Disaster Preparedness: A Compendium of Experiences

Excerpt: Foreword

The core of our mission is to save and preserve lives. One of the ways to do so effectively is to empower people and communities as well as governments, when feasible, to be better prepared on how to respond and protect themselves in the face of crises. Preparedness for response is a critical element for resilience. And the earlier and the more local a response is, the more effectively it can save lives.

DG ECHO has supported capacity building in preparedness for response for over two decades through dedicated actions and funding. As the sample of so many different experiences in this compendium demonstrates, the variety of our work has been significant – from strengthening mechanisms to alert the population if a cyclone is approaching, to promoting people’s awareness on hygiene measures to prevent the spread of communicable diseases or strengthening the capacity of local authorities to assist people in displacement due to a disaster or conflict.

Through the years, our work has continuously adjusted to the evolving nature of the crises and the needs they generate, preparing to respond to natural hazards but also to violence stemming out of conflict or social tensions. Moreover, as climate change is increasing the severity and frequency of extreme weather events, DG ECHO is increasingly promoting ways of working that help anticipate these events – thus allowing to act earlier, before a disaster happens save more lives and increase resilience.

We have learned and achieved a lot in our long engagement in preparedness, since the start of the Disaster Preparedness (DIPECHO) programme in 1996 until now. We want to build on this experience to increase the coherence, effectiveness and timeliness of our work in preparedness. We want to better address emerging risks from climate, fragility and conflict and fully embed preparedness in our humanitarian mandate. It is in this spirit that DG ECHO is currently renewing its approach to preparedness that will consolidate in a new guidance as of 2021.

Let me conclude by saying that we could not save lives without our partners. Our gratitude goes to them for tirelessly working to put all this in practice and propose innovative solutions. We look forward to continuing our cooperation for a world that is better prepared and hence, more resilient.

Ms Paraskevi Michou
Director General

The compendium features a relevant collection of stories of or relating to disaster preparedness programs and innovations. The Moving Urban Poor Communities Toward Resilience (MOVE UP) Philippines Project, a constant Resilience and Knowledge Exchange Series (RKES) collaborator and partner, was also highlighted in the compendium. Moreover, the document includes stories and cases from but not limited to Kenya, Mozambique, Niger, Yemen, and Bhutan.


Read and download the full document here.