No single group or organisation can address every aspect of DRR. The scale, frequency and complexity of disasters, as both physical and social phenomena, can only be addressed by deploying a wide range of knowledge, skills, methods and resources. Therefore, risk reduction initiatives should be multi-disciplinary partnerships, enabling organisations to share ideas, work more coherently, deliver projects more effectively and influence decision-makers.
DRR partnerships can be of many different kinds: for example, between official/government and civil society organisations, professionals and the public/communities, academics and practitioners, donors and beneficiaries. Partnerships should increase the impact of initiatives by making them more sustainable and replicable. Forming alliances can also make better use of resources. Links with external organisations enable communities to obtain more and better information about hazards, DRR and adaptation. Partnerships can be both vertical (between national and more local actors) and horizontal (e.g. between government, the private sector and civil society). Although partnerships are necessary, they can also be difficult to manage. Some of the challenges in establishing and maintaining partnerships are given in the following sections, together with suggestions of ways to overcome them.
The Nepal Risk Reduction Consortium (NRRC), launched in 2011, is a partnership of UN agencies, the Red Cross, donors, financial institutions, the Nepalese government, national and international NGOs and technical and research institutes. Its aim is to reduce the country’s vulnerability to natural disasters. It has five ‘flagship’ DRR programmes: school and hospital safety, emergency preparedness and response, flood risk management, community-based disaster risk management and policy and institutional strengthening. Each programme involves a different group of partners, and is coordinated by a government ministry and an international organisation. Collectively, the flagship programmes have activities in most of Nepal’s 75 districts. A mid-term review in 2013 found that the NRRC had helped to create and maintain a focus on DRR nationally, and enabled collaboration between a variety of stakeholders. However, this collaboration was complicated, because many of the stakeholders were not used to working together. The programme would therefore need more time to consolidate its results, and more coordination and support would be needed in the longer term.
Nepal Risk Reduction Consortium: http://www.un.org.np/coordinationmechanism/nrrc.