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Bob McMillan / FEMA Photo 15440

Chapter 11.3 Policy, regulation, accountability and advocacy

DRR monitoring frameworks and the enabling environment

Photo: Bob McMillan / FEMA Photo 15440

The emergence of DRR implementation and monitoring frameworks presents an opportunity to develop greater accountability in this area. The most significant internationally has been the Hyogo Framework for Action 2005–2015, which set out a broad programme of action for national governments and regional organisations. Although it was non-binding, 168 national governments signed up to it and the UN system provided a monitoring mechanism for reviewing progress (a similar global reporting process is proposed under the Sendai Framework). Governments and regional bodies were expected to report on their progress towards the HFA’s goals every two years: these reports could be viewed online, and the collective results were reviewed in the Global Assessment Reports published by UNISDR. An HFA self-assessment tool developed for local governments was applied in several countries.+http://www.unisdr.org/we/coordinate/hfa; http://www.preventionweb.net/files/594_10382.pdf; http://www.preventionweb.net/english/hyogo/progress; http://www.wcdrr.org/uploads/Sendai_Framework_for_Disaster_Risk_Reduction_2015-2030.pdf. Independent researchers and NGOs also used the HFA as a monitoring tool for questioning government action and holding governments to account.+See Christian Aid, Community-Led Policy Monitoring for Disaster Risk Reduction: Implementing the Hyogo Framework for Action at Local Level (London: Christian Aid, undated), http://www.christianaid.org.uk/images/clpm-drr.pdf; P. Newborne, Accountability and Non-discrimination in Flood Risk Management: Investigating the Potential of a Rights-based Approach. Honduras Case Study (London: Overseas Development Institute, 2008), http://www.odi.org.uk/sites/odi.org.uk/files/odi-assets/publications-opinion-files/3443.pdf. A number of other frameworks and indicator sets have also been applied (see Chapter 18: Monitoring and evaluation).

Frameworks, policies and programmes that are commonly used by international institutions to support national-level development can also be monitored to assess the extent to which DRR issues are incorporated, the approach taken to mainstreaming DRR and the likely effectiveness of the steps taken. These include Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSPs), which are widely used by international financial institutions, UN agencies and bilateral donors in designing their assistance programmes, and National Adaptation Programmes of Action (NAPAs), produced under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, which address climate vulnerability reduction. The Inter-Parliamentary Union and UNISDR have produced guidance for parliamentarians seeking to ensure that DRR and resilience are incorporated in steps towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).+C. Benson and J. Twigg, Tools for Mainstreaming Disaster Risk Reduction: Guidance Notes for Development Organisations (Geneva: ProVention Consortium, 2007), http://www.preventionweb.net/files/1066_toolsformainstreamingDRR.pdf; http://unfccc.int/national_reports/napa/items/2719.php; Disaster Risk Reduction: An Instrument for Achieving the Millennium Development Goals. Advocacy Kit for Parliamentarians (Geneva: Inter-Parliamentary Union and UNISDR, 2010), http://www.unisdr.org/files/15711_parliamentariankitfinal.pdf. For DRR and the SDGs, see Chapter 18. At the time of writing, there is considerable discussion about how they will be incorporated into the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that will be approved at a high-level UN summit in September 2015 to replace the MDGs, with the possibility that a number of SDG goals and targets will relate to DRR, directly or indirectly.+See http://www.sustainabledevelopment2015.org.

There remains the question of what can rightly and reasonably be expected from governments and others, whose capacities and resources are not infinite. What are the responsibilities of state and non-governmental actors? How realistic is it to expect them to address every aspect of DRR? What types of DRR should be given priority in a given context? On what basis are those priorities decided? Should it be based on cost–benefit analysis, the utilitarian approach of seeking the greatest benefits for the greatest number of people, or on the principle of social justice that focuses on the most vulnerable? There are ethical as well as practical issues here.