaster. With
time, however, these tend to be gradually forgotten, hence there is

13

Capacity Building in Asia using Information Technology Applications (CASITA)

Module 7

the need to consolidate these in the national policies, acts, and


bylaws.
Demand for increased safety from natural disaster should ideally
come from the community (bottom-up approach) so that politicians
could include it into their political agenda, especially during an
election campaign.
References
1. ADPC, (2000) Managing Disasters in Asian and the Pacific, A
Review of Lessons Learned during the International Decade
for Natural Disaster Reduction, Asian Disaster Preparedness
Center, Bangkok
2. Ahammad Fariduddin. National Disaster Preparedness Plan.
Government of the Peoples Republic of Bangladesh.
3. Aromar Revi, et al (1992) Action Plan for Reconstruction in
Earthquake Affected Garhwal. Building Materials &
Technology Promotion Council, Ministry of Urban Development,
Government of India.
4. Bilham, R., Gaur, V. K., and Molnar, P., (2001) Himalayan
Seismic Hazard, Science, vol. 293, , pp. 1442-1444.
5. Chhetri, M. B. P. & Bhattarai, D., (2001) Mitigation and
Management of Floods in Nepal, Ministry of Home,
HMG/Nepal, May,
6. Chhetri, M. B. P., (2000) Organization and System of Disaster
Management Nepal. Disaster Relief Section, Kathmandu,
Nepal.
7. Dixit, A. M, (1994) Status of Seismic Hazard and Risk
Management in Nepal, Meguro, K.; Katayama, T., 1994, WSSI
Workshop on Seismic Risk Management for Countries of the
Asia Pacific Region; 1993 Feb. 8; Bangkok, Thailand, Tokyo:
INCEDE, Inst. Industrial Sc., Uni. Tokyo; 1994; INCEDE Rep.
1994-02, Sr. No. 5: pp. 133-145.
8. East Timor; (2001) National Disaster Management Plan: ETTA
Cabinet Amended. United Nations Transitional Administration in
East Timor (UNTAET), East Timor,
9. East Timor; (2001) Sustainable Development and the
Environment in East Timor, Timor Aid, Dili, East Timor.
10. EMI, (1999), Proceedings of the Second International
Workshop on Earthquake and Megacities, 1-3 December
1999, Makati City, Philippines

14

Capacity Building in Asia using Information Technology Applications (CASITA)

Module 7

11. GHI, (1995) The Quito Ecuador Earthquake Risk Management


Project, GeoHazards International,.
12. Giardini, D., (1993). Global Seismic Hazard Assessment
Program (GSHAP), Annali di Geofisica, International Lithosphere
Program, Special Issue, Publication 209, Bologna, Italy, 257 pp.
13. GOG; (2001), Public Private Partnership Programme for
Total Rehabilitation, Gujarat State Government, India.
14. GSDMA, (2001), Earthquake Rehabilitation Policy; the Gujarat
State Disaster Management Authority, State of Gujarat, India
15. Haseeb Athar, (1999) Disaster Management and Mitigation
Policies in Pakistan Present and Future, Disaster Mitigation
Institute, Ahmedabad, India and Duryog Nivaran Intermediate
Technology Development Group, Sri Lanka.
16. IFRC, (2001) World Disaster Report prepared by International
Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, Oxford
University Press.
17. IGNOU, (2000) Proceedings of International Conference on
Disaster Management: Cooperative Networking in South
Asia, 28-30 Nov. 1999, New Delhi, Indira Gandhi National Open
University, New Delhi
18. INCEDE, (1994) Seismic Risk Management for Countries of
the Asia Pacific Region, Proceedings of the WSSI workshop,
February 8-11, 1993, Bangkok, Thailand, INCEDE Report
1994-02, September 1994, Serial Number 5
19. INCEDE, (1999) Seismic Risk Management for Countries of
the Asia Pacific Region, Proceedings of the 2nd WSSI
workshop, January 18-20, 1999, Bangkok, Thailand, INCEDE
Report 1999-02, October 1999, Serial Number 14
20. Institution of Civil Engineers (1995b) Structures to withstand
Disasters, Thomas Telford, London, 185 pp.
21. Jibgar Joshi, (1997) Planning for Sustainable Development,
Urban Management in Nepal and South Asia, Lazmina Joshi,
Kathmandu
22.
23. John Twig and Mihir R. Bhatt, (1998) Understanding
Vulnerability, South Asia Perspectives, Intermediate
Technology Publication
24. Karachi Emergency Relief Cell, (1986) Earthquake Risk and
Preparedness Information for the Public. Karachi
Development Authority, India.

15

Capacity Building in Asia using Information Technology Applications (CASITA)

Module 7

25. Kashif Hameed, (2000-2001). Livelihood Options for Disaster


Risk Reduction: A Case Study of Floods in Pakistan. The
Journalists Resource Centre, Islamabad, Pakistan.
26. Lewis, J., (1999) Development in Disaster-prone Places: Studies
of Vulnerabilities, Intermediate Technology Publications, London.
27. M.A. H. Pramanik, Disaster Mitigation Strategies in
Bangladesh, INCEDE Report no. 7, February 1995, Serial
Number 7, International Center for Disaster Mitigation
Engineering, Institute of Industrial Science, University of Tokyo,
Japan.
28. Mathema, B. Madhab, et
al (1993) Pakistan: Disaster
Management Program Design for UNDP. United Nations
Center for Human Settlements (Habitat) and Asian Disaster
Preparedness Center (ADPC).
29. Ministry for Police and Emergency Services, (1987) State
Disaster Recovery Plan. Metropolitan Fire Brigade, Melbourne,
Australia.
30. Ministry of Home Affairs & Provincial Government, (1987)
National Disaster Plan 1987: Solomon Islands. National
Disaster Council, Honiara, Solomon Islands.
31. Ministry of Home Affairs, (1986) National Disaster Plan 1986
(Draft). Vanuatu Government, Port Vila, Vanuatu.
32. Ministry of Home, (1994) Disaster Management in Nepal: A
Profile. Disaster Relief Section, Kathmandu, Nepal.
33. Ministry of National Defense (1988) Calamities and Disaster
Preparedness Plan, National Disaster Coordinating Council,
Quezon City, Philippines.
34. Mishra, P K, (2001) Control on Quality of Construction in
Earthquake Affected Areas of Gujarat. Gujarat State Disaster
Management Authority, Government of Gujarat, India.
35. Mishra, P K., (2001) Guidelines for Reconstruction and New
Construction of Houses in Kachchh Earthquake Affected
Areas of Gujarat. Gujarat State Disaster Management
Authority, Government of Gujarat, India.
36. Mistry, R., Weiming Dong, & Shah, H. (eds), (2001)
Interdisciplinary Observations on The January 2001 Bhuj,
Gujarat Earthquake, WSSI/EMI,.
37. Modi, Narandra, (2000) Gujarat Earthquake Reconstruction
and Rehabilitation Policy, The Gujarat State Disaster
Management Authority, Gujarat, India.

16

Capacity Building in Asia using Information Technology Applications (CASITA)

Module 7

38. Munich Re, (1999) Topics: Natural Catastrophes, 1999,


Munchener Ruckversicherungs-Gesellschaft, Munchen.
39. National Environment Commission, (1994) Government of
Bhutan, Thimphu, Bhutan.
40. Nishat, Ainun (1993) Flood Action Plan of Bangladesh: A
Case Study, Asian Disaster Preparedness Center, Bangkok,
Thailand.
41. NSET-1, (1999) Kathmandu Valleys Earthquake Scenario,
National Society for Earthquake Technology Nepal (NSETNepal), Kathmandu,.
42. NSET-2, (1999) The Kathmandu Valley Earthquake Risk
Management Action Plan, National Society for Earthquake
Technology Nepal (NSET-Nepal), Kathmandu.
43. Oxfam; (2000) Village Contingency Plan for Cyclones, Oxfam
(India) Trust and Bookline, a Division of SRAS Publications,
Hyderabad, India.
44. RADIUS, Risk Assessment Tools for Diagnosis of Urban
Areas Against Seismic Disasters, Outcome of the Radius
Initiative", RADIUS, IDNDR Secretariat, OCHA, UN, Geneva
45. Revenue Department, (1985) Government of Andhra Pradesh,
Hyderabad, India
46. Rogge, John R. (1996). A UN System Disaster Response
Plan: An Inter-Agency Project of the UN Disaster
Management Team in Tehran. The Resident Coordinator
United Nations System Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran.
47. S.M. Nasim (1983) Pakistan Punjab Flood Plan (Provincial):
Guide Book, Office of Relief Commissioner, Punjab, India.
48. Sabir P. Chohan (1993) Islamabad Residential Sectors
Zoning (Building Control) Regulation, 1993, Capital
Development Authority, Islamabad, Pakistan
49. Shaikh, M. Amjad, (1999) Disaster Management in Pakistan.
Disaster Mitigation Institute, Ahmedabad, India and Duryog
Nivaran Intermediate Technology Development Group, Sri
Lanka.
50. Sharma, V. K.; (2001) Institutional Framework for Disaster
Management in India, Proceedings Workshop on Urban Risk
Reduction in Asia, 29 March, Ahmedabad, Proceedings 1, Asian
Disaster Preparedness Center, Bangkok

17

Capacity Building in Asia using Information Technology Applications (CASITA)

Module 7

51. Swiss Re, Natural Catastrophes and man-made disasters in


2000: fewer insured losses despite huge floods, Swiss Re,
Sigma No. 2/2001
52. U Kin Mint, (1999) Myanmar Seismic Risk Management in
proceedings WSSI Bangkok Workshop on Seismic Risk
Management II, January 1999, Bangkok, INCEDE, Tokyo..
53. UNCRD, (2001) Proceedings International Workshop on
Earthquake Safer World in the 21st Century: Emphasis on
self-help, Cooperation and Education through Community
Involvement, 29-31 January 2001, United Nations Center for
Regional Development, Disaster Management Planning Hyogo
Office, Kobe, Japan.
54. UNDP, 1994) Human Development Report.
55. UNDRO (1978). The Assessment and Mitigation of Earthquake
Risk, Paris, 341 pp.
56. UNDRO (1990). Cooperative Project for Seismic Risk Reduction
in the Mediterranean Region (SEISMED), proceedings, Geneva,
3 volumes, 713 pp.
57. UNESCO (1983). Programme for Assessment and Mitigation of
Earthquake Risk in the Arab Region, Paris, and 75 pp.
58. United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and
the Pacific, 1985, Coastal Environmental Management Plan
for the West Coast of Sri Lanka: Preliminary Survey and
Interim Action Plan, United Nations, Bangkok, Thailand.
59. USAID; 1983, The Indonesia Mission Disaster Relief Plan,
USAID, Jakarta, Indonesia.
60. USGS (1998), Report of the May 1998 Meeting of RELEMAR,
USGS, Reston, Virginia, 30pp.
61. Vanda, H.E. Nhim, (2001) National Committee for Disaster
Management: Report of the Capability and Capacity of
NCDM, Five-Year Institutional Development Strategy of
NCDM, Two-Year Plan of Action for NCDM Development,
Council of Ministers, Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
62. Vanuatu Council of Ministers, (1985) National Disaster Plan
1985, Vanuatu Government, Port Vila, Vanuatu.
63. WB, 1(980)
September.

Meeting

Basic

Needs:

The

World

Bank,

64. WB, (1994) World Development Report 1994, Infrastructure


for Development", World Development Indicator, Published
for the World Bank.

18

Capacity Building in Asia using Information Technology Applications (CASITA)

Module 7

65. WB, (2001) World Development Report 2000/2001, Attacking


Poverty", Published for the World Bank.
66. Wisner, B. (2001).Disasters: What the United Nations and Its
World Can Do? Peacework, vol. 28, issue 314, Apr
67. Write, C., (1999) BICEPP Abstract, in proceedings of Second
International Workshop on Earthquakes and Megacities, 1-3
December, Makati City, Philippines
68. Yadav, R. P.; Singh, P. L.; Dixit, A. M.; and Sharpe, R. D.; (1994)
Status of Seismic Hazard and Risk Management in
Kathmandu Valley, Nepal, in Issues in Urban Earthquake Risk,
pp. 183-197, eds. B.E. Tucker; Kluwer Academic Publishers,
Dordrecht.
69. Ye Yaoxian, (1984) Earthquake Disaster Mitigation Program
Implementation, proc. Int. conf. On Disaster Mitigation Program
Implementation, Ocho Rios, Jamaika, 12-16 Nov., pp. 306-31
70. Ye Yaoxian, (1986) Planning and Management for the
Prevention and Mitigation from Earthquake Disaster in
China", paper contribution to International Seminar on Regional
Development Planning for Disaster Prevention, Shizuoka
Seminar- -9-26/27, Asian Disaster Preparedness Center &
United Nations Center for Regional Development
71. Zonno, G., Cella, F., Luzi, L., Menoni, S., Ober, G. and others
(1998), Assessing Seismic Risk at Different Geographic
Scales: Concepts, Tools and Procedures, Proc. 11th
European Conf. On Earthquake Engineering, Balkema.

19