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Chapter 2 Institutionalising DRR within organisations

Monitoring and evaluating organisational mainstreaming

Photo: Ed Hawkesworth/DFID

[:en]In principle indicators of DRR mainstreaming can be identified at all levels of an organisation, covering many different aspects of its work. For example, Tearfund has published detailed guidance on how to assess, measure and monitor progress towards mainstreaming DRR (see Case Study 2.7: Measuring DRR mainstreaming in organisations). Some agencies have tools to assess capacities in certain aspects of DRR (see Case Study 2.8: Preparing organisations for disaster), or include more comprehensive reviews of DRR capacity as part of broader assessments (for example ACT Alliance’s guide to organisational capacity assessments).+A Guide for ACT International Members and Forums Undertaking Organisational Capacity Assessments (Geneva: ACT International, 2008); ACT Organisational Capacity Assessment Tool (Geneva: ACT Alliance, 2014).

Case Study 2.7 Measuring DRR mainstreaming in organisations

Tearfund’s Mainstreaming Disaster Risk Reduction: A Tool for Development Organisations enables agencies to assess how far they have got in mainstreaming risk reduction into their relief and development work, and to identify priority issues and set targets for achieving progress. The guidance sets out performance targets and indicators covering key areas of an organisation’s work. Six key areas are identified:

  1. Policy
  2. Strategy
  3. Geographical planning
  4. Project cycle management
  5. External relations
  6. Institutional capacity

In addition, four general levels of attainment are specified, which can be applied across all the categories:

  • Level 1: Little or no progress
  • Level 2: Awareness of needs
  • Level 3: Development of solutions
  • Level 4: Full integration

In each area of work there are a number of suggested indicators for the four levels of attainment. The target and indicator sets are broad and can be adjusted to the specific conditions of individual organisations. Factors that may affect the mainstreaming process are also considered. In carrying out an assessment, data can be collected from agency documents and interviews with staff and external stakeholders.

S. LaTrobe and I. Davis, Mainstreaming Disaster Risk Reduction: A Tool for Development Organisations (Teddington: Tearfund, 2005),; P. Venton and S. LaTrobe, Institutional Donor Progress with Mainstreaming Disaster Risk Reduction: A Tearfund Research Project in Collaboration with UN/ISDR (Teddington: Tearfund, 2007),


Case Study 2.8 Preparing organisations for disaster

In 2001, the IFRC drew up Characteristics of a Well-Prepared National Society, a simple checklist that could be used by Red Cross and Red Crescent National Societies to assess and improve their disaster preparedness capacities. The checklist’s indicators covered many different aspects of organisational capacity: policy and planning, structures and organisation, human resources, financial and material resources, the relevance and effectiveness of disaster preparedness activity, advocacy and external relations.

A questionnaire based on the Well-Prepared National Society checklist was developed and sent to all National Societies. Collated findings, which were shared with National Societies and published, were used to identify strengths and weaknesses. Over the following years the checklist/questionnaire has been refined and expanded to allow a more holistic view of emergency management, taking into account issues such as conflict, shelter, food security, recover and DRR.

IFRC, Characteristics of a Well Prepared National Society for Situations of Disaster and Conflict (Geneva: International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, undated),; IFRC, Well-Prepared National Society Self-Assessment 2002–2004 (Geneva: International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, 2005),