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UNICEF Child-Sensitive Disaster Risk Reduction within a Decentralization and Local Governance Context Consultancy

by | 17th March 2016

Fumiyo Kagawa has completed a January to December 2016 consultancy for the Social Inclusion (SI) Section in conjunction with its Humanitarian, Action and Transition (HATIS) Section of UNICEF New York on Child-Sensitive Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) within a Decentralization and Local Governance (DeLoG) Context.

The consultancy is a response to the relative dearth of practically-oriented literature on decentralized disaster risk reduction. While there is theoretical and policy acceptance of the effectiveness of decentralizing DRR as well as of its community accountability benefits, there is little literature on the practicalities involved, what works and what does not work, or on the role of local government in achieving successful DRR.UNICEF was particularly keen to know how best to support local government in the implementation of DRR amongst communities at risk.

The purpose of the consultancy was to document evidence-based UNICEF programming on DRR within a DeLoG context. The specific objectives were fourfold:

  • To identify international best practice and lessons learned in DRR programming within a DeLoG context
  • To asses the de jure and de facto situation of local governance and DRR in three countries through a desk literature review combined with six days of field research in each country
  • To document and assess UNICEF engagement in DRR within a DeLoG context through a documentary review, field visits and a workshop with UNICEF country officers in each country
  • To formulate approaches through which UNICEF can more systematically and sustainedly support DRR within a DeLoG context.

Fumiyo first conducted a desk review to identify best practice and lessons learned in disaster risk reduction programming in a DeLoG context, followed by desk- and field-based research assessing the de jure and de facto situation of local governance and DRR in three countries: Kenya, Nepal and the Philippines.

Fumiyo visited the Philippines from 6-12 March, Kenya from 16-22 April and Nepal from 30 April-6 May. In each country she conducted interviews with national and sub-national level key players and stakeholders to explore institutional frameworks, legislative, policy and planning frameworks for decentralized DRR, budgetary and financial aspects and accountability and participatory mechanisms. The field-based research also included documentation of UNICEF programming experience in DRR in a DeLoG context.

Since the field research, a research paper including detailed country case studies of Kenya, Nepal and the Philippines, as well as ideas and recommendations to UNICEF for more effective decentralized DRR programming was written.

Following the completion of a research paper, Fumiyo facilitated a two-day workshop in Bangkok in September to share key research findings and a draft Technical Guidance Note for UNICEF officers and its partners on how to best support and optimize decentralized DRR initiatives. The workshop also provided an opportunity to gather further UNICEF Country Office programming experience with DRR in DeLoG contexts. Attending the workshop were UNICEF officers from Armenia, Bangladesh, China, Ethiopia, India, Kenya, Nepal, Niger, Peru and the Philippines as well as officers from its East Asia and the Pacific Regional Office (EAPRO), its Regional Office for South Asia (ROSA) and UNICEF headquarters.

Further to the workshop the Technical Guidance Note was revised and submitted to UNICEF.