Inclusive Disaster Risk Reduction

This blog post discusses Disaster Risk Reduction and Management

Before defining Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) and Disaster Risk Management (DRM), it is important to define disaster risk as “the potential loss of life, injury, or destroyed or damaged assets which could occur to a system, society or a community in a specific period of time, determined probabilistically as a function of hazard, exposure, and capacity” where UN-SPIDER defines hazard as “a process, phenomenon or human activity that may cause loss of life, injury or other health impacts, property damage, social and economic disruption or environmental degradation,” exposure as “the situation of people, infrastructure, housing, production capacities and other tangible human assets located in hazard-prone areas,” and vulnerability as “the conditions determined by physical, social, economic and environmental factors or processes which increase the susceptibility of an individual, a community, assets or systems to the impacts of hazards.” DRR then is the prevention and reduction of new risk while managing existing risk. DRM is simply the implementation of DRR policies. The World Bank relates DRR to sustainable development by positioning understanding risk as key to avoiding losses to populations’ well-being and livelihoods.


Much of what is DRM practice today has been focused by the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction from the  UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015 Third World Conference on DRR in Sendai, Japan. The conference was renowned for its inclusivity in terms of the venue, transportation, and online platform – which were were changed by a grant from the Nippon foundation. The World Conferences have been held every 10 years since 1994. The Sendai Framework has four priorities: understanding disaster risk, strengthening disaster risk governance to manage disaster risk,  investing in disaster risk reduction for resilience, and enhancing disaster preparedness for effective response and to “Build Back Better” in recovery, rehabilitation and reconstruction. Much in the same way that the WUF relates to the Habitat conference, the DRR conference has the biennial Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction that started in 2007. The 2017 Global Platform in Mexico was guided by the implementation of the Sendai Framework’s seven targets: reduce disaster mortality, reduce the number of people affected, reduce direct economic loss, reduce infrastructure damage and interruption of services, increase the number of national/local DRR strategies, enhance international cooperation, and increase availability/access to hazard early warning systems.


Inclusive DRM has come to mean DRR that takes into consideration disability as an important vulnerability factor that necessitates a specialized response. The Dhaka Declaration on Disability and Disaster Risk Management points out that climate change affects the world’s poor at a greater proportion, which means it is incredibly important to consider disability in DRR because 20% of the world’s poor are disabled and 82% of disabled persons in LDCs live below poverty lines. The Dhaka Declaration sets directives for inclusive participation in DRR, inclusive action plans, inclusive data, and reducing hazard impact on persons with disabilities.